Monday, February 23, 2009

The Story of a Boy and a Girl

Once upon a time, in the far away land of Orlando, there was a Girl. She sang pretty. And there was a Boy. He drew things.

Their story begins in a tacky hotel filled with leopard print carpet, zebra chandeliers, and elephant statues aplenty. One also cannot forget that this building boasted the world’s largest python slide. It was called The Sheraton Safari Hotel…

It was in this building, one summer day- the fifth of August to be exact- where The Boy first laid eyes upon The Girl. They were in church, giraffes looking on, as part of the Buena Vista YSA Ward. He immediately noticed her, but the poor Girl, weary from travel and homelessness, was distraught and distracted.

And as The Boy sat behind the girl in Sunday School, The Girl listened intently as he explained to a friend his impending breakup. The girl sighed to herself as she gazed at The Boy, “Why can’t I just have a boy like that?”

In the words of a friend the girl was “A Ten.” The Boy wanted to talk to “The Ten.” The Girl wanted to talk to said Boy. But alas, The Girl was shy, and sat timidly in her chair. The Boy, however, was courageous and introduced himself to this newfound princess. They talked.

Pleased at their introduction, The Girl began to flirt. Meetings had ended when The Girl boldly asked The Boy for his phone number. The Boy, amazed by her spunk, complied.

The Girl liked playing hard to get. The Boy went to a dance. The Girl didn’t. The Boy went to Cici’s Pizza, The Girl didn’t. But she couldn’t, and didn’t want to, play that game forever…

The weeks went on…

* A dating themed FHE provided insight for The Boy. The Girl watched The Boy. The Boy gazed at The Girl. Sparks were secretly flying.

* The Boy watched The Girl play Belle for the first time. The Girl liked that.

* The Girl needed a truck. The Boy happened to have a truck. “Rumor has it you have a truck,” The Girl texted. Hmmmmm…. terribly convenient.

* Sunday Night Gathering at Chatham was a night to remember. The Girl poked fun at The Boy. They giggled and flirted, and it was here that these famous words were spoken, “You’re unattainable, I’m unattainable. We can be unattainable together!!” And so it began…

Persistently, The Boy tried to win the girl’s affection. Her ploy was simply “to make him love her.”

He hauled a bed in the pouring rain for her…

He fixed the plumbing at her “Chateau”…

He scraped dead things off her driveway…

She was funny. And looked pretty.

And then one day…

After being “confused” when she changed the subject (like she always did when she got nervous), their first official date was set.

And the rest, my friends, is history.


Her Side of the Story…

I can be annoying. I can be hyper, shrill, naggy, and whiny. I have spent much of the past week being, as Chuck says, “EXACTLY” those things. Come on, seriously, I knew he was up to something so OF COURSE I’m gonna make things dramatical.  Would you really expect anything less of me?

I tease him. RELENTLESSLY I taunt and nag, saying things like, “When are you gonna get me a ring? Is it sparkly? How’re you gonna give it to me? How much did it cost? Have you got it yet? You HAVE got it so how’re you gonna give it to me? Does it look like the one in the picture I gave you?” Anyway, you get the point. So all week he’s basically wanted to slap me upside the head… but he’s not that kind of boy so he’s refrained. Truth is, I didn’t KNOW he had something up his sleeve, I just strongly suspected… And since we’ve been together going on a year and a half, I can read him pretty darn well.

Keep these things in mind as I proceed with my story:

Friday night (11/8/2008) I came home from a long day of five shows and a surprise birthday party. We’d planned on going on “a dates” (Yes, a dateS… so what? We have inside jokes!), so I got to my house ready to veg for awhile and then head out to dinner or whatever Chuck had planned. I didn’t care. I was tired and I was going to let him be the man and plan the thing. He’d been texting me the whole time I’d been at the birthday party, “When are you coming? Have you left yet? Hurry. Be here by 6:30.” Well, he knows that I never obey him (HA), so I took my sweet time. When I got home I chatted with Kim, putted around my bedroom… whatever. We’re standing in my room and he finally grabs my shoulders and says, “I’m telling you that you need to pack an overnight bag. We’re going on a road trip.” Yeah right. Mr. Chuck was trying to give me a taste of my own medicine. But I was SOOOOOOOO not going to let him win. I rolled my eyes and said, “Yeah right,” and proceeding with my tinkering around. “I’m serious. Pack a bag with everything you’ll need for the next day.” Oh, you’re hilarious, Charles. You think I’m gonna fall for you teasing me as much as I’ve teased you the last week??? I THINK NOT! This went on for a good twenty minutes when I finally decided that maybe he was NOT kidding. I swallowed my pride and packed a bag, even though I was still pretty darn sure he’d take me out to dinner, drive around the block, and later say, “Ha ha. I got you!” Apparently he’s not as devious as I.

I get into the car and there sits our favorite road trip foods: Graham crackers with frosting, Cheez-Its, Triscuits, jerky, bananas (to satisfy my need to be a health food freak), AND a brown Carrabbas bag. I LOVE CARRABBAS! Yippee! OK- so now I’m thinking, “He’s serious.” YAY! I LOVE ROADTRIPS! Good “a dates,” Honey!

“Where’re we going??” On goes the hyper/annoying/naggywhiny button. “Cocoa? Naples? The Keys? Miami?” We were heading South, and we’d talked about seeing Miami at some point soon… so sure. Miami. Cool.

I slyly sent a text message to a few, select people, “Chuck is taking me on an overnight road trip date.” The texts flowed in to confirm what I had been thinking, “It’s gonna happen soon.”

Finally- I didn’t even have to ask- he said, “Do you want to know where we’re going?” What? I don’t even have to milk this one at all? Lame… “Of course I do!” He then told me that we were headed to Key Largo (Yeah- the Beach Boys song has been playing through my head ever since…). Yippee! Another great choice! I’ve really wanted to go to the Florida Keys!

Drive drive drive. Road trip games. I heard all about his grandparents, he heard all about my childhood obsession with The Boxcar Children. “Gimme a word and I’ll tell you a story…” “Scouts.” Drive drive. “Radio.” Drive. “Microphone.” Drive drive drive. Drive. “Railroad.” Have I mentioned that I love road trips?

At about 1 AM we arrived at our destination: Ocean Pointe Resort in Key Largo. CUTE, cute little condo- two bedrooms, of course, cuz we are good lil’ Mormon kids, and a nice view of the ocean. It was dark… I’d see it in the morning. Bed time. I’ve been staying up WAY, WAY too late lately. I guess after my Utah trip I never really got myself back on Eastern Time… I’ve been paying for that for weeks. I developed a new wrinkle in my eyelid on Thursday and I am convinced that is why… ha…

Continuing on…

Saturday morning was the best I’d had in a LONG LONG time . I decided to milk the experience for all it was worth so I took nearly TWO HOURS getting ready. My room had a jet tub. And I tell ya, this is a girl who LOVES bubble baths. GLORIOUS. Did I really wanna leave that bathtub? No… but check out was at noon and I figured I’d better let this cute boy get on with his plan. But yes, I WILL have a jet tub in the near future. I need it to survive.

We headed out for some grub. He’d done some research with the locals while I was being slow getting ready, and found out that down the road a ways there was a cute little beachside restaurant at the Cheeca Lodge. Great food. Great atmosphere. Everything was SOOOOOOO relaxing. It was AMAZING. AND there was a little jewelry shaped box in his right pocket…

We walked on the beach. PS: People on beaches tan way too much. There were old men reading books like, “How to Win Friends and Influence People,” and leathery old ladies who should cover their boob jobs more effectively. But again, it was relaxing a pretty and yeah- so nice.

“Let’s put our feet in the water.” Ah, yes. Here it comes. We giggled and rambled and then he said, “I have something for you.” Eyes wide, “A KITTY NAMED MEATLOAF?!?!?!” Yes. I love cats. We all know that. I fully plan on having a cat named Meatloaf, and my mom will own his brother, Meatball. ANYWAY- In the previous week I’d joked with him saying that he needed to give me a kitty (Meatloaf) with the ring on his paw. (I AM NOT SERIOUS ABOUT THAT PEOPLE, I just like to magnify my love of cats as to magnify his HATE of them- it’s terribly fun to get him riled up!) “DOES IT LOOK LIKE I HAVE A CAT HIDDEN IN MY POCKET?!?!?!” Ha ha ha. So there he did it: Got down on one knee as I sat on a rock. His pants were wet from the Atlantic water and it was quick and simple, “Amy, will you marry me.” I made the mistake of saying yes before I put the “If I can have a cat named Meatloaf” clause in the agreement, but whatever. I am sure that someday, when he sees the agony of me giving birth to his children, I will come home to find the cute little kitty Meatloaf basking in the light of my home.

THE RING: Just what I wanted. I had found a picture of what I wanted online and told him that it would be OK if he had one like it custom made. He obeys me. Hee.

Phone calls began. He called his parents. I called mine. He called his brother. I called my sister. There were tears, “It’s about time”s, and “DUH”s. And then we got on a boat to go snorkeling. I look GREAT in that mask.

There were a bunch of drunk, middle aged women on the top of the boat with us. As Chuck talked to his uncle Ron, the ladies overheard our new status and cheered and asked all kinds of questions. #1: WHERE IS YOUR RING? Duh people. I’m not gonna take a brand new ring SNORKELING! Ha ha. They were awfully cute though.

Snorkel snorkel. Pretty fishies! Lots of salt water. And then Chuck lost his snorkel. I figured it was gone, which was a bummer, but after about ten minutes of searching he announces that he’s found it. WHAT??!?! SERIOUSLY? And down to the bottom of the ocean goes Chuck Keeler for his $9 snorkel.

Done snorkeling. Lots of congrats from the drunk middle agers, bugs biting us everywhere, but hey, it was lots of fun. Dinner was at a cute little Italian dive off the interstate, and the KEY LIME pie was INCREDIBLE! We spent dinner hardly talking to one another- sending out texts and making phone calls. Ha. We’re so totally romantic aren’t we?? NERDS.

So there it is. The story of how I, Amy Diane Shreeve, Miss Independent, got engaged to The Boy named Chuck Keeler. It’s good stuff.

His Side of the Story...

Amy can be annoying. And hyper. And naggy. And I love her.

Aside from being annoying about, "When are you going to give me a ring?" and "Did you get me a ring?" and "Are you going to give me a ring tomorrow?… the next day?… this weekend?", being around Amy is something I love more than anything. I always have. I've known for the longest time I wanted to marry her. No doubts in my mind.

It was a know fact since the early days of dating that Amy didn't want to rush into marriage. So, I took comfort in enjoying what would be a long courtship until she was ready to get married. We had talked about getting married since forever ago, and have always known it would happen, but it was always a far off thing. WELL… one day she decided, without telling me, that she was ready to get engaged. I was the last to know. Every girl in our ward seemed to know and suddenly every female around, including Amy, began with the comments. Comments like: "Gosh Chuck, what are you waiting for?? She's waaaaaiting…" and "you are so slow…" and my favorite…"for crying out loud, are you going to make her miserable forever and not give her a ring already???" Here I am thinking I was being the good boyfriend by not pressuring her into anything "too soon". Boy was I wrong! Oh, and this was a couple of months ago. Now what was I to do? First, I have to say I was thrilled. The day had come where I knew she was ready and excited for our plans to become a reality. Now a ring. We had looked several places. We looked on our trip to Sanibel Island, and in Utah, and here in Orlando. However, she found her favorite ring online. The ring was not available for purchase, so I set out to have a similar one custom made. With a brief set-back (the custom jewelry guy had a heart attack) the ring was now mine. But not mine for long. You see, the ring was not ready until the afternoon I wanted to take Amy to the Florida Keys.

Friday night, after a week+ of planning, booking, shopping, praying, and packing, I picked Amy up for the surprise trip. I had no doubt in my mind that I was to marry her. Like I said, I've known for so so long. It's a great feeling to know. I love her so much. I love everything about her (except for that awful never-ending fascination for cats!). I love being with her. We laugh so much. She is always happy to see me. I am always happy to see her. We miss each other when we are apart. We always have fun whether we're doing nothing or going to the Disney parks, or grocery shopping… whatever it is, we enjoy being with each other. K- back to the topic of Key Largo.
The Beach Boys song always fascinated me. It's a song about all these great beaches… I had no idea where in the world any of them were... "Key Largo, Montego, baby why don't we go, to Bermuda, Bahamas…" -you know. Key Largo... sounds fun, and oh yeah, it's in the state we live in. Days of Googling about the Florida Keys led to the discovery of a fun ocean-side resort. I booked a suite with two separate bedrooms, paid the extra ten bucks for the view of the Atlantic Ocean, and printed directions.

Friday night. As I said, I came to pick up Amy at her house. "Honey, pack a bag for an over-night trip. Bring clothes to swim in, clothes in case it's cold out, and whatever else you need. We're going on a road trip." Of course she didn't believe me and continued to take her sweet time, talking to her roommates, dilly-dallying around, and not getting ready. Haha. I had to tell her a million times how I was serious about the road trip. Finally she packed and we were on our way. I had in the front seat some take-out from our favorite restaurant, Carrabba's, along with some snacks I prepared.

With no idea as to where we were headed, Amy in her cute little way, asked repeatedly where we were going. At one point, she guessed, "The Keys? That would be cool!" "Yep, Key Largo to be exact."

The resort was great. She had the master bedroom, and I the children's room. In the morning I went down to the beach while she was getting ready. I went down to see what it was like and more importantly, to chat with the locals at the little café as to where I should take my fiancé-to-be.

I learned that Cheeka Logde in Key Largo was a local favorite, with a beach and nice dining. We ate a great lunch at an outdoor little restaurant on the beach. Classy and fun with a great view. The weather was great.
On a rock ledge after lunch, we sat and talked with our feet in the water. I don't remember the whole conversation. I don't think I was all that nervous. A little nervous, but not as bad as I thought I would be. I was REALLY REALLY excited to giver her the ring. That helped. I said "I have something for you" and then she says, in typical Amy fashion, "A kitty??" ……….. Ummmm, no. "I do not have a kitty here on this beach. Does it look like I have a cat right here?" Yeah. So funny! Then down on one knee… Now the ocean water came right up to the rocks. I knelt IN the ocean. I remember this next part really well, it's my favorite part. Right as I got down on one knee, Amy clapped her hands gently and said softly, "Yaaaaayyy" with a big smile. I loved that moment more than anything. The look on her beautiful face. The sparkle in her eyes. I love it. She said yes, we took pictures, and we headed to John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park to snorkel.

On the way we called parents first, then siblings, and then other family members. Both of my parents got emotional - which was nice to hear. We took a 3 hour snorkel cruise where we swam several miles off the coast at an amazing reef. The boat held about 35 people, and a third of them saw several sharks- Nurse sharks. Sadly, we did not see the sharks. After getting out of the water and heading back to land, a dolphin swam and jumped in our wake. So much fun! It was such a great afternoon- My gorgeous fiancé, amazing weather, and crystal-clear water.

To finish the almost perfect day, we ate dinner at a hole-in-the wall Italian restaurant where we ate the most amazing Italian food and the best homemade Key Lime pie ever. Key Lime pie- get it? We were in the Keys. That's where it originated… I think.

A five-hour drive back to Orlando, two tired but smiling faces, and the beginning of an amazing and wonderful chapter of our lives together. It was such a great road-trip! I love you Amy.