Do you consider yourself a romantic person? Do you prefer fancy dinners, roses and chocolate romantic, or are you more non-traditional? What's the most romantic thing you have ever done for a loved one or had done for you?
Oops, I'm a day late, but if I tell you I wrote most of this last night, that almost counts as being on time, doesn't it? Alright, thank you.
Geez, this is embarrassing. I'm a girl. Aren't we supposed to love the grand gesture filled with elegant dinners, horses pulling sparkling carriages, beds festooned with rose petals and boxes of rich indulgent chocolates? I feel like I'm betraying my sex by admitting that all that stuff? That's just not me. I would rather get a really nice chapstick than roses. I would rather go out for a nice dinner and a movie, nix the chocolates and end the evening at home in our pj's watching The Daily Show. I find romance in dinner I don't have to cook and dishes I don't have to do. I find romance in the trash and recycling that I rarely have to put out or the oil change/tire rotation duties that never fall to me. How many times have I mowed our lawn? Once. And that fact, that fact is the super romantic. I'm feeling all amorous just thinking about it. One time I've mowed in eight years. I love my husband. But there is one super stand-out ultra-romantic surprise event that even a practical girl like me gets weepy just thinking about.
Joe and I moved to Philadelphia back in 1999 and lived in sin together. It was a forgone conclusion that one day we would get married. We were best friends, we laughed constantly, we were really really in love and it was going to happen. We picked out and bought a vintage engagement ring, on Ebay in fact. It was all pretty non-traditional. Except Joe wanted the proposal to be a romantic surprise. And how do you do that when you live together and the lady already knows that the ring has been purchased? Well, if you are Joe Sands anything is possible.
After a year we had made the decision to move to Kansas City and I traveled back to KC to look for an apartment and attend several interviews for a new job one week that summer. Joe stayed back in Philly to help his aunt clean out her garage, which probably needed a month's worth of effort (sorry, Suzy!) and so I apartment-hunted and interviewed and had a girls' night slumber party at my parents' house with some friends that I hadn't seen in ages. One of my best friends, Tara, convinced me to go to the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art the next morning for lunch and an exhibit that she'd gotten tickets for. The Nelson has been one of my absolute favorite places since I was a kid and their Rozelle Court restaurant looks just like an Italian courtyard, complete with fountain, gorgeous brick work and an open air feel. It's spectacular and one of my favorite spots in the world. I wanted to get married there, but the $10,000 rental alone was out of our price range. So I'd tabled that notion and moved on.
I was grumbly about going to the museum that early after a very late evening of drinking and chatting with friends, but she picked me up and we headed over. Tara suggested we have lunch first, which with a small hangover, seemed like an excellent idea. We walked into Rozelle Court, picked out our lunch and then went to find a table. Tara walked right over to a small table with a reserved sign on it and an enormous, colorful gorgeous flower arrangement. In a rather snide tone, I said, "Tara, that's reserved, we can't sit there." I rolled my eyes and scouted out other table options. She insisted. I still didn't get it and said fine, whatever and sat down. She smiled at me knowingly and I still didn't get it. "Look at the card on the flowers," she said. I picked up the card and read it, they were from Joe and said something to the effect of "I love you and so...." But I still didn't get it. Then from around the corner, he came out, got down on one knee and asked me to marry him. I started crying. I was shocked. He started crying. He was not at his aunt's cleaning her garage. He was here. And he was amazing.
This is from our 10th anniversary trip to San Francisco in June.
(I should also toss in this bonus note: my engagement ring is a vintage setting with a sapphire for the main stone, this awesome husband of mine went out and found a vintage ring box and re-lined it in blue silk from a blouse he purchased at a thrift store so he could present it in all it's vintage glory. He is crafty and excessively romantic. Stay away, ladies, he's mine!)