Nine years ago today...
...he showed up on my doorstep wearing his Sunday best. It was almost nine o'clock. I had on my baggy, blue and white striped pajama bottoms and my favorite green sweatshirt. He asked if we could go for a walk. I looked into his eyes and I just knew.
I begged for a moment to dash upstairs and change. There was no way on this green earth that I was going to be asked the biggest question of my life while wearing gnarly pajama pants. This occasion at least called for a pair of jeans.
Jeans on, we walked out of the house I shared with four other girls to "our" bridge. The one where we had walked many times before sharing memories from our childhoods, complaining about unjust college professors, discussing what we would change about our future lives, laughing at stupid jokes, planning the size of our families. ("Fifteen children", he had said. I just laughed and fell even more in love with him, hoping I could be the one to "help" with those fifteen children.)
That night we stood close together on the bridge. Three and a half months earlier we had stood a little farther apart, sharing our first dance on New Year's Eve, just as the countdown to midnight had begun. During that timorous dance, he trembled so badly that I couldn't help wondering if he was going to fall over in a dead faint right there on the dance floor. Now, he was steady and I was the one shaking.
Maybe it was the blowing wind...Maybe it was the jitters... Maybe I couldn't hear him over the sound of my teeth chattering (that was definitely one detail I had never included every time I had fantasized about this moment) but none of his words really registered in my head. I only remember him pulling out the ring box and looking at me, expecting a reply.
Ever true to my awkward and floundering nature, I made some goofy comment about, "Shouldn't you be on your knee or something?"
On his knee he went, more words, and after another impetuous hint from me that he should slip the ring on my finger it was official. We were engaged.
(Never mind that my mom had already called the temple to tentatively reserve a wedding date.)
While the rest of the world dreads "Tax Day", I affectionately remember the day my husband asked me to be his wife.
I love you, Joe! Happy "Will You Marry Me?" Day!