part 2- Olive loaf and demerits do the trick
part 3- Bravo’s, Barnes & Noble, and toilet paper?
part 4- an unforgettable 21st birthday
part 5-a 12 hour torture session
part 6- Here goes…
part 7- he says, “I love you.” she replies, “thank you.”
It was the Friday before Valentine’s day weekend and I was halfway through student teaching. Which means I was exhausted, but excited that it was the weekend and I could get some rest. After finishing Friday’s classes I sped back to campus to go to the computer lab and work really hard to get some work done before going to Wal-Mart with Dan for our Friday night outing. Wal-Mart. Fun.
I was having printer problems, so my work was taking longer than I thought it would. All of a sudden Dan (and I think Roxanne was with him?–Rox, can you verify?) surprised me by finding me at the lab and saying, “come on, let’s go”.
I was all, “um, I’m still wearing my school clothes, and I have to move my car or I’ll get a ticket”.
And he was like, “just leave it, let’s go”.
And I was all, “nuh-uh, I’m not getting a parking fine for going to Wal-Mart!”
To which he replied, “I want to get to Wal-Mart before it gets crowded (it’s THE place to go on a Friday night).
I saw the validity in that, wanting to get in and get out so we could get our weekend started. (I think I gave the Love Shep’s keys to Roxy so she could move my car and avoid a parking ticket…) then I hopped in his car and we were on our way to Wal-Mart. I was chattering away about my day and realized that he was awfully quiet. So I kept talking. And he kept driving…right PAST where we were supposed to turn for the Mart of Wal.
I said, “hey, where are you taking me?” He just grinned and said, “it’s a mystery date”. (Which is something we had learned about in marriage prep class–to keep the relationship fresh and new, take one or the other on a mystery date every now and then)
I was instantly suspicious. So I said, “come on, where are we going?” as I slapped him on the thigh (feeling to see if there was a ring/box in his pocket) Nothing.
Again I tried to wheedle a clue out of him, and this time I poked and tickled him (surreptitiously patting him down to see if there was a ring/box in his windbreaker pocket) Nothing.
I relaxed, looking forward to a nice mystery date night out with no expectations of a surprise proposal since there was nothing in either of his right-hand pockets (since he’s a righty).
I asked what tape was playing because I was loving all the music that corresponded to dates and memories we had together. He got all flustered and said, “uh, it’s a new one” and turned it off without popping it out of the deck. He said, let’s just talk and ride without music for a while. Which was WEIRD. If you know Dan, you know there is ALWAYS music playing.
So, I started chattering away again about student teaching. We were driving for quite a long while. I was hungry, so kept bugging him on how much longer it was going to take, where were we going, etc.
We ended up driving to downtown Cincinatti. Which, of course, I loved because (1) we had our first kiss there and (2) I spent a glorious summer there doing my internship and loved the city very much.
After parking in a very random and pretty empty parking lot, we walked down and sat by the Cincinnati river. We were sitting there musing, remembering, contemplating, even just sitting in silence (except for my growling, hungry tummy) at times enjoying being next to each other. I linked my arm through his (we each had our hands in our pockets because it was a little bit windy and chilly) He started saying things like, “we have the best talks”, “we have so many great memories together”, “you and I get a along so great”, etc. and I started to PANIC. All I could think was “he’s breaking up with me. He drove me all the way to Cincinnati to break up with me. And we’re going to have to drive 2 hours back to campus after breaking up…how awkward is that going to be?”
All of a sudden he untangled his arm from mine and was down on a knee in front of me with a little black box cracked open with what appeared to be a 27 karat, princess cut diamond ring peeking out from inside. I smiled and focused on his face and listened to what he was saying (well, I tried really hard. The ring was totally distracting me and kept sucking me in…) as he told me he loved me and asked me to marry him.
I remembered to say “yes” immediately, and he put the ring on my finger. We kissed very, very quickly and wrapped our arms around each other. I said “I love you” to him for the very first time OUT LOUD and wanted to continue hugging (*ahem* etc), but he abruptly broke out of the hug and declared, “we’ve got to go. We have a plane to catch.”
Whaaaat? I was so completely dumbfounded. He said, “we’re going to New Jersey. We have to get to the airport and get going so we don’t miss our flight.” To which I replied, “but I don’t have a bag” (meaning, I don’t have any clothes, toiletries, accessories, necessities, etc…)
He said, “it’s in the trunk.” I didn’t move. I robot-like repeated, “I don’t have a bag.” He laughed and said, “come on, let’s go. I’ll explain in the car.”
We flew up the hill and hopped in the Phishmobile (aka the Luminator) and again I told him, “I don’t have a bag”.
He then commenced to tell me that everything had been taken care of. My friends had packed a bag for me–they had gone into my apartment and packed everything I would need for the weekend (even my roommate’s deoderant! Oops.) We were going to be flying to New Jersey where our parents would meet us at the airport. Then we would go back to my parent’s house overnight, then go to his parent’s the next night for an engagement party etc….
He turned the cassette tape back on again–it was a tape he had made specifically for our engagement. He had to stop it at a certain point because some of the songs were significant to our dating relationship up to that point, and the rest was for after we were engaged and filled with wedding/marriage songs.
He began to tell me that this whole weekend had been in the works for months and everyone had been in on it–both sets of parents, my brother Andrew (who was at Cedarville at the time as a student) all my “girls”…no one let on a single thing and I didn’t suspect a thing. I just couldn’t believe it. No one can EVER pull a surprise off on me, so he got me, and he got me GOOD.
We sat on the plane in complete shock and giddyness. I just stared and stared at my gorgeous ring. And sometimes at my gorgeous guy, but mostly at my sparkly new ring.
Our parents met us at the airport with balloons and gifts–one of which is a pillow Dan’s mom quilted just for the occasion. We sat down at the first table we could find so we could tell the whole story. It was all so unreal!
The surprises just kept on coming. After brunch the next day, Dan told me to get dressed in the “dressy outfit” the girls had packed for me. We got gussied up, hopped in my parents’ Jeep and headed into New York City. I found myself on Broadway to see Titanic, the musical. Seriously, my life is a movie.
After the show, we headed back to his old high school where his entire family was attending a basketball game. We saw everyone. And I mean everyone. We showed off my ring and told our story and posed for a bazillion pictures before heading back to his parents’ house for a family dinner and engagement celebration.
What a whirlwind weekend! We flew back to Cedarville on Valentine’s Day. Again, the surprises were not done. When we arrived at the airport, we walked out of the gate to a huge “Congrats” sign with all of our closest friends underneath anxiously awaiting our arrival to whisk us off to coffee and dessert so we could tell our engagement story and all about our weekend.
Needless to say I arrived to school on Monday slightly less prepared to teach than I usually do, but all I did was tell this story over and over to each class all day anyway. I could not believe Dan Scott had asked me to marry him.
I still can hardly believe it to this day.