Before building your dream registry, there are a large number of smaller events that culminate into one grand gesture that is followed by a very heavy ‘Yes’.
Every time I’ve been around a couple describing their engagement, it is typically from the perspective of the person that did the yessing, not the asking. So to celebrate the end of engagement season, I thought I’d share some stories of everything leading up to the moment that redefined my life.
One Ring to Rule them All
I knew asking my wife to marry me would be one of the hardest things I would do in my life. I did not know, however, that selecting the perfect ring would be right up there with it. I had been given pretty specific marching orders on what to buy; round cut, minimal band and setting. “Like a dolphin balancing a beach ball on its nose.” A very sparkly and expensive beach ball…
I had my budget set, so I figured my options would be limited to a few that butted right up against that number. The reality was that I sifted through 30 diamonds that matched my description, culling that number down to a final four that as I reassessed, I had a hard time telling the difference between.
That’s when the pressure set in. How do I choose this object that will represent my love for my wife forever?! Luckily, the jeweler I was working with sensed my inability to come to a final decision and stepped in with, “I see you debating between these two. This one is a better investment long-term.” It was also the shiniest…. Decision made.
So… About Your Daughter…
On the stress scale, sandwiched between picking the ring and popping the question, was asking my wife’s father for his permission. He loves golf, so in the interest of getting him to his happy place, I told him I was going to take him to play a round.
When I told him I wanted to take him to play, he immediately said, “That’s a great idea! Tell Kristn (his daughter) to join us and we’ll make a day of it.”
Me: “She can’t be there….”
I thought the speed and tone with which I addressed her lack of availability would be enough to clue him in on what playing golf was really about. Unfortunately for me, he is extremely extroverted and wanted to invite anybody and everybody to round out a foursome.
Me: “Maybe it can just be the two of us…?”
Him: “Well, I’ve been playing with these guys lately and they’re a lot of fun. I think you’d really enjoy…”
Me: “I NEED IT TO JUST BE THE TWO OF US! I HAVE SOMETHING I NEED TO ASK YOU!”
Nothing like raising your voice at the man you’re about to ask for permission to take his daughters away….
That finally took away any mystery of my intentions for the outing. Yet I still couldn’t work up the courage until the 10th hole.
Thanks, Meg Ryan….
As a child of the 80s and 90s, I learned what a proposal should look like from seeing it on screen. When Harry Met Sally, Sleepless in Seattle, French Kiss (might have had a thing for Meg Ryan…). Incredible succinct speeches that perfectly captured the gravity of the situation and became a moment that would last forever. I was determined to create that for our future together.
It was a Friday afternoon. I got to her apartment before she had left work, laid out a dress I had bought along with a note detailing her itinerary for the evening, grabbed the dog and headed to the hotel to get ready.
Once I had my suit on, hair coiffed, bubbles on ice, I realized that I had to ask first thing. There was no way I could get through a dinner with that hanging over us and manage to act like a normal human being. I called the front desk and told them that there would be a woman arriving in a red dress within the hour and to send her to the room and call me when she was on her way up.
The time between was an eternity, but it allowed me the time to rehearse my speech that had been formed over the past 20 years. I was confident. I was ready. The phone rang.
I hit my knee about 15 feet from the door and waited. The door opened. She froze, overnight bag in hand. The room became a vacuum.
“What’s going on, here?”
“Put your bag down and get over here.”
She set her bag down. Realizing that this was the moment, she had to make her final preparations. Lipstick. I waited. The dog yelped.
Once she hit her mark and calmed the dog down, everything I had planned to say had left me. The weight of the moment was to great and the plan I had rehearsed was shot. It was a disaster. It was perfect.
I still, to this day, can’t recall a word I said. But I know exactly what that “Yes” sounded like; a mixture of tears, excitement and love; the most important syllable that’s ever been directed at me.
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