I thought I loved you then.

I guess I should finish that story. Luckily for me I didn’t have to wait very long after my birthday to start calling Matthew my fiancé instead of boyfriend. I knew it had to be close because he talked about taking a job in Seattle starting at the very beginning of the summer, and he wanted me to go with him. Well summer was getting pretty close and as I constantly nagged him, he knew the sooner he proposed the better. I mean I didn’t want to get engaged one day, married the next, and then move to Seattle on the third day!!

Well March 12th was the day it all happened.

It was a Thursday and it started out just like any other day. I got up around 10:30, got ready, ate breakfast and was still five minutes early to work at 11:00. Right before work was done Matthew text me and asked if we could have our date night early, you see every Friday night we had date night which would usually entail going out to dinner and then a movie or hanging out with his family. Anyways, back to the story he asks if we can have date night early and go to La Casita. Of course I say yes (seriously why would did he even have to ask of course I want Mexican food). He told me he would pick me up when I got home from work, and that was that. So I went home and thought about changing , normally I dress up nicer for our Friday dates, but the fact that I was starving and tired I opted out to not. (huge mistake, but how was I supoosed to know he was gonna propose to me that night). Well he picked me up fashionably late, I mean Matthew was always late picking me up so it wasn’t a huge surprise but that night was later than usual, and I probably noticed it more because at that point I was STARVING.

We finally got to La Casita and after saying “Hi”  to everyone, and I mean “Hi” to everyone, we go sit down and order. Now as we were eating I should have noticed that he wasn’t eating very much, or that he looked kinda nervous but of course I didn’t notice anything, except the food on my plate as I shoveled in as much rice and beans as I could without making myself throw up. Our conversation was normal I remember complaining to him that if he didn’t ask me soon somebody else would, and I wanted to know if he at least been looking at rings *if I had only known at that moment he had a ring box holding my ring shoved in his sock so I couldn’t see it haha* So after I had eaten my entire plate, two baskets of chips , and some of Matthew’s we were finished and he asked if I wanted to go to duck ponds. This wasn’t unusual either because it had become one of our favorite places to hang out. I loved feeding the ducks, It reminded me of when I was a little girl and I used to go visit my Granny and Gramps in Prescott . They always took us to feed ducks and I loved reliving those memories with Matthew.

Before we drove out there Matthew, knowing that I am always cold,  asked if I wanted a jacket because it was a little bit chilly. I asked him if we were going to  be out there long and when he said no. I thought I shouldn’t need one. I was wrong. It was freezing. When we pulled up I could see that the gazebo, Matthew and I always sat and talked at, was covered in white twinkling lights and that’s when it hit me that something was happening. I didn’t want to ruin the surprise thought so I just casually said, “Oh, that’s really pretty” .

When we got there the plan was for us to get out Matthew to walk me up onto the gazebo, romantically propose to me, all while being captured on camera by his aunt, who was hiding waiting for us to get there.

Well it didn’t happen like that at all.

Right before we pulled in to park another couple was just getting out of their car and they decided to go sit on the gazebo steps. So frantically, Matthew tried to stall and asked if I wanted to go feed the ducks and then took me for a walk around the pond. Remember how cold I said I was? Well this cold was getting less and less bearable. I knew what was happening so I was trying to be patient but I couldn’t stop shivering and thinking about how cold I really was. Finally Matthew said he was just going to go to the bathroom and then we could go. As I froze and waited for him to finish up in the bathroom he was frantically calling his aunt telling her to go tell the other couple they needed to leave. I actually don’t know if they had to go tell them to leave or if they just left.  FINALLY though they were gone. As we were about to go get into his car, Matthew smoothly says, “Hey we should go check out those lights I wonder what they are for”?? HMMM I wonder too?!

If I could write how excited and happy I was I would, but there is nothing to describe the feelings I had when we walked up the steps lit with candles into the twinkle light lit gazebo, with “Sally and Matthew “ written on the cement , and I finally realized I was gonna get to spend forever with the love of my life.

After we climbed the stairs Matthew goes, “Well I kinda guess you know why we are here”. He then asked me to dance and turned on the song “Then”

by Brad Paisley. When the song was over he got down on one knee, pulled up his pant leg to get the ring box out of his sock, and then I’m sure said some really sweet things *honestly I was too excited and happy I didn’t really hear any of them* Oops! Someday I’ll have to have him write our story and he can include what he said. All I remember was him finishing talking and so I figured it was time for me to say yes. Yes, yes, a thousand times yes. I was soo excited!!

When we finally got done hugging and kissing enough for him to put the ring on my finger I looked down and saw the perfect ring for me picked out by the perfect man. Honestly if anyone knows how I got so lucky just let me know. I wanted to live in that moment forever. Thankfully because of Matthew’s aunt who had been hiding taking pictures we will always be able to look back and remember that perfect night that started this whole crazy love story.

And just like the song said, I thought I loved him then, but I had no idea. The love I have for him has grown more than I can imagine in just a few months. He is my happy. I can’t wait too look back fifty years and laugh saying,”Wow, I thought I loved you then.”

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