I’d love to tell you that it was an exciting, well-planned, carefully calculated affair. It wasn’t. It was very simple, plain, almost ordinary, but entirely befitting.
On the last day of November, at about 11:30 at night, I proposed to my then-girlfriend. She knew it was coming but not exactly when. That night, she was in her pajamas, watching Sex in the City, and wondering where I had been for the last few hours. I had told her that I was going out to get some LEGO.
I didn’t get any LEGO. I got her parents’ blessing.
Some things are better than others.
Getting the ring was a joint effort. E– thought she knew what she wanted when we went out that one Saturday in late-August. I suggested she try something different and she ended up liking it. After looking around for a couple of weeks, we eventually bought one of the first rings that she had tried on.
A couple of weeks later, we returned it.
It would take another two and a half months before she’d settle on a ring that she likes. The ring she has now, she likes. I know because she returned the first version of it that I brought home about a month ago. After that, E– had to deal with the jeweler by herself.
She returns most of the gifts I get her. Her father reassured me that this was normal, for E– and her mother, during the conversation we had on the Saturday night that would
change solidify set the course for determine bring me a step closer to the rest of my life. And, quite frankly, I would rather she got something she really likes than just accept something from me because I got it for her. My taste can be questionable at times.
The ring is a symbol of something more. In itself, it’s meaningless. We’ve given it meaning. What it looks like isn’t as important to me, as it is to E–, because I don’t have to wear it. It really isn’t in line with my aesthetic anyway.
Besides, if she is this discerning about her ring, imagine how much thought she had to give over to the decision of agreeing to marry me. I’m a winner.
As I said, it was rather simple. I set out a sign with the words, “Marry Tree,” on it. On top of a desk-top Christmas tree, I put the ring. She was wrestling with one of the cats in the bedroom and I asked her to come join me on the couch.
At first, she didn’t even see the ring. I had to point it out to her. When she saw it, she pulled it off, asked me to put it on her finger, stared at it for a while, then gave me a hug and a kiss.
It was perfectly simple.
Knowing how anxious both of our families were for the news, we made some phone calls.
Soon after we each got off of the phone, life went back to normal. We opened a bottle of champagne, turned on a movie, and cuddled up on the couch.
Oddly enough, the cats went quiet for a while.
What made the proposal so special was just how regular and mundane it was, I think. It didn’t propel us into a new realm of passion and frenzy. It didn’t disrupt what is our normal – a loving, supportive, caring partnership. It served to formalize the wonderful relationship that we share. Over the last week or so, talk of a wedding has come up. I already know how stressful planning that is going to be. When we see my folks during the winter break, I’ll have more to say on the subject. For now, I just want to enjoy what E– and I have, as it is and for what it is.