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The Proposal

Here's another super mushy letter to Paul.  Don't say I didn't warn you     -E

Last winter, you proposed to me. I had seen it coming, but you threw me off when you surprised me with a KitchenAid mixer for my birthday.

 Seriously.

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I had always joked that that was the one thing that I knew I would put on my someday wedding registry, and sometimes I even said it was the only reason I wanted to get married. For the record, that's so not true. Thankfully, though, you knew that. When I joked all night that "now we don't have to get married" you must have found it extra funny knowing that you were planning to propose the next day. Thanks for not taking me seriously this time, Paul.

On my 25th birthday we both took the day off, and you brought me breakfast in bed before heading out of the big city for our traditional Colonial Williamsburg winter getaway. We bundled up and got to Williamsburg with plenty of daylight to check out the wreaths. We weren't on DoG Street long before we happened to bump into Dylan! I quickly realized that this wasn't a chance meeting when Dylan slipped you something. You told me they were play tickets and I bought that story since we'd done it before. We took our time enjoying the Christmas decorations and when we got to the place where we had boarded the carriage 8 years before, you stopped me and said that we had a reservation. This time, though, it would be for just the two of us.

You tell this part a lot better than I can. You played it out in your head so many times.

You were so calm and normal to me. We took off our gloves so that we could hold hands and we reminisced. We talked about how happy we were and how great it was to be back in Williamsburg. That's when it started. "Eight years. Eight years. Your mom quizzed me on that when I talked to her." I took the bait and asked when you spoke to my mom without me there. I'd remember that conversation. That's when you pulled out a small ring box that I still can't believe you hid in our apartment for so long. The box looked worn and well made. You held it and told me that you want me to be the one who scratches your back and arms until you fall asleep. That you would be the one to push the hair back from my face. You knew that that is something that has made me melt since before I made BFFs with the flat iron and side bangs. You told me that you'd take care of me. Forever. You opened the box and asked if I'd be your wife. You were holding the most incredible ring and beaming at me. It was all right. Perfect even. I nodded and got out a "YES!" before asking you to please put the ring on my finger.

You then explained that the ring was your late-grandmother's and that if I didn't absolutely love it that we could reset it or get a new one. I told you then, and I will tell you forever, it is perfect and I am honored to wear it every day.

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I cried, time stopped, and my vocabulary was limited to an unladylike series of "holy shit"s and "wow"s. We hugged and laughed. The carriage driver heard the commotion and asked if a congratulations was in order. We gladly gave her the news and she was the first person to congratulate us and ask me the question that I still blush at: "can I see the ring?"

We took pictures when we returned and decided to just take a long walk before starting to make calls. We just tried to wrap our heads around how our lives might change and how ready and excited we were to take it on together. You made me promise that we would not talk about any wedding planning decisions for an entire week. I can never thank you enough for that. It gave us the perfect "out" when people inevitably asked 3500 question about when, where, who, how... We could just say that we were just enjoying being newly engaged and that we were excited to work on the wedding details later. It was perfect. 

Iphone 231We eventually got in the car and started to make the calls.  I'll never forget when you called your mom.  You had her on speaker phone, told her the good news, and while you were talking to her you slow-motion moved your finger to hang up the phone.  You were so out of it and exhausted that you couldn't even complete a phone call.   We made our way to check into the Hospitality House, I made more giggly phone calls, and you started snoring.

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We rounded out the day with an incredible (albeit very distracted by texts and calls) dinner at Shield's Tavern, met some friends for drinks at the Leafe and turned in for an early night after an unbelievable day. 

The next day you continued the surprises with a terrific Williamsburg photo shoot (thanks Allyson!) and even my long-awaited Delta Gamma candle-pass. Even though there were not many women left in the chapter who I knew, many new and familiar faces turned out that day to fill a room in the house so that I could have the honor of taking part in such a beautiful tradition. 

Img 6879We listened to the Gentlemen carol (I even got a special serenade from you right on busy DoG Street), and then we wrapped up the most magical weekend in Williamsburg with a trip to Christmastown at Busch Gardens with your family.

Paul, I have never been more certain of anything being so true as when you told me you wanted to marry me. You did it in your time, not mine (thank goodness) and I am forever grateful for that. The 8 years that we dated were not a day too many nor a day too few. It was the right time, and you knew that. We grew together, we fought for each other, we trusted, respected, and learned together. We graduated high school, college, and moved to the big city. We got big-kid jobs, quit big kid jobs, and got better big-kid jobs. We moved in together, loved Zoe together, and created new friendships together. 

So here's to many tomorrows built on great memories and even brighter dreams.

Categories: Stories & Letters
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