1/19/2007

1 Nephi 7 - Proposing Proposals

1 And now I would that ye might know, that after my father, Lehi, had made an end of prophesying concerning his seed, it came to pass that the Lord spake unto him again, saying that it was not meet for him, Lehi, that he should take his family into the wilderness alone; but that his sons should take daughters to wife, that they might raise up seed unto the Lord in the land of promise.
2 And it came to pass that the Lord commanded him that I, Nephi, and my brethren, should again return unto the land of Jerusalem, and bring down Ishmael and his family into the wilderness.
3 And it came to pass that I, Nephi, did again, with my brethren, go forth into the wilderness to go up to Jerusalem.
4 And it came to pass that we went up unto the house of Ishmael, and we did gain favor in the sight of Ishmael, insomuch that we did speak unto him the words of the Lord.
5 And it came to pass that the Lord did soften the heart of Ishmael, and also his household, insomuch that they took their journey with us down into the wilderness to the tent of our father.

This is NOT the strangest proposal I've ever heard of:
"Four+ guys, escaping the pollution of the city, like long journeys into and out of the wilderness, and like to rough up the youngest of us."

or

Dad's permission + Daughter + Wilderness = Marriage

How realistic is this? Could a formula like this really work in today's world?

If you haven't heard it yet, it's about time you know the story of Patrick's proposal to me.

The first time we saw each other was at a bar. . . okay, it was the breakfast bar at Shari's restaurant near Seattle where I worked graveyard, but the kids fall over into a fit of giggles when we put it this way . . . one of the reasons to have kids is to see everything anew through their eyes.

We were set up soon afterwards to go on a 'blind' triple-date with Pat's parents and the couple who had introduced us. Why the two of us? Because I worked at the same restaurant as the guy who arranged it. Patrick's parents were coming through town (Seattle) from Rhode Island on their way to be stationed in Korea and his friend was an old friend of the family from Patrick's High School days in Kansas. (Instead of a 'translation guide' I should probably include a map, huh?) This friend of Patrick's was in the Seattle area because he was engaged to a girl who lived here and they were to be married in a month, back in Kansas. Patrick's parents offered to take the five of them out to dinner and Patrick declined saying something along the lines of . . . "Why don't the four of you go out and have a good time." His friend responded with, "Well, I know a girl . . ."

I'll leave out the gory details . . . you'll have to ask in person,
but all the way home from the date, the couple kept saying, "He REALLY likes you" and asking, "So, what do YOU think of HIM?"

Being a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints I knew I was safe in NOT marrying him. Here was a non-religious make-up wearing, punk rocker who finished his pack of cigarettes and served pre-dinner coffee at his apartment, before we left for pre-dinner alcoholic beverages at the restaurant. I declined all of these 'hors d'oeuvres' and hoped I didn't embarrass the rest of the group when the matre'de asked to see I.D. and I told them in no uncertain terms that I was well under age.

I never really expected to see Patrick again as I was 'seeing' someone else and Patrick was NOT my type. So 'fate' took a hand and made sure that I would.

That summer was crazy. I was directing my first musical, Peter Pan. (The usual drama related disasters accompanied our production: our prima-donna was always threatening to quit if things didn't go her way; one month before the show, my choreographer asked leave to go to France and be with her husband on an extended business trip, I told her that if I were married, I wouldn't want my husband alone in France, so I said it was ok; two weeks before the show, the set designer quit because his wife was filing for 'divorce' he had only cut out one cannon - leaving me with a second cannon, a large window pane, a canoe that had to move across stage, several boulders and trees for the mermaids and lost boys, and a pirate ship to make; the day before our opening night, the building-manager tried to cancel my reservation, and on the day of performance, some of the parents threatened not to let their children perform in the play because they didn't see eye-to-eye with the make up artists. . . typical theatrical mayhem.) Add to this series of fiascos, my 'boyfriend' from California coming up in the middle of rehearsals on my birthday only to find that I had the chicken pox. You know how difficult it is to run play rehearsals when you are contagious to half your cast? Yes, I was desperate.

While my customers at the restaurant were asking for this or that, I began asking my customers if they could spare time to help cut, paste, paint, etc. Patrick began to come in more often for a bottomless cup of coffee, and of course, being the swell guy that he was, he offered to help out. He would drive about an hour from the military base south of Tacoma where he was stationed and help out most afternoons.

Pat and his buddy from the restaurant would paint and paste sets in the church building where the performances were to be held and then move outside to take a smoke break . . . the questions of concerned church patrons just added to my delimmas. When it came time to take breaks, Patrick always offered to buy me lunch, but not wanting to lead him on, I paid my own way. I specifically remember praying silently over my lunch at the Shari's restaurant and asking, "Please help Patrick know that I do not like him than more than I do, and please help me not fall hopelessly head over heals just because he opens the door for me."

By the end of the summer, my nerves were a wreck and I asked my parents if I could fly down to visit my boyfriend in California after the performances ended. I guess they disapproved of my California 'dream-date' because they said that if I did that I could take my stuff with me and not plan on returning.

Enter the Herculean Tasks - stage right.

I really wanted a break between the last performance and the start of college classes so I asked if I could accompany a stranger I met at the restaurant on his way to Kansas and see one of our mutual friends tie-the-knot. This was a Sunday. Much to my surprise, my Mom said, "Yes, if you can:

#1. Get a driver's license. (Even though I attended driver's ed, I followed it with two major leg operations, one in 11th grade, the other in 12th) My parents had to take care of all 7 kids living at home, I was the oldest; my Mom worked graveyard at the hospital and ran a daycare out of our home (10-13 kids) during the day; my Dad worked at the hospital with over-time and spent his weekends in the Army Reserves; they were understandably tired of running me around. - Patrick drove me to the DMV on Tuesday.

#2. Buy a car. (This shocked me, I didn't know why she included this, unless she thought it wasn't possible). I asked one of my customers, who used to race professionally, if he could take me car shopping. -In retropect, I don't know how this could have happened on Monday, seeing I didn't have a license yet, but I drove home my car the day after my conversation with my mom - my sense of right and wrong was a bit skewed.

#3. Pay someone to clean up after the musical. (My Mom was afraid that since I was a minor, she might be held responsible if I were to just up and leave . . . I don't blame her). You remember the choreographer who left for France? She had just arrived and for $20 said she'd be happy to haul it all to the dump.

It was now Wednesday afternoon, and to make a long story short . . . too late . . . as I was racing home from the last performance and stuffing dirty clothes into a suit case to head to Kansas, my Mom asked me if I had asked my Dad. "Oh, great", I thought, "My dad runs off every boy I've ever met; including high school students, musicians, a recently enlisted military guy, college kids, a chiropractor, etc. It seemed it wasn't age, talent, education, or a career he was concerned with." - looking back it was his daughter. Normally, I'd have to wait until he got home at night, but for some reason he had come home early that day. As I came up the stairs to the living room, there was my dad and my ride out of town shooting the breeze and having a good time. He simply said, "Take care of her son." My mom later told me that from her eavesdropping position in the kitchen, she about dropped the canning jars.

So we left for Kansas, he on one side of the car, me on the other, trying not to inhale.

Since Kansas was his old stomping ground, he went and looked up old friends and, with nothing better to do, I tagged along. They would ask about me, and at first we just said we had a mutual friend, then when they would press us we'd say, "Um, yea, we're friends", but after the dozen or so inquiries, it became monotonous, so we started saying boy friend and girl friend just to appease the masses. The wedding and reception came towards the end of the week, by then, everyone in town thought we were an item. I guess the joke was on me though, because I was the only one in the state who didn't believe it. After the wedding, where I think I remember the bride and groom toasting our 'engaged relationship' we were headed home to civilization. After about 20 minutes, when we had reached a popular spot in the mid-west: 'the-middle-of-nowhere,' Patrick pulled over to the side of the road announcing he'd forgotten something. I now know what was on his mind, but all I was thinking was, good thing he remembered the item he'd left behind so soon after we'd left.

So, next to the middle of a corn field, [not quite a wilderness, but close] he told me what he had forgotten,
"I forgot to ask you to marry me."

I had been to BYU, the marriage proposal capital of the world, and including the don't leave for college without marrying me, and the 'I've enlisted, marry me' . . . I'd laughed off half a dozen proposals without even breaking a sweat, I was going to get my college degree and travel the world before I was married.

In the end, I was 'right', I just got them in the wrong order, in the first 18 years of my life I got engaged, 18 years later we traveled around the world, and 18 years from now, I hope to have finished my college degree.

So for my proposal, I guess it worked,

Dad's permission + Daughter + Wilderness = Marriage

What was my reaction to Patrick's proposal? How was the trip home from Kansas? What was everyone's reaction back in Seattle? That's another story. . . Read on.

1 comment:

Cambria W said...

that a beautiful story! goes to show that when Heavenly Father has a plan, there's no stopping it.