POD: As Promised, the Engagement Story

There is an amazing woman in my life.  Her name is Nikole Sofia.   I could start listing off all her wonderful traits, but it will get really gooey and romantic  and I don’t want to lose the hardcore biker gang demographic that’s so important to my advertisers.  So I’ll just say she is my incredible, beautiful angel.

Visual Approximation.

We have been dating for over a year now. After some intense thought, I decided to propose. All that was left was to make up my mind how to do it… I finally settled on Panorama Park, a small public space in Wheat Ridge. This was the exact spot where she and I became an official couple in August of 2012, so it had huge sentimental value.

I had intended to do a walk through the park on our anniversary, but the start of law school delayed our meeting (we’ve been long distance for some time now as she finishes up her undergraduate degree). So the opportunity presented itself when I flew up to visit her and watch her perform in A Chorus Line [She was beautiful, amazing and in my opinion, the highpoint of the show (I know, I’m biased)].  After the show, wearing a snazzy new pinstripe suit (which she helped me pick out that very day), I led her around the park, talking about how much we’ve been through and how happy she has made me since we got together.  Mere words could never explain how much I adore her, but I tried to keep myself focused without revealing how badly I was shaking and freaking out over the biggest moment of my life.  I actually had a few moments where I considered backing out of the whole thing and not asking, just because I was so terrified.  Then, in the middle of the park, just as I was about to go into my preplanned proposal (More on that later) we were interrupted by a creepy guy yelling “Hey!  Come Here.”  Talking about it later, we assume he was calling for a dog.  At the time, however, I thought it was some sort of dangerous presence.

Visual Approximation.

Moving (quickly) away from the possible demon in the dark, we went back towards the street where I walked us down to as close as I could get to the exact spot where we started dating. Once we got there, I took a deep breath and plunged in, knowing there was no turning back now. I reached into my pocket and pulled out a cheap pearl ring I bought at a huge discount online and gave it to her as a late anniversary present.  Months earlier, on her birthday, I scared the daylights out of her by giving her a diamond necklace under the mistletoe at the Denver Botanical Gardens. She thought I was giving her an engagement ring, so she freaked out a little. Since then, a running joke with us is that every time I buy her something, I preface it with “this is not an engagement ring.”

I presented her with the decoy ring, saying the famous disclaimer “This is not an engagement ring, I bought it for $35 on Woot.com” (I should get a check for that plug). Despite knowing its low price, she reacted as if I gave her a Tiffany Bracelet  (one of the things that made me love her in the first place). She was touched by the thought and started to ask if we could call it a promise ring before I pulled a second ring, an heirloom from my mother, out of my other pocket saying “This, on the other hand, is an engagement ring.” With that, I dropped down to one knee and gave her my planned speech.

The speech was long and sappy, but the important part was “I love you and I want to be with you the rest of my life.” Steeling all my courage, I said the magic words: “Nikole Sofia, will you marry me?”  Waiting for an answer, I struggled to keep a poker face while my thoughts raced around my head.

I’m pretty sure I looked a lot like this

I stayed down on my knee and waited for an answer…………………………………………………… And waited……………………………………….. And waited…………………………………………………………………….. Bueller… Bueller……………………………… And waited.

Finally, after what seemed like six and three quarters years, but was probably closer to three minutes, I felt the need to break things up.  Keep in mind, all this time, the reaction I got from Nikole was “Oh god, Dynamite. Oh my God. Oh my God.” Not the most promising response.  So thinking I was getting a polite rejection, I stood up and went in for a hug, planning to say it’s ok and I understand.  But before I could, Nikole stepped back and said “No. Get back down.” I obeyed (see, I’m ready for marriage already) and went back down to a knee, preparing for the worst. That’s when my girlfriend fiancee dropped the mother of all mixed signals on me.

“Dynamite…” Oh jeez, what is she going to say? “I have no doubts that I want to spend the rest of my life with you” She’s gonna say yes. She’s gonna say yes, I’m the luckiest man in the world! “But…..” But? What but? I don’t like but….. How can there be a but….. This was followed by a lifetime of complete silence.  OK, it may have been thirty seconds, but I swear I could have read the entire text of an unabridged copy of Moby Dick in this gap. Out loud. With dramatic pauses and character voices.

Then she looked me in the eyes and said the only words I wanted to hear: “Yes, I will marry you.”

I jumped up and grabbed her in a tight embrace, only to find I had failed in an important goal. I hate public proposals, so I tried to make sure our moment was completely private. Just me and her. However, as I hugged her tight, thrilled with thought that I could hug her for the rest of my life, I heard from the darkness behind me “Yeah man. That’s good stuff.” Come to find out, one of the homeowners across from the park had gone out on his porch to smoke and had overheard the whole thing. So I guess random guy living across the park is technically the first to know about our engagement.

There is still a lot to be done of course.  No relationship is without struggles.  But I rest secure knowing that A, I have the most beautiful, incredible, fantastic, life-affirming fiancee possible, and B, we have a great story to tell our friends for life.

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