It sounds a bit crazy (why do our conversations always seem to start out this way?!), but Casey and I purchased my engagement ring a good six months or so before he actually proposed to me. We hadn’t planned on it (oh look, there’s another recurring theme from our talks: “well, we hadn’t planned on it…!”), but when we viewed it in a jewellery store in Auckland one weekend, we knew it was the one. And then one of their staff members – a tiny woman named Ophelia – uttered the deciding words.
“You’re not going overseas any time soon, are you?” She asked. “We are!” I exclaimed. “We’re off to New York, Boston, San Francisco and Singapore in December.” “PERFECT,” Ophelia smiled. “Because we have a duty-free store at the airport, where we don’t charge any taxes on our products. So, what you could do is buy the ring now – and I’ll charge you the duty-free price, which is $700 cheaper – but the condition is that you won’t be allowed to pick it up until the day of your flight.” Casey wasn’t thrilled (“you know, this was supposed to be a surprise!” He reminded me), but we both agreed that saving $700 on something that we already knew we were going to pay for made sense. Casey was adamant that I wouldn’t know a single further detail about the rest of the proposal, though – when it would happen, WHERE it would happen – and banned me from bringing it up in the lead-up to our holiday.
We’d been in New York for two days when, on December the 13th, we decided to visit Madame Tussauds (which was a lot cooler than I thought it would be! We initially only set foot in there because we had free entry, thanks to another pass we had bought), and Times Square. We then jumped on one of those Big Bus Hop On, Hop Off Tours, where you can literally hop on, and then hop off at a number of different locations around the city.
Halfway through our ride, I said to Casey “why don’t we stop at the Brooklyn Bridge, and then walk the length of it to Brooklyn?” He agreed, but then acted distant the rest of the trip. He looked out the window beside him, silently, the entire time. Everything I murmured was met with one word responses: “hmmm.” “Mmm.” “Okay.” “Maybe.” “Yeah.” “Dunno.” Rather than suspect that something BIG might be about to happen, and being the tolerant, patient individual that I am (ha!), I remember rolling my eyes to myself and thinking “jeez, what’s up his arse?!” (You muppet, Corrine.) I didn’t suspect that the reason he was being so unresponsive was because he was nervous!
But then halfway through our saunter across the Brooklyn Bridge – where Casey had pre-decided he would propose to me – he bent down on one knee, and delivered this speech:
I still remember the way my heart beat the first time I laid eyes on you; the way my palms went dry, and the way my breath was stolen from me.
From that moment, I was madly, deeply in love with you. My love for you has only deepened since.
I love everything about you.
I love you for your kindness, for your tenderness, for your intelligence, and yes, even for your lack of patience!
I want to spend the rest of my life with you.
I have a question to ask: will you marry me?”
I don’t think I’ve blurted “YES!” so quickly in my life. Well, except for when he asked me shortly after, “now how about we celebrate at Grimaldi’s Pizza?!”
Grimaldi’s Pizza was a let-down – a story for another time! – but not even seriously surly service and the wrong orders arriving could spoil what was one of the happiest days of my life.
This time last year – exactly twelve months ago today! – I was saying “yes”. Now I’m in the early (the very, VERY early!) stages of beginning to organise our wedding. It was only fairly recently that I truly, madly and deeply thought I would be – and to some degree, wanted to be – single for the rest of my life. It blows my mind regularly how much can change in such a small amount of time, and that soon, I’ll be a Mrs…!