A Proposal for a lifetime / by Evan Perry

engagement ring

Well, there comes a time, boys and girls, when a man so loves a woman and she him that they mutually decide to spend the rest of their lives together. This moment is almost always a dramatic one, an inciting action in the plot of life. For Jessica and I, the drama would be there even as best laid plans collapsed behind us. This is the story of how I lost a girlfriend and gained a fiancée.

It was shortly after our second date. Jessica had effectively moved in with me. We were madly in love. I knew she was the girl. I wanted to propose right then, but I knew it was far too soon. She might say no. I didn't know her 100%. I hadn't met her family. She hadn't met mine. Despite all that, the thought was there and it was for her too.

Fast-forward nearly a year later and we had checked off our lists (so to speak). We had both met one another's parents. We know about one another's quirks, likes and dislikes. Most importantly, no deal breakers were discovered between us. It was time and I had a plan. My mother gave me her engagement ring (and before her, my Nana's) to propose to Jess months before. Our anniversary was coming up at the end of March (the 26th). I had a grand idea to deliver this ring that was ambitious and daring. My plan was to construct a scavenger hunt involving our mutual friends, family, and others. Jessica is one of those people that is all about anything and anyone but herself. She would never approve of the spotlight on her. She would never approve of a plan that 'inconvenienced' so many for her sake. It might even stress her out. Knowing this, I knew that, presented in the right way and with the right urging, she would know what was going on, but be okay with it and go along for the ride.

And so I planned. I had her best friend taking her shopping. Friends hiding in stores. Friends driving in from out west and family calling in from Skype in coffee shops. At the end, I had us alone on a rooftop, she and I, where I would pop the question. The plan was beautiful, but I was naive. People started texting Jess. People who normally don't text her. Somebody asked her if she were excited for the upcoming Sunday. My plan was blown. A women who cares about everything but herself came to me and told me how stressed she was about some plan I was hatching and how many people were involved. She told me she was afraid I didn't know her and asked me to cancel it. It was the worst possible thing to happen and even left her wondering if I knew her. What she didn't know was, I anticipated that this was going to be her reaction if she knew what was going on.

I was angry and sad. I had text everyone and cancel the plan. It's really hard to wrangle almost 30 people into such a ploy on a Sunday and it was all for naught. This was a plan that successfully put all the love for Jessica from all of her family and friends and me on display in a nice little game. I felt like she would say 'no' if I asked again so close to the disaster. I was wondering if I could propose at all.

Well, that Sunday came and Jessica came down with a pretty bad flu. I had a few symptoms myself, but it became clear that my plan would have had to be cancelled anyway if it were still happening. All the same I was depressed. The next day, I ran some errands while Jessica stayed home, trying to beat her illness. Along the way, Jessica asked me to pick up a package for her at Brittany's house. I did and headed home.

Once I was home, we stretched out on the couch and started watching Netflix with our cat Scout and our dog Norbert on our laps. Jessica then opened the package and handed it to me. It was a ring! She asked me to marry her and at first it didn't really feel real, but I said 'yes'. she had a plan of her own, the whole time. The depression and anger I had about my plan falling apart melted away as we relaxed in one another's arms. After a year, we were finally engaged. It was something we both knew would happen from the beginning, but here it was.

And THAT is definitely a proposal for a lifetime!

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