So, I was a believer! But Mr. TD&H and I were still technically "seeing other people." Our little date the night before hadn't changed anything, right?
I remember the next part very well. I was sitting at my desk, looking at the computer, when the phone rang. I picked it up, and immediately the caller said,
"So how do you feel about getting married before school starts for the fall?"
My heart leaped in my chest. The proposal I had been waiting for!
I chose my words carefully.
"I'd love to. But we have to be really organized or I know I'll freak out again."
Ah, romance. The telephone call/proposal. Surprisingly enough, I wasn't surprised or offended. I was too happy to be either of those. It was all falling into place (after being a roller coaster for far too long).
He was just as giddy as I was. The rest was all a blur. I hung up the phone, floating on cloud nine. My name? I couldn't remember that right now--I had more important things to dream about.
Just then I glanced at the calendar hanging on the wall. July 15. School was starting again the first week of September. That was six weeks away. And I had to get married and have some semblance of a honeymoon before that. The butterflies in my stomach morphed into falcons and they were diving every few seconds. Do NOT freak out, I told myself. OK--short list: call the temple, get a dress, get announcements...oh, and tell our parents. That's not too bad, right? After all, we had planned a wedding earlier this year. We just had to put all the plans back into motion.
And did I mention that my little sister was getting married on September 12? And that they had planned it for months? I wasn't stealing her thunder, was I? I was probably stealing more thunder from her future hubby than from her. She and I had always been the most laid back girls in my family about stuff like this. I didn't think she'd mind (and she didn't--or at least she didn't tell me!).
So I called the Oakland temple and set the date for Saturday, August 23. As I look back on it now, how in the world did I get an August Saturday (in a big sealing room, no less) five weeks before the wedding. I don't remember very clearly, but maybe Whattie (my second mom, Marylyn) pulled some strings. She had been working at the temple for quite a while, and it is just like her to try to smooth my path a little bit--or a lot. So we were set on the temple date.
Next came the dress. I was so worried about this part. I remembered all to well the desolation I felt when I couldn't find anything I liked. I walked in with a prayer in my heart, and I was not disappointed. I fell in love with the second dress I looked at and, wonder of wonders, it looked fabulous on me! I coudn't believe how much I was being helped and watched over. A shopping excursion may not be reason for a tender mercy for everyone, but for me it was undoubtedly a divine shove in the right direction from my loving Father. Even with the hemming that needed to be done, it would be ready in plenty of time (will the miracles ever cease? i hoped not!). Two things checked off my short list.
During this whirlwind week, I got asked to speak in Sacrament Meeting in my ward. I fished around for a suitable topic, and then settled on the week's most important bit of gospel doctrine--stepping out into the dark with faith. I reminisced on the spiritual journey I had recently taken as I prepared--grateful that the Lord had given me such an amazing discovery at such a critical time. When I sat at the front of the room waiting for the service to begin, I was handed a legal pad with a question--"What is something that not many people know about you?" I figured it would be used as part of the introduction for each speaker. I hesitated only a moment, and then scribbled, "I just got engaged." As the paper left my hands, I panicked. What if this all doesn't work out? My dating chances will be killed in this ward if I say I'm engaged and then it doesn't happen! I gave myself a mental slap-in-the-face. WHAT ARE YOU THINKING, I shrieked at my subconscious. Everything will be fine. For heaven's sake--practice what you preach, girl! Aren't you about to pontificate on the merits of moving forward in faith? You should be ashamed of your unbelief! In a matter of moments, I had been faithful, freaked out, scolded, humbled, and recommitted. (Maybe I should have been committed instead--to a looney bin!) As I renewed my desire to marry my sweetheart despite any thorns in my path, I felt again a wave of peace and joy. Heavenly Father wasn't leaving me on my own. He knew this choice was a difficult and important one. He stood by my decision, and He was also willing to remind me of its divine approval.
The member of the bishopric conducting that day was Darin. I don't usually call members of the bishopric by their first names, but Darin was different. He was a frequent visitor to our apartment--I think he had a crush on Emma, my roommate. As he stood to announce my talk, he said my name and, with a huge smile on his face, he continued, "I've been wanting to announce this next information for a long time. Melanie has just gotten engaged to the tall Canadian sitting in the back of the room." Right then I heard a gasp--a very loud gasp that carried through the entire auditorium. Mr. TD&H later told me who it was--a girl he had dated last year (who was still in the ward). It wasn't that she was horrified, just surprised that I was marrying a guy she had dated. She was happy for both of us and a little embarrassed by her outburst. I just thought it was funny and a tiny bit weird. No big deal. But my re-confirmation of my decision had been a very big deal for me. Full steam ahead!