Bradon and I both thank you for all your kind words. We are, as you can imagine, deliriously happy.
We were worried that we weren’t going to make it out to Chicago at all, what with the massive amount of snow that Coloradans have been nattering on about. We were sent home from work early on Wednesday. After a hair-raising ride home (Bradon says it wasn’t that bad), we were greeted with sights like this:
I was beginning to stress out a wee bit, since we were supposed to leave on Thursday (December 21). Sadly, Thursday morning (okay, afternoon) looked like this.
Waist deep snow, cars parked willy-nilly where ever they landed, and a bunch of our neighbors using shovels, buckets, brooms, kitchen implements, their hands, or whatever else was handy to try to release their cars from winter’s grasp. A snow plow, presumably hired by the apartment complex’s management, did a half-assed pass through of the main road through the parking lot and called it good. Assholes. We moved snow around for most of the afternoon and into the evening, hoping to get out and on the road on Friday.
And so we did. Once we got out on the highway the roads weren’t too bad, and as we moved east the roads got even better. The drive was fine, if long, and Bradon and I happily chatted as we drove through the long, dark night.
I’ll spare you the boring tales of lots of TV and goofy family conversations to get to the good part. On Christmas Eve Bradon and I woke up in the early afternoon. I shuffled out (in my pajamas) to chat with my parents while Bradon took a shower. Dad was cooking (mmm, pasta with a shrimp vodka sauce) and the Christmas Eve meal was imminent. Bradon came out of the shower and began pestering me to get out of my pajamas and put on real clothes. I couldn’t figure out why he cared so much, but I finally wandered back to the guest bedroom to get dressed.
Little did I know that he just wanted to get me out of the room so that he could ask my father for his permission to propose to me. Bradon knew, of course, that despite being a liberated feminist I am adamant about following courtship traditions. My father quizzed him briefly (more on principle than anything) and gave Bradon his blessing.
After the meal (what do you call a meal at 3:00 in the afternoon?) we opened presents. When there was only one gift for me left, Bradon pulled me up off the floor where I was sitting and sat me in the armchair. I figured that he had some speech to go with that final gift (which was certainly not ring box shaped), so I sat and looked at him expectantly.
Then he started to reach into his pocket and go down to one knee in front of me.
It all gets kind of fuzzy after that. There was me shrieking and crying, and a whole lotta sparkle, and then lots of hugging and more crying. I’m pretty sure I said yes in there somewhere (Bradon assures me that I did.) My parents sat on the couch and beamed.
After quite a while of hugging and crying and carrying on, Bradon told me that I could open the gift that was left. I looked at him, looked at the ring on my hand, and said “What could you have possibly gotten me that you would have saved for after this?!”
The box, it turns out, contained an absolutely stunning 36” strand of pearls. Bradon and I had previously discussed how every woman should own a good strand of pearls, so he had set out to make that happen. He had saved it for last because he didn’t want me to know that he had been to the jewelry store, not because he thought it was a better present. As you can imagine, there was more crying and hugging and whatnot.
So, yeah. Pretty damn good Christmas.
(Humorous aside: After Bradon proposed to me, I was trying to think of the phrase “he’s going to make me an honest woman,” but my brain refused to supply the word “honest.” It kept bugging me until, as we were getting into bed one night, I turned to Bradon and said “what’s the word…you’re going to make me a ‘blank’ woman.” Without blinking, he looked at me and replied.