Ohmygod. He’s going to propose without a ring? Seriously??
And when I think back on that story, I realize those two kids were twenty-two when it happened. And that now they have two beautiful children, live in Colorado and aren’t quite as fit and firm as they were. I don’t even know who those kids were anymore…. But at the same time, absolutely nothing has changed.
I find myself being a little retrospective this morning, seeing as how today marks an entire decade of official Nathan + Lisa. Ten years ago, I was waking up uncharacteristically calm. It felt that even though it was our big day, things weren’t really going to change that much. To be frank, a marriage certificate didn’t change anything. In our case, change came gradually. We moved across the country a few times, bought a few houses and popped out a few heirs to the throne of our kingdom, and before we had time to count how many pairs of Abercrombie & Fitch jeans we had outgrown, we were adults.
But six months before we got married; the night Nathan proposed, I knew Nathan would always be, well… Nathan. We were on vacation with my family in Disney World, watching the fireworks; seemingly the perfect time and place to propose, and I knew the ring was a thousand miles away in Nae’s bedside table. We had already set a date, put down a deposit and bought the ring. I asked Nathan to propose for real, though… I was in my early twenties and being proposed to was a right of passage as monumental as going to prom or getting your period. In short; I was being ridiculous. (So again; nothing has changed, though now I have the wisdom to realize how obnoxious I’m being at that very moment and can try to temper myself as best as possible.)
We departed for that vacation at four a.m., and try as I might, there was no shaking Nathan from his grogginess.
“You sure you haven’t forgotten anything?” I asked pointedly. “Maybe you want to bring your silver rings with you? Did you get your watch from the nightstand?”
Nope. He was good.
As Nathan walked out the front door of our apartment, I took one last look in the nightstand. There it was. And Nathan was leaving without it. So be it.
That scenario was replaying in my head as Nae got down on one knee at Epcot. He is going to efiing propose with no ring. He will never change. This is going to be my life for the next sixty-
And there was the ring.
No matter how much of the wedding we had already planned; no matter the fact that we were already calling ourselves “fiancées,” I was surprised… And I cried a little, not only because I was supposed to (which I did – I was twenty-two, remember?) but because I was excited. A new chapter of my life was going to start.
Nathan had forgotten the ring. He enlisted a little help from one of our friends and my grandmother (who owned the building we lived in). Grandma Toni let our friend Will into the apartment to get the ring. We had cleaned the apartment before we left but never did get around to doing the dishes. After helping with the dishes at Grandma’s behest (poor, poor, Will), Will got a package ready to be FedEx’d to Orlando. I was made sure to be otherwise occupied when it arrived at our hotel room and I never did question my brothers’ oddly staunch resolve to get to the fireworks on time. After being told by the hotel bus driver that he was only “going to garage,” all of us ran the mile to Downtown Disney only to find there weren’t any busses to Epcot.
After hoofing it from a nearby hotel, we all arrived as the fireworks started; out of breath and sweat poring from our bodies. A few minutes later, Nathan and I were officially engaged.
And on April Fool’s Day, ten years ago, we started the next chapter of our lives. Turns out the next chapter was much like the previous one; just with new jewelry. As much as Nathan and I have changed, we are still those kids that forget engagement rings and are worried about being proposed to without a ring. I can always count on Nae to be totally predictable one minute and pull a surprising victory from his ass ten seconds from the buzzer. Our ten years is a testament to this; real love isn’t love without faults. It is love despite them. (Heaven knows how he has put up with mine this long.)
This whole post can be summed up with one sentence, really. Nathan will always be Nathan. And I love him for it.
Love you, Nae. Here’s to ten more. 🙂