The best proposal stories are those which involve boldy unique, supreme guestures of audacious love. It’s always better if a proposal involves a fighter jet skywriting a lover’s names in the air. Or involves engagements rings baked into a pretty cake. Or popping the question on a jumbo tron at the Super Bowl.
Well, you’re out of luck, because absolutely nothing like that happened. Not even close. And I kept it that way on purpose.
I propsed on the 19th of December. Three weeks prior my mother and I embarked upon that epic sojourn called ring shopping. We searched high and low, near and far to find the most perfect candidate for a wedding ring. Surprisingly the search wasn’t nearly as intimidating as I thought it would be. Mainly, because my spirit was armed with the peace of knowing that I was making the best decision of my life. So long story short, I was fortunate enought to find what, in my opinion, was a lovely ring. And oh was it krunk! Gangsta even. And it sat in my closet for the better part of a month, burning a hole on my shelf, eagerly awaiting to be united with Heather’s third finger on her left hand.
December 19th was also the evening of our First Youth Christmas party. The party was lovely and when it was over I came home to find Heather getting settled in from her drive into town. It was about 8:45pm in the evening when I returned home, and we had planned to go out to dinner. This go around, I suggested that we dress up for the occasion, mainly to spice up the occasion because it had been quite sometime since we had seen one another. I suspected that she might be hot on my trail, anticipating a proposal when I suggested this, but that really only added to the fun ot it!
She looked stunning (as always), and I felt like a king escorting her to one of our favorite restaurants in the promenade called Bravo. We dined in style, sitting at a lovely, comforatble round booth. The room was well lit and nearly empty. Across the way there was another party of people, which we later discovered was American Idol winner, Kris Allen and his family. Yeah, we felt like celebrities! Straight up.
I had the ring in my front jacket pocket the entire time. It was sitting there silently, motionless like James Bond, scouping out a suspect. Throughout the evening, I would put my hand in my pocket just to make sure it was still there.
We ate and enjoyed our meal, sensing an aura of excitement in the air. I’m almost certain she knew I was up to something fishy! After the meal, we returned to my parents house, where we climbed the steps. My heart began to pound. Now was the time! We got to my room. I grasped her shoulders and looked her straight in the eyes. I told her how grateful I was that she was my best friend, and that I had prayed for her since even before we knew one another. I told her how I wanted to spend the rest of my life with her. I got down on one knee, reaching in my pocket and produced the box which held the ring.
“Will you marry me?”
I will never forget her response. She was smiling, crying, and laughing at the same time. I had a similar response when I was five years old when my parents told me that we were going to Disney World. Multiple times she asked “Are you serious!?”
trying to wrap her head around the moment. It was the most humbling moment of my life when she responded not with a “yes,” but with an “Of course!”
She asked if her parents knew about all of this, and I told her that they had known about it for weeks! I felt like that dude from the A-Team that always says, “I love it when a plan comes together.” A few weeks prior, I boldy declared that chivalry was NOT dead, when I awkwardly asked her family for Heather’s hand in marriage. We went downstairs to tell my parents, who were also in on the secret. They cried. We all cried.
So there were no catapults, high flying acts, well trained dogs, or pyrotechnics. There were no elaborate maneuvers. Since we lived apart for the majority of the last two years, I learned to embrace the sheer joy of merely being in her presence — of just sharing the same zip code for even the shortest blink of time. I’ve been blessed to understand at a young age that it is the smallest, quietest moments that are the most profound. I didn’t want to do anything elborate. I just wanted the moment to be what it was: One man expressing to a woman his desire to unite in love for all eternity.
Because in the end, love is really the only thing that gives us life, and sustains us in the afterlife. It is all that we have. And I wouldn’t have had it any other way.