It was 15 years ago today…

That’s right… On December 6, 1993, I asked Shannon to marry me. But what sequence of events led us to that night? Sit back, children, and I’ll tell you the story… 

i don’t remember her looking exactly like thisWhat brought Shannon and Price together? Mary Ann from Gilligan’s Island.

See, back in the fall of 1993 I was in my last semester of college. I had just started my student teaching at Catholic High School in Springfield, Mo. I was involved in a campus ministry called Chi Alpha. Every fall, at the beginning of the semester, all of the campus ministries at SMSU got together and put on a huge back-to-school party at the home of this rich doctor in Springfield. The theme that year was Gilligan’s Island, and they wanted representatives from each campus ministry to be on the planning committee. I was asked to be XA’s representative on the committee, and I was going to say no, as I never did stuff like that (not really my thing) and also because student teaching kept me way too busy. But for some reason, I said yes.

this was back when September 11 was just another day on the calendar

The first meeting was at a local restaurant, with dinner paid for by the rich doctor. We’d also get to meet Dawn Wells, who played Mary Ann on the show and who would be the special guest at the party. Gwen, a friend of mine from band, was also attending the meeting as a rep from Christian Campus House. Tagging along with Gwen was her RA, who was representing Catholic Campus Ministries. That RA was Shannon.

At the end of the meeting, Gwen said that she and her RA needed a ride back to campus, and I offered to give them a lift. That was when I met Shannon for the first time, and I was immediately smitten. Shannon and I went to my car to wait for Gwen, who was busy talking to someone or something, and the two of us talked for a while. Shannon was actually not feeling all that well, but she gamely played along. (She sat in the backseat, by the way). Gwen eventually finished whatever she was doing and took shotgun. Shannon was pretty quiet on the way back to campus, but in the conversation I was having with Gwen I kept throwing in gratuitous references to the fact that I was not dating anyone, that I was very single, that I was looking, etc. Turns out all that talk was for nothing, as Shannon had fallen asleep in the backseat and had heard none of it.

Shannon and I kept running into each other on campus, which was odd enough because I was rarely on campus, spending most of my time at the school where I was student teaching. I was definitely interested, thinking about her all the time, talking to friends about what to do, etc., but I never acted on it because I wasn’t sure if she felt the same way.

(Turns out, she was interested, and had asked Gwen more about me. Gwen, ever-helpful, told Shannon everything she knew about me: that my first name was Scott and that I was planning to move back to Arkansas after graduation. Neither of which was true. Shannon almost wrote the whole thing off before it ever began because of that “moving back to Arkansas” thing. Thanks for nothing, Gwen.)

But we kept seeing each other and having short conversations, and eventually I started to get the vibe that maybe she was interested. Maybe it was the long, intimate hugs? I’m pretty clueless on that stuff. In one of those conversations, she mentioned that her birthday was coming up on this certain weekend. I didn’t know the exact date, but I went out on a limb and bought her a birthday card. Shannon still has it somewhere. I don’t remember exactly what I wrote in it, something along the lines of “Hey, you said your birthday was soon, so happy birthday, also here’s my number if you ever want to call me.”

Wait a minute… I found it! And here’s a handy scan. And check the front of the card… timely as ever.

thank goodness the economy doesn’t stink anymore

And the inside of the card…

yes, I blurred out my old phone number… so telemarketers can’t go back in time and harass me

I was going to a weekend-long XA retreat, and on my way out of town on Friday evening I dropped by her dorm, intending to just give the card to the front desk and have them put it in her mailbox. As it turns out, she happened to be at the front desk at that moment, and was surprised that I was there to see her. I gave her the card, wished her a happy birthday, got a nice hug, and headed out.

When I got back on Sunday afternoon, there was a message on my answering machine from her, thanking me and giving me her number. I called her, we chatted a while, and she mentioned that she had to go Wal-Mart to pick up some supplies for some residence-hall-related activity. I quickly offered to give her a ride there if she needed it, and she quickly agreed. So I guess you could say we went to Wal-Mart on our first date, but I don’t really count that. Who would? The next night I took her to Andy’s Frozen Custard for, you know… frozen custard. I say that was our first date.

yes… hide that hideous face, Price

From that point on, we were pretty much inseparable. Both of us pretty much knew that this one was for keeps. Within a couple of weeks, we were already talking pretty seriously about our future. We started seeing each other in late September, early October of 1993. I asked her to marry me just over two months later… on December 6 (that’s today!).

they warned me my face would stick this way… and THEY WERE RIGHT

She said no, and I eventually married a different woman who was also named Shannon.


6 Responses to “It was 15 years ago today…”

  1. Cindi Says:

    ok, so how long was the engagement with the shotgun ish (minus the preggers part) meet & engaged in two months–insane!

  2. Matt Says:

    Great story…Congrats guys!

  3. JJS Butler Says:

    Thanks for writing this– I enjoyed it very much… I’ll have to post about Joy & I’s beginnings some time because there was much drama surrounding…

  4. yvonne Says:

    good story, but why are you hugging molly ringwald in the first picture…………

  5. Janet Says:

    Awesome story. Almost as quick of an engagement as Matt and I. Although, what can you say about a first date that happens on Valentine’s Day. Happy 15 year engagement anniversary!

  6. Paul Says:

    So what happened to the Shannon you didn’t marry?

Leave a Reply