The Story

Shannon asked me to post the story of how Robin and I became engaged. So here it is (Robin, you can have space for rebuttal).

This playlist has songs I remember from the time that Robin and I were engaged (click on “launch standalone player”):

In the spring of 1989 I was back in SLC, trying to finish up my undergraduate degree, having just spent the last summer in St. George, doing the oddest of jobs and hanging out with friends.  I was short on money and had no job.  I had worked at various retail establishments located at Trolley Square in the past and, on a whim, decided to walk around there again and see what was available.  I eventually wandered into Benetton, more because I liked the clothes than for any other reason.  A sales girl helped me.  She was very friendly.  Her name was Rebecca.  Remembering that I had no job, I asked if they were hiring.  She was enthusiastic about that idea, and called over her manager, a cute-as-can-be blonde named Robin, who gave me an application and set up an interview with another manager, who eventually approved me working at the store.  He told me to tell Robin that she could now hire anyone she wanted without consulting him.  I took that as a good sign.

 Not coincidentally, I was the only male working at the store.  I eventually got another of my friends hired, but even still, it was a hothouse of serious chick stuff.  Odd boyfriends came and went.  The girls seemed to have their own language.  They had great music constantly playing and they changed the tapes frequently.  They danced while they worked.  They whispered about things just out of my hearing.  It was strange, but it was also a lot of fun. 

I worked mostly with Robin’s friend, Gina, who seemed to think I should ask Robin out.  I was interested, but thought it might be odd to date the boss.  Gina assured me it was no problem (This was a total lie, of course–Robin fired me after we began dating seriously).  I called Robin.  She was busy, or sick, or both.  She couldn’t go, but we eventually fixed on a different time, and went out.  I remember that night mostly by the feeling I had.  It was like coming home.  I know I had never felt so comfortable wth any girl before.  It was like meeting up with someone I had known my whole life but hadn’t seen for a while.  The thought of marriage had, as yet, not entered my head, but I knew I found someone I wanted to spend a lot of time with.

The problem was other people.  I had been dating a few other girls and although none was very serious, they were still around.  I had been writing regularly to a girl who was on a study-abroad trip in Europe, and I felt I owed her an explanation.  Robin had been dating others as well, including a boyfriend with whom she had just ended(?) a five year relationship.  Robin found one of the letters I was writing to the girl in Europe and was not happy.  For my part, I discovered that her boyfriend was not exactly out of the picture, when he showed up at  her house in the middle of one of our dates and demanded that she explain what she was doing with me.  She went outside to talk to him and, as I watched out the window, he picked her up, put her over his shoulder, and actually began to run off down the street!  I’m not sure exactly where he thought he was going, but I was sure I didn’t want him taking Robin there, so I gave chase.  When I caught up with him (no real trick, as I was unencumbered with a girl on my shoulder) I “persuaded” him to put Robin down.  He protested my presence by means of taking a swing or two at me.  In the midst of our “discussion” Robin got in her car and drove away.  That seemed to make further debate somewhat moot, so we sat down to await her return.  After Robin finally came back, and after a lot more talk, it was mutually decided that her boyfriend would thereafter be an EX-boyfriend, which was a relief.

Later that year, Robin’s birthday was approaching and I was troubled about what to get her.  I was scheduled to take a waterskiing trip with my friends just before her birthday and I thought a lot about what to do.  We had been dating and working together about four months, which basically meant we were together almost every day and every evening.  I had never been happier, or felt anything like I was feeling before.  I remember on that waterskiing trip, staring out across the water of the lake and asking God to help me know if what I wanted was the right thing.  A feeling of great peace came over me and I knew that I was going to ask Robin to marry me on her birthday.  I asked my friends to help me plot the perfect engagement, and we spent the next couple of days planning an elaborate scavenger hunt that would take Robin to various locations around the valley where we had spent some of our more memorable dates.  I took Robin’s mom into my confidence, and she gave me her mother’s ring, which she wanted me to use as Robin’s engagement ring, at least until I could get it re-set.  Everything was ready.

 Unfortunately, the best laid plans… well you know.  Robin got lost.  Twice.  I had to call her and get her re-started on the hunt and my friends had to follow her around to make sure she finally got to the store, where I was concealed.  The final step was for her to punch her number into the cash register, which I had rigged to say “marry me.”  That part worked fine, when she finally arrived, hours late.  After she said yes, I held her tightly in the dimly lit store and it didn’t matter that we were too late for our dinner reservations.  I knew everything was going to be just fine.


One Response

  1. AAWWW…. I never knew about the boyfriend trying to take off down the street with her! How funny!

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