The Proposal

Here’s the movie version of the story:

I met a cute, bearded boy at work over three years ago. We started dating, and we fell in love. We moved in together, adopted a second kitten into our little family, and the four of us lived happily. One day, the boy proposed to me in the center of the city with a beautiful topaz and diamond ring. I was surprised, and I was wearing a pretty white dress and my hair looked really good. I reacted perfectly, crying that kind of cry where you still look really pretty, and I said yes, and I didn’t shout at him during the proposal, and we began planning a fabulous, bohemian September wedding. And we lived happily ever after.

Here’s the real story:

I’d had suspicions for a while that Bryan was going to propose. Actually, I’d been suspicious since last fall, so there were only about 25 times between then and the actual proposal when I was convinced Bryan was proposing. And then, naturally, when it didn’t happen, I would get all sad and mopey and not tell Bryan what was wrong because I didn’t want him to think I was being crazy, and then when I wouldn’t tell him what was wrong, he would get annoyed. It was really a lovely time.

Bryan and I decided to invite our families over for Easter this year. It was the first time we’d hosted a holiday at our house, the first time I’d cooked for Bryan’s family, and the first time our families met each other. No pressure.

Most of our family members planned to arrive on Saturday, but my sister, Lauren, and her husband, Dan, came on Friday night. So did Bryan’s mom, Jane, and her husband, Marty. I had the day off of work on Friday, so I spent the afternoon cleaning and prepping for Easter dinner. Bryan came home from a half day of work, and while I was cleaning and cooking, I’d look up every now and then and catch him looking at me from across the room.

Why does he keep staring at me? “What?”

[Looking away quickly] “Huh?!”

“Why are you looking at me?”

“I’m not.”

Friends, in whom I’d confided about my proposal suspicions, had told me they thought Bryan would propose during Easter weekend. What could be more perfect than having our families around to celebrate? But I was pretty sure it would happen later in the summer during a trip we were planning to take, so I tried not to take their words to heart. Still, I thought, it never hurts to be prepared. So, I got my nails done on Friday morning and chose a picture-perfect white dress to wear on Saturday. (White. Subtle.)

On Friday evening, after our first Easter guests had arrived, the six of use went to dinner at Pure in Fountain Square. After dinner, as we were walking back to our house, Bryan suggested that we head to Monument Circle for a walk and some coffee. It was a nice night, after all.

“I’ll drive with my mom and Marty; I can show them where their hotel is. And you, Lauren and Dan can ride together and we’ll meet you at Starbucks on the Circle,” Bryan said.

“Ok, that’s fine,” I said.

“But you’ll probably want to park far away from the Circle, in case it’s busy,” he suggested.

“You think it will be busy? There’s nothing going on tonight,” I replied.

“I know, but you probably should just park further away anyway,” he answered. “I don’t want you to be grumpy if you can’t find a parking spot.”

Grumpy! The nerve. “Ok…? I guess I’ll just see what it’s like when I get there.”

We arrived back home, and Bryan, Jane and Marty headed off in one car. The night air was getting chilly, so ran into the house and put on a pair of black tights to go with my black skirt and black t-shirt. Tres romantique. Then, Lauren, Dan and I headed out.

Just as I’d predicted, I found a parking spot just off of the Circle (hate to say I told ya so) and we made it to Starbucks before Bryan. We stood outside the store for a few minutes, talking until we saw Bryan, Jane and Marty approaching. As they got nearer, I noticed that Bryan had something bulky in the right pocket of his hoodie. Interesting.

Bryan ordered coffee, and so did Lauren. All the while, my eyes were fixed on Bryan’s pocket. Not only did it look like there was something in it, but he wouldn’t take his hand out of it. Not when he awkwardly had to pull out his wallet to pay, not when he awkwardly added milk to his coffee. What is his deal?

I’ll get to the bottom of this. Slyly, I walked over to him and gave him a hug on his right side. Clever. But, when I put my arm around him, he shifted his torso away from me and mumbled something about going outside to talk to his mom. Ok, that’s weird.

Left alone with my sister and Dan, I accused: “Do you guys know a secret that you’re not telling me?”

“What?” asked Lauren, waiting for her coffee.

“Is something about to happen? With me? And Bryan?” I clarified.

“Huh? I don’t… what?” She was confused.

“Bryan is acting strange. He’s been kind of weird all day, and it looks like he has something in his hoodie, and he won’t take his hand out of his pocket,” I explained. “Do you think he’s going to propose?”

“I didn’t notice anything weird,” Dan said.

“Oh my gosh, do you think he will? Tonight?” Lauren said, eyes widening.

“I don’t know. I mean, probably not. But it just seems like something’s up,” I said.

The barista handed Lauren’s drink to her, and we joined the rest of the group outside.

“Well, should we walk around the monument?” Bryan asked.

“Sure!” Jane said. We started walking, Jane, Marty, Bryan and Mystery Pocket Item in front of me, and Lauren and Dan slightly behind me. I turned around and whispered to them, “See? His pocket?”

“Yeah,” Lauren agreed. Dan nodded.

We walked a little further to the North side of the monument. Bryan was chattering nervously. I had butterflies in my stomach. We stopped.

“Do you think it’s about to happen?” Lauren whispered, coming alongside me.

“I have no idea. Maybe? I think so. I don’t know. No.”

There was a crowd of people on the monument stairs, and other couples and families milling about. For a fleeting second, I was sure they were a flash mob waiting to strike.

“Will you take a picture of Marty and me on the stairs?” Jane asked.

“Sure,” Bryan answered.

I stood nervously next to my sister as he snapped the photo. “If his mom says she’s going to take a picture of me and Bryan, then I’ll know he’s going to propose,” I said.

“Would you like me to take a picture of you two?” Jane asked Bryan and me.

Oh God.

“Sure!” Bryan said, already starting up the stairs.

“Uhh, ok,” I mumbled nervously. “I mean, I’m wearing all black and I’m not even wearing my white dress…”

Don’t be nervous! This is what you’ve been waiting for! This is the moment! It will be perfect!

Are all of those people staring at me? Is that a flash mob? Can he tell that I know? DOES HE KNOW THAT I KNOW?

Maybe I’m wrong. What am I supposed to do? WHY CAN’T I REMEMBER THE REACTION I PRACTICED IN THE MIRROR? Why am I so nervous? Oh God. 

I set my purse down at Lauren’s feet. She grinned and pulled out her phone, ready to record. Dan held his phone up, too. Dizzily, I walked up the stairs and stood next to Bryan. “Wait!” I said. “That’s my bad side!” I switched to stand on his left.

“Smile!” Bryan’s mom said. Smile? What’s a smile? I smiled. (I think.)

She took the picture. I turned to face Bryan. He was still smiling. Oh bless it. 

“I got something for you,” he beamed, finally removing his right hand from his pocket.

This is it.

In his hand was a large, vintage Easter egg.

“What is it?” I asked.

“An Easter egg,” he said. “Open it.”

A rush of nerves. Quick! Say something kind and perfect!

“I KNOW WHAT YOU’RE DOING!” I accused, awkwardly punching him on the shoulder.

Do not punch your boyfriend while he’s proposing.

“What?” he smiled. “Here.” He extended the egg toward me.

“YOU OPEN IT!” I said too loudly.

Why am I shouting?

“Oh, ok,” he said. He opened the egg to reveal a ring box. He extended his hands toward me again. “Here.”

“AREN’T YOU GOING TO OPEN IT?” I shouted again.

“Oh! Ok.” He opened the box, and inside was a beautiful, sparkling gold ring. He extended his hands toward me a third time.

Holy shit! That’s what my engagement ring looks like!


“Oh, um, ok!” He put the ring on my finger. “Will you marry me?”

“WELL, WAIT! Aren’t you going to say anything nice about me?”


“It’s just, I think you’re supposed to say something nice, and tell me how much you love me, or something, and shouldn’t you –”

“Just say yes already!”

“Oh, ok. Yes!”

At some point, he had gotten on one knee. Upon my answer, he stood up, and we hugged and kissed. Someone in the accused flash mob cheered.

We descended the steps to hug our family members. It took me a good 15 minutes to come out of my daze, realize what had happened and apologize for shouting so much. We walked around some more, and then we called my parents and our siblings.

The rest of our family members arrived on Saturday. I wore my pretty white engagement dress and we celebrated with the just-in-case champagne I had conveniently purchased the day before. And everyone agreed it was such a lucky coincidence that I happened to have a fresh manicure to compliment my shiny new ring.

So, I met a cute, bearded boy at work over three years ago. We started dating, and we fell in love. We moved in together, adopted a second kitten into our little family, and the four of us lived happily. One day, the boy proposed to me in the center of the city with a beautiful topaz and diamond ring. I realized it was going to happen just long enough for me to get extremely awkward. I was wearing an entirely black outfit, and my hair was a mess. I reacted nervously, shouting at him during the proposal, punching him once and demanding that he tell me nice things about myself. But, he loved me anyway, and I said yes, and we began planning a fabulous, bohemian September wedding.

And we’ll live happily ever after.

photo (2) copy

3 thoughts on “The Proposal

  1. I definitely don’t know you, and can’t even remember how I originally found your blog (some make up search maybe?) but I read it and loved it, and find you so charming. So I was inexplicably excited for you when I saw that you were engaged! Congrats from a total stranger! Your ring is lovely. Looking forward to following along as you post about your wedding :-).

    1. Jen, thanks for such a nice note, and thanks for sharing in my excitement! It means a lot!

  2. I love you so much. So Jillian in the best way.
    I ended up getting engaged over a shot of tequila instead of the romantic walk he had planned – sometimes we just need to control too much. :)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s