|The Dark Crystal|
It was finally spring! The year was 1983 and I could see my whole future unfolding. I was going to graduate from high school in May, finish my two-year degree in August, spend a year at BYU, and then get married the following summer. It seemed like a perfect plan. My Lab Assistant and I had even named our first child! One of our early dates was to a showing of The Dark Crystal. I loved the name of the main character and playfully suggested, "When we get married, let’s name our first child ________!" "OK." I’m pretty sure he thought I was crazy then, but it didn’t really matter. We were young and life was good. It was easy to make all kinds of crazy plans. Unfortunately, it was a lot harder to make those plans realities.
By March we felt mostly committed to each other, but he refused to make it official. All I wanted was his school ring and an invitation to "go steady." I still don’t know exactly why he was reluctant to take that step, but it became a source of contention for us. My parents jumped at the chance to break us up completely, and when a high school boy invited me to the prom, they insisted that I accept the invitation. I secretly hoped this would help him make his decision once and for all. Within a day or two after prom he asked me to go steady and by the first of May, I knew he was looking for a real ring.
It was nearly Memorial Day and graduation was quickly approaching. He came by the house and asked me if I wanted to go to the Malt Shop for some ice cream. The Malt Shop was a local favorite with the college kids and we loved their hot fudge shakes with nuts. It was still chilly, so I grabbed a jacket and we headed out the door. We talked about school, graduation, finals, and upcoming tests. Soon we arrived at the Malt Shop and placed our order. We slipped into our favorite booth and held hands across the table while we waited.
It wasn’t long before they called our number and my Lab Assistant retrieved our food from the girl behind the counter. After he set the tray on the table, he slid back into his seat and then handed me a cup. I pulled out the long red spoon and placed a mouthful upside down on my tongue. It was cold and smooth with just the right amount of chocolate. "Ummm…" I murmured. "I love this place." I stuck my spoon back into the cup for another frosty bite. But my spoon wouldn’t go down. "What the…?" I jabbed harder. "There’s something in my shake!" I wedged my spoon between the cup and the object and up popped a plastic bubble like the kind you get in a vending machine. I grabbed a napkin and wiped off the ice cream. My heart began to pound as I carefully pried the two halves apart. The top finally slid open and I pulled out a beautiful diamond engagement ring. A tiny folded slip of paper asked, "Will you marry me?" Tomorrow I’ll tell you all about the wedding.