Today I read a sweet story from a “friend” of mine (we were friends when we were growing up and have reconnected on FB)….she told her engagement story on her blog. I thought it was super sweet and very romantic. So, I told her I would tell her mine.
I’ve told this story before, but I thought it was worth repeating….
As most of you know Paul and I met, dated, were engaged, and were married all within a 9 month period. (Hey, when you know, you know….no need to wait around)….
Anyway, we were both 25 when we met (I had just turned 25 two days before I met Paul) at the 1st day of Orientation at Logsdon. As we began to get to know each other we also had a few other friends at Logsdon that we hung out with often, Jack and Nathan. I remember one day, specifically, when Nathan came up to us between classes and said, “Hey, where are we going to lunch today?” The awkward moment came when Paul had to tell him that we were going over to my apartment to have lunch….alone. For some reason that story has stuck with me just because I think it’s funny…. 🙂
Our first date was on Monday, September 5th (Labor Day). We were going to go to Joe Allen’s BBQ place (because we had heard how good it was). Well, we drove around for awhile, trying to find it….we ended up having to call my boss (Chris) and ask him for directions. After about 30 minutes of looking for it, we found it, but it was closed on Mondays!! 😉 So, we went to China Star instead–we both love chinese food! After we went out to eat we went back to campus and just hung out for a little while, sitting on the front steps of his dorm (yes, he lived in the dorm as a grad. student–don’t judge), talking and just getting to know each other. Another vivid memory of that night (that I think is funny) was that at 10:00PM the front doors to the dorm locked and you had to use your ID card to get into the building. Well, Paul tried and tried to get into the building, but his card would not work. He had to call campus police to come let him in. So, our 1st date, although tripped up by getting lost, the restaurant being closed, and getting the campus police involved, was absolutely wonderful!
We obviously started hanging out more and more….I’m not sure when we decided that our relationship was “exclusive” or that we were “a couple” but I do know this….
We were always together. We talked for hours and hours on IM (way before texting and FB were around), on the phone, and met for lunch different places, etc. We were always together. And our little “catch phrase” was “you mean the world to me.” It was like our secret way of telling each other “I love you” without using the words because I think we were both a little afraid. (I do remember however, the day he did tell me he loved me because I said it first)!! I wrote it on his palm with my finger….so cute, huh?
We went to church together at PDBC (and later ended up getting married there, as well).
At the end of September my parents came up to Abilene to visit for a weekend. It was the infamous “meet the boyfriend” weekend.
After only being together for about a month we began to talk about marriage. And honestly we probably talked about it within the 1st month, I just don’t remember. I do remember looking at rings on my computer in my apartment (by myself) and then I remember him coming over and looking at them with me (back when the Internet was just such a new and exciting wealth of information).
Around the middle of October, October 18th or so, we went to the Abilene Mall and look at rings. I picked out my own engagement ring/wedding ring (with Paul’s input, of course), got sized for it, but we didn’t buy it that day. We were just looking….
On October 22, 2005, 4 days after we had looked at rings, Paul went and bought my engagement/wedding ring set. And he brought it over to my apartment and gave it to me. He didn’t propose; he just gave me the rings and asked me to keep them at my apartment….so funny in hindsight. (He lived in a dorm and didn’t want to keep them there). Here I was…not engaged but holding my own engagement ring (and wedding ring) in my apartment! I’ve told this story to a couple of people and they say, “Well, did you wear it around, since you had it in your possession?” But the funny thing is…I didn’t. It just sat in my jewelry box, untouched.
Paul and I went to Hamilton/Waco (via Dallas) the very last weekend of October, the weekend AFTER he bought the ring. We started off in Dallas, visiting Chris and Macy, who were Paul’s friends from college. We took the ring with us on our trip (Dallas, Hamilton, Waco) because we had a plan…..so, I showed it to Macy, still in the box, and she was SO EXCITED! I had never met the girl before and yet, here I was laughing and squealing with her over a ring that was in my possession, but I wasn’t even wearing!!! CRAZY!!
This was also the infamous “I meet his parents” weekend. We took the ring with us because the idea was this….
**side note: When we started talking about getting married, I told him….you need to ask my dad first. My brother-in-law, Scott, did NOT ask my dad before he asked my sister, Leslie, to marry him and my dad was upset by that. So, I told Paul that’s what he had to do. He pushed back a little bit and said, “I’m not asking for PERMISSION, I’m just asking for his BLESSING!” OK, that’s fine. But you have to talk to him first.
So….we took the ring with us, thinking he would talk to my dad (when we went to Waco, after Hamilton) and he could tell me about it and then ask me while we were there! (Easy, peasy and just such a brilliant idea)! We were young and naive, what can I say??
Well, that weekend was a horrible and tragic weekend in Waco. Kyle L*ke, the pastor at U.B.C., got electrocuted during the morning worship service at their church (while standing in the baptistery and touching a microphone) and died on the spot, there at church (not where we went to church, but it was tragic for the whole town). Also, my parent’s neighbor, Daniel, (who also went to MY church in Waco) died that weekend, on that Saturday….he just dropped dead at the soccer fields, while watching his son play. He left a wife and 3 young children….so that weekend was NOT an ideal weekend to be in Waco, trying to “schmooze” my parents into liking this boy that was going to take their daughter away from them, after only knowing each other for 2 months.
So, the ring was untouched. It came back to Abilene with us, still in the box.
Fast forward to November. We went to Hamilton/Waco for the weekend, for Thanksgiving. We were in Waco FIRST (the day before Thanksgiving). The ring traveled with us again, in my suitcase, in the box. We were getting ready to leave Waco (late afternoon/evening on Wednesday) to head to Hamilton. In the chaos of putting our bags in the car and saying good-bye, I THINK Paul talked to my dad in the hallway, standing next to the bathroom and asked for his BLESSING because he wanted to ask me to marry him. Well, as the story goes (because I wasn’t there), my dad said NO. And, that was that. We got in the car and left. Paul didn’t tell me (at that time) he had talked to my dad.
That night I slept in the guest room (at Paul’s mom’s house), and Paul slept on the couch. He came and woke me up early, brought me into the living room and gave me a card. He had “traced” his hand on the front and turned it into a turkey….
Here is the inside….
He told me right then what my dad had said. I don’t remember crying. I don’t remember being upset. I guess I was just disappointed. I didn’t know where to go from here. What did it mean for us? What do we do now?
Well, Paul told me to go get showered, dressed, and ready because we were going somewhere before we were leaving to go to his aunt’s house (in another town). So, off I went to get ready…it was early!! Like 7:00AM early. And I knew we weren’t leaving to go to his aunt’s til probably 9-9:30AM!
We got in the car and drove around Hamilton a little bit, early on Thanksgiving morning, 2005. I had been to Hamilton once before (back in October), but Paul drove me around, showing me his school, the football field, the store, the park, etc. We got out and walked around a little bit in this little “wooded area” near the park. After talking (and kissing) for a bit on the bridge, he told me he had something to give me. He told me reach into his pocket, so…I did. I got my own ring out of his pocket!! I know–we are so WEIRD?!! So, I got it out and gave it to him.
**side note: I had also told him, earlier in our relationship, that when he proposed he had to get down on one knee, like they do in the movies. I just think it’s so romantic!!
So, he got down on one knee and asked me to marry him. And, before I could answer, his phone rang!! He quickly pulled it out his pocket and put it on silent. So, he asked me again. I said “YES” quickly before the phone rang….AGAIN!! This time he answered it! So, our romantic, once in a lifetime proposal, was interrupted by his brother calling, asking where we were because it was time to go!
(When we got our engagement pictures done we re-enacted the picture)….
We laughed. We kissed. We admired my ring, and then we left. We drove back to his mom’s house, got in the car and drove to his aunt’s house. We NEVER TOLD ANYONE!! I wore that ring ALL DAY! No one asked and we didn’t tell!! This was the FIRST time I was meeting anyone outside of his immediate circle–I guess we both just decided that it wasn’t the right timing. I think Paul may have told his dad that day (just in private) but it was NEVER mentioned!!! CRAZY!!!
After a day at his aunt’s house I was going to drive over to Dallas to see my best friend from college and go “Black Friday” shopping with her. (Honestly I’m not sure what Paul did–I guess maybe he stayed in Hamilton–I have no idea)!! Anyway, I wore my ring while I was there, squealed and dreamed with Renae about plans for the wedding! After my time in Dallas on Friday I drove over to my aunt’s house to spend the night with her. While I was driving from Renae’s house to my aunt’s house I called my parents and told them Paul had asked me to marry him and I said yes! Well, they were NOT HAPPY! They told me to take that ring OFF and we would discuss it when I got back to Waco! So, I did. I took it off, put it back in the box and pretended nothing had happened.
I got back to Waco on Sunday (I think) and we talked….I don’t remember the entire conversation (and it’s really not important) but I do remember the fact that my mom asked me how I was going to plan a wedding (that was going to happen in Waco) when I was living in Abilene. Well, along with completely disappointing them and getting engaged without my dad’s blessing, I then squished my mom’s dream and told her we were going to get married in Abilene!! 😉 (How’s that for a sucker punch to the gut)!!?
And there you have it. Our whirlwind relationship of meeting, talking, dating, and getting engaged in a matter of about 2 months!
And, in case you are wondering, I put that ring BACK on and wore it back to Abilene….and I’ve never taken it off–ever, except if I roll cookie batter to make cookies! That is the ONLY TIME it has ever been off my finger!
It’s a funny story with so many strange and crazy “roll-your-eyes” kind of happenings, but I wouldn’t change it for the world!