It happened Sunday night, November 14, 2010. And in a matter of 10 minutes, my life changed forever. Forever for the better. Because I now get to spend forever with the man who risked it all for the sake of our story.
Now, let’s just be honest. I knew it was coming. I did, really. Or maybe I only thought I did?
To really understand the full story, we’ve got to rewind you to November 2nd. My birthday. Adam is always surprising me. Flowers regularly, special dinners, and little presents every now and then. And that’s not even on holidays. He knows how to make a woman feel loved…and special. He’s really great at making things special.
For my birthday this year, he bought me floor seats to see Michael Bublé this coming December. Anyone who knows me knows I love Michael Bublé; his concerts are some of my favorites, and I couldn’t be more excited! So when he said that we should go on a special date this past Saturday, ideas began developing in my head:
Okay, so he just spent money on my birthday…why would he want to do another special date? Why didn’t he want to hang out with our friends while we’re back home? Why does he keep telling me, “You’re so cute, I just don’t know what to do with myself!” Why is he so excited about this surprise on Saturday? And WHY is my mother asking me about wedding stuff all of a sudden?
I thought I had everything figured out. I mean, WHAT ELSE could he be doing?! I was so confident that he would be proposing that I called my best friend, my sister, my mother, and my two other good friends. I needed back-up. And I needed a second opinion. Who knew their words would mirror my thoughts so well.
If you’ve ever seen the movie Bride Wars featuring Kate Hudson, I swear, she is not my sister. But, we have similar personalities…and are both quite impatient. Kate Hudson found her engagement ring in her boyfriend’s stack of sweaters, and after a few weeks of him not proposing (and her best friend getting engaged), she confronts him at his office saying, “Will you just marry me already?! I found the Tiffany box in your closet! I mean, don’t you wanna get married?” To which he replied, “I have never met a more obnoxious…complicated, overbearing, gorgeous, smart, sexy woman in my life. And if you had just waited until tonight *gets out the ring* then you wouldn’t be the woman I fell in love with because she doesn’t know how to wait. Which is fine, as long as I get to spend the rest of my life trying to catch up with her. Will you marry me?”
With that in mind, Adam regular defines some of my actions as “goin’ Kate Hudson on him.” I pry. I question – very strategically – until I get the answer I want. I am very sly and quite capable of ruining most surprises. In fact, that’s basically what I did this past Thursday. I kept poking and poking until he just told me we were going to go out to Tosi’s for dinner. Which wasn’t the surprise he pumped it up to be. And left me kind of disappointed. So we argued. About him leading me on. About me being too intrusive. About how he says he wants to marry me, but I’m continually left in the dark whether he has a ring, talked to my dad, or even has the actual intention of even asking me to marry him!
After things were patched up between with a renewed sense of love, we continued with our week. Cue Saturday. Rainy, drizzling, and just more of a cuddle on the couch day. So that’s what we did. All day. And I was grumpy, I will admit, for part of it. Enough time for us to get into another argument continued from Thursday night. Except this time, I felt like the fool. Like I ruined the surprise. How I told people about what I thought was going to happen…that disappointedly didn’t. And to stop myself from crying, I got mad. You can’t let tears escape when you’re angry. But once I put my wall down and became vulnerable again, we healed. We communicated. And we cuddled. Because cuddling helps everything. And then my old habit crept back up, “You’re not proposing tomorrow, right? I mean, we don’t have time. We have church, then lunch with Grandma, then Scott’s play, and then we have to go back home. There’s just no time, right?” “Yes, babe. We’re just too busy. But you never know; it could happen sooner than you think.”
We spent our Sunday just as I thought we would. Church. Lunch with Grandma and my parents. A fabulous time watching Adam’s brother play Edna in Hairspray! And then a final trip back to my apartment at 9PM. Nothing out of the ordinary. Adam would follow me back home in my car to help me unload my bags then he’d go to his apartment. I mean, he had class the next morning, and I was starting a new job. And we were tired!
But as we ended the 45 minute drive, Adam calls me and asks me to keep the car running because he wants to come talk to me. Since I ruled out engagement the night before, I thought maybe he just wanted to talk to me about a brake light or something on my car. But, then, he got in my car:
You know I love you, right?
Yeaaaaah. I love you too.
Do you trust me?
Yeaaaah, I do.
Give me ten minutes.
IMMEDIATELY, I start freaking out. Like, sweating, leg twitching, can’t-even-listen-to-music-because-my-mind-is-racing. So, I do what I always do when Adam’s freaking me out. I call my best friend. And the sweet girl, who is a teacher and goes to bed early, freaks out with me. And for ten minutes we try to come up with possibilities of how it couldn’t be engagement. But we can’t come up with any. It HAS to be! Adam wouldn’t be so cruel as to lead me on with another one of this “surprises”! My legs outstretched on the brake and gas pedals, and I reached over to turn my headlights off (after a neighbor poked his head out of the window to see why a girl would still be in her car after ten minutes). And then I see him come out of my apartment. After a quick good luck and one last scream, I say goodbye to Andrea. I knew something was happening. He had his hand holding his stomach as he walks in front of my car to my driver-side door. I asked him if we should get the bags, and he says to just wait. I ask him if I should lock my car, but he just wants to get me inside.
He stops me in front of the front door and takes me in his arms, squeezing tight, and whispering “I love you”s into my ear. After an eager kiss, he asks me to close my eyes. Tight. No peeking. And usually, I’m really really bad at this. I was the baby of my family, so I’m really good at peeking – presents, general things I shouldn’t witness, surprises that just get the best of me – but this time, I knew. Something big was about to happen. And everything that has happened in my life has brought me right.to.this.moment. Every break-up, every new experience, ever turn-of-events brought me right here. To my front door. And then, I shut my eyes. And I willingly stepped into my apartment and walked into the next chapter of my life.
He let me open my eyes for just a moment while he cradled my cheeks between his trembling hands. He inhaled sharply and let out an unsteady breath through pursed lips. Then he smiled. Mirroring our racing hearts, his voice began to shake. And he told me exactly what he had shown me throughout the past two years: He loved me. He wanted me. He treasured me. And he wanted to make sure that I would be his for forever. Because he couldn’t live without me anymore. He didn’t want to.
Then he led me, with eyes closed once again, to the coffee table that he had moved next to the sliding glass door that over-looked the lake behind my apartment. I could feel him kneel on one knee as he took my hand. He brought it to his lips for a soft kiss just to let me know that everything, everything, is all right. He started speaking to me more words of love, and I asked if I could open my eyes. I was ready to see. I was ready for this.
He didn’t prepare any speeches. He knew he probably would’ve been too nervous to remember them anyways. He spoke from his heart – the exact place that won me over in the first place. And then he spoke the only words I remember hearing,
“I just love you so much. You are everything to me. I was just wondering, if you would spend forever with me?”
Then we brought bags from the car into the apartment. And we poured a glass of wine. And we cuddled. And took pictures. And reveled in this moment. That can now only be relived through the screen of a video camera. No other time will we feel the calm that comes after the rush of asking someone to spend forever with you.
He surprised me. He surprised me real good.
We laughed and clinked wine glasses. Toasted to our future and spending forever together. And then we quickly settled into “us.” A new “us” but still the same. It all felt real then.
As we let the candles burn until they were out, he cuddled me and held me close. Whispering how lucky he was and how much he loved me. And I knew. Right then.
I was the luckiest girl alive.
And I still am.
All of it, my friends. We have a relationship full of joyous, good, raw, and rich experiences.
And that has made the entire journey beautiful…and more importantly, worthwhile.