Born to be a Bride: The Engagement Story
This post originally appeared on our old blog, born to be a bride, as "The Moment I Said Yes."
In honor of #nationalproposalday, I thought I would share with your our sweet and loving engagement story. If you know me you are well aware of my standing obsession with all things bridal, that started before pre-K, let alone pre-engagement. I’ve been madly in love with Josh since we met, and I think we both always knew that we would end up tying the proverbial knot eventually. But we definitely traveled a long and windy road to arrive at the point. When the big moment actually came, and Josh was on his knee, I was so shocked I could barely breathe!
But for those of you who have not been regaled with this magical story before, the plotline is simple and sweet. Josh whisked me away to Southern California to celebrate the one holiday I obsess over, the Fourth of July. A good man not only loves you, but he embraces all your quirks — including my somewhat surprising choice of favorite holiday. Josh had packed a shocking amount of jewelry to go on the trip, a plastic bag full of family heirlooms including all my gold. When I noticed the bag, I assumed it was generalized male laziness — he just didn’t feel like sifting through for his cufflinks. It was actually the opposite — in case the ring made the metal detector go off at airport security, he wanted a ton of jewelry on hand to keep me from noticing that rock. This might have been a dangerous choice, but it makes for a funny anecdote now.
Any teeny-tiny inkling I might have had about us making a more formal commitment to each other on this trip was totally obliterated on the actual Fourth. We sat huddled on rocks, watching the magnificent fireworks over La Jolla, half-drunk on sake and cuddled up like a couple of love-sick teens. I was in my shortest, tightest white miniskirt (thanks, Mom!) and looking pretty darn cute. After the display, when Josh refused to take me for ice cream (the poor guy is dairy-intolerant!), I was pissed. The sake made me tell him that I didn’t think we wanted the same things. Ha! Meanwhile, as I childishly sniffed and drifted off to sleep, Josh was smiling into his pillow and thinking, “This chick has no idea what’s coming.” Oh, Gersons! Ever-dramatic, we are.
The fifth started on the beach and ended with fresh tans and fancy clothes. I donned a black silk high-low dress that my best friend (and soon-to-be Maid of Honor) made me buy, claiming, “When Josh sees you in that dress, he is going to ask you to marry him.” Well, the dress worked. Two hours later, my beloved was driving me to Crystal Pier, a magical place in San Diego that we had a Peter Lik print of, back in Brooklyn — our first important art purchase as a couple.
When we arrived at the beach, pre-dinner, Josh suddenly realized he’d forgotten the camera and had a panic attack. My thing was, we’re going to be late to dinner — who cares? But Josh said it’s non-negotiable, we needed the camera. Now, I am a very independent girl and had lived on my own in Manhattan for four years by this point, but Josh felt this sudden overwhelming need to protect me in this idyllic beach town, at approximately 5 p.m. He saw a random man standing by the entrance to the dock and said, “Here! Stay with this Asian guy!” and fled to retrieve the camera. I guess Josh figured this stranger was an appropriate stand-in for my Asian guy. This dude and and I smiled and then just looked at each other uncomfortably, unable to speak of the awkwardness that had just transpired, but he did stay with me, just in case.
My always-rational then-boyfriend was a mess when he returned with camera in hand, palms sweaty and eyes wild. The stand-in offered to take our picture and Josh, not wanting me to feel the ring box in his jacket pocket, practically lept around me, claiming he wanted his “good side” in the shot. OY! Who is this dude I’m dating? He’s replaced my sane, incredible boyfriend with a vain, paranoid maniac!
We then held hands and headed down to the beach. As Josh turned me toward that special pier, he explained to me that life is a collection of moments and places. He asked me if I recognized the pier from our photograph, and as I turned to tell him, yes, of course I did, and thank him for taking me to this special place — he was lowering down toward his knee, saying that he hoped this would be one of those moments, one of those places.
I always thought that when the moment came, I would burst into tears. I am such a crier and it just seemed natural. But this was the first moment of my entire life where I actually floated up above my body. The joy was so complete, so surprising, so palpable, tears were not even possible. Words were barely possible. When he asked me if I would marry him, my first response was, “You want to marry me???” I just couldn’t believe it. After kisses and the slip of that gorgeous ring onto my finger, I of course managed a “yes.”
The rest of the weekend flew by in a frothy mist of glee. I officially was the happiest girl on earth, and still am. Although sometimes I wish I could transport myself back to that incredibly special moment and place, I am comforted by the fact that every day with Josh brings with it new reasons to love him, even more joy, and lots of moments worth holding onto.