Tuesday, February 19, 2008

how it all began...

Since I promised Renie, here goes...

Eric (#2) and I began dating in August 2004, a little over a month after my divorce was legally final. We had become friends during the summer of 2004, via Aimee, Felder, and ultimate frisbee. Incidentally, neither one of us knew that the other was interested, we just "happened" to always stay until the wee hours of the morning after dinner at the Davises on Thursday nights. I'm sure this made for some great conversational fodder for Felder and Aimee, since neither Eric or I told either one of them we were interested until July. We'd started hanging out in May. But I digress...

Many of you know about the car accident that Eric's mom was in that landed he and I in
Pensecola together for the weekend while we were "just friends". Why Pensecola? Only God knows, but that is also where the Life Flight helicopter took my mother after her car accident in Evergreen 5 months prior. BTW... Eric's mom's accident was in Evergreen, too. So, I was with Eric because I knew exactly how to get to where he was headed and he did not. And I was company for a really crummy car ride down.

So, a week after his mother's accident, I go down to visit and he sits me down for a DTR which included the following basic ideas: I think you're great, been watching you interact with others so I know you care about people, I know you love God, your ex is nuts for letting you go, I intend to marry you (Yes, he really said that before our first date!), and the infamous statement which ended his speech "Plus, I think you're pretty freakin' hot!". Well, who wouldn't go out with this guy. And he had started this speech with, "Well, I guess you know I kind of like you."

So we dated for 5 months, and it was not easy for me in the least. Anyone who was around during that time knows how hard it was for me to even contemplate giving my heart to another. So, I stayed very reserved emotionally and wouldn't even say those 3 little words. Even though I did, love him that is. But he did say it and often. And he pursued me hard, letting me know I wasn't going to be allowed to get away. Which, as God knows, is exactly what I needed. I needed a man to fight for me and not be willing to abandon me at the first sign of trouble.

All was well until one night mid-January when, as my Prince Charming was leaving, I let it slip! And then kind of freaked out and hyperventilated a little, and had to be talked down from a ledge. So, then we enjoyed the freedom of saying those 3 little words and often. And then, after 2 weeks, I got nervous again and began to freak out a little. I mean, come on, is this guy going to keep stringing me along or does he ever intend to pop the question? Keep in mind it had only been 5 months. But to someone who was taking a major step getting involved again (and so soon!) this seemed like a completely rationale argument. So, I take myself over to Aimee's house to gripe and talk through my inclination to get out once again becasue I don't want to waste my time on someone who doesn't want me. Already learned that lesson, ain't lookin to repeat that grade.

Well, Aimee knows something that I don't. As we sat in her kitchen discussing my next move in this relationship (jump ship or hand on a little longer), I can only imagine what was going throguh her head. She knew that I would be the recipient of a wonderful proposal in just a few hours! She did manage to convince me that I was being a mite bipolar - I love you, I love you not - and told me to give the guy a little more time. So, I agreed to go eat Mexican with him that night, in my ratty t-shirt, and hair pulled back in a ponytail. We had reached that point where getting all pretty wasn't necessary for every dinner out.

While we are at dinner, Eric's stomache begins to bother him and he has to excuse himself to the facilities. The wierdo decides to take his jacket to the bathroom with him (ring and cellphone are in the pocket, unbenownst to me) and we actually have a conversation where I try to convince him that his jacket won't be necessary in the bathroom, honestly! He still takes it with him, in case he gets cold. It's not lookin good at this point and I'm try to dredge up all the good advice and wisdom Aimee imparted earlier that day. So, he comes back and tells me that we will have to cancel our after dinner plans and go hang out at my apartment because he needs to be close to a bathroom. GREAT! I lived in a tiny 2-bed, 1-bath apartment built in the 1940's (so it was really cool, but small) and I have a hang up about bathroom visits.

We get to my building and begin to walk up the stairs to my front door when I smell something familiar. No, it is not someone's tummy troubles haunting us, it smelled like a candle I owned. I even commented to Eric that someone was burning a candle that smelled just like one I had. I unlock the door and it swings open to reveal at least 20 flickering candles, a tub of water, and a letter on my favorite chair. Instead of being enlightened to his intentions I begin to freak out as to what kind of wierdo intruder would do such a thing. Eric led me to the chair, told me to sit down and shut up, and asked me to read the letter while he washed my feet.

The letter held a lot of the same info as our DTR and ended up the phrase "I love you, I need you, I want you, I choose you!" (which he still uses to sign cards). He then pulled out the ring and popped the question. Want to know what I said? I actually replied, "Are you serious?" To which he answered, "I don't buy these for everybody." So I said, "Of course, you're my best friend." The he slipped the ring on my finger and I kissed him and then said "I think I am going to throw up." No, I did not share in his tummy affliction (there was none by the way), I think I was just reeling from the surprise of it all. The best part of the proposal was that it was a complete surprise. God knew exactly how to mend my heart and to restore what the locusts destroyed. My former proposal was greatly lacking in style, class, and everything else it should have had.

So, there you have it. And this might just be the longest post ever!


Reformed Grits said...

That is The Sweetest. Thanks for taking the time to share it! WOW!

Greta said...

wonderful wonderful story! way to go eric!