I’ve been asked several times if I wouldn’t share a story I have concerning a recent engagement that was proposed between myself and a certain beautiful young woman. I figure this is a good a venue as any to tell that story.
So before I begin on this story let me give credit where credit is most certainly due: This story and trip would not have been possible without the love and hospitality of Demarae and her husband, Brandon. Nor without Bryce, who provided not only a car, but invaluable companionship. A thousand ‘thank you’s to you three!
From the top then!!
About a month ago I got into my head that I wanted to go to California. California is a very special place to me for several reasons and I occasionally get a craving for some palm trees and cheap Mexican food. I also knew that I had family living near San Francisco (the benevolent aforementioned ‘Dem and husby’). So a plan began to develop in my mind of a long weekend involving beaches and bridges.
The idea of adding a bride into the mix came a little later as I realized that the relationship I was and (provided she doesn’t get wise) will remain in – was progressing towards that natural path of relationships that involves dresses and rings and bouquets. Once I had it in my mind that she and San Francisco could be best of friends, the rest fell into place.
For the sake of the easily distracted and in the interests of keeping this brief, I’ll skip the whole travel log and just recount the ooey-gooey details that make women sigh and men scoff (and then sigh romantically on the inside – I know what you’re about, tough guys!)
So on Friday afternoon we set out toward Muir beach, just north of The City by the Bay. Demarae (with adorable children in tow) led out towards the beach, only for us to arrive and find that the beach was closed! (I had planned much in advance to propose at this beach because of it’s incredibly scenic outlook. Google search “Muir Beach outlook” you’ll see what I mean). Not to be deterred, we decided to drive an extra 15 minutes to get to the next available beach, which lay at the end of one of the most scenic costal drives you can imagine (this drive would later prove to be perfect for my purposes).
We spend several hours at the beach doing what you might expect – Fighting the waves, harassing the crabs, and finding innovative and exciting new ways to get sand into every possible nook and cranny. It was great! (no nooks nor crannies were harmed in the process, you’ll be pleased to note!)
Now Alana is probably one of the cleverest people I know. She’s so clever in fact – that she had deduced what I had in mind. At one point she looked at me as we were relaxing in the sand and burst out with a, “WILL YOU JUST DO IT ALREADY?!”
I played dumb. This was about as effective as a lead balloon.
Finally I relented and “told” her when I was going to propose. Or rather, I lied. Right to her face, straight through my teeth. I told her I would “Do it already!” the next day at the Pier. She accepted this answer and relaxed.
We packed up the fun at the beach and grabbed some dinner. I knew that the sun would set that night at 7 pm. Dinner took longer than planned, and by the time we were back in the cars headed towards the Muir outlook, the sun was already setting.
So I sat in the back of the car (Alana riding shotgun, Bryce driving) staring at that stupid yellow-gold orb and trying with all my willpower to stop it from setting. I was failing miserably.
Luckily Demarae is much more practical than I, and pulled over at the first turn out on the road that we came to. She leaned back and gave me the ‘thumbs up’ out her rear window. Alana assumed it was just because Demarae wanted to watch the sun set, and I was willing to let her believe as much. I helped Alana out of the of the car and walked her to the edge of the road (which, again, was very scenically located atop a cliff overlooking the ocean, with forest behind us). We stood with my arms around her shoulders for a minute or two, watching the last 1/2 of the sun dip into the water and I could hear the quiet but distinct clicks of Demarae’s camera behind us. She knew what was coming.
Alana pointed out that this was incredibly beautiful and that we should ask someone to take a picture of us (had to stifle a laugh there, I could still hear the camera going off). I said “That’s a great idea, but first I have a question for you…” And there it was!! The moment had arrived. And when it arrived it brought several revelations with it:
1) I realized that I was so nervous I had completely forgotten my rights from my lefts – which meant I had no choice but to grab a hand with 50/50 chances that it was the right one and hope the “odds were ever in my favor”. (I got lucky and grabbed the correct hand. The left one. I know lefts from rights now. I promise.)
2) Nervousness also makes it very hard to figure out which finger is the one the sparkly bauble is suppose to go on. Again I got lucky and it landed on the one just left of the road-rage digit. First try!
3) This was probably the most important revelation: I realized that I had been waiting for THIS MOMENT for a very, very long time.
And it was perfect.
P.S. She said yes – just in case you were wondering.