I got engaged a couple of weeks ago! Here’s the story of how The Boy proposed.
It was a great weekend. I knew The Boy had been planning on proposing soon and I thought it might be that weekend because he had been planning a party. It's kind of hard to surprise me because I'm a PITA. He and I met at a Methodist summer camp. He had worked there for the three summers prior to that year and had come back to volunteer for a week. I had heard from several of my friends how funny he was and how we both had the same warped sense of humor. So he volunteered and we both liked one another. However, I had sworn off men for the summer because they were more trouble than they were worth. I didn't mind flirting with him though. He came back to volunteer another week and he showed up at few of the camp parties that we had on weekends. He showed up at one with his best friend, Jeff. It was being held at his friend John’s cabin on the Little River. It was kind of funny because it was obvious that Jeff had come to check me out and make sure I was ok for his boy. The Boy and I ended up talking for several hours down by the Little River. Of course we got all kinds of grief when we came back to the cabin. The Boy came back up to visit a few more times. One of my good friends had taken the “no guys” oath with me for the summer. I distinctly remembered that as I was leaving the end of the summer party, she looked at me, looked pointedly at The Boy and said “Just so you know – the summer’s over!” and grinned. And the rest was history……
So two weeks ago, The Boy said we were going to go away for the weekend. I adore The Boy and I think he’s awesome but one thing he’s not so good at is lying. He was spending an awful lot of time on the phone and acting very excited. So I went and got my nails done just in case. Does it make any less awful that I did that if I explain I’d been doing some heavy duty gardening and my hands looked awful? No? I didn’t think so.
I pack a bag, kiss the kitties goodbye and set off with The Boy to somewhere. He had been checking the weather all day and it was raining. What made this trip totally awesome was the fact that The Boy got four phone calls on the way up. Rather than converse with these people in the car, he pulled over each time, got out of the car (in the rain) to talk to them. I offered to stick my fingers in my ears and hum but he didn’t go for that. So we’re driving and we’re heading up to the mountains. We head into Townsend and The Boy has to pull over to have a heated discussion with my brother. He gets back in the car and I ask him if there’s anything I can do because he looks frustrated. He says “Imagine who out of all of our friends and family would be the most likely to be late. I say “My parents” and he nods yes and we both crack up laughing. “So we’re going to drive around for a bit.” So we drive around and I’m still trying to figure out exactly where we’re going. About a half hour later, we pull into the driveway of John’s cabin. We walk up to the steps where a lot of people on the porch are sitting and I see my best friend Dani who promptly yells “Surprise! Happy Birthday!” and we both start laughing. There are about 25 people there – friends from camp and friends from our neighborhood and there are a few I haven’t seen in a while so there were hugs all around. My brother’s also there, he hands me a beer and we sit down on the porch swing and chill. Dani comes over and whispers “he tried so hard to surprise you – it was adorable”. And I whispered back “Out of all the flaws he could have, being a crappy liar is A-OK by me.” A few more people arrive and then my parents show up looking a little frazzled. So we chill for a bit on the porch and hang out. After a little while, The Boy asks all of us to go down by the river.
It had stopped raining by this point. So we all go down to the river and The Boy starts talking. He tells everyone that there is a special reason that he asked them to come there today. He explained how we met at camp and told them all about some of the ways we had verbally sparred and teased each other – with me usually coming out the victor. He said he was very intrigued by me and wanted to get to know me better. He said “Some of you all know what it's like at camp. You try to flirt with a girl and get to know her and 30 seconds later, one of your kids jumps off the porch and breaks his leg.” He explained how he knew I was coming to John’s party and he had called his best friend Jeff (who was there) and asked him to come up and meet me. He explained how we had talked for hours down by the river and how he had decided at the point he was going to do whatever he had to do to keep me in his life. Then he asked me to marry him. Much kissing ensued while our friends and family cheered. The he said “Wait a minute – I’ve got a ring!” and all the girls there squealed. He put it on my finger and we smooched again. And at that moment, I whispered in his ear “It’s gorgeous – did you…” and he interrupted me and said that yes he had gotten insurance and that the other diamond was a conflict-free diamond. He knows me too well. Then everyone came up and congratulated us and all the girls checked out the ring. They all exclaimed how nice it was and I remember a good friend of The Boy said to him “Wow – that ring is gorgeous” with a note of wonder in her voice. To which The Boy replied “Always the tone of surprise!” My mom had bought me crystal toasting flutes that we’re going to use again at our wedding and champagne bottle were popped. I almost freaked because my best friend and her husband had gotten us a bottle of Dom Perignon. I remember trying to convince her that she really didn’t need to do that and she told me to shut it and Doug popped it open. Our friend Karen had brought a cake and we all celebrated. After a bit, we all got back into our cars for the second part of the surprise.
We drove through the GSMNP in a big caravan on the way to wherever we were going and I remember I started playing all of “our” sweet songs for us to listen to. Then I said – forget this! I’m too happy to play romantic music right now, The Boy agreed and we queued up the Pet Shop Boys and sang all the way to Gatlinburg. When we got there, The Boy started driving up a very twisty road and we pulled up in front of a gorgeous cabin. Everyone came in with food and drinks and we had a party! My Mom brought three cheesecakes! Some more friends showed up and we cranked up the music and started dancing. It was such an amazing time. He got a cabin with several bedrooms so people could stay over. I woke up the next day and ate jalapeño potato chips with onion dip and cheesecake for breakfast. We just hung out the rest of the weekend and on Sunday we drove up into the park and hiked a bit.
It was a wonderful weekend and I haven’t been able to stop smiling since. Now we’re trying to get things planned for a wedding this fall.