Sunday, March 4, 2018

Delicate Arch

Check out our latest Strangerville episode above (or at the bottom of this post)!

I've been working a million hours the last couple of months and it has been stressful. I can tell when I'm reaching a breaking point because the day-to-day work I do starts to affect me emotionally. Two Sundays ago I was dealing with a bunch of really depressing child abuse situations all day. I was tired. And then I got a pretty run-of-the-mill phone call that sent me over the edge and suddenly I was eating ice cream out of a container with a fork, choking back tears, and searching the internet for poodle mixes.

So I decided I needed a break.

The problem is, this is a really hard time of year for me to take a vacation because for some reason everyone laws all of their laws from January through March, so working a million hours is sort of the norm for me during these months.


But then I found out that Skylar had a friend coming to town and he was going to take her to Arches National Park for two days, and so, without really being invited at any point, I loaded my things into his car last Thursday evening, turned off my phone, and started knitting for the next three hours, until we arrived in Moab Utah and checked into our Airbnb.

Arches National Park is my happy place.

I visited it for the first time in 2011. Looking back, I don't know how I went 27 years of life, mostly living in Utah, without ever going there.

I had just met Daniel and he found out I had never seen Delicate Arch. He demanded that I get into his car and we made the drive, camping somewhere in the park on a freezing October night. That morning we hiked to a ledge so we could see the Arch off in the distance. Looking back, I have no idea why we didn't do the longer hike to the Arch itself, but we didn't.

A few months later we returned with Anna and Emma and hiked to the Arch itself in the middle of the night.

If you've never been there, it's really hard to understand it. Delicate Arch sits on top of a cliff that seems to stick up much higher than anything else for miles around it. The Arch and the very small area next to it up on this high plateau feels like it's reaching for the sky, and almost like it's in another world.

Dramatic and mostly sheer cliffs drop down nearly all the way around this plateau. And the Arch sits on a ledge, so much more startling and so much larger than I ever expect it to be, even though I've visited it dozens of times now.

The first time I saw it up close, on that night hike at the beginning of 2012, is something I will never forget.

After trekking up a rocky mountainside for nearly 2 miles, we finally came to a ledge, with a wall to our right. We carefully made our way up and across this ledge, keeping ourselves as close to the wall as we could.

And then, suddenly, the wall gave way, and the Arch came into view.

I had seen pictures of it all my life. But suddenly seeing its dark and dramatic silhouette was haunting and I remember stopping and gasping and feeling a chill come over my whole body.

It was the most beautiful thing I had ever seen.

Scary, in some way, although it's hard to explain why.

This thing, this world-famous thing, has been perched on its ledge, in slowly-evolving forms, silent and immovable, miles from recent civilization, high in the sky, for millions of years. And here I was in the middle of a dark night stumbling upon it. This thing, this world-famous thing, that existed long before I ever did and which will exist, in slowly-evolving forms, long after I die.

This thing, this world-famous thing, didn't care about any problem I had. It didn't care about any problem anyone has. Its existence spans so much time that it is basically eternal compared to anything anyone can experience.

The Milky Way glowed down on it. The Arch was slightly lit by the stars, but the steep drop-offs into nothingness all around it were black holes, making it look like this one iconic piece of petrified rainbow was floating in space.

And that space was so silent. Nothing surrounded us but sky, and so our voices were almost reverently muffled by the total lack of anything for sound reverberation.

We walked to it, and sat underneath it.

Being underneath it was somehow simultaneously creepy and comforting. I don't know if any natural wonder had ever made me feel so vulnerable, and certainly none has since.

I had seen Michelangelo's Pieta and it had made me feel things I didn't know a statue could ever make someone feel. I remember staring at that in silence, wondering how something could look so perfect, and wondering why I couldn't stop looking.

This felt like that, except magnified, and on such a grander scale.

Since that night, Delicate Arch has become a grounding place for me. Visiting it somehow resets my anxiety in the way nothing else ever has.

Last Thursday, Skylar, Emma, and I set off on a night hike to the Arch just an hour or two after we arrived in Moab.

There was a full moon that night, so bright that we didn't need flashlights to find our way across the rock.

Lit by the moon, it was every bit as haunting and wonderful as it always is.


My photos will never do it justice. I'm using an iPhone. If you want to see more accurate images of the place, find some photography blogs on the internets.

The next day we hiked around some of the dozens of other well-known spots, ending with a sunset view of Delicate Arch from the cliff Daniel and I first visited 7 years ago.

We had a photo shoot there, of course.






The next morning we woke up at an illegal hour so we could hike back to the Arch and watch the sunrise.

It was chilly. Once again, the nearly full moon lit the way for us.

I had never hiked the Arch early in the morning before, and I am so glad we did it. Because it was breathtaking.


As we sat on a ledge, silently watching it slowly light up, we suddenly saw a small group of definitely BYU students show up. We could tell they were from BYU, mostly, because of the looks of youthful optimism in their eyes that hadn't yet been crushed by the world.

A man and woman who were probably born sometime after Britney's 2007 meltdown broke away from the group and went and stood under the Arch while the rest pulled out $80,000 cameras to capture what must have been the longest proposal I have ever witnessed in my life.

I had a hard time just getting into the moment and enjoying it with them because my motherly instincts kicked in and I was having to consciously restrain myself from screaming "GET AWAY FROM THE LEDGE" every time the man picked up the woman in a tearful embrace because THEY WERE STANDING LIKE 2 FEET FROM A CLIFF THAT DROPPED OFF INTO A NEVER-ENDING PIT.

The woman apparently said yes, and the two probably have the coolest proposal photos of all time. They left the Arch glowing and beaming from ear to ear and that was awesome for them. Plus they didn't die.

I can't imagine anything worse than being a part of a public proposal so it has always been a fascinating mystery to me why people do them.

And so, tell me about your proposal, or the most interesting proposal you've ever heard of.

And while you're thinking about that, don't forget to check out our latest story from Strangerville.


This time in Strangerville, Meg informs Eli that he will be the last person to know if she ever becomes pregnant. Which is disappointing. Also, a tinder date goes very very wrong.
Story
You Don’t Need This, by Jimmy Rickard (music by bensound.com)
Production by Eli McCann and Meg Walter


~It Just Gets Stranger

39 comments:

  1. My husband proposed in the most romantic way: dinner at Applebee’s, then he took me to a little park. We found a maintenance path, or something? So there was no one around. He tried to do the “kneel down and give a speech thing” and I wouldn’t let him. I made him stand up and talk to me like a person, then I said yes, then I punched him right in the gut, then I kissed him. 11 years in, I don’t punch him anymore, and I think he’s ok with that.

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    1. I love that you "made him stand up and talk to me like a person" and that you punched him. And that he gave you a new notebook and pen. Simple and real.

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  2. Just asked my husband how he would tell the story, and this is his version (also exactly true, just focusing on different details): “You had just told me you have too many notebooks and pens, that you can’t help yourself buying them. So I got a nice notebook and a nice pen and slid the ring through the pen and then through the spiral of the notebook. I asked if you wanted to take a walk and you said yes, so I awkwardly grabbed my backpack out of the car and we went on a walk. I said “I have a present for you” and handed you the notebook. I forget, did you see the ring right away? (I had not, and was ... confused). Then I said something about getting married and you said “ok” and then you punched me.


    Amy now: I can’t believe that I forgot I answered with “ok”. Ha. And actually, first thing I did after punching and then hugging/kissing him was opening the notebook, and the pen, (and putting the ring on my finger), I wrote in the notebook “devin just asked me to marry him. I said ok.” I still have that notebook.

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  3. MR. DANIEL!!!! I still have withdrawals ever since he left the Stranger world.

    My husbuns proposed by having us pulled over, the cop tried to convince me that Trav had an outstanding warrant that meant he needed to go to jail like. right. now. So he handcuffed him and took him to his car, then, because I was an accomplice to this wanted criminal, he handcuffed me too, and walked me to his car. Before he put me in it, Travis snuck behind me and started fiddling with my handcuffs, but replaced them with a diamond bracelet. My parents were in the car behind us (they were in on it) and filmed the whole thing. Unfortunately, I knew the police (he was a friend of my hubby's) and I knew he was planning to propose, so I giggled and ruined the whole surprise with my snark. C'est la vie.

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    1. I really hope "husbuns" was on purpose and not a typo because I LOVE IT and I'm stealing it.

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    2. Def on purpose! Steal away!

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  4. My husband proposed during a run-of-the-mill walk we were taking in the neighborhood one evening. Pretty mundane (that's us in a nutshell), but I still found a way to ruin it. He thought he would be clever and fake having to tie his shoe. With me standing there and him on one knee, he would give me the ring and ask The Question. Except I never stopped to wait for him and kept walking down the sidewalk, figuring he would catch up eventually. I hear him call out, "Hello!? Come back!" I replied that he needed to hurry up. "I'm trying to ask you to marry me!" he yells back at me. Oops. Needless to say I rushed back and hugged/kissed him a lot to make up for how jerky I was. With the ring on my finger, we continued our walk all smiles. Two streets later, I realized I never technically answered The Question and quickly confirmed I would marry him, if he still was interested of course. He said he would let me know.

    Side note: On our way to the courthouse the Bruno Mars song "Marry You" came on the radio...no joke.

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  5. Episode 32: 9:20 That’s what she said!!

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  6. Episode 32: 9:27 THAT’S WHAT SHE SAID!!!! Eli, you’re killing me!

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  7. Beautiful description of your happy place.

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  8. My boyfriend and I have never been able to decide on our dating-anniversary. For him, it's our 3rd date when we first kissed, and for me it's when we talked about it and made it "official" two months later.

    Now, we also have two proposal dates... I proposed in London in September. We had a booking at this really fun bar called the Blechley. It's 2nd WW themed, and it is sort of an escape room and a bar in one. You have to solve clues and puzzles to be able to order drinks, and you have to send in your drink order via code on an Engima machine. I had arranged so that they had made us an extra code saying, "Will you marry me" in my native language. He was super surprised and it was really fin and special. Unfortunately, we had kind of agreed that he would be allowed to pop the question (I had sort of forgotten), so we decided that this proposal was a "proposal (or gentle nudge) for him to propose". Which he did Saturday evening among boxes and chaos in the condo we bought together and moved into this week end.

    Third time's the charm, so I have high hopes for us having just one date for our wedding.

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    1. Hey, two dates for your wedding is GREAT...because several years down the road, a few kids in, one of you (likely him) will forget the first date, but you always have the second date as a backup. Then you don't feel like a total jerk, because you remembered the anniversary!

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    2. I have two dates for my wedding- in two different cities, one Hindu, one Christian. It is really fun to celebrate over 2 weeks. I highly recommend it.

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  9. You've read a brief synopsis of my super romantic marriage proposal. The only thing I liked about it is that it WASN'T public. The thought of a public marriage proposal makes me feel physically ill.

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  10. Oh my . . . I actually just posted my proposal picture on Facebook recently.

    Okay - so this is what happened. My husband (boyfriend at the time) and I went camping at this campground he loves in Michigan's upper peninsula with a bunch of friends. I had never (not once) been tent camping (or any kind of camping if you don't count sixth-grade camp with the school) before. I wasn't thrilled with the idea but he loves camping and said he would handle everything so I went along. He also had this 110 lb Alaskan Malamute named Kallie with us.

    Now my husband had been engaged before. I knew all about his previous fiance. He proposed to her to get out of a fight when they were both drunk. I had told him that when he proposes to me he can't have been drinking. This is important because when camping (particularly before children were involved) - there was a lot of libations happening. So he decided that he was going to propose first thing in the morning. I am not a morning person. Like - my staff knows not to speak to me before 9 AM even though we are all at work at 8 AM. So he got up early and went down to the beach and I stayed in bed (I use that term loosely when describing the air mattress we were sleeping on). An indeterminate amount of time later I hear him come back into camp cussing because Kallie had found and rolled in deer poop! He grabbed the dish soap and went down to the beach to give her a bath. This was the weekend before Memorial Day. In Michigan's upper peninsula. He was giving her a bath in Lake Michigan. To say it was cold would be an understatement.

    I was not out of the tent yet but my friend Amy was so I called out to her to go take pictures (we are scrapbookers so it was important to capture this on film). A bunch of people went down to the beach at this point. My husband (Paul - I'm going to call him Paul now) - asked one friend to keep people away from a certain part of the beach. They hung out at the beach for a bit hitting golf balls. Then Paul asked another friend to get everyone off of the beach. He said they all had to go make breakfast. I was heading down to the beach at this point and met everyone coming up the path. When I asked where Paul was they said he was on the beach with Kallie so I headed down to the beach.

    Paul told me that Kallie should stay in the sun and dry for a bit and suggested we take a walk on the beach. We were chatting and walking when I noticed there was something spelled out in driftwood on the beach. People spell things out in rocks on the paths up there so I thought this was just something like that. I said to him, "Oh look - someone wrote something in - " then I stopped because I'd read it. It said, "Nicole, Will You Marry Me."

    He got down on one knee and pulled the ring out of his pocket and all I could do was nod.

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  11. We ended up being some of THOSE people who talked about getting married over my husband's Christmas break but weren't officially engaged until he gave me the ring. But it was all really nice. Since we had already talked about it, and he took me ring shopping because he wanted to make sure I liked the ring I'd be wearing for the rest of my life, he wanted to make the when and how of the proposal a surprise. I was dying waiting for it to happen and kept telling him I didn't care if it was fancy; I just wanted it to happen.

    Back then, one of my roommates and I got up early on Tuesdays and Thursdays to go to the gym. One such Thursday, I woke up and found the end of a skein of yarn taped to my bedroom door. Unbeknownst to me, my boyfriend had come back to my house after I went to bed to set up an elaborate yarn maze. (My roommates were in on it, so they let him back in.) I followed the yarn all over our house, yard, and garage. Along the way, there were little notes and presents that had to do with dates we went on or things I liked. The last note was inside my car (one of the first things on the yarn was my car key which my roommate stole after I drove us home from institute the night before) telling me to drive up Provo Canyon to South Fork Park. So I hurried and got dressed and hopped in the car.

    My husband kind of shot himself in the foot a bit because the first note jokingly mentioned he might be freezing as I followed the yarn all over. It was mid-January in Orem, Utah, and I was legitimately concerned that he was going to die, so I hurried through the whole thing. My gym-buddy roommate was keeping him posted so he could get ready. She told him when I got up, and he took his time getting ready. He figured he'd have plenty of time to get up the canyon and have a warm fire going before I got there. But since I was hurrying, when she texted him to tell him I was getting dressed, he hadn't even left yet! So he was only about 10 minutes ahead of me and was stressing out. He did manage to get a fire going before I got there, though. He was waiting with roses, he got me all bundled up with a blanket next to the fire, and then he proposed. Then we had doughnuts and hot chocolate and watched the sunrise until we had to go back home to get ready for work and school.

    So his desire to surprise me with the proposal worked! I was definitely not expecting it at 5:45 am on a Thursday morning!

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  12. We were 20 and getting ready to go put in an offer on a house we were going to buy together. I had just pulled into his house after getting home from college, and he handed me a new copy of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone. I thought it was odd since I already owned the books, and I was trying to talk to him about making it to the realtor's office and then grabbing dinner after we left. He kept insisting that I open the book, so I distractedly started flipping through the first could of pages. It dawned on me that he was giving me a signed copy!...

    Except instead of JKR's loopy signature, the first page had his very sloppy handwriting asking me to marry him with a little square cut out to hold the ring. I was momentarily disappointed that it wasn't a signed copy until I realized what it was.

    I've seen these kinds of proposals on Pinterest, but he's never been on Pinterest and thought he was so creative because he put a stone in the Sorcerer's "Stone." I didn't have the heart to tell him otherwise, and he put so much thought into making it personalized for me. It was just the two of us standing in his parents' garage (not so romantic), but it was definitely perfect for us.

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  13. RJ and I had dated off and on for 7 years and finally cut ties as we were unsuccessful at being 'just friends'. Fast forward almost 1.5 years with no contact. A wednesday night, the fellow I was dating gave me an ultimatum to which I was supposed to respond on Friday. Thursday I got a call from RJ pleading with me to meet up. He came to my house and basically said "Marry me or tell me to jump off a cliff." I lectured him for 45 minutes about how he had broken my heart then I said "I don't trust you, but I'll marry you!" We had a great smoochy session and the next day I told the other guy "I am ready for the next step.. just not with you." And RJ forgot to tell his girlfriend he was engaged to another gal before she heard it from her mom, and that did NOT go over well. Whoops. The next two weeks I had to travel out of country for work. When I got back he had the whole wedding planned, minus my dress. 7 years and 3 kids later and I suppose I trust him now. :)

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    1. Wow, that story was a ride from start to finish! Glad it worked out for you! :D

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    2. Oh my goodness! Your life is literally a Rom Com! So I'm sorry but I feel obligated to love you and hate you for perpetuating my hopeless romantic notions.

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    3. I'd love to hear his side of the story of what led to him calling you and begging to see you.

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  14. My husband asked me to marry him without actually ever saying the words ‘will,’ ‘you,’ ‘marry,’ or ‘me.’

    We’d been dating for three years (which is three centuries in Mormon standard time). He had come over to my place to do homework with me, and asked if he could stash his backpack down in my room while I finished doing the dishes. I said sure, and when he came back up the stairs, he told me he had to go grab his phone charger out of the car. I finished cleaning, and decided I’d wait for him to come back before heading downstairs myself because A) it’d be easier to let him back in and B) I’m inherently a bit lazy.

    After about ten minutes of waiting, I started to wonder if he had parked in Siberia. Rolling my eyes, I headed to my room, muttering under my breath that he’d just have to call me when he came back so I could let him in. Opening my door, I saw a small treasure-chest styled box sitting on my desk. “Ooo present!” I squealed, bouncing a little on my toes. I opened the lid of the box, and froze. A light shone down on a ring, slowly rotating in the center of the box. (Actual reality there—he rigged the box with lights and a turntable.) I sat in shock, staring, for a few minutes. I knew what I wanted this to mean, but I wasn’t sure if it actually meant that. I frantically texted him—no reply. I called—no answer. By this point I’d reached the hyperventilate and cry stage of shock, and was ticked he wasn’t responding and that he STILL wasn’t inside. I stormed out the garage, ring and box in hand, glaring up and down the street for his car. Once I spotted it, I stomped over and flung open the driver side door. He look at me and grinned sheepishly. “Hi!” “WHAT DOES THIS MEAN?!” I demanded as I shook the box in his face. He calmly walked me back to my house and room as I angry-cried the whole way there. He sat me down on my bed, and hugged me. He hadn’t said a word the whole time, just chuckled to himself. I asked again what the ring meant, and he rolled his eyes. “What do you think it means?”
    “I know what I think it means! I don’t know what you think it means though, and that part is KIND OF IMPORTANT right now, because if you meant this to be just a nice present, you need to say so right NOW.”
    He merely laughed again, and I half-sobbed, “Are you asking me to marry you or not?!”
    Another eyeroll. “Yes, Morgan.”

    He still gets away with being a smart-aleck these days. But karma is a b-otch, and now we have a sassy red headed two-year-old to put him through his paces.

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    1. I love this story - he sound SO much like my husband who drives me nutso just for the fun of it!

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  15. My husband's timing for his proposal was not the greatest. The day before, I had to put my sweet, little poodle to sleep, because she had diabetes. I was feeling really sad and crying, a lot. The day after, we were going up to Utah State, on a chartered bus, to watch the Utah/Utah State football game. We got on the bus to come home, and I started thinking about my dog and crying, again. I think, to make me feel better, my husband decided to propose. We were sitting in the very front of the bus and I'm trying to control myself and boom--he asks me to marry him. Not the best timing, but I still said yes. I realized, at that point, that my husband was not a romantic person and no matter how hard he tries, he will never be a romantic person. But after 34 years, I think I'll keep him.

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  16. My husband and I dated for over 4 years. At some point, we started talking about getting married. We set a date and began calling people. We didn't realize there had been no proposal until one of our friends asked how he proposed. We looked at each other, stunned by the awareness of the missed opportunity.

    A few weeks later, probably the same week of our wedding, he got down on one knee and asked me to marry him. I smirked and said, 'You know I will..."

    And that was that.

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  17. My family visited delicate arch Saturday morning as well, but I am a law abiding citizen who does not wake up at illegal hours, even for breathtaking sights and their accompanying proposals. And while it would’ve been fun to meet you in person, I’m not sure that could’ve induced me to wake earlier, either. But we were all duly impressed, especially my ten year olds. We can’t wait to go again.

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  18. During college I went on a Valentine’s Day Date with an awesome guy. It was our first date and neither of us realized it was Actual Valentine’s Day until the day of, so that was a little awkward. But we got through that and enjoyed a very nice hike that ended on a cliff overlooking a beach at sunset. On the beach below, someone else had prepared a public proposal in the form of rocks laid out in the shape of a heart, viewed perfectly through the trees on the cliff where we were standing. Absolutely no one was around. So we thought maybe the Happy Couple was on their way to enjoy their moment and we didn’t want to be there when they got there, and also, it was our first date and witnessing a proposal was was a little too romantic for first date material. Uncomfortable on many levels. Haha! So we enjoyed the spectacular view for like 5 minutes and booked it out of there. We didn’t ever go on another date, but we stayed friends.

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  19. I have a great proposal story but it's long and involved. Short version is a mountain, a paraglider, a sunset, a ring, a surprised bride-to-be, and a smug groom-to-be.

    Instead of going into detail on that, I'm going to air a proposal grievance. My daughter is a student at BYU. Therefore, I have seen many a proposal video/slideshow/Instagram post. Easily 95% of these involve some sort of "surprise" meal (picnic, al fresco dinner), candles, and a clothesline with pictures on it. I have seen so many variations (and I use the word "variation" loosely) of this proposal now that they are all starting to look the same. I don't live in Utah, so I am dying to find out: is there some sort of business in Provo setting up these proposals? Where they offer the picnic package, the gazebo package, or the deluxe waterfall package? And do they also offer filler pictures for several feet of the clothesline? Because I'm pretty sure the average Provo courtship doesn't last long enough to generate that many pictures. Anyway, the whole clothesline thing has become a running joke between my daughter and I. I have warned her that if a young man ever comes to ask for her hand, I'm going to grill him about his ability to provide for a family and then ask him if he's planning on using a clothesline to propose. He only gets my blessing if there is no clothesline involved.

    So a few weeks ago, my daughter texted me saying that a male friend was over at her apartment trying to recruit the girls to help with the proposal he was planning. He needed help hanging the obligatory clothesline and snapping the photographic proof. My daughter was trying to help him think more creatively, and knew that I could help. I'm always up for some creative thinking, and I came up with some rock-solid ideas (pun intended) for proposing that have NEVER BEFORE been seen on a BYU student's Instagram feed. It was basically like casting pearls before swine. The dude just had to have that clothesline with pictures and candles. WHAT IS IT WITH THE CLOTHESLINE???

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    1. Haha!!! This made me laugh so hard!! I apparently am too old to be friends with enough current BYU students to view this trend, but now I really want to. Hahaha

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  20. Moab is the one place on earth where my soul feels like it can slow down. It's magical. LOVE Delicate Arch, especially at day break, I'd love to do middle of the night. You have to hike Devil's Garden. The silence is loud, it will help.

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  21. Jeff and I had already talked about it and decided to get married. I had already mentioned what kinds of rings I liked, and I knew he had ordered it and was waiting to propose until it was made. He tricked me into thinking it would take a month. So when he did propose, I was completely surprised, because I thought I had more time. For a long time, I thought we were on a really elaborate date.

    When I came home from somewhere, I walked into my room and found an envelope on my bed that said "Michelle." Inside was a letter from him to me, talking about our relationship. At the end was a clue on where another note would be. I was very impressed with this fun scavenger hunt date! I hurried to the next clue, not realizing how long this would all last, so I was just wearing holey jeans and flip flops, even though it was February in Provo, Utah. The next envelope I found said "Michelle Boling" on it. Then next said "Michelle Halley Boling" on it.

    One clue took me a LONG time to find, because he was mistaken about the library section the book was in, but that's not important except that it meant he had to be cold even longer and worried alone at the end of the scavenger hunt wondering what was taking me so long and if I wasn't going to come.

    I finally found the last note at the top of the bell tower at BYU. The envelope said "Michelle Halley Boling Collett" on it. Collett being HIS last name. That's when I FINALLY realized he wasn't just super romantic, he was actually proposing. He came around from where he had been hiding and proposed. I was still kind of in shock. I called him an idiot, because I don't handle surprise well even though we'd already decided to get married, so it honestly shouldn't have been a surprise. I think I finally said yes or okay or something.

    The reason why he chose the bell tower to propose is because I took him to the bell tower to try and dump him after we'd only been dating one week, so it was a significant spot for us. And the view was nice.

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    1. Ha, I am glad I came back to check for new comments, I hadn’t seen yours yet! I still remember when you called to tell me you were engaged, and being so confused - “but, wait, isn’t he the guy you were going to break up with?” But then I met him, and I remember defending him against mom’s initial um, mama bear instincts. I’ve had his back since then.

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  23. I don’t have an epic proposal story worth sharing but I think how I met my husband is a pretty unusual story. My grandpa remarried after my grandmother passed away, and he married Jake (my now husband’s ) grandma. I met Jake a few years after they married when he moved down to Utah to go to college at my Grandpa’s 70th birthday party. He didn’t know anyone in the town and asked if he could go with me to church and I could introduce him to some people. Cue the months of hanging out more and more as we awkwardly navigated the does this person like me or or are we just hanging out as friends or “cousins”. Jake eventually solved this by kissing me on the cheek to see how I would react. He claimed if I got mad at him or said “ewww gross” he planned to claim it was just a kiss as a family member & he didn’t like me that way either?! Ya right! How many extended family members do you go around kissing?? Obviously it all worked out and we have now been married for 5 years. We, along with our family members like to joke that we are cousins. Another interesting tidbit… Jakes dad and my mom dated throughout high school! 30 years later their parents are married to each other, their oldest kids are married to each other, and someday they get to share grandkids. It’s a small world!

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  24. I also can't imagine anything worse than being part of a public engagement. My husband and I agreed that talking about getting married at length and coming to this very important decision together was much more important than a big surprise proposal, and I told him many times that having a flashy, expensive engagement ring was not a priority for me (especially since our engagement was going to last less than a year). So we'd decided to get married and told both sets of parents over Christmas. The morning after we told his parents, he asked me to go on a walk. As we got to the top of his parents' very long driveway, he asked if I remembered that this was the spot he had asked me to go out with him for the first time. I turned around to say that of course I did, and he was down on one knee with a ring box in his hand. He told me all of the regular mushy stuff and presented me with his great-grandmother's engagement ring, a pearl set in a silver band with a small diamond on each side. It wasn't a surprise, it wasn't a brand-new, expensive engagement ring, and there wasn't a crowd of people around. Instead, it was just the two of us, in the town where we met, in front of the house where I fell in love with him, on the driveway where he asked me to be his girlfriend. It was more us and more perfect than any elaborate proposal could have ever been.

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  25. Angela Marrie LuceyMarch 8, 2018 at 11:51 AM

    This is how I feel about Cinderella’s castle at Disney World.

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  26. My husband, who was one of my very best friends and whom I wasn't dating at the time, turned to me one day and asked, "So, do you think we should get married?" to which I replied, "I don't know, but I think so."

    Six weeks later we got married. It has been 17 years.

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