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April, 2001

  1. The Gumball Engagement

    April 27, 2001 by Ryan

    Here is Glorajean’s Story:

    It had been an unusually wonderful day for me and I’d even noted thus to Ryan. We had just finished a short business meeting in the lobby of the building his Top Dawg Computers office is located in. On the way out he suggested that we stop by his office and make sure he had everything he needed, a normal procedure, we’d done this before, thus, I didn’t suspect a thing. The first thing I noticed as Ryan turned on the light switch was a new bubble gum machine. Ever since I was a little girl I’ve been a sucker for gum ball machines. Thus, I asked when he’d put it in his office while searching in my pockets for any loose change, wanting of course to get a gum ball and be one of his first customers. Thus, I said, “If I had a quarter I’d buy one… It is a quarterisn’t it?” I guess I was falling right into the whole thing, completely unaware of what was about to happen. Ryan suggested that he had a quarter I could use, and I was glad that he had offered.

    Ryan then suggested that we use up the last few pictures on his roll of film, so we could get our Nauvoo pictures back, and then he could have pictures of me as his first gum ball machine customer. I wholeheartedly agreed. I definitely wanted to get the Nauvoo pictures back and if that meant taking a few fun pictures by his new gum ball machine, that was wonderful, as far as I was concerned. He then handed me a new 2001 quarter and got Jim, the landlord to take a picture for us. I then realized that it was a new 2001 quarter and one that my friend in France that is collecting them, had not yet received. Thus, being oblivious to the whole situation I said, “Hey, Ryan, I need this quarter. I need to trade you for it. It’s the new one! I don’t have it yet. I’m sending them to my friend in France.” Ryan looked a little distracted by this fact but agreed that I could trade him for it when we got to my house, and then he looked in his change container to get me another quarter as Jim was talking to me about the new quarters and how he gets a bunch of them and I should let him know so that he can help me get them. Shortly, Ryan handed me another quarter, I looked at it and in absolute disbelief I laughingly sputtered out, “I don’t know if I have that one either!” Then Jim proceeded to tell me a little more about the other new quarter, that had just come out. Ryan seemed a little anxious to get the ‘show on the road’, and I was, unknowingly of course, being rather complicated. I then heard Ryan say, “This is a 1989 quarter,” to which I replied “Oh, Great!” and was quite enthusiastic to finally find a quarter I didn’t need and to actually get a gum ball.Ryan then suggested we get a picture of both of us standing by the machine, so we smiled and got the picture. Then I placed the quarter in the machin, they told me that I’d have to turn it hard, because it was new. So I slowly turned the handle thinking that Jim was going to take my picture turning it but he didn’t. Then I heard the gum ball drop and as I started to open the lid, I almost said, “I wonder what color I got.” But as I opened the lid I was thrown off and didn’t say a word at all. There was a little plastic toy container in front of the pink gum ball. I was about to say, “did you know that there are prizes in your machine, along with some of the gum balls?” But upon closer inspection I realized that it wasn’t just any prize inside of the container, it was a ring. I cried out “WHAT?” in total unbelief, and as I realized that it truly was a ring and opened it, I happily said, “Nu-uuh…” It was a complete surprise, just as I’d wanted it to be. To which Ryan promptly responded by kneeling down and ever so sweetly saying, “Glorajean McConnell, will you marry me?” In complete surprise, joy, and mixed emotions on whether I should laugh or cry with pure happiness I threw my arms around him and said “Yes!”


    Here is Ryan’s Story:After a short business meeting held in the lobby of the building where I house the world headquarters of my store, Top Dawg Computers, Glorajean and I walked down the hallway. As we passed my door, I stopped, hesitating, thinking. I then offered outloud, “Let’s look in and see if I have everything I need for tomorrow.” Glorajean agreed, and we entered.

    I flipped the light switch on, and motioning as though I was looking for what I might have needed to take with me for tomorrow, I walked to my desk, where I subtly pressed the “Enter” key on my computer, activating the hidden microphone. Glorajean, meanwhile, noticed the obvious new addition to my office… a gum ball machine. She asked when I put that in, and I replied that just today I had installed it. She then said wishfully, “If I had a quarter, I’d buy one!” (This brought a little smile to my face, as that was exactly my plan). I offered, “I have a quarter, you can use.”

    Then thinking about it, she asked, “Is it a quarter?”

    “Actually, it is… but this gives me an idea. I’ve got four pictures (on this roll of film), and then we can get the Nauvoo pictures (developed). I’ll get some pictures of you being my first gum ball customer!” Glorajean laughed at the idea, and said “Sure!” I handed her a shiny 2001 quarter as I went out to the hallway to see that Jim, the landlord, just “happened to be” walking by.

    While Jim “agreed” to take the photo, Glorajean realized, “Hey, Ryan, I need this quarter (for a collection). I need to trade you for it. It’s the new one! I don’t have it yet. I’m sending them to my friend in France.”

    Jim, owner of several gum ball machines — including this one, offered, “Well, you should let me know… I took $160 dollars in quarters to the bank today.” While I dug into my change purse there in the office, Jim and Glorajean talked about the newest quarters, figuring out which ones she did not have yet. I patiently waited, then offered her another quarter. Glorajean took it, and then laughing exclaimed, “I don’t know if I have that one either!” Again she and Jim resumed a discussion on which quarters exactly where released most recently, and which ones she did not have. When I could break in to get her attention, I offered her another quarter, explaining, “This one is a 1989 Quarter!” being fairly certain that she would not be trying to collect that. “Oh, great!” Glorajean proclaimed, taking it from me.

    I suggested that we get a picture posing in front of the machine, which was actually part of the ruse to give Jim a chance to take a practice shot, since my camera can be a little tricky to someone not familiar with the feel of the button. We posed, and Jim snapped a photo. Then Glorajean slipped in the quarter, ready to become my first customer. She turned the knob slowly, thinking that Jim was going to take a picture of her doing that. But he had something else in mind to take a photo of, coming in just a moment. We heard the quarter drop in, and then heard the mechanism open and drop a gum ball. She finished turning the knob to its starting position, and was about to say, “I wonder what color I got?” She cut off her own sentence almost before it began, however, when she did not see a gum ball come out first. Instead, there was a toy plastic bubble, and inside something round and shinny. “WHAT?!” she hollered. Then, as the realization set in, she softly said, “N,” “uhh…” I took that as my que, and on one knee, asked, “Glorajean McConnell, will you marry me.” I had actually practiced it in French, but at the moment I could not remember how to say it, so I fell back to English. Which was just as well, for she said “Yes” and appreciated it all the same.

    P.S. Due to the incredible financial loss from my one and only gum ball sale (took in only $0.25 and dispensed out well over that amount), I was forced to return the machine to it’s owner and retire from the candy business. But I’d say it was well worth it. =)