Monday, February 8, 2010

Monday Memories—Like a Horse and Carriage

My sister, Rachel, wrote about her and Bert’s engagement on their blog this weekend, and it reminded me . . .

Calvin, a couple of mutual friends, and I took a Theatre and Cinematic Arts class together one semester at BYU. One of our assignments was to see On Golden Pond with Henry and Jane Fonda and Katherine Hepburn. On February 9th Calvin and I went to see it and then returned to my apartment afterwards. We were visiting in the kitchen when out of the blue, and off the topic, he asked if he could see my Bible. I retrieved it and he turned to Genesis 2:18 and had me read: “It is not good for man to be alone.” He told me to always remember that. It was as random then as it is in this paragraph.

A little later Calvin told me he needed to get something out of his pick-up and left the apartment. He was gone for a long time and his hands were cold when he came back in, but I didn’t think much of it until he asked me if I wanted to go down to his pick-up to get something with him. I said, “No. You just went down to get it, remember?”

He said, “Oh. That’s right.”

I continued to chatter and carry a conversation with a very quiet Calvin. I always resented when A.K. chanted “Jane Chatterbox” on the playground in third grade instead of Jane Chadwick, but that night I deserved it.

When there was finally a lull in the one-sided banter, Calvin asked if maybe I’d just like to go outside with him since I didn’t want to go down to the pick-up. I told him it was nice and warm where we were, but we could go outside if he really wanted to. He did. We did.

We stood just outside our door near the railing of our second story apartment. I huddled between my arms to stay warm and Calvin just stood there. We stared straight ahead. If he’d have had a pitchfork and we’d have had a white farm house behind us I have no doubt we could have been stand ins:


Except we were smiling. And my teeth were chattering.

Finally after a long time Calvin said, “It’s a loooong way down to the ground from here.”

I said, “Oh no, it really isn’t. It makes Brother Millet (our landlord) mad if we land in the flowerbeds, but sometimes when we’re late for class we just hop over the rail and jump to the ground.”

Calvin said, “Oh.”

Long pause.

Calvin said, “It looks like all the leaves have fallen off the tree.”

Now that was an odd statement, almost as odd as “it’s not good for man to be alone.” It was February 9th for goodness sake and trees should be bare. But, when I looked at the tree, to my surprise, there were still a few leaves curled and clinging. It was only appropriate I point that out. “No. Look. There are still some left.”

Calvin said, “Oh.”

Another long pause.

He continued with a wave of his hand, “But they are all falling down.”

“Yes. Yes. I guess they do fall . . . d.o.w.n.” I agreed.

Yet another long pause. Though the snow was falling and looked beautiful in the lamplight, it was getting rather cold and the conversation wasn’t stimulating enough to keep me warm. I hinted we go back inside. Calvin tried to revive the conversation, “The snow is sure getting deep.”

I’m not certain, but I think I countered that it indeed it was starting to accumulate but that it really couldn’t be considered deep yet, but that maybe it would be by tomorrow morning.

Calvin responded, “But it sure is getting deep out there,” and pointed to the edge of our apartment complex lawn. And then I saw it. Finally. Written in the snow were the words, “Will you marry me?”

This time I didn’t argue. Not one bit. But gentleman that he is, Calvin still gave me the last word.

When did you get engaged? Did you see it coming?


Tiffany Fackrell said...

Oh man I was feeling REALLY bad for Calvin that whole story. glad it all turned out GREAT in the end!

WE got engaged on Christmas day and I had NO CLUE it was coming. well I did know he had asked my dad, BUT the diamond in my ring was my Grandma's and I still had it in my possession and I had told him how I DID NOT want to be engaged without a ring. Anyway, He took me up above mardon and we dance in the headlights of the car and then when he got down on one knee I think I said, "Are you for real!" Romantic I know. His dad had made me a little stainless steel band that morning that he proposed with and I wore until we got my real ring made. I was super excited and EVERYONE knew about it but me. Now that I look back on that day there were LOTS of things that happened that I thought were a little out of the the mystery phone call that morning, and david's parents working in the shop all morning and didn't even come in to say hi when I showed up, and the INSISTING i take a coat when I was just going over to visit a friend in a HOUSE. Sort of funny how everything pointed to something going on!!!

I love learning more about you through your blog!

Cassidy said...

I love this story. It cracks me up EVERYTIME. Oh so funny.
Mine was divided up into two proposals. Yep, I got 2!! the first one wasn't a surprise, but there was no ring. The second one, which was a surprise, had the ring. Granted I'd already said yes 2 weeks earlier, it was still quite the surprise. Bo's first proposal was as awkward as could be, with me finally making him get down on his knee and doing it again, only this time proper! hahaa

Mindy said...

Oh, poor Calvin, sounds similar to what I did to Troy. Troy and I were joking around and laughing and he got serious all of a sudden and popped the big question. I, of course thought he was kidding and laughed at him. Yes, poor guy. He asked me again but, this time came up with an appropriate response.

Jenny said...

Your stories are always so enjoyable. Thanks for sharing them with all of us. I am loving your header. Did you take all of those photos?

tina said...

The day we got engaged, my then friend of the other gender went with me (and his parents, for some strange reason) to Seattle to buy ME a new truck. There were a few hints along the way. I remember this one: him-"are you sure WE are going to be able to afford it {the new truck payment of $360}?" Me-"yes, I'LL be fine." Later that day, in MY brand new shiny Dakota, we pulled up at the temple to do baptisms and afterwards, yep at the temple grounds, we got engaged and drove home in MY new shiny Dakota, which I later had to share with a husband! :) Kind of explains how his parents got dragged along to go look at trucks . . . I was pretty clueless!

deidra said...

Poor Calvin. I'm sure he was sweating bullets!

Chris asked me in front of all my best girlfriends from high school. He had flown home from DC for the 4th of July, to visit me, and attend his 10 year class reunion. I had threatened that I would not attend his reunion with him as just his girlfriend, so he had one week to make me his fiance (since we had a wedding planned just a month and a half later). I had no idea he'd been scheming with my friends and took care of business the first night. It was fun to get to share it with my friends. They had made us an awesome cake, we had sparklers and lots of giddy laughing. Plus, it made the rest of the week that much better!

Marie said...

Poor Calvin! Just waiting and waiting for you to see his love note in the snow and finally having to point it out.

Dirk caught me off guard when he proposed too. It was the first, and remains the only time I have been completey speechless.

Ben or Cortney said...

Ben proposed at Temple Square. I met up with him down there for his cousins wedding. Funny thing was he didn't know that we has going to propose until the day before I came, and i had been thinking all week that I was going to get engaged. So Ben was the surprised one! I laughed when he proposed since he said "after I bought the box I couldn't afford the ring" and had a piece of string in the box. I couldn't stop laughing and I answered him after the 3rd time he asked. He was relieved! Fun to think back on...

michelle said...

What a great story! Poor Calvin.

We got engaged in Paris, on New Year's Eve. It wasn't as romantic as it sounds, believe me. We walked around for a long time in the cold (I was in heels). Marc didn't want to be cliche and propose in front of the Eiffel Tower, and every time he looked up, there it was. All the taxis were taken, so we finally caught a cab back to the bishop's house we were staying at, and he proposed right before I went to bed, exhausted. I would have preferred having the Eiffel Tower in view!

My first response was, "you can't afford that ring!" Disappointing for him, I'm sure.