This is a post that I wrote shortly after I proposed to my amazingly beautiful, smart, sexy, inspiring, Mary Poppins bag-toting (long story), girlfriend on January 28, 2011. Since some time has (clearly) passed since then, I debated between should I just write something new? Just post this one? Maybe revise? I’ve opted to include the original in its entirety below with my thoughts several months after the fact below. So, enjoy!
It’s exactly what you were thinking when you clicked on that link/email update/whatever thing that brought you here! 🙂
Last week I learned that I had been removed from the waiting list for a table for two at one of the swankier restaurants in Boston; consequently, last weekend is when I asked that all important question…
And she answered! With a yes!!
A bit of back story for you: one of the things we decided early on if we made it to this point was that both of us would want input on any eventual ring that was purchased for either one of us. Thus, the natural thing to propose with (by either one of us) was, what else? A Ring Pop! At first, this was a joke, but it soon became something that was most likely expected once the moment arrived.
So here I am, in NYC learning one day before I leave for Boston that I’ve just managed to snag a table at the restaurant that I told myself I would propose at and desperately trying to find a Ring Pop anywhere in the city. Duane Reade didn’t have them, CVS didn’t have them (even though the CVS in Boston did…I remember seeing it one time!), Target didn’t have them, etc etc! Finally, I did what any Generation X/Y’er (my birth year is kind of ambiguous on that count) and typed the following into Google: “where can I find a Ring Pop in New York City?” Out comes a random candy shop in Chinatown…well okay, off I go! On my “snow day” last week, I took the train to Chinatown and navigated the treacherous ice, snow, and slush bogs to some random street about 200 miles from the train station. I walked in, was immediately assaulted with an overpowering smell of cheap chocolate, and commenced my search for the elusive blue Ring Pop. Five minutes later I was out the door with the aforementioned Ring Pop in hand and off to the gym to run off 5 miles of nervous energy that was starting to build…
*fast forward 12 hours*
I was now on the bus to Boston. I took an early bus precisely because I wanted to make sure that no traffic hang ups caused me to be too late. I landed in Boston right on schedule and proceeded to call up the aforementioned swanky restaurant and request that they bring out some celebratory champagne when we arrive and before the menus are given to us. That’s actually all that I asked of them. This is important for later on in the story…
4/13/2011: Huh, so apparently I never finished the story. I guess now’s a good a time as ever to finish it, and then my thoughts afterward! SO, I get to Margot’s apartment in Boston a few hours before we need to start getting ready to go to No. 9 Park, and that means I only have an hour or so to get my plan of action in place and going. In the meantime, she has NO idea what’s happening and that’s good because that’s how I’ve planned it to be. I had originally told her that I was taking her out, so she should look “nice,” and while she and I were both throwing on a random combination of nice clothes trying to decide what to wear (she might have gone through a few more changes than I did, but I’ll admit that I didn’t leave the house with the first thing I’d put together…), I strategically placed the blue Ring Pop on the door lock where she would have to look before leaving the house. At that point, I stayed out in that general area of the apartment waiting for her to see it. And waited, and waited. In the meantime, she’s asking me my opinion on different outfits and combinations and secretly in the back of my head I’m thinking ah ah AH I don’t care can you come look at the door now please okay thanks. 😉
Looking back on it the funny thing now is that she spotted it right when I wasn’t actually trying to get her to see it. By this point, I’ve been pacing back and forth, and since we’re about ready to go I nonchalantly ask her where her keys are. Now, because I don’t live in this apartment, I did not remember that she hangs her keys on a nail by the door right next to where I’ve placed the Ring Pop. I think I spotted it about a half-second before she saw it and immediately the thought “ah! Whoops!!” crossed my mind right as she spotted it. At that point I witnessed the seeing it, recognizing it, figuring out what it meant, and then turning back to me reaction all at once. As for what I said to her? Well, that’s for us. But, I can tell you about the dinner, dancing, and drinks afterward!
No. 9 Park was everything I’d hoped for and more (as you can probably tell from my linked Yelp review). One thing I do remember saying that night was that while yes, it has been very difficult living apart and will continue to be difficult, I wanted to show her why we were doing it in the first place and what we were working toward: the ability to go out and do what we love to do, together, for the rest of our lives. The staff at No. 9 Park were exceptional; they brought out the champagne I’d requested before the menus (they even gave it to us on the house) and when our dessert plates came out, they’d written the word “congratulations!” on both in chocolate syrup.
Afterward I told her we weren’t finished yet, and made her jump back on the T (Boston’s transit system) with me in order to get back over to the Prudential Center so we could spend the rest of our evening at a place called the Top of the Hub (for New Yorkers, think Top of the Rock except with a lounge, live music, food, and drinks). We were seated at a table for two right next to a huge panoramic view of the city of Boston all lit up at night. There was a GIANT cookie platter of fresh baked, out-of-the-oven cookies, some well-mixed cocktails, a live jazz band, and dancing involved. The best part I can tell you about this is that one of the songs that was played that night (called “Deed I Do”) ended up coming on the next morning in the store that I purchased the ring (for now) in. Margot was the one who noticed the song playing and stopped the conversation we were having with the staff person over the price and warranty options for the ring and went “stop! Stop! *turns to me* That’s THE song!!” Confused, it took me a few moments to pick up on it, and she was right. It was! Needless to say that we walked out of that store with that very ring.
Reflection a few months later:
To be honest, not much has changed except we now know that she will be working here this summer so we’ll be able to live together in New York for 3 months before she goes back to Boston again! Conversation can now easily turn to things like “can we have little miniature ice cream cones as the party favors?” (two guesses who that one belongs to). 😉
About a month afterward we were able to meet up with our close friends at one of our favorite Indian restaurants in the city (this city, e.g. New York) for a really informal engagement party of sorts, which was a lot of fun. Neither one of us, between a 1L year, LSAT studying, summer legal internship searches, the federal hiring process, half-marathon training, summer storage and subletting in Boston searching, etc., have had a free moment to start formally planning and looking at a timeframe for things like an official engagement party (and, of course, the actual wedding date). A lot of it is up in the air, but I think we both agree that it would be better to have an extended engagement and make sure we both get what we want when it finally comes time to get married as opposed to rushing into it and losing out on a lot that we could have had. It’s one of the most important days of our lives…we deserve to have it how we want it, and we plan on taking the time to (like our engagement dinner turned out to be) make sure it is everything we want and more.
And yes dear, we can have your miniature ice cream cones. However, you get to figure out to keep them from melting. 😉