When LB and I decided to get married, her stepdad Rob said, “I think it’s good idea…as long as it’s a real marriage so that you have to go through the misery of a real divorce just like everyone else if you decide to break up.” Best. Response. Ever. And, then her dad said, “I figured you guys had already eloped and gotten married by now!” Dads are funny.
At that point, we talked about marriage but didn’t make official plans. The next week, I had to go to Vegas for work, and LB went to the beach to stay with my parents. When I came home from my work trip, LB and my mom had planned (almost) our entire wedding.
I hadn’t even proposed yet! It was like once we decided to marry, she didn’t need me anymore to move forward with the wedding arrangements. But, I was all the more happy for it, considering that wedding-planning is stressful, and I have stress about having stressed…you know?
Once the planning commenced, I still had to propose. I knew the proposal didn’t have to be really formal. But, I wanted to make it special for her.
We picked out the ring together, and I paid for it. It had to be resized, and she didn’t know when she would get it, which gave me some romantic leverage and the element of surprise.
When I finally received the call that the ring was ready, it was Thursday. On Friday, I picked it up and made dinner reservations at Carr’s. I thought about proposing at the restaurant, but everyone does that, and we’re pretty casual with each other…so I wanted it to be more our style.
I thought about the things that represent our relationship and the life we share. I kept coming back to the dogs and all the time we spend working with them, playing catch/stick/frisbee, taking them hiking, and teaching them new tricks. I also thought about the time when LB suggested that we go to this bed and breakfast where our dogs can herd sheep for our honeymoon. (That was, by the way, a great indication that she is the perfect wife for me).
Side note: I was super excited that there is such a place—one where you can bring your herding dogs to enjoy a weekend at a B&B. But, I have high anxiety as it is. For our honeymoon, I’d rather go somewhere easy so we can relax and not worry about our dog’s behavior or clean up after them, etc.
Anyway, I eventually decided to propose to LB with the help of our little convict (dangerous dog that she is) Khaleesi.
Another side note: I also made her a book comprised of every journal entry I’ve ever written about her in chronological order. That’s because she’s been driving me nuts for nearly three years to read those journal entries. I never let her read them because they’re personal. And, lucky for me, she respects my privacy. (Another indication that she is the perfect wife.) But, if there’s ever a time to hand over my private thoughts, it’s probably now.
I gathered all the journals in which I’ve written about LB and tore out the individual entries. Then, I glued them into the new book with each one dated from beginning to end. The last page says:
That was my original plan. There’s an envelope on the other side of the last page, where I wanted to put the ring. But we aren’t great at keeping secrets, and she knew I was making something for her. I decided to use the book as a follow up to the official proposal.
Now, for the main point of my story. Here’s how the proposal went:
I left the ring in the box and put the box in my bag for safekeeping. I was too afraid to open the box once I got in the car, because if you know me at all, you know I break/loose everything. (Although, in my defense, I can fix almost everything I break.)
When I got home with the ring—in the box—I took it out of my bag and put it in a small cloth bag that looks like this:
…And then, I put the bag/box/ring into the dog’s “puzzle toy”. The idea was that the dog would bring her the puzzle, like she usually does, to get the treat inside. I hid the puzzle toy (see below) in my back pocket:
It was like carrying around a four-pound Chihuahua in my back pocket, completely ridiculous, but totally do-able. I waited for LB to sit and talk to me for a few minutes before I pulled the massive toy from my pocket and revealed it to Lee-C. I told her to take it, but in an unforeseen chain of events, she licked my face and walked away.
Lindsey was watching me carefully, and I knew I had to figure out how to get the dog to bring her the toy before she asked why I was acting so weird.
I decided I should throw the toy across the room, knowing that Lee-C would be inclined to chase it. Once she picked it up, I knew she would take it to Lindsey because she doesn’t have the patience to spend two hours chewing the bone-ties that hold the puzzle together just to get one measly treat hidden inside.
This is what it looks like when it’s open:
I threw it, and she retrieved it and brought it to LB (thank GOD). I WAS SO RELIEVED. Lindsey shook it for a minute and gave me a look like WTF is in this toy/bag/box? And, then she laughed like maybe she knew it was the ring in the box in the bag but she was too afraid to be confident and then embarrassed if she was wrong. You know the kind of laugh I’m talking about.
She sat there looking at me for a moment, and Lee-C told her (pawed at the toy in her hand) to open that shit ASAP because she was tired of waiting for the treat inside. As she pulled the bag from the toy, the box from the bag, and then the ring from the box, I felt this huge sense of achievement. I proposed…she loves the ring…holy shit…that was really cute…my dog is such a good girl…I’m so happy this is over, and I don’t have to worry about it anymore…and so on. But, then she put it on her finger.
She looked at it for a few seconds, and I practically shouted, “What’s wrong? Now you don’t like it?” She shook her head back and forth as if to say, “No, it’s not that.” I stepped closer to look at the ring on her finger and the first thing she pointed out was the gap in the band where her finger shone through. It was missing a diamond.
Seriously. At the moment, it dawned on me that I must have dislodged or knocked one of the diamonds loose when I threw the fucking ring—in the box—in the bag—in the toy. Five words: What.is.wrong.with.me? Five years to mediocrity…almost there…so close. What should I do with all of these insane ideas I have floating around inside my head? Throw the ring so the dog can bring it to her! Great idea, Sir Isaac Newton. GRAVITY SUCKS. Now, the ring is back in the box, in the bag, and at the jewelry store.
The way we decided to get married was slightly unorthodox, which makes my massive proposal failure a little easier to laugh about. But, I can tell you one thing with certainty; we will be going to that B&B…but not for our honeymoon. No. Dogs. Allowed.