Wednesday, March 25, 2009

The history of III and me: part III

Today I walked by one of my coworkers in the hall- she was my mentee her first year teaching here- who recently got engaged. Her wedding is this summer and, during the planning stages, she has asked me for some recommendations since my wedding wasn't all that long ago.

She has a very pretty solitaire ring and walking past her today made me think of when I first got engaged. I realized that I had yet to type out part III of my history story. :) (Part 1 and Part 2 are here...)

As III and I approached 6 months of dating, I started to get a little nervous. I had in my head that 6 months in a relationship is a real turning point- you either get serious or you get out. I also remembered III saying something to me about that 6 month mark (although it turns out, he probably didn't- I either misunderstood him or interpreted it turning it into a faux memory...). Being the ruminator I am, I went over and over in my head a conversation I planned to have with him- that if he started to feel like this wasn't going to get serious, I'd rather he tell me than just fade away, like many people (okay, many guys) tend to do in that situation.

Mid-April, III spent the night at my place on a Friday night. Most Saturdays I worked at my second job, bartending at a local theater. This particular Saturday was the first in months that I wasn't scheduled to work, and I was looking forward to spending the beautiful spring day with III. We went to breakfast and then back to my place. At about 1:00, III says to me "I need to head out to my friend's house. I told him I'd help him put in a pull up bar." Out loud I said "Oh. Okay..." We had plans later to have dinner anyway. But in my head, I thought "See! I was right! He doesn't even want to spend the day with me! He's getting tired of me..."

(What I later found out was that he was going to pick up the ring. The jeweler was his friend's mom, and in order to make sure he was being truthful he stopped by his friend's after picking up the ring and shoveled the last shovelful of concrete for the pull up bar. :) )

What I didn't know, was that III had a plan for our evening- we were supposed to go to dinner in the Italian district and then take a walk downtown. Mid-day (before III left), my cousin called to say he was in town and to see if we wanted to have dinner. Not knowing that III's plan had a purpose, I said "Sure!" We planned to meet at 6 for dinner. At about 4, my cousin called me and said they were going bowling... could we push dinner to 6:30? At 5 he called and pushed it to 7. As I was driving to III's to begin the evening, my cousin called again- they were running late. By the time I got to III's, I was completely irritated. I told him "At this rate, we won't eat until after 8!"

At this point, III had the ring waiting in his nightstand drawer for it's outing. He had originally planned to propose after dinner. Knowing that "after dinner" was getting further and further away, he decided he couldn't wait. He nixed his plan to propose downtown and went and got the ring from his nightstand.

"I went shopping today and bought you something," he told me. I was surprised, but expected he had gotten a little something for me at CVS or something. "It has your name written all over it."

"But it's a surprise. You have to close your eyes."

I am not a fan of surprises. It's part of my control issues. I don't like not knowing what is going to happen. Plus, III is a jokester, so honestly, I was a bit nervous about what he might do to me when I had my eyes closed. So I protested, "Why do I have to close my eyes? I don't like surprises! I don't want to close my eyes! I'm scared!" "Just close them!!!" He insisted.

So I closed my eyes, complaining the whole time. When III told me "Okay, you can open your eyes," I was greeted with the sight of a widely grinning III, holding a box with a diamond ring in it.

"Will you marry me?"

If I'm going to be honest, my first thoughts were not that romantic.

"Is he teasing me?" (The grin I saw was very similar to the one he has when he is teasing me!)
"We've only been dating six months!!!" After such a long term relationship as I had in my past, I always had it in my head that you should date for a year before you got engaged...
"Is he serious????"

The last one is what I said.

"Are you serious?"

The smile faded a little. "Yes, I'm serious!"

"Are you sure???"

Less smile: "Yes! I'm sure!"

"How do you know?"

"I just know!"

I was panicking a little. I had been completely unprepared for this. I thought he was going to break up with me! "It's only been six months!" kept echoing in my head.

Poor III was stunned... he told me later he was on the verge of tears.

"Please say yes..."

I looked at the gorgeous ring in III's hand and then at his face. What was wrong with me? I loved this man!

So I said "Yes!" (And haven't looked back since! :))

First person I called was KB. She didn't answer her phone. "Where are you when I need you??" I asked her voice mail. "I have to tell you something!!!"

I hung up my phone and III said "You should probably call your parents. They're waiting for the call." What??? "You called my parents?" I asked.

III had never met my parents- we live in a completely different part of the country than they do. He didn't want me calling and saying "Hey, I'm engaged to this guy you don't know..."

So when I was in the shower the previous week, he went into my Outlook on my computer and got my dad's email address. He emailed my dad, and my dad sent him his phone number. When I did call my parents, I got the rest of the story.

When III spoke to my dad, he told him "I've been dating your daughter for six months now. I really love her- she's my best friend and I can't imagine spending my life without her. I wanted to ask your permission to marry her."

My dad (and this is so typical for my family) told III "If you know my daughter well, and I hope you do, you'll know that what I say won't contribute a hell of a lot to her decision!" Ha ha ha, dad...

When KB called me back, her first question was "What's wrong?" I said "Do you want the long story or the short story?" She said "Just tell me what is wrong and then I'll decide!" "Well... I got a new piece of jewelry today..." "Are you engaged??" she asked... Out of all of my friends and family, she was probably the most excited for me (well, next to my mom).

Everyone was as surprised as I was by the proposal. I think they were also surprised when they found out that our wedding would be just six months later- coincidentally, exactly one year from the day we first exchanged emails.

Sometimes it still surprises me that I'm married- and next month it will be three years since we got engaged! I was never a big jewelry or gem person, but as I mentioned before, I love my engagement ring and wedding band. I hated the wedding planning process, but buying our wedding rings was one part I loved. Unlike the dress, and the flowers, and the cake, which were all just for one day, it was the part that would be with us every day as a symbol of our marriage. During the ring exchange at my cousin's wedding, the JP said "May these rings be your most treasured adornment and your love be your most treasured possession," and I love that because it is exactly how I have felt about my rings.

Sometimes, when I'm alone, I'll take off my wedding band and look at how my hand looks with just my engagement ring, remembering the wonder of first having it on my finger and the excitement of what that meant...


marc aurel said...

Great story. Good telling. It carried me long like watching a film even though I knew the ending

Caroline said...

Oh...That's such a beautiful story. It made me feel a bit tearful (the drugs don't help much either). He sounds like a great guy.

Erica said...

The last line of this post is so poignant. "the excitement of what that meant..." I'm sure that IF was not even a glimmer in your eye when you look back on those days. There are so many moments when I feel completely lost and sad for my husband and I. But then I try to think about all that we've become since our wedding day - that's when I'm happiest. :)

I wish you so much luck on this IUI cycle. My thoughts are with you.

And thanks for your support on my blog. I really appreciate it.

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