Proposal Notes

Perhaps I overshot it a bit, but the last blog post was a decoy. I proposed four days later, and she said yes. Now it has been lightly suggested by my fiancée — and what a nuisance of a term to type with the accented e — that I write about the proposal. But wait, I am not supposed to get too personal because some things should stay private. And thus the end of my freedom apparently begins with editorial censorship.

Critical to avoiding divorce will be my ability to identify when I may voice my unadulterated opinion. Timing is the lens that trumps all, especially with an exquisitely sensitive partner who not only cries every time she watches P.S. I Love You, but every time she talks about P.S. I Love You.

She once got choked up while describing the part in Dumbo when humans put the elephant in jail, and the big beast sticks its trunk through the bars in the window to hold its baby outside. I can see how that might be a poignant image to process, but here I have to invoke perhaps the greatest two-line exchange in sitcom history:

Joey: You didn’t cry when Bambi’s mom died?
Chandler: Yes, it was so sad when the guy stopped drawing the deer.

My point is I generally need to apply a filter when translating thoughts to speech within earshot of the lady. If there were ever a time when I have some leeway though, it’s now. She is still basking in post-engagement euphoria, dropping the L-word left and right and reserving time out of every hour to stare at her ring like the Ocean’s Eleven crew at the Bellagio fountain.

So I will take the liberty of documenting the proposal, along with the less boring narrative in my mind, without mincing too many words.

What I Did:

I bought an Asscher-cut diamond ring with tapered baguettes. Thank effing goodness I got her ring size independently rather than listen to my buddy, who told me it was 12 with a confident “You’re welcome bro.” She was either messing with him, or he mixed up my fiancée with Kawhi Leonard.

What I Was Thinking:

Are girls retarded? They lose their minds over a rock attached to a circle, one that’s so small and grossly overpriced, we have to use a unit of measurement called a carat. All I know is that if chicken breasts drop to $1.99 per pound, I am pulling the trigger. What is a carat in real life? If the idea of an engagement ring is to show commitment, then we should use the money on a down payment or retirement fund under both our names. The whole ring concept begs a damning chicken-and-egg question: Who is dumber, the one who buys it, or the one who wants it?

What I Did:

I told her we were meeting my friend and his wife for brunch at the Santa Monica Pier, where my future wife and I first hung out two years ago.

What I Was Thinking:

She clearly doesn’t know me that well yet. If I ever schedule a couples brunch on Saturday morning with the NBA playoffs approaching, I am definitely hiding something.

What I Did:

We were late as usual, so I dropped her off at the pier and told her to meet our friends while I parked.

What I Was Thinking:

I could just drive off now and never come back. I know she has Uber on her phone. And this way I would finally get to try Tinder, which I am almost certain I would crush. Give me a backspace button and time to strategically craft an image, and I will be inside of you in no time.

What I Did:

I parked on the street, opened the trunk, stripped in plain daylight, changed into a suit with a duck tie, and further accessorized with an ornamental French horn that I painted blue. This was an homage to her singular obsession with the show How I Met Your Mother. The box containing the ring was too big for my jacket pocket and just barely fit in the mouth of my pants pocket.

What I Was Thinking:

I loved my jeweler, but did he have to put something so small in a shoe box? I was jogging down Ocean Avenue with an animal-themed tie, off-color musical instrument, and what looked like a massive boner. I am pretty sure all sex offender registries will be making inquiries.

What I Did:

Upon reaching the designated spot where the bike path cuts under the pier, I already had three missed calls from my always-patient princess. I told her our friends were locking up their bikes and to meet us down at the beach. Walk directly south from Bubba Gump, across the wooden parking lot, and down the steps.

What I Was Thinking:

My two best friends were hiding to take pictures. She would reach the top of the stairs and see me below holding up the French horn, just like that stupid show.

What I Did:

After an agonizing wait, I knew something was wrong and called her back. She had inexplicably chosen to make a left turn and loop all the way around the side.

What I Was Thinking:

Females have an aversion to linear solutions to simple problems.

What I Did:

With her approaching on the same pathway now, I turned my back to her direction and kept checking over my shoulder. She didn’t recognize me until relatively close.

What I Was Thinking: This is so annoying. We should be at different elevations for dramatic effect.

What I Did: Ignoring her frenetic questioning, I took her hand. I addressed her by full name, started to kneel, and said, “Will you…”

Then I stood back up and said, “Take a drive with me?”

What I Was Thinking: I knew she would want a private proposal, which was fine because I was baking in the sun while wearing a suit and artificial boner.

What I Did:

I led her back to the car in possibly the most awkward walk of our lives. She knew what was going on in some part of her brain, but not all of it had registered yet. I deflected conversation and made her agree to complete silence once we got in the car.

What I Was Thinking:

I parked pretty far. This was not well-planned.

What I Did:

I turned on the ignition, and a CD of inside-joke songs started playing:

  1. “I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles)” by Sleeping at Last
  2. “Last First Kiss” by One Direction
  3. “I Will Wait” by Mumford & Sons
  4. “God Must Have Spent a Little More Time on You” by N Sync
  5. “She Will Be Loved” by Maroon 5
  6. “All of Me” by John Legend

What I Was Thinking:
While making the CD, I ran out of song ideas and had to stretch after the first 10. Hopefully the drive would be over before Kenny Chesney’s “She Don’t Know She’s Beautiful” and Savage Garden’s “Truly, Madly, Deeply.”

What I Did:
I drove up the 1, always a paradox with the Pacific beauty on your left and soul-trampling traffic in front. Construction on this particular day extended our 4.5-mile trip to 24 minutes, an average speed of 11 miles per hour. By the time we started winding up the road to Will Rogers State Historic Park, John Legend was belting away.

What I Was Thinking:
At one point in traffic, we came to a complete stop face-to-face with my two buddies from the pier pulling out of a gas station. I broke the silence to distract her, but there was no way she didn’t notice a jolly Texan built like a wooly mammoth and a militant Indian practically on top of our windshield.

What I Did:
The boner box was on top of my wallet, which I needed to pay for parking. I swept it out of my pocket and into the door compartment just before arriving at the park kiosk.

What I Was Thinking:
This box already kept me from chivalrously opening the door for her in Santa Monica because I needed to be on the other side of the car to conceal the struggle to get my keys out from under it. Note to self: Illogical purchases come in illogical packages.

What I Did:
I semi-suavely snuck the box back into my pocket after parking and walked her around to the far side of the polo field where we first met, at the Veuve Clicquot Polo Classic. The field was closed for renovations. We climbed onto some construction rubble to get on top of the umpire stand.

What I Was Thinking:
In a contrived parallel, we also hopped a ledge that first evening in Santa Monica to skip a long bar line. Later we jumped the fence at my apartment pool after hours, and she convinced me to go skinny-dipping but didn’t follow through on her end. That’s OK, though. Ask her what happened later that night, or if that’s too private to share. Let’s just say she liked the preview enough to sample the goods like it was a Costco grand opening.

What I Did:
In the back corner of the stand, overlooking the field without being seen, I pulled out her How I Met Your Mother bar menu. Wedged inside were the Clippers tickets from our first date. Then I launched into a poetic 90-second speech censored here for two reasons: 1) too laborious to explain all the inside references and 2) might want to recycle some lines for wedding vows.

What I Was Thinking:
I forgot what I was going to say three times. I was nervous.

What I Did:
She kept trying to hug me after I finished on one knee, but I made sure to get a verbal agreement in place before handing over the ring. She later said I was “lucky” that she got a manicure the day before.

What I Was Thinking:
I don’t care how your finger looks. I care about your personality, face, butt and hooties in that order. Anything else is incremental value.

What I Did:
After taking a moment, I shifted our attention to the trees lining the field to our right. Her sister and best friend popped out from behind one of them, where they had been waiting almost 2 hours. My buddies joined us, and we had a bottle of Veuve Clicquot and cotton candy Oreos.

What I Was Thinking:
Veuve Clicquot complemented the ring beautifully with its arbitrary price-to-function ratio.

What I Did:
I left that field with the girl I will marry.

What I Was Thinking:
I left that field with the girl I will marry.

And this is where thought and action converge, when the neurotic robot with an answer for everything cannot come up with an answer to why he should wait any longer to propose to the girl who makes every day better.