how he asked

We were engaged on August 14, 2011.

This is a lightly edited version of the account of events Bellee wrote on August 15, 2011.  

A little backstory:

On our first Valentine’s Day together, Michael gave me a bag with twelve envelopes in it–a year of valentines, to be opened on the fourteenth of each subsequent month.  It was simultaneously the most thoughtful and most excruciating gift he could have given me.  Perfect.  Little gifts included a Starbucks card, a dvd, moleskine notebooks, etc., each accompanied with a card explaining why i’d gotten it.

He did the same thing this year, only this time there were boxes instead of envelopes.  The boxes are shirtbox sized, or about the size of a pack of printer paper.  So far this year I’d gotten crayons and a Spiderman coloring book, little chicken salt and pepper shakers, a pretty vintage evening bag, etc.

How it happened:

Michael began talking about opening August’s present a few days ago.  This is not unusual.  He also made comments about crayons.  Also not unusual.  When we got to my apartment on Saturday night/Sunday morning it was just after midnight, so I asked to open my present.  But he said no, we’re tired, let’s wait until the morning.  So we went to sleep.  I woke up all groggy from the time change to find Michael already out of bed and wearing a Huntingdon t-shirt (also a gift to me from this cycle of presents).  He asked if I wanted to open my present, but I wanted to get some water, etc.  So I came back to my bedroom and sat on the bed, and he handed me the box.  I read the card first, and it said really sweet things about how he loves me and likes to be with me and all other kinds of mushy stuff.

So mushy!  But we are pretty mushy.

Then I took my sweet, painstaking time opening the box (which felt rather light), pulling back the wrapping paper one corner at the time and then slitting the tape so as not to tear the box.  The tape was hard to undo, and I said so.  He replied, “Well, I had to make sure you didn’t get into this one early!”  Meanwhile, Michael has been kneeling ever since he handed me the box, but I have not noticed.  Once I finally got the box open I carefully moved each sheet of tissue paper (bright pink), thinking there was a piece of paper or something to flutter around.  But I found nothing there.  Last year Michael forgot to enclose one of the gifts in its envelope, so I asked him, “Did you forget?”  Now I forget exactly what he said at this point.  Something like, “Hmm, I must have!   I think I put it over here…”  Then he reached over to my nightstand, and lo, a ring box.  At which point I realized what was happening and promptly began to cry and nod my head yes.  And then he asked me out loud, and I think I said yes out loud…but I made sure to say it again after he put the ring on my finger, just in case.

Other fun facts:

He’d had this planned for months, of course.  I almost found out on several occasions, but the following two are most hilarious:
· He accidentally uploaded a photo of the ring to his Google+ account when he showed it to Lauren Lashley (while I was in the room with them, of course).
· On our way to Atlanta I wanted to spit out some chewing gum and looked around his car for a receipt.  I found one with a phone number on it and asked if he still needed the number.  He snapped the receipt out of my hand, all, “Nope!”  So I said, “Hey!  I want to spit out my gum!  You’re going to make me think that’s the number of some TART!”  So we laughed and I spit out my gum.  It was my mom’s cell phone number.  I didn’t recognize it without the area code. (Sorry, Mom!)

The ring belonged Michael’s grandmother.  She gave it to him at Christmastime 2010.

This fits into the grand tradition of “Bellee has no idea what is about to happen, even if it’s obvious.”  See also:  our early courtship.