Words of Encouragement

Engagement: The Way He Tells It

On a January evening, not so many years ago, she kissed me.  We had been spending time together, enjoying each other’s company.  We had made it a weekly ritual to get dinner and then rent a movie and just hang out.  And finally, on January 21st, 2004, as we were saying good-bye, she kissed me!  (She then proceeded to call me on my cell phone to tell me to take Vitamin C cause she had a cold and didn’t want me to get sick).

Jess has been looking out for me since that day (and even before).  We got to know each other quite well before and after that evening -Spending time together, sneaking her into the graduate computing lab (Jess was an undergrad when we met), sitting with her at her evening desk job; but, it wasn’t until that evening that she finally kissed me.

She has been by my side every step of the way.  On the night that I was sanding the walls in my thesis installation space, she took a cab from work so she could help and we both walked out covered in drywall mud and dust.  On my 30th birthday, she took better care of my friends – many of whom she’d never met - and party guests (acting as taxi) then anyone I’ve known.  She kept me calm during my personal struggles fulfilling my AmeriCorps program.  She has sat with me late into the night as I graded student work and stressed myself out trying to develop new projects and syllabi.  She drove me to the airport and spent every minute with me until I had to go through security to get on a plane for Beijing (the first time we’d every been away from each other for a significant amount of time); and, then, with little sleep, when to pick up the UHaul and (with the help of a friend, Beth) moved all of our stuff into our new apartment together.  She has been my guinea pig, my art critic, and my confidant.

And this is why, I am proud to tell you, that on January 21st, 2009, a few hours shy of the 5-year anniversary of our first kiss, I got down on 1 knee and asked her to be my wife.  Of course, had she said no, I probably wouldn’t be writing this note.  (Sorry to ruin the ending).

So, here’s what happened.  Jess has been stressed, working many long hours and trying to find time for herself and things she wants to do.  She had been stressed about a project she was working on and needing personal space to unwind when she got home from a late days work.  This was the norm and worried me that I wouldn’t be able to take advantage of this special date.  (cause, really, did I want this memory to be associated with being frazzled?)

Jess came home and was tired and a little stressed, but thankfully her producer, realizing that it was our 5 year anniversary, made sure that she got out at a reasonable time (Thanks Alissa, even though you didn’t know this was planned).  We both knew that we couldn’t plan anything big for our anniversary, so we planned to just have dinner and maybe watch a movie.

So, after eating nachos (Jess’s all-time favorite), I asked her to clear the dishes (so I could get the ring out of hiding). I’m waiting and waiting for her to come back so I walk to the kitchen to find her doing the dishes.  Of course I say, “You didn’t have to do those.”  I ended up drying.

We had some left over wine so we got a glass each and went back to the living room to watch a movie.  After sitting with her for a minute or so, I take the wine away from her (to which she responds, “I’ll just get another.”) and tell her that I took it away because I have something else for her.

At that point I get on my knee and show her the ring and ask her.

Of course, Jess’s response was “Are you sure?”  But, then she said yes.

After about 20 minutes of staring at the ring in the box in disbelief, we finally took it out of the box and put it on her finger (where it of course looks great).

I’ve been so lucky to inherit such a beautiful ring to give to my now fiancée.  It was at least 6 months ago when my mother first offered me my grandmother’s ring.  And after some thought and consideration, I realized it was just her style.  What better ring could I offer the woman that I love?  (Thanks mom).

Engagement: The Way She Tells It

Me- monkey slippers, his green hoodie, messed up hair, onion breath (ate nachos for dinner)

Him - on floor, takes my drink from me

Me - sitting on couch
"Hey... I'm just going to get another one if you take that" (thinking he wants me to slow down drinking .... We had left over wine from our obama party this past weekend that I've been into a lot (devilish grin)

Him - gets on knee
"I'm taking this so I can give you something else"
"Will you marry me?"

Me- silent pause
"Are you sure?"

Him - laughs

Me- "Yes!"
proceed to not touch the ring and look at if almost half an hour

Him - "Would you like to wear it?"
puts it on my finger

Me - in shock and turning splotchy red

There you go.. That was shorthand version of the evening. :)

Thoughts & Words of Encouragement