Three years ago this weekend, Ben and I will celebrate our ‘engagiversary’ (aka, the day we got engaged). I love engagement stories. They are so full of happiness and love and crazy people…
Ben and I had talked about getting married several times in the past. We knew we wanted to get married, but we felt unsure of the timing. The following fall was going to present a new distance challenge to us. We were going to be 5 hours apart from each other, and ((and dangit, I wanted a ring before he left)) I wanted us to solidify our commitment to one another.
I was working an internship that summer, and I was about 5 hours from home. We tried to see each other every weekend and make the most of that time we had together. I was ((expecting)) hoping to get engaged by the summer, but every weekend came and went with no proposal. In my incredibly rational mind, I thought that he probably didn’t love me anymore, and just couldn’t find the right time to tell me.
He called on a Tuesday and told me he wanted us to get away for the weekend, so he would come up on Friday and we would go to the beach for the weekend. “This is it”, I thought. Yep, he’s probably coming up here to tell me he’s found someone else. Or he just wants to be friends. Or he’s moving to Asia to become a monk (mind you, we didn’t have any relationship problems or anything that would give me an indication that the end was near; I just tend to over-think everything and my mind races into the oblivion thinking of every possible scenario). He ended up surprising me and showing up on Thursday instead. We hugged and laughed and talked and all was right in the world again. So maybe, just maybe, he might be planning a proposal this weekend. Ben said he needed to take a shower. I said cool, and I would watch TV while I waited.
And then it happened. I caught a glimpse of the car keys on the counter. Ben was in the shower, with an estimated time of shower departure, 25-30 minutes (he must clean every square inch of his body with a Q-tip). I decided I would do what every classy (insane), red-blooded (crazy), American (nutjob) woman would do: I’d search his car for the engagement ring and if I didn’t find it, life as I knew it would be over.
Let me explain something here before I really sound like a fruit loop. I hate surprises. No, actually, I DESPISE surprises. I wish I could change this about myself. I really wish I could go with the flow, but I.must.know.everything.in.advance. It’s an obsession, really. I have gift ‘unwrapping’ down to an art. I have unwrapped and rewrapped my Christmas presents for as long as I can remember (sorry, mom). I know every possible hiding spot for ‘surprises’. I have searched computers, cars, closets, basements, drawers, and barns looking for gifts. I can say, that in my 24 years of being, I have had probably 2 gift ‘surprises’. I WILL find every gift before it becomes a surprise. That’s a promise 😉
Anyway, I grabbed the keys and ran out the door. I cleaned that joint, man. I searched everywhere: cupholders, dash, under seats, under floor mats, in the trunk, EVERY POSSIBLE PLACE I could imagine, and NO RING. Junk was flying out of that car left and right. I had to act quick, and time was running out. “Keep calm, and go search his suitcase” (that’s a famous quote, right?). Nothing in there either. I was crushed. He was really moving to Asia.
On our way down to the beach, I quickly searched the car again a couple of times when we stopped for food or gas. NO RING. We got down to the beach late, right around dusk. I wanted to get to a hotel and bury myself in the pillow and prepare for his ‘moving to Asia’ speech. He asked if anything was wrong, and I said “of course not” (you’ve only crushed my heart, soul, and spirit by deciding to leave me). He, on the other hand, wanted to go out on the beach. I obliged, and we walked out on a beautiful stretch of beach. There wasn’t a person in sight. As we were walking along and I was mentally preparing to live my life alone in a cave, he dropped on one knee and asked me to marry him. I said yes and we laughed and cried the evening away. It’s one of my favorite memories.
A couple of days later, after I decided he was in it for the long haul, and felt pretty confident he wouldn’t run away, I asked him where in the bleepity bleep he had kept that ring. He told me he had carefully hid it in the trunk, under the carpet, wrapped in a bag, and stuffed in the spare tire……. because he knew I’d search his suitcase…..and the car……….and that would probably be the place I would overlook…..
Right after I said “I DO”!
Gosh, I do love that boy………