I slept well that night knowing that I had made it through several layers of my web of lies. Isn’t it funny how a huge ball of lies like this actually turned into a good thing? I mean, there is no way this could have been bad. If she would have found out, it’s not like she would have been mad at me. This makes me wonder, how does one teach a kid about lies? “Don’t lie – unless, you are creating a web of lies as a means to propose to your girlfriend. Also, you can lie if mommy asks if her haircut looks good.”
I had almost made it through the layer, but there was one big hurdle remaining: I hadn’t bought a ring. So, literally, as I am driving back from Austin, I’m going straight to Tiffany’s to buy the ring (don’t go crazy – remember, I am a teacher!). I planned on using all of the money that I made coaching summer league to buy the ring. All of the school days teaching from 7:30-2:30 and coaching from 3:30-7:30 and those summer mornings waking up at 5:00 a.m. would all go in to a circular piece of metal with some diamonds on it. It was worth it though.
On the way back, she expressed over the phone her annoyance that I wasn’t packing yet. The anger was mounting in her. I made it to Houston around 3:00 p.m. and went directly to the store. I bought the ring with minimal problems. The only real problem was my debit card wouldn’t allow me to take out more than $500 a day. The ring was a little more than that, and it looked like the lady behind the counter was used to commoners like me. Before I could start to panic, she handed me the phone and told me this was a regular occurrence. I got the bank to lift the max withdrawal and just like that, POOF! My bank account was left with $13.67.
Everything had worked out perfectly. I went over to her apartment and hid the ring. She would be home within the hour and I had to come up with an excuse to be there. I told her I was going to go to Mark’s house to hang out, and I had to wait there for him to get off work. This really, really pissed her off. She yelled at me on the way home! This made me laugh in my head because I knew she’d regret it later (not to rub it in her face J). She just about had it with me. I asked myself, Uh, is this worth it? She probably hates me right now.
The last part of my proposal was to have it hidden within a crossword puzzle. At that point in our lives, we worked crossword puzzles every night. It was our thing. I waited in bed for her to come home (she was planning on going to the movies with a friend (holla, Stef!) and could only be there for a minute or two).
She walked in already annoyed and saw me lying on the bed working a crossword puzzle. This further irritated her. I asked her for help on one, and she just said, “Why are you doing it without me?” She was VERY uninterested in helping me. I had to cajole her, and she finally sat down next to me. It took her a few minutes, but she found it out. Here is the actual puzzle; I DID make it kind of hard.
I proposed and she accepted. It was joy and happiness and tears. We made it through the thick and thin and were going to be together forever. The last lie came after that. She asked if I asked her sister for her approval. I said I didn’t. This disappointed her, but what could she do? She called PJ to tell her the good news, and PJ said she already knew; I was there last night! This was probably a bigger shocker than the proposal. Everything came together in wife’s head and she realized what really went on. Victory was finally mine!
P.S. I wanted to finish the puzzle, but she won't let me. She framed it and for some reason hung it up in the bathroom. Believe me, it's taunts me daily. Finish me! Finish me!