In honor of our upcoming fourth wedding anniversary (November 1), I thought I’d share the story of our engagement.
December 30, 2007.
The day we moved into our first home together. Yes, we had lived together before but this was a house with a mortgage. Things were real.
The weeks leading up to moving day were full of late nights painting and preparing this house to be ours.
We’d get off work every day, throw on our painting sweats and head to the empty house to paint deep into the early morning hours. We were exhausted but so in love. In love with the house, with each other and the lives we were dreaming of starting in this new place.
Of course, in true fashion we decided that moving in on the 30th of December and throwing our very first party, a New Year’s Eve bash with all of our closest friends the very next night, would be a fabulous idea. In my head I envisioned everyone dressed to the 9′s, toasting each other with champagne and tipsy hugs and waking up the next morning to coffee and cinnamon rolls for all. Oh sure, there would be few decorations on the walls or knick-knacks filling the shelves but I could talk everyone through my vision for each room and gush over the beautiful empty canvas I had in front of me.
In reality I had an attitude the size of Texas, boxes everywhere, oh and did I mention the brand new 6 month old puppy we brought home THAT VERY SAME DAY who had a propensity for running laps around the house and jumping on top of everyone she came in contact with?
Clint, being the hard working and patient (oh so patient) man he is, gathered up some of his friends (God Bless them) and along with my family we got everything moved into the house.
Except that wasn’t good enough for me. I wanted things to be unpacked. I wanted to started decorating for the party. I wanted some alone time with my boyfriend in our house.
Are you seeing a theme here?
In a bout of selfishness and complete lack of gratitude I chose to harp on the fact that they were still eating pizza and drinking beer when *I* had things to do. I chose to walk out of the house and drive around the block because I just couldn’t be there anymore.
And yet there was Clint. Still patient (although with a fuse nearing ever so close to combustion) and still loving. Desperately trying to salvage what was left of this day and make it a good memory.
I wondered why he was being so particularly kind and patient. Though they were (and still are) two of his most admirable traits, I was a bit suspicious because I was in NO WAY deserving of patience or kindness that day.
And then it dawned on me.
He was going to propose.
It was no secret we were going to get married. We had just bought a house together and I knew that he had my dad’s blessing to propose, I just didn’t know when it was going to happen.
So we decided to go out to eat at a fancy restaurant. I tried to push back the feelings of guilt and focus on a lovely meal.
Except my risotto was overcooked.
And the loving soliloquy of words with the big grand gesture down on one knee wasn’t happening.
And then the check came and I just knew he could see the look of disappointment in my eyes.
So I tried to hide it. I suggested we grab a coffee and take a walk through the town center to see all the Christmas Lights. And so hand in hand we walked down the sidewalk and admired all of the lights. We paused for a few moments by a particularly beautiful display and I could feel my heart start to beat faster.
But there was still no getting down on one knee and it was getting cold so we headed home.
I honestly don’t remember what we talked about on the ride home… or if we even talked at all. I know there were few words exchanged when we arrived at the house. I slipped on my flannel pajama pants and old t-shirt and climbed into bed.
He started making small talk about how amazing it was that we were finally alone and spending our first night in our new home together.
I’ll admit I was only half paying attention. Mostly reflecting on the days events and how I had ruined what was surely going to be the day he proposed to me. I was ashamed and sad.
And then I started really listening to the words he was saying.
He was talking about our lives together and how excited he was for the future.
I could feel my cheeks start to turn red, and my heart started beating faster. And no sooner had he lean over to his nightstand, I watched him turn around with a little white box.
And then he asked me to marry him.
There was no fanfare or getting down on one knee (something I still give him grief about to this day). There was no rounds of applause or champagne toasts from strangers at a restaurant.
But what it was lacking in fanfare, it made up for in sincerity.
Because after I had spent the entire day being most ungrateful and undeserving, he still looked me in the eye and told me he wanted to spend the rest of his life with me.
To many it might seem like a complete wash of a day.
But to me, I look back and see unconditional love and I’m so proud that is how we started our journey to becoming man & wife.
And to this day I’m still not quite sure what I did to deserve the love of such an amazing guy, but I’ll spend the rest of my life trying to prove him right.