Tuesday, November 9, 2010

People Sure do Love a Good Story, but this will have to do

Sig Other and I got engaged on Halloween. We actually got the ring several hours earlier but had to wait until midnight to actually cast the spell. Actually, I choose Halloween because people always ask us when we met or how long we've been together and the answer is "we met at a fourth of July party on the actual 4th of July."  So the holiday theme holds, plus it's an easy way for me to remember.

Everyone wants to know the story behind my recent engagment. I should make something up because the truth is, while I can guarantee it wasn't the Worst Proposal in the History of Humankind, it won't go down as the most romantic or entertaining or anything. Because there really isn't a story, at least not in the traditional sense.

What people wanted to have happened:

While out running errands one Saturday, we stopped at a jewelry store under the pretense of getting her a silver watch for her birthday. While there, I suggested she look at rings and in the process determined her ring size.

We just happened upon a ring she really, really liked. In my best Polish, I told the jewelry to pretend that the ring wasn't available in her size but could be ordered and would come in few weeks.

Disappointed, we left the jewelry and walked up the street to Stanley's West A&G International Fresh Market store where we do the bulk of our shopping. I pretended that I left something in the car and told her I'd meet her at the deli. I went back to the jewelry and bought the ring she adored.

Later that evening, when we left to go to a Halloween Party, I made an excuse to go back upstairs while she waited in the car. I set the box on our dresser between two candles. When we got home, I made sure I got into our bedroom first to light them. She walked in and saw the box and knew what was coming.

What Really Happened:
People ask if I planned it this way or how long had I been planning to do it. Well let's back up a bit. For months I've been asking Sig Other to find out her ring size. She doesn't wear a lot of jewelry so I haven't been able to do the "sneak off with one of her rings-thing" to get the size.

Each week we'd talk about going to one of those there jewelry shops but it never quite happened because we only have so much time in our weekend to do the domestic tasks that are the reality of being in a relationship. Sidenote: Sig Other has a non traditional work schedule and attends school so her time is limited, especially the cross section of time that corresponds with Retail America.

I even enlisted the aid of her sisters and her mother to try and get the ring size. You'd think three female relations would be have a vested interest in getting their blood relative hitched, but alas, they too couldn't get it done. In all fairness, 2/3 of them live out of state and the one in Chicago just had baby#2 so she's a little preoccupied.

Eventually I realized that I had to take action. So as in the fantasy version, while on our way to do some grocery shopping at Stanley's West A&G International Fresh Market we stopped at a jewelry shop up the street.

The plan was to just get her ring size but while we were there it made sense to find out what she liked in a ring. We looked at a few traditional ones but nothing really grabbed her attention. So I showed the jeweler a picture of something I had in mind. I didn't want the diamond to be the center piece because almost everyone goes with the diamond engagement ring. Nothing wrong with that but I wanted something a little different, so I suggested a sapphire center piece with diamonds along the side. My Polish Peeps did not disappoint. They found one that she liked and we talked about how the matching wedding band can fit with the ring and all that stuff.

I did go back to the store while she was grocery shopping. And she did think I was simply ordering the ring, but because we had found a ring she liked that cost half of what I had budgeted, I grabbed it.

They put the ring in a box and then put the box in a pink gift bag, the kind that you see at baby showers and adult toy parties. I really didn't want to walk around carrying that so when I caught up to her at the grocery store, I asked Sig Other to put the bag in her purse for safe keeping. She immediately figured out what was in it and never gave me the bag back.

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