No, wait... I would never marry that guy. THIS guy:
Hmmm. Not really a prize, either. My Internet must be broken. Weird. So here's how this went down:
First, I told him we were engaged. He disagreed. Which was just silly because HELLO we were totally engaged. And before you're all, "Ceej...you have to wait for him to ask you! You can't just SAY you're engaged!" I'd like to ask YOU: why not? Here are things we had already done by that point:
-Gone to and analyzed potential wedding venues
-Picked and agreed upon a wedding date
-Emailed our photographer
-Discussed very. specific. wedding plans
-WE BOUGHT A HOUSE TOGETHER. You might notice that I proposed on the 6th monthaversary of closing on the house, in fact, because this was such a HUGE relationship step. One which neither of us was willing to take unless we were "moving forward" and soon.
-Had met with Jennifer Yi and customized one of her designs to be my engagement ring. Also I accidentally* saw when he put the down payment on it for her to start work, so I knew it was being created.
I don't know how any of that indicates NOT engaged. But he persisted. It was kind of embarrassing to continually say things like, "I'm engaged!" and have my betrothed disagree with me emphatically. So I asked what would make him recognize our engagement. He said that he needed the blessing of his family members, and the asking had to be momentous. And it had to be ASKED. So fine.
Only his family is EIGHT PEOPLE. His five siblings, aunt, father, and grandfather. And I'd decided I wanted to ask him on the 29th, so it would be on a [kind of] significant day. And the 29th was a Thursday and I didn't have time to meet with all of them before that. Ideally, I would've taken all of them to dinner (minus the ones who live outside of Maryland) to make the formal request. As it was, I called them. Some of them I conference called. Which was kind of extremely awkward. I hate the phone. But they all said yes! I don't know what else they could've said, really. Would I have not asked him if any of them hadn't been on-board? That's another post unto itself.
Also, a note about the fact that I was the one who asked: I'd had the conversation with him early in the relationship, would he be alright if I were the one who proposed, hypothetically? He said he would. But I didn't believe him. He really loves making romantic gestures, so I thought he was just trying to seem uber-egalitarian. So when we started looking at rings, and I told him we were engaged and he denied it, I asked again. "You're SURE you wouldn't be mad if I asked you?" Again he said he wouldn't. Which was when I put my plan into action.
I ordered cufflinks from an Etsy artist named Sonseeahray. Then I got into the detail of my plan. On our one-year dateaversary (Hey! A legitimate -aversary!) I gave him a print of this comic:
He LOVED it, and rightfully so. We both really love that webcomic, and we'd spent our whole relationship being together on the weekends, and trying to stretch Sunday as far out as it would go. So I went through all of the romantical comics on the site and chose a few.
I had my sister edit the last one to say this:
I also had this picture printed, which was taken the day we met**. Oh, and I bought champagne for celebrating. Because I'm presumptuous (see: declaration of engagement, above).
|Photo by Andy Hsu, edited by Emily Jermusyk|
So after getting all these formatted to the rights sizes and ordering prints (at Staples because it is SO CHEAP and fast and I had a very. tight. timeline.) I bought frames at the craft store and headed to the Delaware College of Art and Design (DCAD), where my mom works. I'd asked her if, being in the art scene, she knew anyone who would let me use their gallery that evening. She suggested one in the school. Which was really a glorified stairwell, but by the time I got there and realized this, I didn't have time to change course. I assembled and arranged all the images in "the gallery"...and then I waited. And then I freaked out.
I'd asked The Foliage to come to the school to see the art exhibit I was "helping Mom with" (an exhibit actually was happening, and I helped with them all the time, so this wasn't at all suspicious). But between me putting the finishing touches on the proposal and him arriving, I was in full-on-panic mode. What if it isn't good enough? What if he's really upset that I've done this? What if this is so lame that our future grandchildren laugh at me? Et cetera, et al.
I looked to my mother for reassurance, but she just looked back at me, and seemed to be as panicked as I was, except she had that frozen look on her face that says, "I am working really hard to make sure you don't know how freaked out I am right now." Which is not helpful. I can't imagine how weird it must be to be aware of the HUGE change that's about to take place in your child's life, right in front of you. And to be asked for comfort when you don't even really know how YOU feel. Which occurred to me at the time, but I was far too busy hyperventillating to really empathize.
Finally, he arrived and I ditched my mother. And he was suspicious, but he'd walked into the main exhibit of student art, so he forgot about his hunch, and proceeded to complain about his day while we walked among the art. I fought a creepy half-smile off my face and turned it into sympathetic nodding. I tried not to make eye contact with Mom, who was standing to the side with her coworkers, all of them making faces at me every time The Foliage's back was to them***. I tried to feign interest in the student art I'd asked him to come see. But eventually there was no more. So I steered him into the stairwell, telling him that there were some additional pieces that didn't make it to the main gallery.
And then we were there. It was....incredibly surreal. We were facing the images I'd gathered and assembled, and all I could do was stare at him with a huge goofy smile, waiting for him to realize what was happening. It felt like it took FOREVER. Eventually he recognized one of the images, threw his head back and said...
"I hate you."
OH MY GAWD!! Right?! That's not OK! My response was, "Soooo...should I get on my knee...or something...?" Eventually he said nice things, probably one of them was "yes," and we went to dinner - which wasn't very good - and didn't drink the champagne because the restaurant wouldn't let us uncork it. And he told me about how he'd gone to New York THE DAY BEFORE to pick out the stone for my ring, which would be finished very soon. And then we spent several hours not talking to each other while we text messaged the announcement and talked to close friends and family. So romantic!
If you want to read Proposal Stories Part 2 and Part 3, click those links. And here's all our -aversaries. Because THEY MATTER. Except I definitely neglect pretty much all of them these days. Sometimes I suck at resolve. And now, because this post isn't long enough yet, some of my favorite pictures of us!
|Our first date! Taken by My Ship|
|Like, 3 weeks later or something, mid-bar crawl at the beach. Taken by My Best Friend Who Reads Books.|
|DTC Prom '08. Not sure who took this picture...|
|DTC Prom '09. Photo by Erica Harrington.|
|We make each other le happy. Photo by...Erica or Ray Harrington...I think.|
*Yes ACCIDENTALLY. I avoided her site for months, and then looked during the ONE HOUR between her posting the listing and The Foliage buying it.
**Is it not the coolest thing ever that there are pictures of the day we met? And not just any pictures - really really good pictures. Especially this one! Oh, man, idyllic.