On Oct. 19, 2004, I got some bling bling.
I had already picked out said bling bling. In fact, I designed the ring ring (sorry, couldn’t help myself). That’s what happens when you date your best friend and can’t keep any secrets from each other. You start planning your wedding before any sparkling diamond is placed on your finger.
Not that I did much, mind you. We picked out a day…that had to be changed later, but we knew we wanted to get married sometime in the summer or fall of 2005. That’s about as far as “planning” as we had gone.
He had asked my dad to marry me – after one or two failed attempts. Practice does make perfect.
My four roommates and most of the BCM were involved in my proposal. I honestly thought I knew when the proposal was going to happen, so I felt smug because, after all, I KNEW more than they did.
Wrong, oh, so wrong.
It started on Monday, Oct. 18. I “knew” I was going to have a ring on my finger by my birthday (Oct. 25), so I didn’t notice all the signals I should have. Like when my roommate, Keri, offered to straighten my hair. Or when Jennifer stole my blinds (there was a reason) and Keri made my bed. Or when I, again, acting smug, said something about getting engaged soon, and they all exchanged a Look, wondering if I knew…
I had no stinking clue.
I was a BCM group leader, so while I had a romantic evening with Superman planned, I had to wait until my group activities were done – which, in my mind, weren’t that important. Okay, the speaker WAS important, but I figured I could head out early when we all went out to barbecue at a friend’s house. So I casually mentioned to Keri that I thought I was going to head out early. She immediately got worried, knowing the plan, and ran up to my co-leader, Justin, and gave him direct orders, “Make. Her. Stay.”
Justin, being a sweet and easy-going guy, had no idea what he was going to do, and asked Keri for advice. She had none. So he had to play it by ear.
A few minutes later, I told him that I was about to leave, and he looked at me with a solemn expression on his face. “Um, Lois, I don’t think you need to leave right now,” he said. “You need to set an example to the group and stay til the end.”
I was MORTIFIED. I mean…I’d just been called out, and my face was burning. I probably mumbled something about, “Oh, yeah, you’re right,” but I don’t remember.
The barbecue probably did not hamper my efforts to see Superman except by an hour, but I don’t think he was sad about it. He watched the rest of the Red Sox game with the boys at the BCM (Game 4 – the one that turned the tide and ended up with the Red Sox winning the World Series, fyi), and then sweetly treated me for ice cream. Signal No. 5 I missed – Superman did not eat his ice cream.
I know. How did I miss that one? We sat outside Kalidoscoops, and I didn’t notice that he was barely talking or that his ice cream had melted in the cup. Oblivious, I know.
He said later his stomach was in knots.
When we got back to my room, my room was filled with burning candles (Missed Signal No. 6), and I gasped in surprise. And Superman had my favorite romantic movie waiting for me (Missed Signal No. 7), and we watched it in the candlelit room. Super romantic.
After it was over (and I was bawling), Superman said he had to leave as it was a little after midnight, and I started to blow out the candles. “No, don’t do that,” he argued (Missed Signal No. 8). “You can do that after I leave.”
I agreed (still crying from the movie) and walked him to the door. Jennifer and Keri were sitting in the living room, and I joined them for some fun girl talk…until I heard music.
I frowned. “Do y’all hear that music?” I asked.
Neither said a word. I think they were assuming I would get it quicker than I did (Missed Signal No. 9).
I walked over to Rachel’s room. “Did Rachel come back?” I asked. “Is she playing the keyboard?”
“No,” Keri said. “She’s not back yet.”
“Is the stereo on?”
“Maybe the music is coming from your room,” Jennifer suggested pointedly.
“I bet the DVD started back up again,” I agreed and walked back to my bedroom.
There he was. Standing in my candlelit bedroom with music (specifically: Dashboard Confessional – the song playing on my blog) playing in the background.
Missed Signal No. 10 – “How did you get back in the room?” I asked.
Ridiculous, I know.
(For those of you who are curious, Jennifer had opened the window so he could crawl through after he “left.”)
And then he got on one knee…and all the missed signals of the evening suddenly added up…
I cried some more. Of course. Absolutely bawled. I don’t really remember him asking me “Will you marry me?” though I know those words came out of his mouth. I just remember kneeling beside him and holding him…and crying…
In fact, apparently he did not take my tears of joy as an obvious answer because he said, “Umm…so…what’s your answer?”
“YES!” I exclaimed (apparently loud enough that my roommates could hear…they heard the crying, too…).
He put the ring on my shaking finger, and I knew exactly what it looked like before I even saw it: an emerald-cut diamond with baguettes on both sides. White gold. Beautiful.
“I think some people are waiting on us,” he said.
I was confused, and as he led me out, Jennifer was leaning out of the front door, motioning people in. Apparently all of my friends had been waiting at the BCM (we lived in the BCM house next door) and were now able to come and celebrate the news.
It was 12:35 a.m., Tuesday, Oct. 19. And I was engaged.
(Needless to say, I skipped my internship the next morning.)
It was such a happy week. When we went to the BCM the next day for lunch, everyone cheered and clapped when we entered, and Superman held my hand up high so everyone could see the ring. And we finally set a date.
Sept. 3, 2005.
It’s been four years, each one better than the first. The wedding was just the beginning.
Happy anniversary, darling. I love you.