Jan 26 2009
I made an off-hand reference in my last post that Brittany and I are now engaged (hooray!), but shortly thereafter began feeling guilty that our engagement story equaled little more than a footnote here on the blog. To set things right, please allow us to officially present our engagement story. Because the tale probably differs depending on which one of us you hear it from, we will be attempting to illustrate the FULL story by giving you both a his and hers point of view. As with any good set of conflicting stories, the truth probably lies somewhere in between.
I proposed on December 20th, but I started educating myself on diamonds back in August, which was a good thing because it turns out that diamonds are serious business. At that time, I had a vague awareness that there was something called “the 4 C’s” and I knew that only a diamond could cut my car’s windshield. I knew this second bit because I once worried out loud in front of my dad that I was going to cut my windshield by using a metal ice scraper, and he chided me by saying that only diamonds can cut glass. As if everyone is born knowing that. Anyway, this was the extent of my diamond “knowledge.”
Thank goodness for Pricescope.com. We all know that the purpose of the Internet is for people who are obsessed about a peculiar topic (Pokemon, ShamWow, radishes, etc.) to be able to talk about that topic with similarly obsessed people on a dedicated message board. It’s like group therapy. Well, Pricescope is THE place for people who are obsessed with diamonds. In search of answers, I created an account and started asking my silly newbie questions on the message board.
As luck would have it, it turns out that most Pricescope members’ favorite thing to do is share diamond buying advice, and in no time, they had me up to speed with all the things I needed to know. Standing on the shoulders of giants, I knew where to buy a diamond (online! not in a marked-up brick-and-mortar!), which of the 4 C’s was the most important (cut!), and what those multi-colored 40x enlarged crazy diamond X-rays really mean. This is sort of turning into an advertisement for Pricescope, but I really owe a lot to the members there and I would recommend it as a starting place for anyone with no more diamond knowledge than the belief that it might be able to cut your car’s windshield.
So I found the right diamond on a site called Whiteflash, and after a wee bit of trouble getting my bank to properly wire the money for my purchase (I may or may not have used the words, “you’re trying to ruin my engagement!!!” over the phone) the diamond arrived just in time for our night out. Brittany and I had planned to eat out at one of our favorite Richmond restaurants on December 20th, and afterwards go to admire the Festival of Lights at the Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden. I knew this would be the perfect night to propose.
The only real problem with the plan was the question of how to bring along the ring in an inconspicuous fashion. The box it sat in was kind of…boxy…which meant that it stuck out like a sore thumb no matter which pocket I tried to stuff it in. I wanted to surprise Brittany with it, rather than have her ask about the strange bulge in my pocket when I picked her up at her door. I tried on every coat I owned, searching for one with a pocket suitable for concealing ring boxes. No such luck. I’m not a patient man, and soon I was frustrated enough to give up on the entire idea, cancel dinner, send the ring back, break up with Brittany, sell all my belongings, and move to a deserted island where nobody could ever talk to me or bother me again.
But then I noticed the hood on one of my coats. It’s the kind of hood that rolls up into a special pocket in the back collar of the coat, where it seals on the inside with Velcro. Could I roll the ring box up in the hood of this coat and seal it safely (and inconspicuously) away? Yes! Strangely enough, I COULD do that! And so it was that Brittany was picked up that evening by a handsome gentleman wearing a weather-inappropriate coat with a barely noticeable box-shaped bulge in the back collar.
Amazingly, we had the server to ourselves at the usually bustling restaurant (thanks economic crisis!), which left us even more time for Festival of Lights fun afterward than anticipated. Did I seriously just thank the economic crisis a week after losing my own job with Circuit City? Perhaps my new diet of bread crusts and filthy water is taking a toll on my mind after all…
We saw lights and trains and trains made of lights at the botanical garden, but I was distracted by the looming proposal. Where should I do it? When should I do it? Am I going to be able to remember all the things I’ve practiced saying? Mercifully, these thoughts were eventually broken by the sight of a a brick path underneath a tunnel of hanging yellow lights. When I saw it, I knew exactly what I needed to do. And by that, I do mean go to the restroom, since the ring was still tucked away in the hood of my coat and impossible to retrieve without making myself look like a clown.
After a successful ring recovery mission in the men’s restroom, I led Brittany to the brick path with the ring snugly in my coat pocket. I’m happy to report that I did remember the things I wanted to tell her (most of them) and when I got down on one knee, she gave me the answer I hoped for. At least, I THINK she did. When I popped the question, I distinctly remember her responding with a flustered, “I do! I mean…I will!” Do those count as a yes?
If you’ll excuse me, I should probably go clear this up sooner rather than later.