I’ve been sitting on some news for a while. Some pretty great news. Some news worth letting sink in. But, I think it’s time to share.
It happened on the first of March, so it’s taken a bit of time to tell my friends and family, square it away in my head, and digest the news before sharing. That said, it can be hard to keep good news under wraps I’ve learned! It spreads like wildfire! Even though I haven’t exactly been able to stop the excitement from spreading on social media, I am excited that I have had a few weeks to absorb this news before personally sharing my story! We are so excited and eager to begin to plan a wedding, and our next moves from here.
Here’s the story of how he proposed – if I appear gushy, it’s because I am.
Rick planned a special date, almost two weeks in advance, with a formal invitation requesting that I wear something nice (a specific dress he loves) and that I meet him before our reservations for a drink. I’ll admit that the early planning did have my curiosity piqued at that point. I had some inkling that an engagement might be in the works, and my psychic sister had been asking me about it for weeks. But, disappointment sucks, so I wasn’t jumping to any conclusions. Though we’d talked about marriage over the time we’ve been together, I had never put any pressure on him and didn’t feel a strong sense of urgency on the matter.
After meeting him for a quick drink after work, he took me to a very nice restaurant in the CBD, where we both ordered amazing steak dinners, and shared a bottle of wine. I was just considering what dessert should be when he stopped me and told me he had something for me. I thought, “Oh my god! This is it!” But, he went on to tell me he had picked up some headphones for me after borrowing mine and realizing they were falling apart. So thoughtful of him, and so not what I expected him to say…
So, with a slightly embarrassed sigh, I thanked him for the headphones and admonished myself for being delusional. We resumed considering our dessert options, but after a short time he announced that he had something planned for dessert elsewhere. This raised my eyebrows a bit. We paid our bill and headed out of the restaurant – me with excitement and confusion, (and sharp reminders ringing in my head about not building up any expectations).
He led me to the botanical gardens, which were wet with rain after three weeks of nonstop drizzle. We walked the empty sidewalks, chatting about life, dinner, and Brisbane, when he noticed a bench off the path and suggested we have a seat.
The bench overlooked the river, sparkling with the reflections of the city on the smooth waters. To my left I could see the lights of the Story Bridge, its suspension cables lit brightly against the night. In front of us were the sailboat moorings, peacefully bobbing in the current, and to the right, the Kangaroo Point cliffs were lit up in a soft purple. It was a gorgeous and silent night in the gardens. After a few minutes of taking it all in, he told me he had something for me and gave me a small box. I opened it to see a sparkling ring, unlike any I’d ever seen before. Immediately my eyes filled with tears and I looked up at him, to find him on one knee, in the mud of the gardens, asking to spend the rest of his life with me. I was so overcome with emotion I could barely reply. But, obviously, you know what my answer was.
After some more tears and hugs, he reached back into his bag and pulled out a bottle of champagne that he had been carrying with him all day, along with two glasses. We toasted to the wonderful night, and drank the whole bottle in the gardens while we let the news settle in. We both were crying and laughing and giggling, and repeating things like “Holy shit, we’re getting married!” It was the kind of moment that you hope is forever crystalized in your memory.
Once we finished the champagne, we giggled our way back home where we gorged ourselves on ice cream, berries, and chocolate shavings that he’d been sneakily hiding in the freezer (which I had found earlier in the week and been told to pretend I never saw). We turned on some music, danced around in our house, and then called our friends and family. It was jubilant, champagne-soaked, and giggly.
In my opinion, one of the things that made the day perfect was the story behind the ring he gave me. To preface this, I have always been unsure about diamonds. I have conflicting feelings about buying an artificially price-inflated stone for the sake of custom, especially given the ethical issues associated with diamond mining. That said, I can’t argue against the beauty of a nice diamond, or the value of presenting a solid investment to one’s partner as a testament to one’s commitment. So, the bottom line is that I’ve always wanted something that served as a bit of a compromise, a vintage ring that has a story, a history, and is re-used, but still is a valuable and beautiful gift. Well, Rick nailed that. The setting came from his mom’s mom, the main stone from his Dad’s family. The stone has been used by EVERY Frederick John Weismiller (he’s number 4) to propose to his wife. It’s from 1918. The setting was worn by his grandmother for years, and is worn down along the sides where it rubbed against her wedding band. It’s a vintage heirloom, with SO much special meaning – the only kind of diamond I think I’d want. We took it around to various jewelers the next day to ask about making some changes to the ring to make it “mine” and every single one has been incredibly complimentary of it, to the extent of insisting I make no changes save for re-sizing. I guess that means it’s good! I feel so incredibly lucky to have such a meaningful symbol of his love, and our mutual values of family and simplicity. It feels perfect.
I know this is gushy, and I never expected to be gushy. I never expected to start crying immediately upon seeing an engagement ring. Or to have a big, sparkly diamond on my finger. I haven’t always been certain these were things I wanted. A lot of the way this played out took me by surprise, and truth be told, there is plenty of reckoning still happening in my head. But, I wouldn’t want this any other way. The ring, the ice cream, the calls to family in the middle of the night – it was special. I guess I have to admit that I’m a girl, and I’m sensitive, and apparently I get gushy and emotional at times like this. I suppose it would be worrisome if I didn’t. 🙂