Finally I’ve gotten around to finishing the proposal, part deux. Part 1 can be found here. I hope you enjoy…
As the weeks rolled by after the Disneyland trip I found myself getting more irritated, annoyed, and worst of all insecure. I was irritated with myself for being so single mindedly obsessed with becoming Mrs. Flaum. I was also feeling incredibly unsure of myself and of J’s feelings about the whole deal. Perhaps he didn’t want forever? Was he changing his mind about it? What was going on?
In November we tried going ring shopping. I say “tried” because sales people are so awkward by nature and it was not a fun experience since I wanted to try out every ring and possibility, and J isn’t that patient a shopper.
Wanting a ring neither too big, too expensive, or too common I decided to try it on my own and I found it one day on my lunch break down at the local mall. The next day I brought J with me to check it out, and he agreed it was perfect. For me, for everything. I got myself sized by the jeweler who made notes about what I wanted and we left – ring un-purchased.
Looking back I’d love to say that at this point I chilled out and enjoyed life. The truth? Well the truth is I don’t even remember much about that holiday season because I was a crazy woman. Girfriend-zilla, if you will. Angry huffs, irritated thoughts, lip biting, stink eyeing, fight starting… yeah I was kind of a total monster. I did know I was being this way too – I just couldn’t stop it. I don’t do well with surprises I know are coming and I don’t do well with waiting for big things to happen. Over this, I had no control and it made me ber-zonkers.
After Christmas (I knew he’d NEVER propose on a holiday- we’d discussed that before) he asked me to start putting together information and such on a Disneyworld trip about a year off. Universal Orlando too – a big trip. I started looking into stuff and gathering information and I showed him what I had one day and asked him about budgeting and if such a big trip was a good idea just for fun.
He said it was to be our honeymoon. Now – you might be thinking I was excited. I was not. I threw my binder of research. I snarled, glared, yelled, arm waved… I was girl angry. I mean – we’re not engaged, the ring I want is still down at the store (yes, I peeked. often.) and he’s asking me to plan the honeymoon? WHAT!?!?!?!?! I reminded him that he did so not have a fiancée, and that perhaps he’d like to get one before hiring a travel agent (me) to book a honeymoon.
Then one day in late January I was watching one of my favorite old movies on TCM – Calamity Jane. When it got to the scene where Wild Bill smacks Calamity (aka Doris Day) and tells her that she’s “female thinkin’. Pure snarlin’, green eyed, female thinkin'” and shakes his head in disgust it hit me.
I was being an idiot. I didn’t truly have doubt about J’s feelings, that we would go to the married place of life, have a family, or any of that. Not really. I was just hung up on this whole making it official thing. I was being a totally ridiculous woman and I needed to chill the heck out. Finally, finally I got myself back together.
We don’t ever celebrate Valentine’s Day in big showy ways, and we never go out to dinner on 2.14 either. Instead we go out to dinner at some point before or after – depending on how the schedule falls for J’s work. In 2001 Jason suggested we go out on the 13th to a steak house in San Francisco called Harris. Being a lover of steak, and excited to try this place I agreed it was a good plan. I’m not going to lie here – the thought crossed my mind that he might ask me THE question at dinner.
At a table for two over salads and appetizers, perfectly prepared steaks, a luscious dessert, and perfect atmosphere we chatted and enjoyed a perfect dining experience. The classic steak house leather and dark colors decor was just a touch more elegant, a bit more refined here and I loved it. It was a great night, and perfect pre-Valentine celebration.
Riding back home in J’s truck I was totally blissed out on amazing food, a great experience, and the twinkling lights as we left San Francisco in the rear view mirror to head north back home. It was a clear night, as winter so often is here and any fog was sparse. Coming off of the Golden Gate bridge J turned into the vista point – I assumed he needed to pee. When he parked he said that he’d just wanted to stop for a moment and enjoy the clear night and view of the city.
I love that vista point and looking at the iconic bridge with the city twinkling and sparkling behind it, in full view thanks to great (if frigid) weather was perfect. I got out of the car and went over to the stone wall to stand in silence and enjoy. Breathing the cold air in through my nose, watching tourists and locals alike enjoy a moment, and feeling totally content with the moment – I was happy.
Then J dropped to one knee.
To this day I look back and try to figure out how I didn’t figure it out, how I didn’t know it was coming at that moment and I just can’t explain. I had been so jumpy and watching for it for so many months, I guess I finally forgot to be on look out.
With the cold air swirling and lights twinkling, there at the Golden Gate vista point he asked me to marry him and I said yes. We kissed, we hugged, and about one minute later J whispered to me “now let’s go get back in the truck, lock it, and drive on back home. It’s late and there are some shady characters lurking. I’d rather not get jacked for your ring.”
That’s us – romantic and memorable, but always practical.
photo @ Epoct 2.02