It was August 2016 and, to be truthful, engagement wasn’t the farthest thing from my mind. Matt’s sister had just gotten married in July, and two of my best friends had gotten engaged earlier in the summer. It sort of seemed like something was in the air. That isn’t to say that I was expecting a proposal. Believe me when I say that I was not expecting anything to this extent.
I think that it’s somehow become natural for people to wonder when others that have been in long relationships will get engaged. Matt and I had only been together for two years, but I was 25 and for some reason that’s around the age where other women started to become marriage hungry.
(Marriage hungry: a phenomenon where a single female begins to actually believe that they are going to die old and surrounded by cats. Although this sounds illogical, marriage is something that they will think and talk about almost constantly to the point of driving other people mad.)
That being said, I was getting asked: “when do you think you’ll get engaged?” or “do you think Matt is going to pop the question soon?” Or, my absolute favorite, the almost constant suspicion from friends that any life event would lead to an engagement. Car shopping? Engagement ring on the keys. Going to the movies? Engagement ring in the popcorn. Amusement park day? Smile for the coaster cam.. ENGAGEMENT RING!
I’m honest when I say that I’d pretty much heard it all.
I wrote this status the same month that Matt proposed to me. To say I was unsuspecting would be an understatement. So, anyway, onto the part that you actually came here for..
We were supposed to be going to dinner to celebrate our anniversary. Somewhere fancy with a dress code. Mind you, our anniversary was in June and this was August, but adult-stuff got in the way– weddings, showers, bachelorettes. It was a fun summer, but we were ready for some us time. Annnnnd he was late.. Helping his parents with some tasks, I was lead to believe. I was starting to get hangry, which I think we can all relate to, when he finally burst through the door carrying a small gift bag and set it on the table.
Immediately I was moody. “We said we weren’t doing gifts this year!” He assured me that it was nothing, and then we hurried out to dinner. (Spoiler alert: it really was NOTHING. A brilliant decoy to trick me into thinking that we were coming home that night to open it!)
Parking was an ordeal. The second we stepped out into the parking lot the valet was on top of us. “Sorry, sir, but unless you’re staying at the hotel you have to valet.”
Matt: “oh, that’s okay. We’re staying, but thanks.”
As the valet walked away Matt cheekily whispered to me, “I hope that our car doesn’t get towed while we’re eating!”
Dinner was amazing. Conversation was fun. I felt a little out of place in such a fancy setting, like everyone else in the restaurant knew that I didn’t quite belong. That’s when Matt dropped the first surprise on me, “we actually are staying the night, by the way.” I’m sorry, but what? He had the keys to prove it. Second surprise.. he packed me an overnight bag. Ladies, I know what you’re thinking, but it was color coordinated (light blue) and everything.
At this point, any woman in their right mind might have started to suspect that something was up. But like I said, we were celebrating our late anniversary, and my husband is a romantic, so large gestures like this were not exactly uncommon (humble brag, haha). And he was so.. CALM! Where were the nervous glances, the sweating, or the shaking hands that most men complain of the moments before the proposal?
In fact, the only time that I thought he even remotely seemed bothered was when we finally got up to our room. He told me he wanted me to wait outside while he got things ready. Again, most women would have probably seen this as a red flag. Nope. Not me. He came back out to retrieve me and the door closed behind him, locking us both out into the hallway.
Fast forward, past a tiny freak out on Matt’s part and finally retrieving a spare key to our room, and this is what awaited me when I entered. Yeah, I sat in the center of all that, even though my incredibly self-conscious soul wanted to claw its way out of my skin. There were mason jars and candles scattered throughout the room, and twinkle light accents.
I think that the name of the game was, “how much can I make my girlfriend squirm?”. I’ve never been great at receiving gifts. So the onslaught that awaited me after I was told to sit in the center of the circle was definitely not something I was prepared for.
There were 16 gifts in all and they were all presented in wooden boxes that Matt hand painted to resemble things that I love. Yes, my husband has always been incredibly talented and handmade gifts are his forte. Before each gift he would make me close my eyes and hold out my hands. And after opening each gift he would say, “okay, one more. Close your eyes.” Every time I thought it was coming to an end, there was another box!
I know that you’re dying to know: “what’s in the box!?” (best Brad Pitt impression I can muster) Well, writing this three years later I definitely have to shake out some of the cobwebs, but I do recall receiving: My Little Pony leggings, a handmade coupon promising me that we’d get a flight of ice cream, a gift card to Dunkin Donuts, and a slow dance to our song “Til Kingdom Come.”
I really thought that the dance was the end-all of this grand gifting gesture, but then Matt snapped his fingers and said, “oh.. shoot. You know what. There’s one more. I almost forgot.” And so back I went to sitting in the circle. The final box he handed to me was large, yellow (my favorite color), and had our names written on it. He made this small speech about how he knew that I loved all of these things, but that our relationship was what I loved most of all. And then I opened it..
And there it was. The little black box. Yes, this was a sign that even I, the most clueless and unsuspecting woman in the world, understood. I looked up and remember thinking, “when did he get on his knee?” He took the box from me and opened it, revealing a ring that I thought was so beautiful I would have never imagined it was possible that such a thing could exist or that I could possibly deserve to own it.
This next part is a blur. Any woman having been proposed to will say the same, and if they don’t then they either had their proposal video taped or.. their liars. Jk, jk.. I’m positive that there are others out there with much better memories than my own in such stressful situations, haha.
I’m sure he said some more things. Maybe he didn’t. I guess I don’t really know. I specifically remember him asking, “will you marry me?” (obviously). And I remember asking him, “are you sure?” with tears running down my face. To which he responded with a laugh and some reassurance that, yes, he wanted to marry me.
What was left to do other than to say, “yes!” I threw both of my hands up. I had no idea what finger this ring was supposed to go on, but luckily my husband had done the minimal necessary research required to put the engagement ring on the correct finger.
And that’s how it happened, friends! It was late at night, so Matt and I celebrated amongst each other as all of our family members were fast asleep and not answering their phones. No joke, I must have called my mom 5 times that night alone! Sorry mom! The excitement was real.
Fun fact: the first person to find out (from me, Matt probably texted separate people himself) that we were engaged was my best friend Ally, but only by a hair! She responded to my text message by calling me about 0.000001 seconds after I sent it!
I know that was a really long winded post, but the magic is in the details! If you stuck around until the end then I hope that you enjoyed your read and learned something new! My husband is a romantic, and I don’t know what finger an engagement rings goes on. Ha!
If you’d like to read more posts like this in the future let me know by commenting below!