Over the weekend, Jrex had me watch this video, "It reminds me of you!" As I watched, I kept asking him questions, "Is it 'cause she's cute?" He smiled, "Yes, but keep watching..." A little while later, "It's her sense of humor!?" Another grin, "Sure, but keep watching..." They got to the part about the proposal and I just started hitting him in the arm as he laughed out loud. Check it out and then I'll tell you our version.
When we started dating, we both agreed that unless we heard 'no' from God or each other, we were heading toward marriage as the goal. Which allowed for various conversations: what kind of ring ("no gold, no diamonds"), what kind of proposal ("I have to tell this story the rest of my life so you'd better make it a good one") and what kind of wedding ("I'm fine with a pot-luck, I just want everyone we care about to celebrate with us"). It also meant that it might be hard to surprise me ("Aha! He's taking me for a balloon ride, obviously time for a proposal." "A nice dinner out? Obviously a proposal.").
In the fall of '96, Jrex went away two weeks for work. I knew he'd be going to his parents' for Thanksgiving and assumed he'd be having another talk with them and might propose around Christmas time. The day after he returned from his trip, he picked me up and we went to do laundry together. Neither of us had facilities at our apartments and it was a nice way to spend time together. As we finished the laundry, he asked, "Do you want to go for a hike?" Sure!
We headed over to Mendon Ponds where we often walked after church or on sunny afternoons.
As we came around the pond, Jrex suggested sitting on our usual rocks. We sat and then he pulled out his tin whistle (not so ordinary, but not unheard of), and said, "On the flight home, I was missing you and this tune came into my head, so I wanted to play it for you."
As I listened to a really lovely melody, I looked across the water. There were two trees that grew so close together that they looked like one tree. After waiting and waiting for our relationship to move ahead, I wistfully wondered, "Will we ever get to be like that? Being together and growing towards each other; will we get to be a cute old couple?" The song ended and I smiled at him, "Wow, that was beautiful." We chatted a bit about the song and then he casually continued, "Oh, that brings up a question..."
I nodded, "Sure, what's up?"
"Will you marry me?"
I stared at him in disbelief, totally caught off-guard. Then he reached into his jacket and pulled a blue velvet box out of his pocket. As he opened it I spluttered, "What?! You're serious!? You have a ring? Oh my god! You had that in your pocket the whole time? At the laundromat???!!! But!? What?!" I babbled on as he pulled out a beautiful sapphire in a platinum setting. I quickly pulled off my glove to try it on my finger (where it fit perfectly). I finally took a breath as I looked at the ring in shock.
He smiled quietly and said, "Does the fact that you put the ring on mean yes?"
"Didn't I say 'yes' already?"
He shook his head.
"Of course it means yes! It's beautiful." Then I realized what had happened. We had our story and I looked like an idiot! "Oh my God! Jrex, you TOTALLY got me." (Lest you think he's noble, he gloated right then.)
Then another thought struck me, "Did you ask my Dad already?"
With a very smug grin he nodded, "Called him this morning. He said he'd been hoping I'd take you off his hands."
So THEN we finally kissed and said sappy things to each other.
I got my story alright. He LOVES it when people ask me to tell how he proposed. Sigh.
A story I get to tell for The. Rest. Of. My. Life.