I met the love of my life early last year. We’d been together for a few months and it was going so well we had already talked about the prospect of getting married, but we mutually decided that we’d wait at least a year to get married, so it was left at that and not discussed again. In late spring she decided she wanted to go on vacation to her favorite place, Pensacola Beach on Santa Rosa Island, Florida, this was always her place to escape to and get some much needed rest and relaxation, but this time she wanted me to come along. It was going to be over the 4th of July holiday, which is also close to my birthday, so it was to be my birthday present also. I knew this was the perfect opportunity, so I put my plan into action.
I wanted something special so I designed a custom ring for her (she never even noticed all of my probing about what she liked in rings), I ordered it and it was ready just a few days before we left. My plan was to get her on the beach at sunset on the 4th of July and do the old standard get down on one knee and propose in that beautiful setting. Well, what is it they say about the best-laid plans of mice and men? Of course, nothing went as planned, but wait, it’s not what you think, nothing went wrong. In reality, everything went very right. Turns out I just couldn’t wait any longer.
We’d been there for a few days at this point and she had been telling me about all the little crabs that come out on the beach at night, so this day, July 3rd., in the afternoon, we went shopping. I bought a couple of flashlights and told her I wanted to go down on the beach that night and look for crabs, and she thought that might be fun. We went out to eat that evening and back to the hotel room to get the flashlights and then down to the beach. We walked around for a while and she decided she needed a rest, so we found a couple of the loungers that were on the beach and sat down. I had that ring in my pocket all day and realized it was finally time. I had the perfect ring, a beautiful night and we even had the beach to ourselves.
When she wasn’t looking I got the ring box out, reached below the chair and acted like I had just picked it up from the sand underneath the chair. I said, "look what I found" and asked her to shine her flashlight on it and opened it up. She started asking all these questions, "you just found that?, where?, under the chair?, should we turn it in?" she was completely oblivious. I said hey, "I think we should keep it, in fact, I could use this ‘Will you marry me?’" She just looked at me, and looked at it, and looked at me, and looked at it and got this little half smile and this deer-in-the-headlights look and said, "what?." Then I came clean and told her I had the ring made for her and couldn’t think of a better spot than a place she loved and a better time to ask her, she just started crying, put the ring on, hugged and kissed me and said yes.
I’m not sure how long we sat on that beach after that, all I know is that deer-in-the-headlights look came back to her face and I bet she looked at that ring on her finger, looked up at me and just said a quiet little "wow" a good 50 or 60 times over the next couple of hours. That’s all she could say. I guess it would be safe to say I caught her completely by surprise.
And everything has been bliss ever since. We found the perfect house and closed on it a year to the day after we met, and we got married on the first day of spring. And, we wonder all the time, how it was that we never actually met before, when we lived in the very same dorm in college, knew some of the same people and were actually at some of the same places at the same time, some 20 years ago.
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