Engagement Story, Part 1
I wanted to write the story of how Mike and I got engaged. Part 1 will be from my perspective, and Parts 2 and 3 will be from Mike and my dad’s perspectives. So here’s how it went down:
Christmas morning started out like any normal Christmas morning. Dad woke me up around 9:30. Mom, Dad and I opened our stockings, ate our usual breakfast of cinnamon rolls, and then opened presents. After we opened presents, we watched Christmas movies on Hallmark channel or something like that.
Our family’s tradition for a long time has been to go to a movie after we eat our Christmas dinner. Mom kept saying we wanted to go to an early movie this year because matinees are cheaper and suggesting that I go ahead and shower so we could go to the movie right after we ate. I wasn’t quite sure why it was such a big deal that we go to the movie immediately after we ate, but I wasn’t going to argue.
Eventually (after I had showered), while we were still waiting for the food to be ready, Dad tapped me on the shoulder and signaled me to follow him. Assuming he was planning something to surprise my mom, I followed him into my parents’ bedroom. He asked me what happened to the present for my mom he’d hidden in his room and asked me to wrap. I was momentarily confused, because I remembered going into their room, getting it out of its hiding place, and putting it with the presents I wrapped. I thought I wrapped it, but I couldn’t be sure. She definitely hadn’t opened it that morning, though.
I remembered that after I got the present out of hiding, I went into my brother’s room to get the rest of the presents that I needed to wrap. I figured I must’ve set it down in there while I was getting the rest of them gathered up. Dad followed me into my room and I looked all around for Mom’s present. I retraced my footsteps of where I’d picked up all the other presents I’d wrapped, but I didn’t see it anywhere. I thought I must’ve wrapped it after all, and maybe it was in the living room somewhere. So I said we should go look around out there to see if we could find it.
Here’s where it got weird. The overhead light in my brother’s room doesn’t work, so you have to turn on a lamp for light in there. The light is plugged into the clapper. So Dad started turning the light off and on by clapping. Then he wanted to see if he could make the clapper work by snapping. He could, so then he wanted to know if I could do it too. So I did, and then we both had to try it with our other hands.
Now, the whole time we were playing with the clapper, he was standing in the doorway so I couldn’t get through. I kept suggesting that we go back into the living room because the mysteriously missing present had to be in there somewhere. But he wouldn’t move out of the doorway. Finally, I said I had to go to the bathroom so he let me out. While I was in the bathroom, I heard him yell that the present must be in the living room after all. So when I left the bathroom, I walked into the living room, and Mike was standing there.
It was at this point that I had a good idea what was coming. We were all kind of standing there making awkward small talk. My dad was taking pictures of us with the new camera I’d just gotten for Christmas. I thought I knew what was about to happen, but I wasn’t quite positive, so I didn’t know what to say or how to act. I just kept talking because I didn’t know what else to do.
Finally Mike started into the proposal. I don’t really remember what he said, but I do remember the part where he got down on one knee with the ring and asked me to marry him. Luckily, dad sort of caught the whole thing on video. (The camera wasn’t aimed quite right, so our heads are cut off on the video, but the audio’s good.)
Looking back, I suppose it should’ve been a bit more obvious that my parents were up to something, but all the signs could have otherwise been explained, so I missed them all. Here are the things that could’ve tipped me off and why they didn’t:
- There was the fact that they were both pretty insistent that I should go shower, but that was explained by the movie.
- There was the fact that it took the oven over an hour to heat up before mom put the food in the oven, but that was also easily explained because my parents’ oven has been quasi-broken for years. In reality, she was delaying Christmas dinner until after Mike got there
- There was Dad’s sudden obsession with the lighting in our living room. He made Mom change out light bulbs in the overhead light and lamps because it was too dark in there. It’s always been a little dark in that room, so I did actually wonder why he was so bothered by it that particular day. He said it was because he had gotten old and needed more light. It seemed to make enough sense at the time.
- There was also the fascination with the clapper, but that didn’t raise any flags for me because, well, my dad is just that weird. Those of you that know him probably also wouldn’t think it that unusual to watch him spend several minutes playing with the clapper,
- The one that really should’ve tipped me off was when Dad set up the video camera on the tripod while I was watching. He had the camera hooked up to his laptop, so I assumed he had something recorded on it that he was transferring to the laptop. And I figured the tripod was to get the camera up out of the way so that Maddie (my dog) or Kumo (my parents’ dog) didn’t bump it and knock it over.
- And then there’s the missing present that I had been pretty sure I’d wrapped. They had hidden it that morning so that my dad could call me away to ask about it to allow Mike to get into the house without my knowing about it.
So in hindsight all the pieces fit together perfectly, and I really feel like I should’ve figured it out. But I’m glad I didn’t because I was hoping Mike would find a way to surprise me. I didn’t expect my parents to be co-conspirators, but again, I probably should’ve seen that coming as well.
Stay tuned for parts 2 and 3 from Mike and dad’s perspectives. Not sure which will be next – it depends on who finishes their part and gets it to me first!