Monday, February 16, 2009

A Tale of Love and Vehicles

In honor of Valentine's Day, here’s my how-I-met-my-husband story.

When I started my second year at BYU, my cousin, Darrin, had just returned from his mission. Darrin is one of the nicest and wittiest guys on the planet, and my sister and I were excited to have him at BYU. (And the thought did cross our minds that having a male cousin nearby could be a very good thing, since male cousins have male friends).

When we went to Darrin’s apartment to say hi, he wasn’t home, so we left him a note telling him his gorgeous cousins had stopped by. (Okay, so maybe we fudged a bit on the gorgeous part. Chalk it up to wishful thinking). Darrin called us and we arranged to meet at the Wilkinson Center.

At this fateful meeting, Darrin brought his roommate along. Who could resist the chance to meet the self-proclaimed Gorgeous Cousins? Brian was from Rochester, New York, had roomed with Darrin freshman year, and had recently returned from his mission. He was also the proud owner of a new pair of socks. This was in the days when male students were required to wear socks and Brian had—oops—come to campus sans socks. In order to get his ID card, he had to make a quick stop at the BYU Bookstore. I soon discovered that, besides being handsome and well-supplied with socks, Brian was also brilliant, funny, witty, kind, and everything else wonderful.

In those early days before classes started, my sister, my cousin, Brian and I liked to have fun together. Not many weeks passed before Brian and I started dating, and the rest is history. We got engaged in March and were married in the Salt Lake Temple in August. But within hours following the wedding, we found that one thing we’d taken for granted in the naïve, love-struck days of our courtship was soon to disappear from our lives.

A working vehicle.

The car trouble began after our wedding reception. The key to the trunk of Brian’s ancient Audi (a separate key from the ignition key) fell off the ring while he was loading his suitcase. His key got locked in the trunk. There was no spare key and no way to access the trunk from inside the car. Thank heavens my suitcase wasn’t in there yet, but Brian had to make do with the clothes he’d left at his grandmother’s (where he’d been staying) until we could get the car to a key shop the next day. We spent a good chunk of our first day of married life at a locksmith’s while they got the trunk opened for us.

With the trunk problem fixed, we headed toward Springdale (near Zion’s National Park) where we would be staying in a condo. Partway there, our Audi started doing some terrible car thing and we had to stop in Nephi to get a hose replaced. While we waited at the garage, I looked with interest at the Hostess Fruit Pies for sale, but told myself no, don’t buy one, we’ll be eating dinner when we arrive at our destination.

I should have gone for the fruit pie. We got the car fixed, but not much farther down the road, the car started spewing white smoke. Apparently white smoke coming from a car is double-plus ungood. We pulled off I-15 and, from a rest stop, called a tow truck. The tow truck took us into the quiet little town of Parowan and dropped us at a motel. We’d had no dinner, it was midnight, and not even the vending machines had anything good to offer.

The next morning, we called Brian’s parents to come rescue us. Yes, folks, we had to call my husband’s parents to come pick us up while we were on our honeymoon. They were headed in our direction anyway, en route to our open house at my parents’ home in Southern Utah. The open house went well, my parents lent us a car for our honeymoon, we got a nail in the tire of that car and had to get it fixed; they gave us another car for the drive back to Provo and we blew a tire on the freeway on that one. But we were young and in love and the birdies were singing and all that.

Now, nineteen and a half years later, we’re still young and in love, and, thank heavens, the car curse hasn't continued.


Jennie said...

All's well that ends well. At least your little love story proves what a great sport you are.

Cheri J. Crane said...

What a great story, Stephanie. ;) One of those you can tell your grandkids about someday.