Thursday, June 7, 2012

Six Stories for Six Years: Denney's.

Have I ever told you about the time we got engaged? It was my senior year of college, so I was living in Logan while Paddy worked and went to school in Salt Lake. We had already decided together that we wanted to get married, but hadn't been in any sort of rush to get the ring and make it "official." My only requirement was that he not propose on Valentine's Day. (No big deal if that works for you, it just seemed hokey to me.)

As I've mentioned before, we had our first kiss on January 26th, and we've always had fun celebrating that day as the start of our relationship. January 26, 2006 fell on a Thursday. I had to work that evening at my riveting college job as a cashier at a local dollar store (FACTORY OUTLET STORE, Katie!) and planned on heading home after I got off at 9:00 to spend a long weekend at home with Paddy. He was working that night at his riveting job at a call center. He told me he'd call me on his break, which would be right around the time I'd be headed out of Cache Valley.

In the middle of Sardine Canyon is a tiny, picturesque little town on the banks of a lake. It's called Mantua, and no one I've ever met has had any reason to stop there beyond receiving your obligatory speeding ticket, which mostly everyone in Cache Valley gets at one point or another. (Not me!) During the daytime, it looks like this:

image found here
At night in January, the lake is black and sparkly against the snow, and it's really very pretty. Paddy encouraged me to stop just off the exit there to talk with him while he was on his break so I wouldn't be navigating the steep, winding canyon roads alone at night while on the phone.

Having never stopped in Mantua, I blew right past the exit.

Where, as it turns out, Paddy was waiting on one knee.

So anyway, I tried calling him a few times without luck, and pulled off at the next exit, which happens to be a  construction gravel pit just east of Brigham City. I sat in my car, trying to reach him, when a large truck pulled in behind me. Since I didn't know anyone with a large truck, I naturally assumed it was an ax murderer and pulled away, still desperately trying to reach my boyfriend, especially if I was about to be kidnapped and left for dead in a stinky dumpster behind a Walmart. Finally, Paddy answered the phone, out of breath and panting.

"STOP! DRIVING! PLEASE!" he gasped.

And there, in my rear view mirror, was my almost-husband with flowers and an engagement ring.

A friend had driven him up the canyon, so together we drove home, calling our families and my roommate to share the news. We stopped at  Denney's, the only thing that was open, and I munched on chicken nuggets with my new sparkly accessory.

One year later, Paddy dragged me out of bed just after midnight on January 26th. We trudged through the snow outside our first apartment and climbed into the car, headed back to that same Denney's together for a warm plate of chicken nuggets.


Amber said...

That is such a cute story! I'm loving all of the stories that you have posted, cute idea!

Liv said...

This is way too funny. I die.