Last Thursday, on the commuter rail home, I decided to finally take steps to make an honest woman out of JR. I’ve been certain for a while that I wanted to spend my life with her and I look at an engagement and the wedding as a formality. I’m not minimizing those things, but I don’t think they’re going to change our lives very much. This lack of change is the main reason I decided to propose.
JR’s got a lot of traveling going on this month, so after I decided to do the deed, I knew I was going to get right to it. Also, while deception and subterfuge are 2 of my strong suits, this is a pretty big cat to keep in the bag. This led me to a couple issues: how and where to get a ring, and how and where to give it to her. People take these proposals very seriously, you can’t nonchalantly plop a felt box onto the coffee table during a ballgame. It’s simply not done.
Getting the Ring:
Like the majority of people getting engaged for the first time, I had no idea what I needed to know to buy a ring. JR hasn’t ever made a point of taking me through a jewelry store hinting at what style of ring she would or wouldn’t like. This would have made my decision monumentally less intimidating, and guys, you might want to see if you can set it up if you have ANY interest in engaging your girlfriend. Refusing to be caught unawares I spent the better part of Thursday and Friday evenings, learning as much as I could about buying an engagement ring and wouldn’t you know it, the internet was a pretty handy reference. I learned a lot on this site and this one, while also spending a bit of time on Bluenile.com “building my own ring”.
So like any young buck looking to engage his mate, I felt a basic understanding of the 4Cs (cut, clarity, color, and carats (though they should probably include chape, as well) was enough to handle anything the jeweler would throw at me. JR had to go in to work on Saturday morning and that figured to be about my best ring-buying opportunity for the following six weeks so I jumped at it. At my first stop, I found one ring that I liked. However, after asking the saleswoman about the diamond, I was borderline offended when she told me the clarity and color ratings. It seemed like most of what they sold was crap so I decided on to keep on moving. Remember, I was under time constraints. On the way to the next place, I called JR’s mother, father, and sister to get permission (and hopefully fish for fashion advice), they were down (but lacked concrete advice). Luckily, the next place I visited was great. They won me over immediately with superior lighting. You wouldn’t think it would make such a difference, but actually being able to see the diamond sparkle does a lot to help it sell itself. The salesman also won points for trying harder to get me to buy a ring less expensive than my obvious favorite. Less than 20 minutes after walking in to the store, I was skipping out, the future in my pocket.
I knew I had to do something, but unfortunately, my best ideas are usually too grandiose to accomplish on a limited clock. I contemplated the jumbotrons at both Fenway Park and Gillette, but both of those would have required waiting longer than I was willing and a intolerable level of public embarrassment (for JR). I wanted something memorable and remarkable, but not fantastically cheesy. I definitely got out Scrabble and pulled “W-I-L-L Y-O-U M-A-R-R-Y M-E J” out of the bag. Not knowing how to best utilize the letters, I put the tiles into my sock drawer, just in case, and went back to the drawing board. I’d had a sneaking suspicion since I decided to propose that if we were in the house, I’d use Charlie and James to help. So I did. I raced back after getting the rock since JR was supposed to be home around 2 and here it was 2:10 already. I had decided to tie the ring around one of the cats and a poem around the other. I tried the ring on James first, thinking he wouldn’t realize it was there. Unfortunately he did and kept putting it in his mouth and chewing on it. At around 2:20, JR called and said she was on her way home. I quickly tied the ring around Charlie’s neck and he actually didn’t seem to mind the bling too much. I knew neither cat was going to be happy about the poem so I wanted to wait to attach the ribbon until JR pulled in the driveway. So I waited, and waited. And waited. I didn’t want Charlie running all over the house with a ring around his neck, so I made him wait with me in the office. Which got hotter and hotter with the door closed and sun streaming in the window. 45 minutes later, JR called and said she had gotten a call from a friend and was talking to her outside a coffee shop and that she’d be home in a couple minutes. She came home, I tied the ribbon around James’ neck, carried him to the kitchen (knowing Charlie would follow us in), dropped to my knees and asked, â€œWill you marry us?” JR hadn’t seen the ring and thought it was a joke and when she realized I was serious, she started crying. Charlie, meanwhile, had decided to bring JR’s ring into the litter box. We grabbed him quickly, cut the ring off, JR tried it on, and said yes. Mission accomplished.
We haven’t seriously discussed any ideas for a wedding or a date yet, but I am REALLY excited to efficiently plan an extremely happening shindig. Really. When we do begin planning the wedding, you can come back here to read about everything we go through; to share in our joy and revel in our misadventures.