The Pro­posal

I knew I wanted to sur­prise her.

Our two-​year anniver­sary was fast approach­ing, and we had plans to spend the week­end in Lake Geneva. I knew she’d be dis­ap­pointed if the mile­stone came and went with­out a pro­posal, and yet I def­i­nitely didn’t want to do the whole engagement-​ring-​in-​the-​champagne-​glass thing. In fact, I had decided not to pro­pose with a ring at all – I wanted us to pick it out together. So, a cou­ple of weeks before the big day, I stopped by Tiffany and bought a pair of ear­rings I knew she would like. I sort of had a rough idea of how I thought it would go down, and I was mostly right.

On Tues­day, we had our first beach vol­ley­ball game of the sea­son, and for­tu­nately it was one of those per­fect Chicago sum­mer evenings. After our game (L 1 – 2), and a lit­tle bit of con­vinc­ing, I got her to take a walk along the lake­front. At a bend in the path we sat down on the wall, and when she wasn’t look­ing I snuck the box with the ear­rings out of my back­pack and onto the con­crete between us.

A minute passed, and she didn’t notice.

A few more min­utes passed, and it felt like hours. Finally, I started star­ing at her, and then star­ing down at the box, hop­ing she’d fol­low my eyes.

Why are you look­ing at me weird?” she asked.

I gave up and nod­ded down toward the box. Things get a lit­tle blurry at this point, but three things def­i­nitely happened:

  1. She got the box open.
  2. I asked her to marry me.
  3. She replied with an Elaine Benes-​style “Shut. Up!”

But, after the ini­tial shock wore off, I got an offi­cial reply (“yes”) and the deal was done.