candy is dandy

While the internet offers everyone the chance to be either exhibitionist or voyeur to their heart’s content, I haven’t gone in much for either of those–especially the exhibitionist one.  But today I’d like to share something more personal than usual, simply because I shared it with some friends a few weeks ago and was surprised at their amusement.

So here it is: the story of my engagement.  This is where it happened.  The second time.

It’s not what you think.  But it wasn’t what I thought [it would be] either.  The summer between my junior and senior years of college, my graduated Lovey had hung around to be near me, renting an apartment near campus.  He worked down the street.  I worked with campus maintenance.  In case you’re ever offered minimum wage to spend your whole day weed-whacking, check for other options before you accept.  I did and there weren’t any, so there I was.  Accordingly, I was exhausted most of the time.  Even the time I was supposed to be spending swept away in swoon sessions with my Mr. Wonderful.

One afternoon, after failing to uphold my end of the conversation, I gave up and conked out.  But then, from the depths of one of those vivid, crazy dreams that only physical exhaustion can manufacture, I felt my body being lifted–lifted?!–and carried–wait, what?  I…buh…no, I…I’m sleeping….

He set me down in a chair.  Through my bleary eyes I saw him bend down on one knee.  And say some words that sounded familiar.  But what was he holding?  A Ring Pop?

“Are you kidding?” I asked.

I don’t remember his exact reply, but I can sum it up as, “No.”  He was 100% serious.  His explanation was that, while watching me sleep, he just couldn’t bear to wait any longer to propose.  Hang the fact that he already had the real proposal all planned out.  He dashed to the gas station, bought a Ring Pop–the only one left in the store, it turned out–and dashed back home to wake me up and ask me to marry him.  I accepted.  We called a few important people.  Then we had our first fight.  I won’t rehash the details, but my dashed expectations (and refusal to accept his improv as romantic) had pretty much everything to do with it.  Later that same summer, Lovey reprised his proposal.  We had to drive for hours to get to the location…

…by the way, check out his awesome post-college still-shaggy profile…

…and when we arrived the hours of boredom on the highway proved completely worthwhile.  Not that our path to the beauty spot lacked obstacles.  He drove his new car through this for me!  I realize now how lucky we are we didn’t get stuck.  You can kind of see the car right where the red tracks end.

You’re probably wondering where the heck all these roads led, already, and I promise I’ll get to that.  I don’t know how many times my Mr. had listened to me wax poetic about wildflower meadows, but clearly he paid attention.  He picked this location for The Question {Round Two}.

Here, under a warm sun and a cool breeze, we enjoyed a picnic punctuated by mooing cattle.  We photographed wildflowers.  We got officially engaged, and I left with this on my finger:

I saved the Ring Pop in my desk drawer for about a year.  Then I realized I wasn’t going to save it forever, so I might as well just remember it by the photos and let the real thing go.  I honestly can’t remember whether or not I ate it.  Would it be wrong if I did?  If so, I didn’t.

Here we are, a coupla kids thinking about getting married.  It’s been almost three and a half years since we went and did it, and in some ways I don’t even feel like the same person.  I’ve learned a lot about both of us.  I’ve learned that life is rarely what I expect.  And that I can only enjoy it for what it is if I let go of my unreasonable expectations and embrace the silliness and spontaneity as they come.

And, of course, there’s nothing like a trip to the mountains to refresh one’s perspective.

*One incidental detail about the Ring Pop.  Notice how it’s called “Star Gazer Grape?”  That was significant to us because, as I mentioned, this Ring Pop was last one in stock.  Mr. actually had a moment of panic when he didn’t see any where he thought he would; he asked the clerk, who helped him find this one lost at the back of the shelf.  And what should its flavor name reference but the night sky?  We spent our unofficial first date watching a lunar eclipse.  We often drove to the country to watch for shooting stars.  And we got married the day before the winter solstice.  It all circles back, seeming to affirm the place of this candy ring in our love story.

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  1. Diana

     /  May 1, 2012

    Good to review these details, romantic and other. You two are special people! Xoxo

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