The Story of How He Did It

So, as most of my friends and family know, my man-friend and I recently became engaged. After five years of dating, it’s less of a shock and more of a relief for most people, removing the unknown “when?” from everyone’s minds when they think about us.

Now that I’ve mostly adjusted to wearing a new ring (and rearranging my other rings to accommodate the new sparkly), I’m able to give everyone what they’ve been waiting – and asking impatiently – for since it happened; The Story.

It started with a phone call after work. I was on my way home, and my man-friend called me up to ask me if I wanted to go out to a local bistro that happens to be a particular favorite of ours (and not just because his sister works there and sometimes gets us free stuff).

His reasoning? “I didn’t feel like cooking dinner, and we haven’t been out in a while.” Both logical reasons, because:

  1. Due to our schedules, he gets home before me most days, and therefore he is usually the one to make dinner (and it sucks to have to do that every day, so I don’t blame him for wanting a day off) and
  2. We are trying to save our money to be able to pay off our student loans early, so we rarely go out to dinner.

Of course I agreed, because who doesn’t like to go out to dinner? So when I got home, we put the dog away and immediately left, meaning that we were both in our nice work clothes (perfect timing on his part, if I do say).

We got to the restaurant (Spoiler alert: He doesn’t do it during dinner), and we sat in his sister’s section so we could chat with her for a bit. We had delicious bread, delicious dinner, delicious drinks – honestly, I don’t think I’ve ever had anything bad here, so it’s always a good place to go. We laughed and talked and had a general good time (*salutes* General Good Time).

Afterwards, my man-friend suggested that we go for a walk around the lake to help us burn some calories. We had been trying to eat better and exercise more, so this wasn’t out of the ordinary.

We went over to the lake, and it was a little chilly, so no one was there – it was just the two of us walking around.

He started to act a little weird as we were walking, pointing out a dog across the water and ducks up ahead and things like that. He just kept jumping from subject to subject, which was unusual, to say the least. He also had his left hand in his pocket the whole time, which meant that he was pointing with his right hand. That was weird because we usually hold hands when we walk around (shut up, we’re cute), and we couldn’t because of all of the pointing.

I told him that I wish I had grabbed his jacket, because it was getting a little too chilly for me (I was in short sleeves), and he stopped and said he had a surprise for me. He asked me if I wanted it now, and since I had put the nervousness and the pointing and the hand-in-the-pocket together, I knew what was happening and said yes.

He pulled out the ring, and before he had a chance to get down on his knee (or even get the question out), I grabbed him in a big hug and started tearing up. He asked me, and I couldn’t get a response out for a while, because emotions. Finally he said, “I’m so nervous!” So I got out a yes, and he pulled away so I could actually see the ring (I only saw it briefly before the hug and the crying happened).

ring

It’s beautiful.
Also, he picked out the ring himself. He told me later that he was going to get a different one, but he saw this one and knew. 🙂

We hugged, we kissed, he was relieved, I forgot about being cold. It was amazing.

After that, we had the enormous task of telling our parents, siblings, grandparents, etc. Some we could tell in person, some got texts or phone calls, but eventually everyone heard about it that night.

Except for my mother.

See, she had chosen that week to go on a cruise, and didn’t have her phone turned on due to being in international waters and ridiculous charges and the like. I sent her pictures of us and the ring, but she did not get them until three days later when her boat came back to the country, which meant that we weren’t able to put anything on Facebook (the keeper of all of the knowledge) until then, because I didn’t want her to find out through social media. That kind of thing is okay for friends and extended family, not really okay for parents.

Finally she got back and found out, and finally we were able to put it up on Facebook, and finally we were able to make the small part of the world that we live in explode in congratulations and happy dances in public. It was no lip synced dancing video, or video with Zach Braff, or photographed event, but it was us, and it was wonderful.

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Things Women Do that Men Would Never Think Of

It’s hard to be a women. Not in a have-to-do-your-hair-every-day, wearing high heels, PMS kind of way; I’m talking about the things that women know and understand about being a women that men could never even dream of, things we do to keep ourselves safe from would be muggers or rapists, things that we learn from an early age to do. You look both ways to cross the street? We count the men on the street in case we get attacked.

  1. I am always aware of what I’m wearing, and how that can be seen by strangers.
  2. I have watched several videos on how to get out of zip tie handcuffs, and I’m pretty sure I could do it if I needed to.
  3. If I’m ever put into the trunk of a car, I know to try to pop out the tail light and wave my arm out – then someone will hopefully see it and call the police, while the driver will never know. In fact, I just bought a car that includes a release handle in the trunk for this very reason.
  4. I always have my keys ready when walking to my car – I don’t want to waste time trying to get in if someone comes after me.
  5. If a mugger comes up to me, I throw my wallet/purse, because if that’s all he wants, he’ll go after it and leave me alone.
  6. If someone is firing a gun at me, I know that running in a straight line is the worst thing you can do – zig and zag, because the chances of them accurately hitting you are slim.
  7. I took Miss Congeniality seriously – Sternum, Instep, Nose, Groin. And I will always go for the Groin.
  8. I will never park next to a large or windowless vehicle. I would rather walk further in a parking lot than take a chance.
  9. Strangers walking up to me for any reason makes me nervous. If I’m alone, I will blow them off as quickly as possible, and make sure that they never get within arm’s reach.
  10. I watch shows like Criminal Minds not only because I enjoy them, but because they give me ideas on how creepy people will come up to me, and I can think of ways to avoid them.

This is by no means a full list, and it doesn’t mean that women who don’t do these things deserve something to happen to them; I just hope it opens some eyes and possibly prevents someone from putting themselves in a situation without knowing how to get out.

I also hope that it clues men in a bit – walking up to women in the parking lot is scary for them, even if it isn’t for you. Keep in mind how the things you say and do will be seen by a woman who doesn’t know you.

Tips for Men – How NOT to Propose

Every girl (and some men) loves to hear a thoroughly romantic story – one of those sweep-you-off-your-feet, home run, over-the-moon kind of stories. Even better than hearing one is being able to tell one yourself. No one wants to tell their grandkids that grandpa proposed in the parking lot of McDonald’s – that’s a story that will leave you sitting in an overheated car alone, just you and your cheap sapphire ring.

Don’t let that be you.

1. Do not choose a holiday. I don’t care who you are, proposing on Valentine’s Day/Christmas/New Year’s is just tacky. Holidays are special in themselves – pick another day to make special. (Side note: if her birthday is near Christmas, do not combo gift her engagement ring as both. Why? Because it’s something you would have gotten her anyway, and combining two big events into one gift just says that you didn’t want to buy another gift.)

2. Food is overrated. I don’t know why this even needs to be said, but food is an awful way to propose to someone. Stereotypes aside, that’s a dang CHOKING hazard. “Honey, I love you so much. Will you marry me?” “HERRRRGG!!!” Plus, proposing over dinner is not special and romantic – it feels like an afterthought.

3. Pick a good ring. At the very least, you should know what kind of metal your girlfriend (or boyfriend – I’m not here to judge) prefers. If you can’t choose between white or yellow gold, you probably shouldn’t be getting married. Learn from Sex and the City, men: Pick a good ring. And ignore the cheesy pitches in the video.

4. Get a photographer. Whether he’s hidden, or comes out for photos after, these are pictures that she will want to remember. They’re your first engagement photos – make them count.

5. Don’t cheap out. Wal-Mart is great for getting a deal, but it’s not the place to go for an engagement ring. Supposedly there is a formula for how much you spent (1-3 month’s wages, or something of that sort), but the actual amount doesn’t matter. Just know that this ring is supposed to last forever, so buy it from a place that will ensure that it does.

6. Give it a little thought. You don’t have to have all of your friends and family lip-sync to “I think I wanna marry you,” like this guy, but it should be something at least somewhat thought out. On a trip,  a romantic picnic, a scavenger hunt, whatever. Just pick something that will be meaning ful for her. And, if it’s something you can repeat  on an anniversary, all the better (then she’ll think it’s super romantic, and you won’t have to think very hard about how to celebrate).

7. Be yourself. Do something that is symbolic of the two of you and the life you will have together; that’s what will make her say yes.