- 4 years ago
- Wedding: March 2015
So this probably seems like a shock, but I am a guy and I have been in the waiting phase for the past 2 months. I know that seems very backwards, but let me explain. I also apologize for the huge post, but 2 months is a lot to cover!
Back during Mother’s Day weekend I knew I was going to buy the ring that I would be giving to my girlfriend. I was away visiting my parents in Dallas and asked my mom if she would like to accompany me. I had previously been in contact with a sales associate and he knew I’d be coming in and had 2 rings for me to look at. Almost the exact same, but one ring was one-hundreth of a carat larger and one step down in clarity (both were same color). After looking back and forth for about 20 minutes at two very beautiful rings I realized the the slightly larger one looked like it may have been cut too deep. When looking down on the ring the bottom seemed to look dark and did not have the same sparkle. After I made my decision my mother actually mixed the two rings up and had me pick again and I immediately went for the one I originally chose. I knew that was it and I was absolutely ecstatic.
My joy was slightly crushed, because even though I was walking out that day with the ring I knew I couldn’t propose for another two months. You see…my girlfriend just finished her second year of medical school which means she had 2 different medical board exams to prepare for and take. The first test was on July 12th, the second (and more important) was on July 17th. I knew I would be back to visit my parents for the 4th of July (which happens to be close to my birthday as well). Knowing my girlfriend would be at the peak of studying I decided to leave my ring right after I purchased it and pick it up when I came back. When I go visit I would usually come home on the Monday following the weekend. What I didn’t tell her is that I actually left my parents house on Sunday and drove to where her parents live (Northwest Arkansas) to take them to dinner and tell them my intentions, crash on her brother’s couch and then get up Monday morning and head back home to Mississippi.
I thought I had a hard time keeping a secret before when I didn’t even have possession of the ring, but let me tell you. The week and a half after I got back from my second trip was absolutely the longest week and a half I think I have ever experienced. She would have 2 weeks after her second exam before she started her 3rd year rotations so we had been trying ot plan a trip to the beach. Unfortunately between cost and the inability to come visit her family we decided against it. I then thought I could surprise her with a trip to Big Cedar Lodge since it would be close enough we could still go visit her family, but give us the opportunity to have some alone time. Unforunately they were booked for the dates I was aiming for, so I sat frustrated. My sister was actually engaged at the end of June and while talking to her she asked how my planning was going. I told her I knew how I wanted to do everything, but I was stuck on the location. She suggested the Crescent Hotel, a well known “haunted” hotel in NW Arkansas that is about an hour from where we both grew up and that neither of us have actually stayed at. I about slapped myself since I had completely forgotten about it and it’s actually where we want to do our reception. Anyway, while I was out of town I made reservations for an overnight trip to the Crescent and booked her for a one hour swedish massage in their spa.
That drive on the 18th seemed like an eternity, but we arrived at the hotel, walked around the grounds to look around and then she went down for her massage. While she was gone I prepared the rest of the room. Now I guess it would make sense to explain a few things first otherwise it might not make any sense. First, we have a little tradition of giving each other “coupons” on holidays, birthdays, etc. Just little things like a free back rub, free date night, etc. When she got home from her second test on the 17th I had actually given her a few of these coupons…ther normal ones and then one offering her an overnight trip to the Crescent, and the second for a 1 hour massage at the Spa. Also, she had also become aware that I was budgeting some money for when I was visiting my parents and knew I wouldn’t need as much since they’d probably cover everything for my birthday. Through a series of questionably truthful statements on my part and her false assumptions she thought I was going half and half on an end of the year present with my mother. She figured it would probably be a Coach purse since they’re both huge Coach addicts and it wouldn’t be too out of the ordinary.
So to continue, while she was in her massage I took the outer ring box which contained a last coupon for her and put it in a Coach gift bag with some tissue paper in it. She had known I bought a nicer bottle of champagne in Dallas because we couldn’t find anything nice where we live so it had been chilling since we had arrived at the hotel. After showering and cleaning up from her massage, she suggest we go out on the balcony for the champagne before dinner. I was actually pretty happy because that’s what I was going to suggest, but she did it for me. She grabbed the bottle and I took the glasses and the Coach bag. After looking around and taking in the wonderful scenery I told her she could finally open her present (did I mention I had it sitting out in plain sight in the room after she got back earlier). She started to open it and upon seeing the small box actually jumped back a few feet in shock. I could see her eyes starting to water and I actually had to remind her she should keep opening it. She opened the box and found a coupon. It was a coupon for a happy life. I wrote a few things about how I will continue to love her unconditionally for the rest of our lives, be the most honest and supportive husband, etc. She started to cry, so I said a few short things and then got down on one knee and pulled the actual clamshell ring box out of my pocket.
Finally, after 4 years of dating, 2 months of hiding the biggest secret of my life, and a week and a half of thinking I was going to explode, I finally could relax as we both took in the long awaited reality: we were engaged! I had actually also prepared her a short video that was mainly pictures from the previous 4 years of our lives, but the ending was her (and my) favorite. I had a silly credits section with pictures of all the people who helped make it possible. A picture of her parents (credited as “Stamp of Approval” holding the ring from our secret dinner, a picture of my parents (as “Ring ‘Safe’ Guarders”) pulling the box out of their safe, her brother (as “Night Security”) acting like he was asleep on the couch with the box, but my favorite picture was actually from the week before her tests. I had snuck the ring out of hiding and took a picture of it on the floor of our second story looking down into the living room where she was sitting. You can see her in the background looking up and me and the ring on the floor out of sight from her…she was completely oblivious and had no idea the entire time.
So there it is…I read this forum almost every single day for the past 2 months. I was afraid to post anything before then in case someone she knew was on here or she caught me looking at the forums and tried to find a post. I promise ladies, if you’re waiting, it might be for a good reason. I didn’t want to distract her from one of the biggest moments in her professional life, as much as it pained me to do so. And for all the ladies that might think their very simple proposal was a last minute afterthought, I can assure you this novel I just wrote is proof that hours, days, and months go by trying to pin down the last little detail of even the most simple of things. Just a few pictures too…
Panorama photo from the rooftop restaurant where we had dinner after. Our room was 2 floors below so the view from our balcony was almost the exact same.
Quick little staged photo after the proposal
Ring on the finger