- 6 years ago
- Wedding: March 2014
I had been looking forward to an unbelievably romantic camping trip this past weekend. He had been dodgy about the details, seeming to prefer telling me as little as possible but dropping what I thougt were hints all the while. When Friday finally came, I had trouble getting anything done at work, becuase the anticipation was getting to be too much for me.
I had envisioned a recreation of our first big date, with a small table set up with roses, homemade food, a candle and most importantly, a ring box. I imagined a hiking trip up the side of a steep cliff face, and him asking with panoramic views of three states in the background. I imagined the possibility that the camping trip itself was just a ruse, and that he was going to whisk me away to Someplace Fancy, where we would dine on exquisite steaks and drink martinis like money ain’t a thing.
None of this happened.
He didn’t get to my house to pick me up until nearly midnight on Friday. We loaded everything in the car and decided to go ahead and make the drive, because we weren’t that tired yet and it was only going to be two hours.
It was 5 am by the time we reached the closest town to the campsite. I had fallen asleep and he had made a wrong turn at least twice from exhaustion. We tried FOUR hotels before we found one with a vacancy. Our room was on the second floor, and we had to climb a staircase with a huge pile of old air conditioner parts under it to get there. The bathtub was so gross-looking I decided to just wait and shower in the public bathroom at the campsite.
The next morning, we got up after only a few hours’ sleep to get some food and head to the campsite. He had programmed the site coordinates into the GPS. After 30 minutes of us driving down one of the steepest and most pothole-filled dirt roads I’ve encountered ever, and almost hitting a deer, we realized we were lost.
Once we finally got to the site, we realized that our camping area was next to two RVs full of rednecks. One RV full was kind, and blasted classic rock as we set our tent up. They gave us our space and didn’t laugh as we struggled to get the tent up under the 106 degree sun. The others screamed at one another into the night and woke us up long before sunrise.
We were miserable and covered in sweat by the time we finished setting everything up. We decided to go take a swim in the lake. The swimming area had an SUV full of obnoxious teenagers blasting Nicki Minaj and Kesha at top volume. “At least we will be in the water soon, and too far away to hear them,” I thought. Nope. We ended up locking the keys in the car. Not to mention all my clothes. I ended up having to walk to a stranger’s RV in my bikini, without the benefit of the shorts I’d brought to stay decent out of the water, and beg for a coathanger while SO tried to get the lock opened with a stick.
After we got out of the water, I asked SO what the plan was. When he said “I don’t know” for the fifth or sixth time, it occurred to me that he had NO PLAN AT ALL. Every time I questioned what was coming next, he said he didn’t know! He had brought me to the middle of nowhere with no thought of what we would spend our day doing or even how we could possibly occupy our time. I became really mopey at that point, because as you know I’d definitely been expecting a lot more than just a poorly-planned camping trip. I didn’t want to have a waiting meltdown, though, so I just said I was tired when he asked.
I counted at least 20 mosquito bites before I got discouraged and stopped. There wasn’t much else to do as the sun set except watch the wasps circle and try and avoid the daddy longlegs that kept trying to get into the tent. We decided to go ahead and make dinner. SO fired up the propane grill despite the fact that it was still well over 100 degrees, and i went to get the food.
Which had apparently never made it out of the grocery store plastic bags and into the cooler. All the meat and cheese that I had bought was ruined.
That discovery, along with the fact that he seemed to think that despite the extreme heat we would only need two gallon-jugs of water for both of us for the entire weekend, had me pretty irritated. A dinner consisting of SunChips and an apple didn’t help.
After several wasps flew into the car while I tried getting water out, I had about had enough. I was bitter that I wasted a precious three-day weekend and a lot of money going on this vacation that was leaving me sweaty and miserable with absolutely nothing to do. I bit my tongue several times to keep back snarky comments to SO, one of which was that at least if I had stayed home, I’d have been able to clean. I felt like such an idiot for expecting him to plan anything about the trip at all, let alone a proposal.
We ate in silence except for the buzz of insects and the rednecks’ radio, which seemed to only want to play breakup songs. Shortly after Carole King’s “It’s Too Late” finished, I looked out over the lake. The full moon rising and reflecting as big as a dinner plate over the water looked like something straight out of a movie. The situation at hand made the inherent romance of such a seen seem almost farcical.
SO saw me looking pensive and mopey, and asked me if I wanted to go for a walk. I agreed based solely on the fact that all my books were trapped in the car with the wasps.
He takes my hand and we walk out onto an old wooden boat dock, and we stand in the moonlight.
He starts talking about something he read by Carl Sagan, talking about how everything that exists is made up of tiny pieces of ancient stars, and how amazing it was that those pieces found one another and made us, and how we had found one another.
I saw his hand go into his pocket, and then a blinding light appeared. My eyes took a moment to adjust, but when they did, I realized the light was coming from inside a ring box, and I heard him ask if I would be willing to watch the stars with him for the rest of our lives.
I nearly fell into the water with the frogs.
Of course, I say yes, and immediately feel horrible for thinking all of those bratty things earlier. I told him I couldn’t believe he had surprised me after all. And how all the trials that brought us to that moment (and it seems like there are more that I’m forgetting even now) had been absolutely worth it.
He looked at me and said, “What better way to ask you to become a Wolfe than under a full moon?”