Sunday, August 31, 2008

A Story for the End of Sunday

Sorry I'm late, but the party consumed me and this afternoon, the computer wouldn't go to my blogspot for some weird reason. It just sat there and acted like I hadn't clicked on it. I tried between every interruption of life and finally, I tried googling it and then I was able to get here. I know this borders on the paranormal, but I have some kind of curse on me. Stuff like this just happens. It's still Sunday here. Last installment is here. SOS link is here. SO, back to the story...

This will shock you, but I don't remember every minute of my 10 day tour of Montreal. But, I did ask if you thought I came home engaged, so I'd better at least remember that and answer the question here! Before I do that, I must explain that I found the BYU culture to be utterly absurd and one of the things I hated the most was how people would meet and get engaged within a week and married within a month and then I imagine they would wake up on their honeymoon and ask their spouse if they had a middle name or how old they were or where they were from or discover some major thing about each other, like they're cousins or some other thing they had no time to find out yet. CRAZY, people! I swore I would have to know my husband for at least a year before I would marry him. I mean, after all, you need to see the guy under pressure, wear him down and see him at his ugliest before you want to strap yourself to him, right? Isn't that sensible? "We'll see" was what my mom would say. So, when I went to get on the plane to go to Montreal, my mom said, "Don't lose your heart. Unless you should." Here was my plan. Scope the situation. If it looked like a go ahead, I would make plans to go back for the summer. If the summer went well, probably we would get engaged sometime within the next year. That would give me enough time to finish school too, and I'd be free to move. If things got yucky at any point, I'd bail and concentrate on more stable things in life than men.

So it’s day 2, if you count the day before, since I got in late the night before. Other than the fact that we had now had some kissing under our belts so the real kissing fest could begin, we also went boot shopping. My boots were a disgrace. I had an excuse. I wore size 4 shoes and they were pretty much not available in Utah. I had very old boots from Chile that were worn out and cheap boots that weren't good for anything. So, we jumped on the public transportation system like the Metro because Chocolate Boy had been in a wreck not long before. He'd had to borrow a car to get me from the airport. The cool thing is, there are whole malls underground there, at more than one stop. It was fun. We got the shoes and did some shopping because the guy didn't keep much food at his place, he practically lived off fast food and friends. I wanted to cook some real food occasionally- in the one pot he owned. This guy needed help! That evening, we went out to see his uncle, about an hour's ride away.

On the way, as we discussed everything under the universe. I don’t know how it came up, but Chocolate Boy made a comment that you just pay tithing. There is no question about it, you pay first, figure out how to make things work later. You don't sit around analyzing whether or not you should pay it first or catch up later or skip it 'cause things are tight, you just pay. Period. This amused me, because one of my roommates was gossiping about how someone she knew was having issues with their spouse over paying tithing-one wanted to, the other didn't and I said that they should have explored their feelings on the issue before getting married don't you think? She retorted that no one talks about stuff like that when they're dating. Well, I said I thought you ought to know some things about a person like where their commitments lie, and how they plan to live before you choose them. She thought this was unrealistic. She was going to be flabbergasted that a guy had talked to me about tithing. Ha! After getting off the bus and walking to the uncle's place we discovered no one was home and after standing out in the cold 3.5 seconds, since I don't do cold, we decided we'd come back another time. Preferably after calling to make sure they'd be there.

While we waited for a bus back, he asked me on bended knee in the middle of the street, if I would be his girlfriend. Umm, I came to Montreal, I was kissing him, I think yeah, this is sort of a boyfriend/girlfriend relationship at this point. Whew! What a relief, he said. We alternated all the serious talking with goofing off, and trying to invent new kisses. My cousin kept a book of kisses, all different kinds. We were determined to invent more... for the book of course. At some point, I remember sitting on his lap while eating a candy cane and he made me laugh so hard, I slobbered candy cane juice all over his white shirt. I had never slobbered on anyone in my life before. I should have been mortified. I was embarrassed, but HE STILL LIKED ME. He didn't care if I slobbered on him. This was true love. Of course, I had to disagree with him too and be stubborn, just to see what he'd do. He had to do the same thing back to see what I'd do. We had a blast. We liked each other even when we were being obnoxious.

Have you ever felt like you are at home when you're not? Have you ever felt like you've known someone your whole life, even though you haven't? Have you ever felt like someone is your family, even though they're not? That was what I was experiencing. As the day ended on the 29th, I realized that it would be alright if I ended up marrying this guy. I had had other boyfriends and other guys I had been interested in before but there was always something that held me back. I didn't feel comfortable relinquishing my freedom or I didn't trust the guy enough to put my life in his hands, or I couldn't feel comfortable baring my whole self, the good, the bad, the ugly, the ridiculous, the dreams the whole ball of wax to anyone. I just couldn't invest my whole life in anyone before this, no matter how wonderful they were. So, this was a totally new feeling. I knew this guy wasn't perfect, but I knew I could trust him. He was totally respectful, no trying to cross lines we shouldn't cross. I knew he would stick with me no matter what. I felt like I could share anything with him, anything at all. But, at the same time, I was in no rush. I just decided I would come back for the summer and definitely, I would go home engaged in the fall if things continued in this vein.

The next evening, we were going to an early New Years dance. Earlier in the day, we were just sitting around on his living room couch when he suddenly got all serious, hemmed and hawed a bit and with a hard face said, "Shellie, I don't want you to be my girlfriend any more." What?? My heart dropped into my stomach. "Why not?" I asked. "Because I'd rather you were my fiancee." He replied. "Oh, well, in that case, it's all right," I said. "Really?" he said. "Yes," I said. Then he told me to wait a sec. Oh, and close your eyes. So I closed my eyes, and he ran off and started rummaging around in another room. I'm thinking, wait a minute, did I just agree to marry this guy? Am I engaged? What happened? What is wrong with me? The next thing I know, he's back and he's put something on my finger. He has me open my eyes, and there is a ring on it. A beautiful 18 karat gold ring with a red Rose Francia stone. I loved it. Totally not BYU diamond material. (Have you noticed I had issues with BYU? You're pretty sharp.) We kissed. One of those amazing once in a lifetime pivotal you have just dived in over your head kisses. Did I like it? Oh, yes! I did. He later told me he knew if he didn't get a commitment out of me before the dance, some guy would snatch me away from him. So silly!

So the rest of the day that ring was burning my hand off as I secretly wondered how I had just gotten engaged, without even planning to. How on earth was I going to get out of it? I was going to have to tell Chocolate Boy that I was not ready for this. Nothing personal, this was just too fast. How did I word this? Then I realized that if I broke it off now, I would only have to relive the whole thing again, probably in about 6 months. I just knew that I was going to end up married to this man. So what was the point? I would crush him if I told him I changed my mind, and I knew I was just going to change it back again later. Plus, what if he never asked again? No, I might as well just get it over with. So, I swallowed my fears and my pride and I kept the ring. And the man. We called our parents. He was afraid his mom would be mad, he warned me not to be alarmed if she was rude. She acted happy. His dad was thrilled. My mom said, "YOU DECIDED ALREADY?????!!" Even she was shocked. My dad wasn't home, so the next time I got to talk to him, he complained about missing out on getting asked for my hand. My grandad was thrilled. His uncle said, "Shouldn't your wife have her first communion before you marry her?" He made a lot of good arguments on the side of common sense and waiting, which we ignored. We decided not to wait till I graduated a year and a half later and in typical zoobie fashion got married 3 months later. He came to Utah so I could finish school and he could learn English, so he could communicate with my family. We ended up staying. (Too poor to move) And I'm still with him 20 years later. He's a little older and wiser now, but this was Chocolate Boy:

14 comments:

Darla said...

Such of a cute and heartwarming story! Isn't it amazing how you can be so sure of one thing and then, if it's meant, you can so quickly but thoroughly change your mind? And just know that it was the right thing....you can just feel it!

4boyzmdmom said...

I still remember how surprised I was when you called to say you were engaged...knowing how you felt about people who meet and get engaged within a few months (or weeks)! There are so many similarities between your courtship & engagement story and my own!

Anonymous said...

Wow! That was a whirlwind romance and so fun to read about! My hubby and I were married less than a year after we met and so far have 10 good years under our belt! It's true that when you meet Mr. Right, it just feels .... so right!! Thanks for sharing your story!

MERRIANNE said...

WOW SHELLIE!!!! i love love love your story!!!! and he is a cutie...i can see why you fell in love!!!!

Casdok said...

Wow! Just shows you never can tell what will happen!

Joanna said...

Aww. Glad you had a happy ending.

Carrie and Troy Keiser said...

Such a great story! Thanks for sharing.

Brillig said...

"Did I just agree to marry this guy? Am I engaged? What happened? What is wrong with me?"--HAHAHAHA! I love that you had to eat your words! I love that he knelt down to ask if you'd be his girlfriend! I love that you convinced yourself to keep the ring-- and the guy. Oh, Shellie. This is such a fantastic story. And TWENTY YEARS LATER? I can tell by the way you talk about him that you're still all dreamy-eyed. *sigh* What a perfect story!

Heather of the EO said...

THAT was good stuff. Thank you for sharing it! Such an amazing story of true love. Love it!

Laurie said...

That is the cutest thing, ever! You are so lucky!

2 hearts said...

So fun! Now I want to see a picture of Chocolate Boy in the present! ;) And maybe a wedding picture!
I met and married my husband in a little over a year although from start of dating to wedding was only 9 months. 3 years later and it's still a bit rough, but we'll make it.

Melanie J said...

What a fun story. Yay for true love!

charrette said...

GREAT story! Hooray for true love, even when it's embarrassing and inconvenient and...perfect. (Oh, and since he asked you to be his girlfriend on bended knee in the middle of the road, you really should read my middle of-the-road story at the Blogger's Annex today: http://www.bloggersannex.com/2008/09/08/the-kiss-that-could-stop-traffic/

(We've been together for twenty years too!)

caramama said...

Wooo hooo! What a great story! I can't believe you got engaged that very week! Sometimes, you just know it's the right one. :-)