(Photo: Snapped on my back porch the day we got engaged)
Reader Question: i’ve always been curious, how did brent propose to you? -Eliza
You know, our proposal story totally cracks me up. I STILL give Brent a hard time about it - but really, it’s just so typical of him that I can’t help but smile thinking about it.
On a random Saturday, two years into our relationship we decided to stick our heads in a local jewelry store and just “look” at engagement rings. For months as we snuggled on the couch at night or after he did something painfully cute I’d look at him and say “Let’s get married.” He’d grin back at me and say “Let’s do it.” but that was all we had discussed.
Then there we were in that jewelry store with sparkly ring after sparkly ring on my finger. At the time, i was wearing a ring that held both my grandmother’s and my mother’s diamonds. My parents were recently separated and my mom had given it to me to have. I always knew I wanted to use my grandmother’s diamond. It wasn’t a big diamond, or a perfect diamond, and her marriage to my grandfather didn’t end in happily ever after - but it had been on her finger when my mother was born and something inside of me just wanted that diamond to have a real love story.
So after trying on a dozen or more rings, Brent and I both decide that there was one setting that we were both crazy about. We hadn’t gone in with the intention of doing anything but looking but there he stood with wild eyes, asking me if he should buy it. I slide my ring off so that they could take out my grandmother’s diamond and walked over to another part of the store so that Brent could hash out the details.
I couldn’t believe he was buying a ring. I always figured he’d do that on his own and I’d never know about it - but Brent is very “fly by the seat of his pants” and this time I was just along for the ride. I pulled a little piece of paper out of my purse and wrote on it “I am sitting in a jewelry store. Brent is buying me a ring. and we are getting MARRIED!!!!” I need to tell someone and so that little piece of paper sufficed. I still have it in a box of special momentos.
We left the newly purchased setting and my ring there to be joined together and spent the rest of the day in our own little ecstatic world. We kept exchanging sly glances at each other at dinner with friends and squeezing hands over our secret.
I didn’t ask any questions after that. I didn’t know when the ring would be ready. When or how he would propose. I just knew that sometime soon, it was coming.
The morning of January 6th, 2007 I had convinced my mom and Godmother to go to a local wedding show with me. I’d been dropping hints that Brent and I were thinking about getting married and while I was never one of those girls who had my wedding planned out before I had a ring - there was an excitement and curiosity in me to just go see. I kept telling Brent over and over “This is no big deal. I just want to see what it’s all about.”
But he was thinking something entirely different. He had picked up the ring a few days before and had been trying to find the perfect way to propose. When I brought up the fact that I was attending a wedding show all he could think about was that he didn’t want me to go that show without being a real bride-to-be.
We had spent the day together on Saturday and he waited until I fell asleep that night. Then he drove to his house and got the ring. His plan was to propose to me first thing in the morning when I woke up. He stayed up late thinking of what he wanted to say - but I popped out of bed bright and early and he woke up with the ring under his pillow and me already in the shower.
(And here’s the part of the story that few people have heard. I had to modify it years ago and you’ll understand why in a minute.)
He panicked and knew that my mom and Godmother would be there soon. That we’d be off to the show and if he didn’t hurry, I wouldn’t have that ring on my finger.
So he got in the shower with me.
Just as I was washing shampoo out of my eyes, I looked down to see him kneeling down and holding up a ring.
“WHAT ARE YOU DOING!?!?!” I asked him.
He tried to start his speech about why and how he loved me but I kept interrupting.
“HERE!?!? IN THE SHOWER?!?!” I said trying to pull him to his feet.
But he kept on.
“WHAT WILL I TELL MY GRANDMOTHER WHEN SHE ASKS HOW YOU PROPOSED?!?!” I said,
Finally he told me to stop talking and listen.
It was a very beautiful, heartfelt collection of words. Brent, as most of you know, has an extreme talent for saying beautiful things and this occasion was no exception. But I remember very little of it. My heart was racing. I was half overjoyed, a quarter confused, and a quarter horrified that we were both standing there sopping wet and naked as it all took place.
(Seriously, I have never publicly shared the real version of his proposal until today)
I quickly washed off and climbed out. What was I suppose to do now? Finish blow drying my hair and getting ready when the man I loved just asked me to marry him?!?! I wanted to run and tell my roomates- I wanted to hold his hand and lay my head on his shoulder and dream about our future. I wanted to go stand on the porch and watch that sparkly ring shine in the sun. But my mom and Godmother would be there in 30 minutes and I had to be ready to go.
So I did the best I could to keep my composure and get dressed. “I can’t believe you proposed to me in the shower, you rascal!” I said to him as I whapped him with a pillow off my bed. He just shot me the most devilish grin.
I quickly scrambled to come up with what I would tell my mom and Kathy when they arrived. “I was just out of the shower, wrapped in a towel and about to blow dry my hair when he came in and proposed, right there in the bathroom.”
and that’s the story everyone knows.
but the real story is a true testament to my husband’s heart - he is often impromptu. Always lives life in the moment and has never been one for big grandiose planning.
I still look at him when he’s doing something darling or sweet and say “Let’s get married” and he’ll say “Let’s do it.” And since we’ve got 3 years of marriage and (almost) 2 children under our belt I feel like it’s finally safe to share our real engagement story - but I will say this - you can bet your life that in the coming years, if my children ask how daddy proposed, they’re going to get the edited version until they’re adults!