A tale of carwashes, waiters, tips, and wedding rings

A few weeks ago my wife and i drove past an old carwash near BYU where we both went to college.  We shared a look and a smile.  We both remembered the story of the wedding ring.

Flash back to early 1994.  Poor starving college student Scott has just recently purchased a wedding ring and is getting ready to officially propose (the unofficial proposal during a cold winter evening in SLC at temple square, and the subsequent laser light show at the planetarium, and then the broken down car and freezing cold wait for my grandpa’s tow truck is another story entirely).

I’d purchased the wedding ring.  It took all the money i had.  There were two parts to the ring – the wedding ring itself, and a wedding band.  Why there are two pieces is a mystery to me, but hey whatever.  In order to keep the wedding band safe, i “put it in a safe place”.  More on this later.  That night, i took Luann out to the Olive Garden on University Avenue.  Big spender i know!  But hey – it was expensive at the time.  When we got there, i feigned a bathroom break and tracked down our waiter.  I slipped him the wedding ring and asked him to bring it out a few minutes after our dinner arrived.  He was pretty excited.  I’m just glad he didn’t take the ring and run off with it!

Unbeknownst to Luann (or to me at the time [i guess is shouldn’t have told them where i was going]), her roommates had followed us and were lurking about the restaurant, waiting for the big moment.  Our food arrived and we began to eat.  A few minutes later, 3 or 4 waiters/waitresses came out with this big silver platter.  There was a beautifully arranged veggie tray and in the center was a little grey box.

As you can imagine, she was quite surprised.  Thank god she said yes!  Her roommates came over and congratulated us.  Luann completely lost her appetite (unrelated to the roommates).  Which was too bad, because it was a really good meal.

But here’s the part that nobody knows.  (Even Luann only found out about this a week or two ago).  I’ve felt really bad about it ever since then.  But after the meal, i left this poor waiter a five dollar tip.  Serious.  It was all i could afford at the time.  I wish i could go back and give they guy $50 or something.  He really went all out in the veggie tray presentation.  So wonderful waiter – if you ever read this, contact me! :)

Our story doesn’t end here.  Remember the poor wedding band?  Well, i had to put it somewhere.  What better place for it than wrapped in a piece of tissue and placed in my car’s ash tray, next to the spare change?  What could possibly go wrong?  Well, i’ll tell you what went wrong.  Early one morning I took my roommate and good friend Kevin to the carwash (yes, the one mentioned above) and he proceeded to help me clean out my car.  Good friend that he is, he even cleaned out the tissue wadded up in my ash tray.  Later that evening (probably around 10pm or so), i broke into a cold sweat and ran out to my car, a sinking feeling washing over me.  Sure enough – no wedding band.  Begin heart attack.

I run back in, grab Kevin and tell him to come with me.  We fly over to the car wash in record time (yay for no cops on the road right then) and i make Kevin start digging through the trash can we had used earlier that day.  I guess the hasty prayers muttered on the way over worked, because we found the tissue and the wedding band safe and sound in the trash can (buried under a bunch of other icky gunk).  Disaster averted, heart attack over.  What a day.

7 thoughts on “A tale of carwashes, waiters, tips, and wedding rings”

  1. Don’t you just love a crisis … in hindsight? Crises make great stories! Great laughter! Great connection! Makes you want to go have a few more crises, right? Right? Actually, you have four ready-made crises walking around. You’re good.

  2. It’s funny the things we find out about our children that we didn’t know. I’m glad you found the ring. You made a great catch. We love Luann!

  3. Yipes! Has Lu known this part of the story? :)And the reason there are tow parts… The one with the diamond is called the engagement ring and is given as a promise of marriage, and the band is given at the marriage as a sign the promise was kept.

  4. I didn’t know about the car wash story until quite a while after it happened. Years and years after we were married. I didn’t know about the $5 tip until a few weeks ago.

    I am wondering what else you haven’t told me yet, and are waiting until you think I’m ready to laugh about it. Well, spill it! :)

    Alex, nice try. You are going to work harder than that to get your hands on your dad’s $50.

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