February 13, 2010

Love and Marriage

Valentine's Day has never been a huge deal to us, just a good excuse to treat one another a little extra special (I have a whole speech ready for those people who are like, "No, I don't celebrate Valentine's Day, every day should be like Valentine's Day....but we won't go there.) Of course, this year is different. We're not in the same state (but at least the same country, Thank God.) so there's no real possibility of going out or spending extra time together. SoldierMan keeps saying he wants to buy me something, but I keep telling him not to. Really, presents aren't that big of a deal. And anyway, how could he top last year's?

So, in honor of Valentine's Day today, here is the next installment in the story of

Me and SoldierMan

Through the rest of high school we were very on-and-off. After my freshman year of college, though, we were back on for good. We knew (for a long time) that we wanted to get married. However, my parents would not give us their blessing until we were out of college. At the time, it was frustrating. In retrospect, though, it was the best decision. (Advice to prospective brides #1: FINISH YOUR EDUCATION FIRST!!! It's much easier to just get it out of the way.)

By my senior year of college, though, it was really starting to get unbearable. We didn't talk much about actually getting engaged and having a wedding. He said he wanted to focus on finishing school and getting his "real job" first. Plus, I was pretty open about the fact that I wanted a December wedding. He was open about the fact that he didn't want a long engagement. Which pretty much meant, in my mind, that we weren't going to get the ball rolling until after graduation. I didn't like it, but there it was.

Fall semester, senior year. He starts making comments about a trip over Spring Break, back to Eureka Springs and Branson, where we first met. Maybe go with my parents. Go back to the Crystal Chapel. You know, people like to get engaged there. And the spring would be so pretty....

Wait, what?

Now, he wasn't quite that blunt, but that was obviously the direction his mind was going. And my first reaction was excitement. Finally! But then I got a little sad. I really, really had wanted it to be a surprise, and now he was totally blowing it. Oh sure, he was asking me all these questions to make sure it was "perfect" and all that, but still....

So I tried not to think about it. Tried my darn hardest to forget it.

Meanwhile, it was getting towards the end of the semester, and the Oklahoma Ballet was doing The Nutcracker, as per usual. And I wanted to go, so he - eventually - agreed. SoldierMan isn't much into ballet, as you might imagine. Theater, yes, but ballet - notsomuch. In fact, it was a sort of surprise when he called me out of the blue one day on my way home from school and said, "Yeah, let's go, get the tickets." So, cool!

So I get us tickets for the week after finals. I tried to get box seats, but the ticket lady on the phone lied and said they didn't open the boxes for the ballet. (Of course, they did. But I went ahead and got floor seats anyway.)

It was the first "dress-up" thing we had gone to together in a long time, so I was pretty excited. And SoldierMan was too, at least enough to ask what I was wearing so he could coordinate his tie. He's actually much more the snappier dresser than I am.

So for a week I had planned what to wear - a silver turtleneck sweater with a long black skirt and boots. (My style has improved much since then!) He was wearing a suit and tie.

And of course, it was the warmest day that December. In front of the theater every year they set up an ice rink, and people were skating in short-sleeves. It was that warm. And here we were walking around in heavy clothes!

The ballet was nice. I hadn't seen The Nutcracker since I was a kid! SoldierMan thought it was too weird, even for a two-hour long dream sequence. Afterward, we walk out of the Oklahoma City Civic Center with the other 2500 people there that night, and SoldierMan suggests we wait until traffic thins out before we go to the car.

Well, there was nothing to do but walk around, and the boots I was wearing were killing my feet! So after a few minutes of meandering, I walk over and sit down on one of the stone benches between the ice rink and the theater.

SoldierMan comes and sits next to me, and we chat for a few minutes. Then SoldierMan hugs me and starts saying things like, "can't imagine my life without you," "love you so much," "so glad you've been such a big part of my life for so long." I don't really remember the specifics. Except that when he pulled back, I started to say something, but before I could, he got down on the ground. And I thought, "Did his contact fall out?" Cause it does that.

Then it registers, he's on one knee.

And he's got a ring. The ring we had looked at months - months - ago.

"Will you marry me?"

I had to take a breath before I said, "Yes, of course!"

And he jumped up and kissed me.

Someone walking by about 30 feet away hollered, "Congratulations!" and waved.

This isn't the picture from that night. I can't find that one right now. But this is from New Year's two weeks later.

10 comments:

  1. We don't go overboard with Valentine's Day either-- we buy a little bit of candy for each other and a card, and we'll cook a special meal and that's about it.

    And if everyday is Valentine's Day, it would lose it's meaning after a while! I love engagement stories, by the way-- thanks for sharing :)

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  2. That is a sweet story :)

    I had a rule for myself that I wouldn't get married until I had a college degree. I met my husband my senior year of college and it was hard to wait but so glad I did :)

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  3. I love the ballet! Very sweet story, thanks for sharing.

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  4. sweet story!

    Happy Valentine's Day!

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  5. Our Valentine's day(s) give new meaning to low-key. Literally, nothing out of the ordinary. haha

    Surprise engagements are awesome. What a sweet memory for you two!

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  6. Awww =) That's a great story! I absolutely LOVE that he bought you a gun for VDay last year!!!! I miss Oklahoma...LOL!!

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  7. What a great story! :) May I ask what you and your husband studied?

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  8. I love that gun! My husband wants to buy me my first gun here soon and I told him only if it's pink!

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