Wednesday, May 2, 2012

proposal :: 5 years later

Five years ago, on April 28th, Marty proposed.

It was the first gorgeous Saturday of April, so everyone (yes, everyone -- this is important for later) was outside enjoying the weather. My husband-to-be proposed in the middle of a busy park near the office I worked at; he picked it because the lilacs were blooming like crazy (and he knew I liked to walk there on my lunch breaks).

Now, please note one important thing about me: I'm not, in any way, an exhibitionist. At all. Give me the choice between "center of attention" and "fly on the wall," and I'll pick, um, "fly on the other side of the wall... just to be safe." Ironically (and isn't this the case with most people?), I married my opposite. I should have known that this man would propose somewhere out in the wide-open world, rather than cloistered up in a living room, just the two of us. Oy.

He sent me on a little treasure hunt that morning, complete with clues that cued me to drive all over the Chicago suburbs, visiting places that had been significant to our relationship. I guess it took me a little too long, because I later learned that by the time I got to the final destination, he had been waiting there for over an hour. Picnic blanket laid out. Rose petals strewn down the sidewalk. Et cetera. Et cetera.

Here's the path I walked up, when I first saw him:
He was waiting at the top of the steps, giant grin on his face, and I truly wanted to run the other way. Not because I didn't want to marry the guy. (I really, really did.) But remember that whole thing about it being a gorgeous, beautiful day? The park was literally packed. Picnickers, people out for a stroll, college students studying for finals, teeny boppers: you name it, they were there. Throw in rose petals and a handsome, nervous-looking young man conspicuously shifting his weight from foot to foot and peering off into the distance... and, well, let's just say we had an audience.

I reached the top of the stairs, shaking, thinking dear Lord, he isn't going to propose HERE? And I actually think he might have... but then he saw the panic in my eyes. So Marty took my hand and pulled me father down the path, to here:
Right in front of that tree, there was a picnic blanket on the ground. He brought me over to the blanket, and dropped to his knee.

(I kid you not, the teeny boppers started screaming at the top of their lungs.)

He asked. I said yes. I begged him to get up, because, oh gosh, someone might notice you just PROPOSED

And the rest, as they say, is history.

But here's why this guy is the best thing ever: he knows what's good for me. Marty knows that I'm sentimental, and gooshy-mushy. He told me the real reason he proposed there, close to home, was so that every year on April 28th, we can go to that exact spot, and remember, and smooch, and laugh about how ridiculously self-conscious I can be -- and how ridiculously un-self-conscious he is.

This year, it was cold and rainy. (And, holy cow, we had our two kids with us.) So, funny thing -- the park was deserted. I propped my point-and-shoot up on top of my Starbucks cup, set the self-timer, and -- just like the last four years -- we took corny pictures at the very spot where our real story began. 

Quite honestly, I was at least a little less self-conscious than I was five years ago.

See? Told you he's good for me.


Rochelle said...

Hahaha - wanted to laugh AND cry with you! What a beautiful post!!! :) Indeed, we do marry our opposites, and they are SO good for us! ;) Sooo thankful for your little family and your friendship! Love you guys!!!

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