The Engagement (POV #2)
Well, I’m not Roo. This is quickly apparently in real life, but the Internet is less revelatory, so I figured it best to be up front about this. No, I’m the Other Half, Nate by name.
Roo makes more time to write than I do, and it certainly shows in both output and quality. However, I’d be remiss if I didn’t contribute now and again to this chronicle of our coming together, and so here we are today. It’s oddly appropriate that I should finally get an actual post up on this blog, and the topic is how things all began. So, here I am to provide a second point of view on the ‘official’ start of this whole marriage thing. There isn’t likely to be a third, unless some random seagull gets a WordPress account.
The first thing Roo isn’t telling you is how long I carried that ring around with me. I knew I was proposing to her a LONG time before the thing actually happened. I did some searching, both online and in person, for a ring that spoke to me and of her. Dissatisfied after months, I threw up my hands, declared ‘fuckit’, and sought out a jeweler to MAKE me what I had in my head.
Long story short, I did (and I highly recommend Shepherd Manufacturing Jewelers to anyone with similar inclinations). That was in mid November.
I trust you to do the math, but for those who would rather go shopping, that means I carried that ring around for almost three and a half months, looking for a proper way to propose. November and December are freakishly busy months for Roo and I (as anyone who does Dickens Fair can relate to), and so those were basically out. I came very close to popping the question in early January when we went to Disneyland, but a niggling doubt told me it was cliche… and also we were engaged in discussions about the crass commercialization of Disney at the time, and it seemed an ill-fated link to forge.
So by mid-January I was fed up. I decided that providence would not be kind, and to bloody well make it happen however I needed to. So as Roo described, I began a campaign to get she and I on a beach together. It only took a month and a half, which is about half of our usual planning horizon. I consider that a win.
February 27th came around, and by some miracle it was bright and sunny and a freeish day for us. After sushi (and yes, I did uncharacteristically panic for an instant or two), we were driving, aimlessly debating what beach to go to. I was originally thinking Pacifica. But as we passed a sign noting the turnoff for Highway 92 West, Roo remarked that she’d never been to Half Moon Bay. I took this as an indicator from Somewhere, made the turnoff, and declared on the spot that we were having an Adventure, to which Roo bemusedly agreed. Little did our heroine know.
In discussions once we got to HMB, I cheerfully steered us toward the beach, which was instantly rewarding in all kinds of ways; bright sun, beautiful ocean, hilarious warning signs, mysterious structures, and yes, a stick stuck in the sand to mark the bathrooms. Check Roo’s post for the details. I’ll fill in where her mind disintegrated under an onslaught of bliss and has robbed her of precious memory.
I did indeed ask what the stick marked as a lead-in (I’ll note my heart was in my throat, so it probably came out silly-sounding) and received the aforementioned glib rejoinder. At that point, I did start talking further, and I DO remember what I said, because I agonized over it for one of those quantum-length moments in time. You know, the ones where everything distends and you have an instant eternity to mull over how you’re not actually good at talking despite what everyone says, and what an ass you’re about to make of yourself? Yeah, I thought you knew what I was talking about.
Point being, eventually I got around to talking. And I may paraphrase slightly, but in the end what I said was something like this:
“Who knows, maybe the world conspires to mark important moments in life. It’s funny, I remember once you said something about fate, and how you didn’t believe in it, but in the same discussion you mentioned the idea of soulmates; people who are just going to fit together from the beginning. Which is totally us. And… you know, maybe that is fate, or maybe we just got absurdly lucky, finding each other. But either way, I want to keep you. For the rest of our lives, if you’ll do me the honor.”
I took a knee right around ‘either way’. And I feel I need to detail that moment a little.
You see, Roo is an extremely intelligent woman, and I love it about her. Erudite and generally collected, she’s aware of her surroundings and always processing. And in that moment, her brain just exploded. I literally watched fuses blow.
She put both hands to her mouth and started saying ‘Oh my god,’ and that was about all she said for fifteen or twenty repetitions. Then she started mixing in ‘Yes,’ with the ‘Oh my god’s. I got the ring onto her finger between the happy tears and the gibbering, and she came to her senses and was actually able to manage something other than those four words after maybe three or four minutes.
I’ve seen my fiancee lose her composure in anger or frustration a few times. But that’s the only time I’ve ever seen her lose it from happiness.