In honor of one year since setting forth towards that M word many men fear, I thought I'd share the story. Names have been omitted, as usual. No sense in getting too personal!
“You’re next,” the groom whispered to me as we’re saying farewell at his wedding reception. I laughed; little did he know I’d paid the deposit on the ring and was picking it up as soon as we returned to Virginia.
All the pinball ideas bouncing around in my brain about how to do it. I knew the answer would be yes, but the question had to be memorable and unique. Everything that we’d done together over the time we’ve been together has been such. A proposal over dinner was too cliché and expected. I wanted to surprise her, and soon. Our upcoming trip to California presented too many obstacles to keeping it under wraps.
Morning of, I’m sneaking around, getting everything together for the day. Ring Pop, check. Camera, check. Scavenger hunt, check. What am I forgetting?
Oh, yeah. The ring. As soon as I pulled the box out, my pulse started racing. It wouldn’t quite slow down until I laid down that night.
We returned to the scene of our first date under the guise of preparing for an upcoming field trip. It was plausible, and she was none the wiser. All my sneaking would be unneeded; she never suspected a thing. Strolling through the city from Metro Center presented many occasions in my brain. How about there? No. Ok then, there? No.
The internal argument of where the best spot would be was silly really. When I asked her out, I picked a place she’d already been as an option. Turns out it had been on another date. Oops. Our first kiss was memorable in setting, but I interrupted her mid-sentence long after several “perfect” moments had passed.
Waiting was killing me inside. Walking in the door of the museum, I took a deep breath. The opportunity would present itself. It had to. My scavenger hunt was a blur. I added a few questions, racing through the museum, often racing ahead of her like a five year-old in Toys-R-Us.
And then it came. We took a breather on a small balcony overlooking the Oceans exhibit. I’d already stashed the Ring Pop in my pocket. “It’s now or never,” I thought, “This is it. The ‘moment’.”
I lean over to her, dry throat, mind swimming, and squeaked, “Marry me.”
Her eyes got really big, as if to say, “Is he serious?” Which is exactly what she said, I think.
“You’re not even on one knee,” she challenged me. Dropping to one knee, I repeated my request phrased as a command.
“Psssh. That’s not even a real ring,” she said with a glimmer of hope mixed with fear mixed with confusion in her eyes. I reached into my bag and pull out the ring. She immediately started crying and laughing and jumping.
Now it’s her turn to squeak feebly, “Ok.” So I was wrong about the answer, but then again, I didn’t give her much of a choice.
Of course, I didn’t have a chance when we first met either.