Sunday, November 23, 2008

Two Years, or How We Ended Up Here, Part IV

Every day I discussed with my friend, L, at work when he would actually propose.  Every Friday we crossed our fingers that it would be that weekend, and every Monday I would come in with a bare ring finger.  I was emailing him pictures of rings hourly.  At one point I thought maybe I had dreamed up that he had asked my father for my hand. Or maybe he had reconsidered. One weekend, I was with my friend A at the bridal shop...we were either looking for bridesmaid dresses for her wedding or maybe just going for a fitting for her wedding dress.  (I can't remember every detail, you know.)  The whole thing kind of put me in a rotten mood since it was all wedding talk that day and I wasn't able to participate.  I sat in the dressing room with her complaining about how Tim didn't want to marry me and we were never getting engaged.  We had only been together for going on eight months so CLEARLY the end of the world was upon me and I was going to die alone.  Clearly.  

Little did I know that at that same moment he was sitting at the jeweler's with my mother picking out my diamond.  And designing the setting.   And I was sitting in a cramped dressing room bemoaning my future as a lonely old woman.  Someone really should have slapped me.  Two weeks later, Tim had made plans to pick me up after work, but he was running late.  It was now mid-December and snowing in Chicago.  I waited on the corner of Randolph and LaSalle for a half hour, in the freezing cold and snow, and when he finally showed up I laid into him with all my pent-up anger.  I just let loose.  I accused him of not wanting to marry me.  I accused him of being a liar.  And he didn't say a word.  The ring was in his pocket and was the reason he was running late.  He had just met the jeweler at the train station to pick up the ring and of course, I had no idea.   Here we were, my head exploding in anger and him probably wondering if this was such a good idea after all.

A week or so later, we decided to exchange one Christmas gift early.  It was the 23rd of December.  I had bought Tim an Illini hat so he could be a part of my love for my alma mater.  I picked that out as the gift I wanted him to open.  I opened mine first.  It was a framed photograph of a diamond ring, MY diamond ring, and when I looked up in confusion, I saw Tim, on his knee, in front of our first Christmas tree, holding the most beautiful ring I had ever seen, and asking me to spend the rest of my life with him.  He had tears in his eyes when I said yes.  Yes, of course.  And then I laughed.  I have never had the appropriate reaction to intensely emotional situations.  Why should this moment be any different?  And all I had to give him was a silly ball cap.

He had picked my favorite time of year to ask me to be his wife.  He made the moment incredibly personal and all about the two of us.  It was not extravagant, it was not over the top.  It was perfectly reflective of us.  The rest of that evening was spent at the Tiny Lounge reminiscing about the day we met, telling our (short) story to anyone who would listen.  The Tiny Lounge closed their doors on New Year's Eve that year so that was our time to say thank you to it for bringing us together.  For being tiny and only leaving two seats open.

And now, two years later, Tim still kisses my forehead when he walks by and my heart still beats a little bit faster everytime he walks in the door.  We have the most wonderful baby boy, our little family created in our cozy home.  So much has happened to us since that fateful night in April three short years we met, married and started our family.  Every morning I get to wake up next to the most perfect man.  I am so very, very lucky.

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