If you need to catch up Part 1 is here and Part 2 is here.
Our Engagement Photo- I look like such a baby!
We finally called it a night sometime way after the Holy Ghost went to bed, and I was alternately terrified and exhilarated. I had never had a night like that before, and I was filled with excitement, adrenaline, and yes, hormones. On the other side of it, I was reeling from the weight of the profound conversation. What had just happened? Did I really just talk about spending the rest of my life with someone I had barely met?
The next day was Sunday, and the thought of seeing Tom again had me guessing. Were we officially dating? Would we sit by each other and hold hands, proclaiming our couple-hood to the ward and start the rumor mill flying? Was I supposed to hug him when I saw him? Kiss him? Or would we just smile at each other shyly and pretend nothing had happened the day before? Unfortunately, I had lost my book of instructions for this kind of event.
I'm ashamed to tell you that ten years and three kids have managed to suck the memory out of what actually happened at church that day. Despite wracking my brain for days, I have no memory, however vague, of those three hours. It's a little disturbing, really.
But after church, I decided to do what all good girlfriends do on Sundays: cook dinner. (OK, the truth is, I had little to no experience in this department. Either the cooking dinner department, or the girlfriend department. I was flying blind.) I cooked up some noodles with alfredo sauce, (It was alfredo sauce out of a jar. How emabarassing. But the worst part is that I felt so gourment!) added some salad out of a bag, (Told you, move over Julia Child) and set out to call him to see if he wanted to come over for dinner. I ran into a bit of a snag when I realized I didn't remember his last name and had to ask my roommate who exactly I had gone on a date with the night before so I could call him. And then I had to get over my years of being conditioned by my parents that "Nice Girls Don't Call Boys." But I did. I found out his last name, picked up the phone and invited him over and everything. And most importantly, I didn't turn into a pumpkin.
Tom came over and joined me four my amazing two course feast, (And it was years before he told me that he had just finished eating his own dinner when I called, and that he doesn't like alfredo sauce at all!) and afterwards suggested we go to Temple Square. We did the ultimate sappy-couple thing and walked around Temple Square holding hands, talking, and yes, kissing. If I hadn't been half of the sappy couple, I probably would have been nauseated by the sweetness and romance. Once again, my memory fails as to what exactly we talked about, but I was becoming more and more convinced that this was heading in a serious direction.
After a full day of classes Monday, I managed to convince myself that I was obviously going off the deep end. I had only been on two dates. I didn't want anything to do with boys! I was going to graduate school, remember? I had all but talked myself out of it; I was nearly positive I was going to call Tom up and break it off that night.
We were living near the University of Utah, and one of my favorite things to do when I was anxious, stressed, or needed to think was to drive up East Canyon at crazy break-neck speeds. I'm not a wild driver by nature, but there was something soothing about taking those curves at 75+ miles per hour. I would usually stop at the top of the canyon to think, cry or pray. I picked Tom up Monday night, and informed him we were going for a drive. The conversation was intense. I kept telling him all the reasons we were being crazy, and he kept telling me all the reasons we weren't. We talked for what seemed like hours in the canyon. We both confided in each other that everything felt wonderful, right, and calm when we we together, but as soon as we were apart, we both started having crazy doubts and fears. As we said goodbye that night, instead of breaking things off, I had a calm, unmistakeable assurance fill my heart, and I knew we were going to get married.
The week passed in an insane blur of classes, jobs, practicing and seeing each other as much as posssible. The next Saturday, Tom wanted to take me to the symphony, because it was his night at the symphony that started it all. After the concert, as we were waiting in the never ending line to get out fo the parking garage, Tom told me he had a question to ask me. Being an impatient kind of girl, I said, "Well, ask me then!"
He turned to me and asked, (seriously this time,) "Will You Marry Me?"
Of course I said yes.
Ten years and three kids later, we still love each other.
You get a lot of funny comments from people when you get engaged after only a week of dating. We went back to Tom's apartment that night, and as all good boys should, he called his mom to tell her the news. After talking with her for a few minutes, he said, "Here Mom, talk to her. You'll love her. Her name's Stacy," and shoved the phone at me. After glaring at him for not even giving me half a second to prepare, I took the phone. After approximately 47 seconds of small talk, his mom asked me, "What are your intentions with my son?" We still laugh about that one. Because we all know that I am obviously the evil temptress who tricked him into marrying me.
When we showed up in our singles ward the next day, (holding hands and being all kinds of cheesy,) everyone was shocked to hear that we were engaged. The rumor mill hadn't even had time to pass on the news that we were dating, let along getting serious, or engaged!
The next Monday, during a break between classes, I sat outside the music building and called my good friend Marti to tell her the news. "I didn't even know you were dating anyone!" she squealed.
My response? "I wasn't!"