The first time he asked me to marry him, it was over dirty dishes in Dublin*. The second time he asked me, it was with a cigar band in Austin.
I wanted a ring, one knee and a call to my parents. He flatly refused to do either of the latter.
Didn't stop me from saying yes each time he asked, mind you. But we never felt really engaged. Never were officially engaged. So last week, we decided that we'd both break the news to my parents (and the rest of the world) after we got a ring. We picked one out, and waited. The jeweller said it would be ready this week. Maybe as soon as Wednesday, but definitely by Friday.
I called the jeweller in the afternoon on Friday. "Hi, we met last weekend, when I purchased my engagement ring? You said it would be done this week, so I wondered: Is it ready yet?"
"This is whom? Oh, yes; your fiance is Paul? I remember now. No it is not ready. You should not even be calling! When you are ready, the ring, it will appear!"
Whoa. Either the jeweller had suddenly become misogynistic and uncustomeroriented (it's a word, I said so), or something was afoot.
We were supposed to take the afternoon off to get a joint checking account and run some other errands, but Paul was stuck in meetings all afternoon. *sigh* He msg'd me with a suggestion that we do our favourite little restaurant around the corner for dinner, and maybe ask Z if he would like to invite his girlfriend (not actually his girlfriend).
I was still working , so I didn't have much opportunity to ask him. When Paul got home, he was eager to get out. Before I could bring up the subject of whether Z might like to invite his friend, Z brought up the subject himself.
Tipoff number two: Would Z really have asked if we could bring his friend under "normal" circumstances? To Satchel's, sure. To a Carribbean place, when we'd be paying for it? Hmm. Maybe.
I was in that perfect state of suspense: not so tipped off as to expect anything to happen, but alerted enough to throw on some makeup before heading out. We picked up Z's friend M (who gave me a lovely pair of earrings she'd made herself, and a pretty box!), and headed out to the restaurant. It was a nice night, so we sat outside on the porch. Paul insisted on filet mignon. So did Zack. Usually I hate spending a lot of money on dinner, but when in Rome, right? I had lobster tail. We ate, we drank, we laughed and had a really wonderful time.
The owner came out with chocolate decadence cake for dessert. With a very beautiful box on the plate.
The entire restaurant went silet. There was electricity in the air. Paul got down on one knee. He addressed me by my full name, and asked if I would marry him.
I, of course, said "yes."
"She said yes, folks, she said yes!" There was applause, and a very beautiful ring on my finger (seriously, the photos don't do it a bit of justice!). Z and M, who had been in on this the whole time, were all smiles.
There really was electricty in the air. I know this because then, the skies suddenly opened up into the biggest downpour I've seen since I moved. It sounded wonderful on the tin roof of the porch
"You're stuck with me now, honey," I said to Paul. "I hope so," he replied. "Zack, you know, you're stuck with me now, too." "Oh, noes..." he replied, "I'll have to *wince* eat cookies."
We dropped the kids off at her house to play video games, called the family, and went out for a few pint of Guinness with friends.
It was a perfect evening.
I feel like a princess. And Paul did everything so right. He snuck around behind my back all Friday afternoon (the jeweller was probably in the middle of the appraisal when I'd called!). He'd called my parents and my brother to get their blessings before he asked me (something he'd sworn he would never do). And he'd even saved up a big chunk of money to put toward the ring without my knowing it.
I'm not much of a jewellery person, and I didn't think something like a ring could make such a difference in, well, everything. It's impossible for me to explain. But things are Different now, in a very wonderful way.
They say the third time's a charm.
Wait-- it may have been the fourth time.
* Liexlip, actually, but Dublin had better alliteration.