I got engaged!
If you've been following along, you know that this past weekend was our first "vacation" together to Chicago. What you didn't know (and neither did I), was that Mark spent much longer getting ready for our trip than I did.
While I was at work last week, he spent two days building a tiny treasure chest to put the ring in and drawing a "map" to ask me to marry him. During this time, he obviously couldn't tell me what he was working on, so when I'd ask he'd be uncharacteristically vague and evasive. He was "working on some old projects," or "running an errand." Usually these statements would be followed by a description of what he was working on or what he needed to run an errand for. We tell each other pretty much everything that happens during our day. Not this week.
Luckily, I was too worried with getting everything ready for the weekend to be overly concerned about why my boyfriend was acting abnormally.
He was also overly concerned with what there was to do on Navy Pier and spent a whole night perusing the Pier's website. And he wanted to make sure we had "time to ourselves" at Navy Pier before my friends joined us. My friend Anne asked if there was going to be a romantic lakeside engagement.
I was still somehow oblivious.
It's not that I didn't know there would, eventually, be a proposal. After all, I'd picked out the ring a few months back. We've talked about wanting to be married since before I was even divorced. So it wasn't exactly a surprise.
Except that he made certain that it was most definitely a surprise.
We got to Chicago on Friday and found our way to Navy Pier. We went in a few shops. In the first one, Mark found something for his daughter, then told me to go outside and see where the bathrooms were. That was weird, but I didn't question him too much. I figured he was just stressed from the trip up.
In the next shop, a nautical-themed store I wanted to go in, I found a pirate-themed coffee mug. He headed for the register and told me to go look at T-shirts in the other part of the store. If you know anything about me, you know that I'm really not interested at all in many T-shirts, but I thought he just wanted to make sure I didn't try to pay for the coffee mug. (Unbeknownst to me, he was juggling around the bag with the treasure chest in it.)
We went upstairs to this beautiful Crystal Garden area, which was (of course) set up for a wedding. Mark suggests we go sit down on a bench.
At this point, it kicks in. Omg, he's going to propose.
We sit down, he pulls out the bag from the nautical shop, reaches in... and pulls out a little treasure chest that he's clearly bought, because it's wrapped in cellophane and actually has a price tag on it.
Oh. Okay. He's not proposing. He just bought me something else at the store. That's cool.
So we open the box. It's wrapped in a chain necklace and bracelet with nautical charms. He opens the lid. "Look," he says, "There's a paper in here." I pick up the folded paper, still completely unaware, and underneath it is the ring.
That sneaky, sneaky bastard.
|Of course, I said, "Aye."|
(Meanwhile, the wedding band starts warming up by playing, "All You Need Is Love." Because why wouldn't the band play a song from one of my favorite movies of all time right at the moment I say yes to the love of my life?)
I can say that this was definitely my favorite proposal. I honestly can't think of anything else more perfect.
It's almost like he knows me. (In fact, he knows me so well that he made sure to make it look like the ring we bought was still wrapped up in the box he was storing it in after getting it cleaned, just in case I went checking for it. Which, of course, I had thought about doing.)
I'm also enjoying being engaged a lot more this time around! In spite of the annoying "just got engaged" questions (no, we don't have a date), it's already going so much better than the last time. My parents are happy, our friends are happy, and I'm sure one day I'll stop admiring my own hand.
Obviously, this isn't my first rodeo. Some people have even said that they didn't think I'd ever get married again after what I went through the first time around. And I suppose that's fair. Because if it weren't for Mark, I don't think I would. I don't think I'd risk it for anyone else.
But. Risk it I'm going to. And I think it's completely worth it.
Besides, how could I say no to the most perfectly nautical proposal ever?
And I've got a really, really good souvenir.