I’m a little bit embarrassed to say that absolutely everyone — except for me — suspected that Nate was going to propose on September 16th, 2007. Not because there were obvious hints that I missed. But just because I wonder how I was the only one who was so clueless.
We had been dating two years, and I knew that the proposal was coming. We had both talked about marriage, as Nate had tested the waters a bit. You know, just to make sure that I’d be saying ‘yes’ when he popped the question. 😉
Looking back to that day, I remember thinking that this was going to be Nate’s day. So I wanted absolutely everything to be special for him. He, on the other hand, was going to turn it around and make it all about us. See, I had saved up for a year and purchased two tickets to see the Patriot’s play football at Gillette stadium. It was a big deal. The tickets were expensive, so it felt like a once-in-a-lifetime thing. And we had watched almost every football game of the previous season together at either my parent’s house or his. So actually having tickets to see the game together? What an experience!
(For the record, I still don’t completely understand the rules of football. But I still enjoy watching it. Nate thinks that it has something to do with the snacks that just normally accompany a Sunday afternoon game. I scoff at his theory, although I’m not denying it. I could live off of chips and salsa).
So anyway, I was thinking that we should go to some restaurant that served steak and maybe toss a football around before the game. (And maybe stop at the shoe-store across the street, if he was up to it). But Nate had other plans… because there was a ring in his pocket.
Now before I go further, I must explain one thing. While I knew that wherever or however he proposed would be special, I had made one thing clear. I did not want to be surrounded by people when he popped the question. I knew that Nate often thinks big, so I had this nightmare of my face showing up on the screen at church as Nate bowed to one knee in the middle of a church service. Or maybe he’d take me to a concert and suddenly my name would be called over the loudspeaker… and then Nate would be asking me to marry him and everyone would be chanting, “Yes, yes, yes.” Or maybe I’d find the ring hidden in my turkey leg on Thanksgiving and suddenly grandparents, and parents, and siblings would be crying and hugging me all at once.
(Am I the only girl who actually felt worried about being proposed to?).
Now, I have to say that some girls want that kind of proposal. In fact, I hear about such moments, and I think, “Awww, that is so sweet!” But for me, I wanted that moment to be just us. I wanted to be lost in the moment with him and didn’t want to share it with anyone else. So I dropped hints…
And so this all ran through his mind as we ate dinner — not at a steak restaurant — but at my favorite Italian restaurant. He had insisted that we eat there. He looked around at the crowds of people around us and didn’t pull out the ring. I, all the while, was chatting a mile a minute about how excited I was about the day. Oh, I had no idea…
After lunch, I expected us to head straight for Gillette, but instead, he took a detour to the place where our long-distance relationship had first started — the college I graduated from. We took a walk down to the beach, reminiscing about the time he had visited me in a snowstorm. Talked about all the emailing that had gone back and forth. Remembering the moment when he shyly kissed me good night on the cheek. It really had begun for us right there…
Memory lane brought us back to the college campus, which was alive with Autumn colors…. and college students having picnics or study breaks.
Nate could not find a private spot, and he didn’t want to propose with people around. (Poor guy. I hadn’t realized how much pressure I was putting on him). So suddenly we were walking through the vacant mail room, and I was beginning to wonder where in the world this guy was taking me. And we ended up in the coffee shop, which was closed, and suddenly Nate turned to me and started to say things like, “You mean the world to me.”
And then he was falling to one knee and pulling out a ring. And I was squealing and throwing my arms around his neck. (I’m pretty sure I said ‘yes’ but if I didn’t, he read my body language). 🙂
I love the goofy grin on Nate’s face in this picture. We were both so happy at that moment, I thought we were going to explode. Engaged at last!
Oh, yeah, and the Patriot’s won the football game. Can a day get any better than that?
Hmmm, only one day. The wedding day…