Our Story Cont’d: The Engagement

I’ve been reposting our falling in love story. This is the last installment, the story of us getting engaged, written by me, Jennifer in 2007. Enjoy!

November 24, 2007
The engagement day story dawns bright and early with me, excited because Aaron is getting back from a long trip working (he traveled, working with Andy Golden on mall fixture repairs), and finally getting to see him after him being away for a while.

The dawn is warm, and nice, being that it’s June it’s not brutally hot yet and I think I went to the gym and worked out, after talking to Aaron about when he was going to be home. “Should be mid afternoon,” he said. “It’s only about 2 hours away from home.” Great! I thought to myself….

I did whatever I could to occupy my morning, and then went over to Aaron’s apartment to wait for him to get home. His room mate, Cheston, wandered in and out, making himself lunch, and asking if I wanted anyway. “No,” said I, over the audible growling of my stomach. “Aaron said he’d be home soon, and I want to show him this church I found, and grab some Panera or something.” So, I sat and talked to Cheston. And sat. And read, then sat some more.

Finally, about an hour and a half after Aaron was supposed to be home, I called him. ” Where are you?” I asked, hungry and a bit perturbed.
“Um, It’s taking longer than I thought. We had to stop and get….gas,” he finished, (lamely in my opinion.)
“Gas?! It took you an hour to get gas?”
“We’re on our way, ok? Gotta go, be there soon!”

Well, at this point I don’t know what his problem is. What do you mean it took you an hour to get gas?! You’ve got to be kidding me. I am now hungry, tired, and bored. I think I may have napped on the couch for a while, and Cheston was probably wondering when I would finally leave.

After about another 45 minutes, at this point about 3 hours late, Aaron, Andy, and Andrew and Andrew’s girlfriend finally come into the house. I am Hungry. I am Pissed. I AM NOT PLEASANT. I suspect someone is not being honest with me. It’s not pretty. I am not proud, but it’s the way it was.

“WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN!?” I asked calmly, as they all piled smiling in the door. (snort.)

Andrew, a surfer from California out to do the internship and some work with Andy and Aaron, says in his California boy drawl, “Relax Jen, we were just watching a movie!”

This is the point at which I lose all feeling in my hands, and my vision goes completely red. I was so mad. He lied to me!

“Wait just a second!” I get right in Aaron’s face and point my finger so close to his eyes it must have hurt.

“You told me you were driving home, and I have been sitting here, WAITING FOR YOU, and you were at Andrews’, watching A MOVIE! WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU?”

I am spitting mad now, (I have matured, I swear!) and Andy Golden, being a wise older boy, steps back, and gives my angry some space. Andrew, being younger, and not as wise, steps into the fray, admittedly at Aaron’s defense ”Jen relax, we were just hanging out for a bit, ya know, chillin and stuff.”

I screamed an expletive at Andrew, that in kinder language would have been asking him to go away, and storm into the back of the apartment, leaning my body weight into the door so the slamming of it has more effect on the paper thin walls.

I huffed around the small room I had now contained myself in, furious that he had lied to me, and hungry, and upset that I had just screamed that particular grand daddy of all curse words in a room full of people, but not about to admit any of it. I had wanted to show Aaron the church, and get some lunch, and by now it was almost 4 oclock.

Aaron came in, and said some soothing things. The male equivalent of crawling towards me, neck exposed, hands in the air.
“Babe, I’m sorry, we just went over there real quick and then they started the movie and it just got late. Forgive me?”
Almost crying, I nodded mutely and sat on the bed. I was still pretty mad.
“How bout I pack up my bag, you grab your stuff, and we’ll go to Starbucks?” he suggested.

” I don’t want to go to Starbucks! It’s late and I am hungry and tired! And hungry!” I stamped my foot. Again, I swear I don’t act like this anymore. “I wanted to show you the church I found!

Aaron, still in his work clothes, made soothing noises, grabbed his already packed backpack, which I thought was weird because he always took ten minutes to pick the books he wanted, and he agreed to drive up to the church, which was near the Plaza Starbucks anyway.

I tried to be glad to see him, and my anger turned to sadness at the fact he always had to be traveling, and we’d never get engaged because his job didn’t pay a ton, and we’d never be able to afford a ring and if he loved me he’d have proposed weeks ago. (He’d asked my dad for permission in June, this was over a month later.) Oh the impatient heart in love, it can be kinda rough.

After showing him the Loretto, the church we would end up getting married, we got back in the car, and I burst into tears, collapsing on his chest, clutching his shirt by the collar with both hands, and uttered the infamous phrase…

” IF YOU LOVE ME WHY HAVEN’T YOU PROPOSED ALREADY!?”

I sobbed, and he held me and told me he was working hard to save up for the ring, and it was taking longer than he thought. He was so sorry I was sad, and he loved me and it would be soon, he promised. There was much kissing of my forehead and wiping of my tears (and snot, it was the ugly cry.), and he said “Let’s go get some Starbucks.”

Ugh this stupid man and his Starbucks! I started crying again, angry he was so set on Starbucks when I was so clearly in need of a cheeseburger! (I might have had PMS. Yes, PMS is why I was so emotional….Sure…)

I again proclaimed loudly my undying hatred of Starbucks, and my love for solid food, but he was insistent. Which made me crabby, because now I felt like he wasn’t properly honoring my starvation. (Now you people understand why, when I fast, Aaron has to pray for a week before hand, then hide.)

We get to Starbucks, and my boyfriend, who has never ordered anything other then Chai tea, turns to me and says “I have to go to the bathroom. Wait for me before you order?” Now, being made to wait for even a drink for this man, I say “CAN’T I just order for you?” I mean, the man only get’s one drink!

“No, I am not sure what I want.”

Now I am definitely confused. Aaron traipses off into the bathroom, and won’t even let me hold his backpack for him. Jostled by the busy 5oclock on a Friday night Plaza crowd, I sit down and wait. And wait.
“Good grief,” I thought to myself. “Not one of THOSE bathroom stops.” I was just about to stand up and order myself a drink, when he walked back into the cafe from the hallway.

There he stood, in an orange tuxedo shirt, black dress slacks, and black Chuck Taylor tennis shoes. Smiling his sweet smile, he held out his hand. The hand that wasn’t holding a ring box.

I squinted suspiciously and tilted my head. “What are you doing?” I asked. Not quite putting two and two together. “What is that?” I point to the blue velvet ring box.

He sighed and smiled, and looked at me. “What do you think it is?” And he held out his hand again.

Suddenly, it dawned on me, and my heart starting beating double time.

Aaron took my hand, and led me out into the very busy intersection in front of the Plaza Starbucks at 5pm on a Friday night, in summer. Stopping the traffic in every direction, holding my hand, he got down on one knee in the middle of the intersection and said “Jennifer, will you be my wife?”

Opening the box, he held out a white gold 1/2 ct, hand designed, one of a kind diamond ring that SHONE in the bright sun light. I gasped, coaxed out the ring, and said in a very small voice, “YES!”

Then, amidst laughter, applause and whooping from the packed out Starbucks patio and waiting cars, I jumped and grabbed him around his neck, then hopped up and down in the middle of the intersection, kind of doing this weird squeal thing.

A very kindly older man yelled out “Congratulations honey, now get out of the road before you get hit!”

Aaron and I ran back into Starbucks to claim his backpack, which instead of books had been holding his dress clothes, and my engagement ring. He’d been planning it all day.

We went over to the Art museum, where our friend Sarah had set up a picnic in the shade of the arbor, courtesy of Panera Bread. She took some discreet pictures, agreed whilst hugging me to be a bridesmaid and left Aaron and I to stare at each other and call our families.

Of course, staring at my new ring and my new fiancee, I was too excited to eat.

I had to do alot of apologizing for my attitude, but Aaron took it all in stride.

Remember earlier when he was late “watching a movie” ? He was really waiting for Ian Rutherford to get home, because my ring had been mailed from Kentucky to Ian’s house, so I wouldn’t find it accidentally. Ian was late getting home, and Aaron got back early, so they had to kill the time waiting for Ian, and Andrew spilled the beans about HOW they had been killing time. With no context, it sounded horrible, with context, I felt like a moron for yelling.

Also, remember when I had Aaron by the shirt collar, screaming, “If you love me why won’t you propose?” Yeah, my ring was on the seat between us, nestled in his backpack, waiting for his perfect planned moment.

And it WAS perfect.

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This entry was posted in Jennifer, Short Stories by Jennifer James. Bookmark the permalink.

About Jennifer James

I'm a full time mom who works full time. I'm a painter, a dreamer, and a believer that the most feminist thing you can do is adore your femininity. I say what I think, when it's appropriate for sharing. I write when I feel like I have something to say. I love always.

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