When I put on my running shoes yesterday for my Tuesday jog, I realized that I had left my iPod in my fiance’s apartment. No Couch to 5k for me, so I walked and jogged willy-nilly for roughly half an hour so I wouldn’t lose any gains. I’ll have to resume Couch to 5k tomorrow; in the meantime, I’ll tell my engagement story in lieu of my Tuesday update. It’s more interesting than my Tuesday update anyway.
When asked when we were getting engaged, my boyfriend would always say, with unruffled seriousness, “I’m waiting for Nel to propose.” I attend a Christian college, so my boyfriend and I have been routinely asked this question ever since we hit the six month mark in our relationship. Since we’ve been dating for three years now, it’s gotten to be a running joke in my family that I was going to propose. Recently, even my mother and my boyfriend himself were ribbing me about when I was going to pop the question.
I knew the proposal would come fairly soon, so I could laugh when they asked and tell them I was still saving up for an engagement ring. Yet I wasn’t even faintly suspicious when my boyfriend suggested we go hiking this past Saturday.
We don’t typically do things like go hiking in the middle of a semester. But last week was particularly busy for me and I needed some time with my boyfriend without papers or other people around. Hiking seemed like the perfect break from paper grading.
Once we actually got to the hiking trail Saturday morning, however, I began to feel hopeful. I was pretty sure he had already bought a ring, since he had recently made some vague references to “spending all of his money” on “food.”
We hiked up to a beautiful waterfall, taking several stops so I could catch my breath and feel like an old woman. When we got to the falls, we sat down on a large rock to enjoy the view. When my boyfriend started rifling through his backpack for something, I sat up, tense, alert, and expectant. Was this it? Was he really going to propose today?
And he pulled out a hoodie.
A few minutes later, he started rifling through his backpack again and pulled out the book we were reading for book club. I laughed at myself for being suspicious; I was entirely too happy that morning to be disappointed.
When he stared looking for something else in his backpack, I assumed he would pull out beef jerky or something. And that’s when he pulled out a ring box.
He handed it to me without ceremony and said, “I got you a ring so you could propose.” He insists he also said something about “being tired of waiting,” but I don’t remember it. We’ll probably argue about this detail for the rest of our lives.
I opened up the ring box and made some sort of noise between laughing and crying before asking him, “Will you marry me?”
He said yes.