Tuesday, August 26, 2008

The Engagement Story

The Boy and I got engaged on April 17, 2008.

At the time, I was living in our state capitol of Tallahassee working for the state legislature during session. I had been gone from Orlando for almost two months, and was due to move back in a few weeks. We had been talking very casually about marriage on and off for a few months at that point. While I outright told him that I knew I wanted to marry him someday a little bit before I moved to Tallahassee, The Boy had never definitively said to me that he wanted the same. I couldn't speak for what exactly he was thinking except to say that he initiated much talk about babies and living together even before I ever mentioned marriage.

We had been switching weekends in terms of visiting each other while I was living in Tallahassee, and that fateful weekend was my weekend. I arranged to get some time off from the job in order to leave Tallahassee early, and ended up getting into town around 4:30 that day. I knew The Boy wouldn't be due home from work until 6:30 or so. I sent him a text not even directly letting him know that I was there - I just asked if the laundry on his bed was clean or dirty! 15 minutes later, he was home from work.

He was so anxious, it was ridiculously endearing. Usually we just relaxed together for a good long while when I arrived for the weekend because I would get tuckered out from the drive. Plus, we're homebodies anyway. But that afternoon, he asked me if I wanted to go to Starbucks. I must have looked at him like he was crazy because we - me especially - are not Starbucks people. Despite this, I agreed to go along.

He then lived in downtown Orlando, and his apartment was only a few blocks from Starbucks. We were walking in that general direction before we started veering off towards Lake Eola, the jewel of downtown Orlando. I asked if I was just tired or confused about where Starbucks was located, and he said, "No, but I thought we would go to your gazebo first."

My gazebo! I should preface this by stating that I have a thing for gazebos. I have always loved them, and the house I grew up in had one that my grandfather built, so it should be no surprise...

This is where Rob and I first kissed.

He led me to the gazebo, but there was a couple sitting inside. We waited for a bit, looked at the lake, chatted about our weeks, and then I suggested we sit inside the gazebo even though we would have company. We did, and they didn't budge! I was tired, so I ended up rest my head on his shoulder, and I guess maybe that was too cuddly for their tastes because they finally vacated.

Rob and I started kissing a bit and getting mushy, and a homeless guy yelled, "There's a hotel across the street!" We laughed and thanked him. Good old downtown Orlando.

Then Rob told me he loves me, that he wants to spend the rest of his life with me, and then pulled a ring box out of his pocket, got down on one knee and asked me to marry him.
I looked at him in shock (he asked me to marry him!), I looked at the ring (there's a ring!), I looked at him (holy moley he asked me to marry him!), and then I said yes. We started hugging and kissing, and Rob eventually had to remind me to take the ring.

The ring is a funny story. He ended up going to a jeweler that I have been going to for years for things like watch and jewelry repair and small gift purchases. She has always been good to me and knows my taste to boot, and Rob ended up going to her. I saw her a few days after the proposal and she told me The Boy spent two hours looking at diamonds and settings before he picked out my ring. She said most guys just go in there, give her a dollar amount, and ask what they can get. But he spent all that time doing something he hates (shopping) in order to get me the perfect ring.

We started talking and I was still squeeing when the homeless guy walked up and asked if he had just witnessed a proposal and when we confirmed it, he offered us his blessing. Then he gave us some private time to ourselves. Eventually he did come back to ask for a few dollars, but neither of us had cash on us. Oops!

We did eventually make it to Starbucks, and then we went back to his apartment where I took a picture of the ring with my phone and sent it to everyone under the sun. We started calling our family to make the announcement, and...
Here we are today, about to get married.

Part of me still cannot believe it. I am so ridiculously happy. We got lucky with one another.

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