Love on a Shoe String

It was the end of November in 1992 when I discovered that true love really can come tied to the end of a shoe string.  I was working that cold night at Sporting Soles in the Five Points Mall in Bountiful.  BTW, only three years later we would operating under the same name in Salt Lake City, before changing the name of the store to Salt Lake Running Company in 1999. But that’s another story. Anyway, it was a pretty low key evening, but Brandon, Guy’s best friend was keeping me company as the other sales floor associate.  I also had a lot on my mind with the secret that Guy had asked me to marry him, I said yes,  and we had started making plans for a wedding in 6 weeks, but I still had no ring and Guy and I had no money.  But who cares?  You can live on love, right?

Guy and I had met over 4 years earlier when we were Freshman on Weber State’s track and Cross Country team.  He was cute from the start, for sure! But, life had other plans for us for the next 3 years that most certainly didn’t include time with each other.  But then came the fateful day in Sept 1990. I hadn’t seen Guy for 2 years.  He had been in Oregon for that time and I knew about the time he would be coming back to Ogden and returning to WSU.  The weird thing is that we didn’t hang out much in the year before he left, but  I seriously had dreamt about him and his big blue eyes TWICE in the couple weeks before he came back.  And I NEVER dream about ANYBODY and my dreams NEVER feel real. Well, except those two. What is even more weird though was before he got home I bought a coat, on sale, with the little money I had saved from my summer job at the Chevron in Hurricane, Utah, that I thought he would like. And I had NEVER bought anything in the hopes that a certain man in my life would like it! Well, not until now… something surely was up. And then, I saw him. I was tired, hot, sweaty and stinky from just finishing a 5K, but that didn’t stop me from falling into his blue eyes. How was it possible that he was even cuter than I remembered?

Even with clear dreams, life doesn’t always go quickly. We had become friends, but it took another 6-7 months before we started hanging out.  And truth be told, Guy said he wanted to ask me out around Valentines day 1991, but chickened out and asked for one of my teammates phone numbers instead! Really!! Ha Ha, but the vibe was not to be ignored and the following month,  on the way home from an indoor track meet, we sat next to each other on the team bus and from then on, we were not ever apart, not even for a day.  We just started carrying on with normal living. No movies, no expensive dinners or traditional dating, but rather cooking, eating, climbing, running, working and studying (okay that was just me). I learned that Guy would work hard and then share all that he had with me even if it was only a little and I would do the same for him. We were poor college students that were rich with genuine selfless love and Guy was, and still is, really cute. What more could a girl ask for? Okay, she could ask for a ring!

Yes, the ring finally came in the shoe store that November night. It was tied to the end of a shoe string. Guy stopped into the store and slipped it to his best friend Brandon. Brandon then secretly tied it on a new shoe and brought me the shoes for me help an older gentlemen try on. As I pulled the new shoes out of the box and went to lace them up, the ring hit my hand.  There it was and in typical Guy Perry fashion, there was no fanfare or big commotion, just his simple act of commitment. And the best part was that the ring was the perfect symbol of our relationship. It was simple, unique, beautiful and had a cubic zirconium as the diamond because that’s all we could afford. Guy had given all he had to buy it with the promise that someday he would get me the diamond. It took 11 years, but he did follow through.  And so a little over 18 years ago,  the sign of true love found me as it emerged out of a shoe box on the end of that shoe string and made its way on my hand. And there it has stayed ever since.

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