Thursday, December 26, 2013

Love is a battlefield. Or something like that...

In honor of today being our "engage-iversary" (why is that a thing these days?? sheesh), I thought I'd share the story of the day C & I definitely almost did not get engaged. C originally wrote this for our wedding website, but I've never shared it here, and it's really too good not to post. It's a little long, but bear with me, because it's absolutely hilarious, and pretty much a spot-on representation of who we are - individually and together.

Join me, dear friends, as we travel back in time to December 2010, and revisit this potential disaster...

~~~

An engagement leads to thousands of questions. So many that, at times, I find myself slipping in a nupitally-induced coma. But before any of those questions can be asked, let alone answered, the question has to be popped.

Now, I’ve been trying to write this story for about two weeks now, but I couldn’t get past the first paragraph. Maybe because the story is awfully embarrassing—at best. Maybe because it’s tough to tell a story that hasn’t finished yet. Or maybe I’m just a bad storyteller. Either way, I’ve decided to skip paragraphs all together. So here’s a retro-diary of the proposal (dates and times are estimates):

December 18

I have the ring. Surprisingly enough, it isn’t that painful. I did some online research, familiarized myself with the four Cs, went to a jeweler, and bought it. But the hard part is figuring out the proposal.

I have ideas, even going so far as to talk to Ted Leonsis about surprising her at Caps practice, but nothing is panning out. After some time, I decide that the best place to propose is Lewis Ginter Botanical Gardens in Richmond. Lindsay loves it - even to the point that she wanted to have the wedding there.

I also have a crystal snowflake ornament to use as a prop for the ring. It’ll blend in perfectly with the statuettes at the Garden. I just have to find a way to distract Lindsay and set it up. With her attention span, it’ll be as simple as pointing one direction and scurrying off for a few minutes.

So it’s settled.

December 26

8 am

We wake up early. The Garden opens at 10 and I want to have plenty of time to pop the question, ogle some flowers, take some pictures, and get moving to Culpeper. The day after Christmas - or Boxing Day for all of our Canadian fans - is the perennial Cuccherini-family-gathering-extravaganza-reunion. Plus, we're going back to Lindsay's parents' for a night with close family friends. I figure it’ll be perfect. And then I look outside.

I had planned for a little snow, and really don’t think anything of it. But the weather decides to flirt between mildly obnoxious and potentially catastrophic. For those of you in the Northern Virginia area, between four to six inches. So I check the Garden’s website, and we’re a-go. Good thing we woke up early.

9:30 am

Let’s just say that when it comes to romance, I’m mildly transparent. Lindsay figures out where we’re going about half way down the highway - this feat alone is impressive because Lindsay knows where we’re going exactly 0.03 percent of the time.

When planning this excursion, I somehow failed to account for the dimensions of the crystal snowflake. Specifically, it’s shaped like a ninja star. I’ve wrapped it in tissue paper and tucked it into my jacket, but the ends are starting to dig in. Not. Comfortable.

The weather is getting worse the farther South we go. Four to six inches is getting dangerously close to eight to ten. But, like anyone in the Ninja Turtles/My Little Pony generation, I trust the information on the website. We pull up to the gates.

10 am

"Closed due to inclement weather."

10:01 am 

s$n&svr#*tsok!3bbf*0)$!! (not our WEP key)

10:02 am 

Time to call an audible. I don’t really know what to do. I was prepared for weather, not for a closing. I’m still set on proposing, I just don't know how, when, or where. At this point, my plan is to drive up and down the highway until I see a sign that says “Romance Here -->-->-->” in flashing neon lights. But of course, before any of that can happen, we need to stop for a bathroom break. "Burger King: Have Romance Your Way" - or something like that.

10:15 am 

Back on the highway. No idea of what to do. Peyton-Manning-audible time.

10:50 am 

We’re at our exit to get to my uncle’s house. Instead taking the correct exit, I decide to go East, because, so far, Wests haven’t been having the best luck. We’re going in the direction of Old Towne, Fredericksburg*. I mean, they put an “e” at the end of Towne, so it’s got to be lovey.

We’re driving, I’m scrupulously scanning every sidestreet, antique store, and cafĂ©. I see battlefields. Irony.

*It doesn’t actually have the extra “e.” I made it up for effect. 

10:55 am

Battlefield.

11 am 

Battlefield.

11:05 am 

F#ing battlefields.

11:10 am 

Losing faith, we turn around. I figure I’ll give Olde Town another try. Now would also be a good time to mention that the tension in the car is borderline overwhelming. We’ve been wandering around Virginia’s innards for almost two hours with no end in sight. Lindsay is confused and annoyed. I’m tired and angry. The ornament is beginning to burrow. It's not going well.

11:20 am 

We stumble upon a quaint little overlook. Well, it might be quaint; I'm not sure because it's blanketed with snow. Because Lindsay is cold-blooded, she likes to keep a tropical climate in the car. Add that fact to my growing aggravation, and I decide that I need a literal and figurative cool-down walk. I park and ask Lindsay to join me. I can't aptly describe her ensuing look, but it wavered somewhere between, "I wouldn't enjoy that" and, "If you ask me that again, I'm going to stab you in the eye with the windshield wiper." She begrudgingly gets out.

11:35 am 

We start to walk toward the river and I'm out of ideas. I'd rather not risk pulling out a diamond ring in a couple inches of snow. Too many opportunities to fumble. Plus, Lindsay has absolutely no intentions of meandering anywhere that's unpaved.

Losing confidence, I direct us to a tiny, weathered cafe that sits on the riverbank. What's the worst that could happen? We walk up to the door to look at the menu. The restaurant's name: Tru Luv’s.

No. Freaking. Way. Maybe I'm just battered from the day's events, but this sure seems like sign from somewhere. We try the door. It's open - thank God.

Generally, Tru Luv’s seems like a nice place. Black carpets, black tables, white tablecloths. I mean, it must be alright, it has salad forks. The entire back wall is a window with a gorgeous view of the Rappahannock - and another battlefield.

(Editor's note: RIP Tru Luv's, now closed.......)

11:45 am 

It takes me a minute to realize how alone we are; the snow must have scared off any would-be Tru Luv patrons. We sit in tense silence. I'm trying to think of a way to Houdini this ornament from my pocket without looking like a moron. Then I realize we've been in the restaurant for about five minutes and I still have my coat on. So, yeah, I look pretty dumb already.

11:50 am 

There's no suave way to do anything with a winter jacket on. New strategy: dispatch Lindsay for a few minutes.

So Lindsay says, "Will you go out to the car and get my wallet for me?" Now's my chance.

I respond, "Why don't you just run out there real quick, it'll take you two minutes."

Jackpot. She's leaving - of course, by "leaving" I mean she stormed out muttering something under her breath about torture.

11:55 am 

Time to set up the ornament. I get stage fright. At home, it seemed as simple as placing the stand into the base. At the restaurant, it seems more like a combination of Jenga, Musical Chairs, and Mousetrap. First, it's lopsided. Next, the waitress walks over and asks how I'm doing (I know, right? The nerve). Then, I can't get the ring out of my pocket because it's the box is buried in thirty pounds of tissue paper. Time is running out. She's walking in. I don't know what to do. If she sees it, she'll know what I'm doing, but it's too late to hide anything. What would Peyton do?

He'd obviously cover the whole contraption with a dinner napkin. So that's what I do. Bam. Done. Success.

Lindsay is standing by the table. She looks, umm, displeased.

Noon 

"What is this?" she mutters.

"Oh, just something."

"What is this."

"Just open it."

"Yeah, you want to get married and stuff?"

"I guess."

Please pay special attention to those last two lines. As mentioned, romance isn't exactly my thing. Apparently communication isn't either.

Moving right along, I attempt to put the ring on her finger. Wrong hand. Can anything go right today?

12:05 through the rest of the day 

We successfully get from the cafe to my uncle's, then to Lindsay's parents' house. Both of our extended families are thrilled for us.

So, in conclusion, the day was a success. Well, successful in the same way that the Titanic was the first ship to ever successfully use the SOS signal.

4 comments :

Stephanie @ My Freckled Life said...

BAHAHAHA. I can't stop laughing. This is both hilarious and adorable at the same time. This is also why I love you both. Happy engage-iversary (that should totally be a thing...)!!

Tammy Jo said...

hahahah this is to cute and sweet :)

Lisa said...

Hilarious!!! We got engaged about 3 weeks before y'all. He handed me the ring box without saying anything. I then had to ask him to ask me to marry him.

blm said...

this totally had me cracking up the whole time!