I’ve been engaged for a month, and I can’t tell you how many times I’ve told the story of how Will proposed. Thank goodness it’s a great story, and I don’t mind telling it AT ALL. I actually love it. The other day, I thanked a co-worker for letting me tell it. She was crying from the sweetness and thanked me for telling it. That’s what we call a win-win.
For a little bit of back-story, you should know two things:
- Making each other CDs has been a big part of our relationship (see previous post).
- For a couple of weeks before he proposed, we picked on each other about it a LOT. Every time he said anything remotely related to weddings or marriage or long-term planning, I asked, “Is that a proposal?” And to that, he would respond saying he hadn’t even decided whether to ask me or not, and he hadn’t even bought a ring. Or if he did talk about a ring, he’d say it was nickel-plated ceramic with a 3-carat pink quartz he’d found in the parking lot of his office. Oh, in a hot glue setting. So romantic.
So our 6th monthiversary (Is that a word?) was coming up on March 28, but since he had to work late that night, we decided to celebrate the day before so we could have more time together. I knew a proposal was coming, and that right soon. I knew he had bought a ring, and I knew he had talked to my dad about it. It could happen any day, any moment really. And the night before we were planning to celebrate 6 months, I got a very strong feeling that that’s when it would happen.
Normally, plan-making goes like this:
Me: What do you want to do?
Him: I dunno. What do you want to do?
Me: (Shrug) Do you want to come over to my place, or do you want me to go to yours?
Him: I don’t care. What do you want?
Me: Doesn’t matter to me. Do you want to eat?
Him: Sure. What do you want to eat?
Me: I don’t care. What do you want?
But the night before our 6 month celebration, the conversation went like this:
Him: Tomorrow, I’m going to come over and pick you up, and we’re going to go for a walk around the lake, and then I’m going to take you out to dinner.
Me: Yes sir.
So all day, I was a basket-case. I let my afternoon class out like 20 minutes early because I just couldn’t concentrate any longer. At some point, I texted Whitney and told her I was really nervous (she knew about the plan for the day and also thought he was going to propose). She reminded me that I would be fine when I was with him, and that turned out to be true, but the whole day leading up to it was completely nerve-racking.
I came home from work. He came over not long thereafter and, bless his heart, was so nervous. Right when he came in, he went to the kitchen and downed an entire glass of water. I just thought he was thirsty. I had some things I needed to prep for class the next day, and while I was doing that, Whitney came home to a slightly tense/awkward scene in which we all knew what was about to happen, but no one was talking about it.
We went out for our walk and reminisced about the first time we’d held hands 6 months earlier, walking that same path. We came to a bench, and he suggested we sit down. I knew this was it, but I had no idea how he was going to do it. When we sat down, he said he’d made me a new CD. Ok, I thought, the CD is involved. But how? On the cover was a picture of Kermit and Miss Piggy getting married (in The Muppets Take Manhattan, one of my favorites), and it was titled The Hidden Message Mix, an homage to the second mix I made for him – the one with all the mushy love songs, not the one with all the break-up songs.
I opened it up and looked at the play list. At the top, it said, “Read the song titles.” So I read them all and just thought, Man, this is the most random mix ever. It had some really good songs on it, and it had a bunch of songs I didn’t know, but the overall message of the titles didn’t seem to be “I want to spend the rest of my life with you.” It seemed to be more like “I love you, and hey look! Rocket Man!”
“Do you see the hidden message yet?” he asked. And that’s when I realized I wasn’t supposed to interpret the message. I was supposed to literally see it. With my eyes. I’ll highlight it for y’all so it won’t take you as long as it took me.
- M&Ms – Pickin’ On Series
- All You Need Is Love – The Beatles
- Ring of Fire – Johnny Cash
- Red Sweater! – The Aquabats
- You Really Got Me Now – The Kinks
- Me and Julio Down by the Schoolyard – Paul Simon
- Every Breath You Take – UB40
- Boss DJ – Reel Big Fish
- Elenore – The Turtles
- Two of Us – The Beatles
- He’ll Make Me Happy – The Muppets
- Play the Game – Queen
- As Long as the Grass Shall Grow – Johnny Cash
- Rocket Man – Pickin’ On Series
- Everything I Do, I Do It for You – A New Found Glory
- Never Met a Girl Like You Before – Flogging Molly
- The Luckiest – Ben Folds
Do you see what he did there? Clever, right?
Well, immediately upon seeing the hidden message, I was crying. And I turned to him and said, “Is that a proposal?” to which he responded, finally, for the first time, “Yeah, it is.”
He got off the bench and on one knee, and he pulled out the ring box and opened it, and I covered my mouth with my hands and tried to see him through the tears. And he said, “Will you marry me?” And I nodded, mouth still covered, and said through my tears of absolute joy, “Absolutely.” Then I had him put the ring on my finger, and we kissed a lot and called or texted everybody with the news.
And then we went out to dinner.
A man has to work up a lot of nerve to ask a girl to marry him, but now that it’s done, and I’ve said yes, Will proposes to me regularly. It’s sort of a carry-over joke from those couple of weeks right before he popped the question. We’ll be hanging out, and he’ll say that he loves me more than anything, and I’ll say that if he loves me so much, he should marry me. He’ll say, “Yeah, I totally should,” and I’ll say, “Is that a proposal?” Then he’ll get a really sweet, serious look on his face, look me in the eyes, put his arms around me and say, “Beth Parent, I love you more than anything in the world. Will you marry me?” And y’all, I cry every time. Every. Stinkin’. Time. Without fail.
We know it’s disgustingly sweet, and we’re ok with that. We hope that we’re always this way, and even though we know that life will get hard and we won’t always like each other, I believe that our disgustingly sweet foundation will remain. That’s just who we are – friends first and always, completely in love.