The proposal, as every guy knows, requires some thought and care. I guess what it requires most is to just be yourself. I knew I was a bit of a romantic, not smarmy, but definitely a romantic. I needed to ask her parents’ permission first, which I did. I took them out for dinner and before we got our meal they thankfully put me out of my misery. I was so nervous, that I was barely functional. It must have showed. Before dinner came to our table, they asked what the special occasion was. They knew I was going to ask, and were happy to say yes. I had a different problem now though.
Proposing! I was a little stumped here. I instantly started to overcomplicate it. I started thinking about the ring, which I had started paying for, but wasn’t yet made. An idea came to me. I would propose with the ingredients for the ring. So I went to the jeweler who was making the ring and since I had paid for over half already, he let me borrow the loose gold nuggets and pink sapphire that I had chosen. I had two boxes to give her. This was going to be fun! It was fitting metaphorically as well: we were building a relationship with one another, so we were designing the ring together as well. It all fit.
Shaina is notoriously hard to surprise. It’s not an easy task. So I took her out to a really nice restaurant for dinner. After which to throw her off the trail, we went to Hastings, where I bought an album. This did the trick…sort of. She knew something was up because I was acting weird. I don’t hide my emotions well at all. I’m a very open book in that sense. On our way back to my parent’s house we stopped at a playground, one of those big wooden ones designed to look like a castle. It was a little cold yet because it was early spring, so we took a blanket with us.
It was perfect. There was no one around. We went to the highest turret and we were sitting side by side. I said “I have something for you” and handed her the box with the loose gold first. She seemed a little confused, so I handed her the box with the sapphire in it, and asked her to marry me. And when she said yes, my heart exploded with love for her. She kissed me so hard and passionately I could feel her love, our love, through that connection. It was a feeling I can’t begin to explain but it was the best feeling I had ever had.
There are a lot of great engagement and proposal stories out there, but I think ours is the sweetest. Possibly because it’s ours, but that’s to be expected, right?
The month of March 2007 was a memorable month…I was seriously sick for the first time away from home. I ended up at Urgent Care with sever strep throat. It was a good thing I was learning sign language, and so were my friends, because it hurt too bad to talk. I signed a lot that month. Because of being so sick, Chris and I hadn’t seen each other in awhile. So when I was finally better I was eager to get to Wenatchee to see him and be together again. He’d spent the time apart cooking up a plan to ask me to marry him, and I was in for the best surprise of my life.
We went out for a fancy dinner just the two of us. I fondly remember all of John Mayer’s albums playing softly in the background and feeling pretty in my new green sweater. I got my favorite eat-out meal: fettuccini Alfredo with shrimp, and we sat there visiting and enjoying the atmosphere for a long time. I knew that Chris had been to see my parents, so I had an inkling that tonight might be the night, but dinner and desert came and went. And then we were back in our separate cars (we never were alone without a chaperone) headed back to his parents place, making a stop at Hastings on the way. So I took the dinner for what it was: a special evening together, and put the proposal thoughts out of my mind.
But Chris had another stop in mind…we went to “our park.” This was a spot we used to go to a bit while we were dating. It was a public place that we could meet and talk without driving our friends (aka chaperones) crazy.
It was cold and windy, but I was glad he wanted to stop and visit more instead of going straight home. I didn’t want the night to end yet. I got the blanket from my trunk and we sat down together in the tallest room of the wooden castle playground. I remember feeling so content and happy just to be there beside him…to be in love with him.
Then Chris turned to me and said “I want to ask you a question…” and pulled out a little box from his pocket. But the little box didn’t hold what I was expecting it to hold. It had what looked like little gold nuggets in it. Smiling expectantly I looked back up at him and he was holding another little box with my pink sapphire in it. I looked into the kindest eyes I’ve ever known as he took my hand and asked me to be his wife. My answer: a full and heartfelt kiss that said everything. Yes!
We would use the ingredients in the two little boxes to design a ring together for me, just like we would design the rest of our lives: together.
I am so thankful that he picked me…that he wanted to share his life with me. I was honored to say yes to his earnest and heartfelt request. And I’ve spent every day since trying to be the partner he deserves.