February, love is in the air as couples around the globe gear up to celebrate Valentine’s Day (Check that, not sure if this is celebrated around the globe and way too lazy to look it up). I try to divulge as much of my personal life as possible without making my friends and family uncomfortable but I too was/are a wide eyed lover entering this romantic month. I got engaged to the ProcrastiNation Princess in February about four years ago, it is a pretty good story so I figured i’d tell it here. If any of you guys are out there getting ready to pop the question, here you go, listen up!
I was dating my future bride for a couple of years and we moved in together and after some deliberation, I knew I was ready to propose. I had to go browse for the ring, at the time it was hands down the largest purchase I ever made. My Uncle took me to the jeweler and we sat there, looking at a few different rings and then I selected the one that was my favorite. Without missing a beat, the jeweler sprung up from his chair and exclaimed “lets get you checked out” I got bright red because I didn’t know if this was the time to tell my uncle and the jeweler that I had about $92 dollars to my name and I wasn’t prepared to make this purchase today. Lucky for me the jeweler offers FINANCING, sign your name on the dotted line and let that interest pile up. When the jeweler told me the price of the ring I nearly puked all over the counter in disbelief, I calculated that I would pay this ring off in or around the year 2046. I had no concept of money, savings or how this process worked, I smiled like a moron and went with the flow. As I finished the checking out process, the jeweler said “make sure you don’t give it to her on valentine’s day, that’s cheesy and it’s considered a gift so if it doesn’t work out she doesn’t have to give it back to you”. I found this parting wisdom to be very real and also very nerve wracking “hey doofus, when she laughs in your face, come on back here and you can sell the ring back to me for a quarter of what you paid for it”.
I was in a state of shock, this purchase happened so quickly that it was tough for me to wrap my head around just occurred, I had an engagement ring in a small bag next to me. When I returned home, I hid it away and began to consider when I was going to pop the question, where, when, in front of who, what time of day? So much to consider.
As fate would have it, one of my best friends called me up and said, he had Knicks tickets for February 10th. My pee brain started racing and I thought, perfect! My soon to be wife’s two best friends were living in New York City at the time, I can go to the game, she can hang out with her friends and afterwards, we can all hang out together and I can propose, perfect! There are plenty of romantic, historic and beautiful locations in the biggest city in the World, surely I could figure this out.
My soon to be wife, my friend, his brother and myself piled into his car and drove about an hour and then left the car and hopped on the connecting train into NYC. The ring was in my jacket pocket and I was nervous that she would feel it, notice the larger than normal hump in my jacket and then I’d have to propose in front of a Nuts 4 Nuts vendor on 32nd street
My nerves were building up, I still had no idea where in this god forsaken city I was going to propose, all I knew was that our friends would be together but again I was so nervous. I said forget it, I am going to do it right here, right now, she can see this box in my pocket, I thought better of it and kept plugging along. She didn’t notice but what happened next was a major setback… My friend had left the basketball tickets in the car, reminder that we left the car at the train station nowhere near downtown Manhattan. This could seriously shake up the events of the evening, my friend and I thought on our feet and found a printing shop, reprinted the tickets and we dropped my future wife off with her friends. They were in on the plan and decided they would take her to get her nails done so that the picture would look good with the ring later that evening. Okay, she was with her friends, I could breath a little bit.
My friend, his brother and I arrive at Madison Square Garden, the World’s most famous arena. As we were proceeding through the security checkpoints we had to empty our pockets and go through the metal detector. An old woman, who was working the metal detector at MSG watched me remove everything from my pockets and there was the box, she said “what’s in it?” I replied that I was proposing tonight and she said “Hope she doesn’t say no” another ringing endorsement from the supporting characters of this story. As she said this, another fan brushed by her knocking the ring box through the air, propelling in slow motion until it came crashing to the ground, BALL IS LOOSE, I dived on that thing like a starving man on a Christmas ham (Courtesy:Coach Yost,Remember The Titans. you’re a hall of famer in my book). My heart jumped out of my throat, the ring was secured and at this point I had serious doubts that I was going to be able to keep it together.
I could barely enjoy the game, the Knicks obviously lost, story of my life. I nervously hate three hot dogs and a jumbo pretzel and back then, I was still drinking so I slugged five beers and was rolling. (Another glimpse into my personal life, I am a recovering alcoholic, I will be two years sober next month, hooray for Scors). The game finished and we met back up with my wife and her friends, instead of getting the nails done they went and got appetizers and drinks, wonderful, more plan altering details.
The future bride’s best friend pulled me aside and said where do you want to do this? We were talking about going to a BBQ place for drinks and I said I will do it there. Luckily our friend informed us that my future wife would not want to be proposed to in a dingy back alley BBQ joint somewhere in Hell’s Kitchen. I was at my breaking point, I needed an idea, she came up with a brilliant idea, there was a rooftop bar with heated igloos that was right in front of the Empire State Building. The first good idea that I had heard all night, this could work, time to take a deep breath and regroup, I could pull this off, nobody would know the panic and anxiousness that I was experiencing while I walked through the NYC streets, slapping my girlfriends hand away from coat in fear of her finding the ring.
We got to the rooftop bar and it was showtime, we decided to all take pictures in front of the Empire State Building. Our friends all had their camera phones out and ready to capture this moment, my bride to be had no idea what was about to happen, for me, it was about to be the best decision I ever made. Before the picture was snapped I said “hold on”, I looked at her and I dropped to one knee and muttered out, through the nervousness, the closest thing I could get to a proper proposal, for her to be my wife. Her face lit up, tears in her eyes and she said yes, surrounded by our friends, we got engaged.
Calling all your friends and family and telling them the good news is such a wonderful and wild experience. Aside from my wedding day and Eli Manning hitting David Tyree’s helmet with a pass down the field, this was the best day of my life. Waking up the next morning it still seemed unreal, an awesome feeling. As we begin to unwrap this Valentine’s Day month, the month of love, consider going and forking up your personal information to some jeweler who wants to buy your soul. It might be the best decision you ever made, it was for me. My wife and I have now been married for over a year and a half, she’s the best, she puts up with me and supports me everyday. Just do it, buy the ring, suck it up, but remember, don’t give it to her as a gift, because as the wise old jeweler told me, she doesn’t have to give it back. Hear Hear to love.