The story that follows is Marie’s recount of our proposal story. Some of it may look familiar, but it is every bit as funny and endearing.
Pull up a chair, a box of tissue, and enjoy!
It was just another ordinary day…or so I thought…
Monday October 29, 2007 unfolded like any other day – hit the snooze bar a few hundred times, wake up late, a rushed commute to work ensues, and like the past three Mondays prior after-work physiotherapy appointments to mend my sprained left ankle. Okay – so, here it was nearing month end. What does that mean? Nothing unless you’re in accounting I suppose – but for me, well, a deadline of sorts was looming…some background, if you will!
In the months leading up to the blessed day – Patrick and I would discuss timelines for our imaginary wedding. I, being partial to the fall season was, and am still hung up on the month of October (nice looking time of year, not overly cold, and most importantly for both of us – well past allergy season). Patrick didn’t protest too much – so there you had it – plans for a fall wedding.
Sometime after that conversation, in passing Patrick mentioned something about vowing to have a ring on my finger by the end of October – this satisfying the customary one year engagement rule loosely outlined by the Roman Catholic church. Well, thank goodness I thought…at least the “end” was in sight.
Fast forward to the arrival of October. Did it have to be 31 days long …sheesh. The weekend immediately before “the day” – October 27, 28 – Patrick spent the weekend uptown in Richmond Hill (well, I guess I sent him home to his parents as I was craving some personal space) and that evening during a phone conversation Patrick asked coyly to set up a “date” of sorts on Halloween. Halloween being the date commemorating a dinner we had shared the year before at ‘Salad King’ one of my favourite Thai restaurants situated near our old university alumni – Rye high!
Eureka….that had to be it…ok…so, it was going to be predictable – but nonetheless, historically significant to our relationship. “How sweet?” I thought; we had come full circle. And besides – the poor boy had been stressed out; lamenting repeatedly that since I knew the ring had already arrived at the jewelers it would no longer be a surprise. I imagined that from his point of view – it all made sense…just forget the element of surprise. If you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em type of mentality!
So there it was…staring me right in the face…Wednesday October 31 – the day that would start the next chapter in our lives – or so I thought…
Back to Monday (the 29th) around 6:30 PM – have I lost you yet?
Anyway, the setting – Patrick and I text messaging one another and updating each other on our current state of affairs – Marnie my physiotherapist was running late, and at the same time while waiting to see her, over text message I was trying to convince Patrick to come downtown sooner than Wednesday. I had started to miss his company. Eventually I was called in for my appointment, and as the last patient of the day my original twenty minute session had stretched to half an hour to make up for the delay. Not so coincidentally– I brought up the topic of proposal stories with Marnie – and I shared with her my suspicions about Halloween night. I ended that topic of conversation with, “…and by next week I might have some good news to share with you!” at which she clapped her hands with excitement. Ironically she was the last person to see me not formally “attached”, if you will!
Finally at around 7PM with my appointment over, I resumed my conversation with Patrick again via text message as I walked home. At the same time during this walk – some thoughts ran through my head…like what leftovers should I have for dinner (thanks A. Cora), and how best to enjoy my night of solitude since I couldn’t convince Patrick to come downtown any sooner.
Within 15 minutes arrive at the condo, elevator ride up to the eighth floor, key in the lock, push the door handle, and what do I see…but something ‘burning’ on the floor. My initial reaction…“WTF is that?"…and…maybe I was delusional – but I don’t quite remember – "did I leave that there in the morning???” For those of you who have seen my condo…you know that there is a perfectly useless “L” shaped hallway (that I love by the way)…well, after I got over that initial shock I realized that it was a candle burning in a glass votive, and was one of many that lined the hallway like a runway strip. And…reflected in my 7 foot tall mirror I saw Patrick peeking behind the wall at the end of it.
So…what’s a girl to do…when she hasn’t seen her man in a few days…ok…queue the mushy stuff…and in the middle of all that…I interrupt Patrick and say, ”…hold on, I have to PEE”. I apologize for sharing too much information there…but really – I just got home and had to empty out my bladder!
Where was I? – So to summarize …Patrick told his boss that he was working from home because today (October 29) was to be “THE” day.
Amongst his numerous tasks on his ‘to-do’ list:
- formally ask my parents in person for their permission (or blessing if you’re traditional)
- grocery shop (at various stores around town) for ingredients to make a version of the first dish he ever cooked me some years ago (maple syrup and ginger glazed salmon, with garlic mashed potatoes…and sugar snap peas because I’m not a huge fan of asparagus)
- pick up some hand-packed “Coffee, Coffee, Buzz, Buzz, Buzz” (our all time favourite ice cream flavour from when we used to pig out on the stuff in between classes in university) at one of the only Ben & Jerry’s scoop shops in Toronto
- Oh right, and in between it all find some time to do work
It was a lucky break that my physiotherapy appointment ran late as it bought Patrick some extra time!
For most of you reading this (I’m sorry if I’ve bored you to tears)…I promise I’m almost done!
After using the bathroom (phew), I tried to change into house clothes, but Patrick insisted I stop and have dinner first. So, I helped him plate the meal and we tucked into the food – which was delicious by the way. As an aside – I’m glad I’m going to be marrying someone who loves to cook as much as he loves to EAT!!! When it came down to dessert I can still recall Patrick’s words, “…okay, save some room for dessert, it’s going to be nice and light”. Well what was that supposed to mean, I thought?
If you’ve ever played mind games where you find yourself reading things into signs and symbols that aren’t really there…especially when you’re waiting for something to happen (i.e. like this scenario…“the proposal”) –
well, I had been losing at this game – and trying NOT to do this unsuccessfully for a few days now…and I thought…is this going to be it, is it, is it??? Could “light” = “shiny” = “huge, honking engagement ring”? Noooooooo, of course not…Patrick pulls out a small tub of ice cream out of a crumpled paper bag.
So…by this time with a full belly – I have given up and resigned myself to thinking that this was surprise was simply going to be a nice precursor to our Halloween “date”. We started chatting about the usual day’s events like – what we’re going to do to finance the grand affair, stuff related to the new condo, etc…the everyday minutiae. After a few minutes Patrick motions for me to me to sit on his knee…and after doing so he looks at me all forlorn and says, “…WHY did you have to be so NORMAL (huge emphasis on the word ‘normal’?) And I say, “Huh?” which brings him to the non-official proposal, “…so……………..do you want the ring now???”
Apparently Patrick had geared up to propose to me right when I arrived home…BUT because I had thrown him off by killing the mood he had either lost his nerve, or kept looking for another appropriate opportunity – but as the night drew on – that window slowly closed. He asked me to re-enact the moments after I came through the door…and showed me (minus me needing to pee) how the story was supposed to have played out…ha ha ha!
The funny thing is…even though the impending event was now out in the open – it still took another 30-45 minutes to spit out the words. He kept stalling, and all the while grew warmer and more uncomfortable as evidenced by the sweat on his brow and his hot cheeks.
Were there tears? Yes…we are both the sappy type – so choked up with a tear or two – Patrick asked me to spend the rest of his life with him – and despite bringing up TWO TIMES in his proposal speech…and I quote, “…and no matter how much you frustrate me…” I said YES.
Later that night I begged Patrick to read me the actual speech he had prepared that was saved on his Nokia PDA. It was even more beautiful and heartfelt that it brought on a fresh round of waterworks…blah, blah, blah.
So in the end…Patrick’s grand bait and switch plan had been foiled by my non-romantic gesture! I guess you can call us even…and ENGAGED.
…and they lived happily ever after <wink>…THE END!