The morning of 11/12/13 I was completely oblivious to the date, or anything my boyfriend was planning for that night. I did however; notice that he was in an especially good mood. He was so kind, not that that’s weird, he was just… different. I didn't think anything of it at the time.
Eric and I work together. Not for the same company, just in the same building. He has always been strict when it comes to PDA in the workplace, but on this day, he was so sweet, giving me subtle, loving touches throughout the day; a brush on the shoulder, holding my hand. At one point I caught him just looking at me. The entire day, was almost magical, looking back. I felt so loved. I know now, he was so excited and just… happy. But at this point, while I enjoyed the extra attention, I was still completely oblivious to anything. My co-worker mentioned the date to me, but I, again, thought nothing of it.
I left early from work that day to go to an eye appointment; just a yearly checkup and to get contacts. The receptionist also mentioned the date to me, but still, nothing.
After my appointment I looked at my phone and I had two missed calls from Eric. Since we live together and work together, we see each other all the time, and if we’re not together we shoot a quick text, so telephone conversations are rare. I called back right away, with an immediate, “Are you ok?” He replied, “I’m hungry.” In Eric’s world, this could very well be an emergency. I laughed and suggested I run to our local grocery store to get some food to make. It was a random Tuesday, so whipping something up quick was my first thought. But he suggested, “Let’s go somewhere.” That’s odd, but let’s go with that! I quickly said, heck yea, before he had a chance to change his mind. A random Tuesday to eat out? Score! I tried to think of a place. I made a few cheap, casual suggestions. I quick bite at a bar & grill kind of place? I quick stop at a pizza joint? Pick up Chinese? What’s he thinking? “I want Italian!”, he goes. Italian I thought?! Double score! “Somewhere around here”, he goes. Hmm… The only place I could think of was this cute little Italian restaurant, Villa Valente’s right down the road from us, but it’s pretty pricey… there’s no way he’d agree to that, but what the heck, I suggested it anyway. “Yea, that sounds good. Let’s go.” Whaatttt??! This is awesome! A random Tuesday night Date Night! So bizarre, but I quickly agreed, again thinking he’d change his mind, and went from my doctor’s appointment, picked him up and we headed over.
Little did I know, this was the plan all along, and he manipulated the conversation perfectly to make me think it was all my idea to go to this little place that we'd gone to before for special occasions, one of which was our very first Valentine's Day.
But when we get to the restaurant it's closed. Bummed out, I look quick and find another Italian restaurant just a mile down the road. Paolo Lombardi's! We had never been there before, but I asked if that would do to fix his Italian food craving and he agreed, so off we went.
On the way there I had an epiphany. Our 8 year anniversary was just 2 days before. We both agreed that we weren't going to get anything for each other and we had a modest, but lovely evening in and cooked dinner at home. Had I said something to make him feel bad? I must have and this is his way of making up for it! That must be it, I thought.
We finally arrived, and sat down for dinner. After ordering a nice bottle of wine, he said I could have “whatever I want” on the menu! I even tested him, “So I can have the filet and the lobster and that’d be ok?!” “Yup, whatever you want!” This was very odd, as we splurge every now and then, but we always try to not go too crazy. I started to get a little excited and the possibility of him asking crept into my mind. I quickly shook it off though. After 8 years of wondering, “Is this when he’ll ask?!” and the answer being no, I've learned to try and not get my hopes up. There was one point in our relationship when it absolutely consumed me, and I was completely obsessed with that question. But along the way, I realized that there is more to life than one question. I started living life in the moment, stopped worrying about the future, and I found happiness once again. Happiness, I decided, meant more to me, than a status change, and that I would wait for him until he was ready and enjoy our lives together while doing so. But still, I couldn't help but wonder... could this be the night?!
We continued our lovely evening, and had a delicious dinner, great conversation and even shared a desert and some more wine. We wrapped our leftovers, got our check, and were out the door. As we left, that little thought crept into my mind again. “I guess that wasn't it. It was just him making up for our anniversary, like I thought, and it was absolutely wonderful.”
As we walked out of the restaurant and down the sidewalk, he grabbed my arm. I turned around. “You know this whole night was on purpose, right?” I looked down to his hand. There it was. A beautiful, breathtaking, diamond ring.
“Will you, will you marry me?”
I couldn't speak. I nodded. I was completely shocked. I don’t even think I took a breath. We continued to walk to the car. I buried my head in his arm and cried. We got in the car, and he put it on my finger. I stared at it for the longest time, trying to realize that this was real. I could barely breathe. Finally. It happened.
I don't think I have ever in my life been as happy as I was in that very moment, sitting in my car, in the parking lot of Paolo Lombardi's, looking at my ring and the man that gave it to me.
We sat in silence for a few minutes, both of us just taking it all in.
Then… screaming, “I have to call my mom! Can we call Tina!? OMG I have to post to Facebook! I have to tell the world!!!!” He just laughed, and said, “Just hold on, just enjoy this moment a bit longer.” and we went on our way.
He had Champagne waiting for us at the house, and we called our parents, my best friend, his siblings, and we stopped by both of our parents’ houses to spread the news and show everyone the ring. He hadn't told anyone except his parents, so everyone was just as surprised as me. He was the one that posted it on Facebook and we were completely shocked at the response. Everyone was rooting for us for a long time for this to happen I guess!
Well, it finally happened!! 11/12/13!! We’re engaged!!!!!!
Eric later told me that he had planned this day for quite some time. And even with our special little restaurant being closed, I think it worked out better that way, since this is a new chapter, and we ended up at a new restaurant. He also told me that he had originally thought he was going to ask me inside the restaurant, but then, when the moment came, he was afraid I'd scream. He's probably right, and I probably would've screamed and done cartwheels and caused a huge scene! The way it panned out, outside when I had just thought the night was coming to an end, was beyond perfect, and I'll never forget it.