This is the story of how I proposed to my wife. I’m going to break this into parts because it’s complicated. I know that sounds cliché, but it really is complicated. My wife, girlfriend at the time, and I went through tough times like I imagine most couples do – especially when they are in their early twenties. Neither of us were mature enough to maintain a real partnership. Through the trials and tribulations, we made it through 5-6 years together (it’s hard to tell these days), and we knew we were going to get married. You know when you watch TV shows and some guy is stressing out over whether or not his love interest is going to say yes when he pops the question? We all know there is no reality to that. If you’ve been with someone long enough to get married, you basically plan out your future together and the proposal is a formality. We were those people.
She knew I was going to propose sooner or later, and actually, we had it planned out enough where when my lease was up, I’d move in with her. Her caveat was that we’d have to be engaged. It was June and my lease was up in August, so she knew it was coming but didn’t know when.
Traditionally, a man asks for his potential bride’s hand in marriage, but that wasn’t her plan. Tragically, her mother passed away when she was in college, and naturally, she grew very close to her younger sister. She always told me that the most important thing to her was that I asked her sister for her (my wife – let’s not play the pronoun game) hand.
When July rolled around, I think she kind of accepted that either I would propose or she would just let me move in with her with the expectation that I would eventually propose. Regardless, she would come over to my lowly apartment and see that I wasn’t packed – or even in the process of packing. She got after me so much for this that it drove both of us crazy. She is a big picture person and I’m a what-did-you-just-say person. As time progressed, she began to put more and more pressure on me to get my stuff together.
I was coaching summer league swimming and July 11th was the last day. We planned the move for the following weekend. On July 13th, she sat me down and sternly told me that I needed to pack for the move. I needed to do it over the weekend. Mind you, she has a normal job with normal hours; I’m a teacher, so I was doing – anything but work. This was MY responsibility.
That night I went to a bar with Mark.