On Friday, September 12th I got engaged to my girlfriend, (now fiancée) Jill! Now that the big news is out, I’ll attempt to answer all of the questions that many of the women that read this will be dying to know (How? When? Where? Did she cry?). After several sessions of ring shopping with my mother (for those of you that know my mother, it should come as no surprise that she had a hand in this) and sister I decided on ‘the one’ and finally picked up the finished ring on Thursday night. It was at this moment, I realized that this was no longer just a hypothetical situation that I’ve been playing through my head over the past couple of weeks, this is it, this is real.
There aren’t many things that give me anxiety, other than the occasional inconvenient red light or unnecessary traffic on I-95. I tend to have a pretty calm demeanor and can take things in stride. Now realizing I’m about to make the biggest commitment of my life I have this strange tight feeling in my chest that I can’t quite get used to. Jill knows I’m a terrible liar and can’t keep a secret, so I know that when she gets home from work she will immediately know something is up. In order to mask my uncomfortable apprehension, I turn to a nice bottle of Cabernet Sauvignon and wait for her to walk through the door. I’m not sure how I slept that night, but I’m sure the Cab had something to do with it.
We both took Friday off from work, and given the beautiful weather forecast in CT that day we decided to enjoy the day outside. I was up and extremely chipper at the break of dawn, my anxiety has my heart rate at about 150 and there is nothing I can do about it. I figure there is no better way to get rid of anxiety than go on a nice long run. Three miles or so later, I’m no less anxious and a lot sweatier than I was when I first went outside. So much for that idea. Jill surprised me with a massage which she scheduled for later that day, which I would normally be excited for. However, given the fact that I haven’t eaten since dinner the night before and I can’t get my heart rate below the average person’s recommended rate for cardio this really is my nightmare. For a solid hour I was in solitude, alone with my thoughts, sweating, unable to move, and starving on top of it all. Did I mention I had to pretend like I was enjoying myself?
After what seemed like a decade, we spent the remainder of the day at Chamard Vineyards in Clinton. I think Jill was beginning to get suspicious at this point because I could barely talk during lunch. Luckily, she knows that I’m like Joe Pesci in the Snickers commercial when I’m hungry and I was able to pass off my awkwardness as a result of hunger. After lunch, we walked through the vineyard and enjoyed its outdoor area. There was a wedding happening at the main building so we walked off into the vines. I had rehearsed it 100 times in my head, and I saw it going much smoother than it did, but when I finally asked her to marry me I wasn’t sure if I was even speaking English. To this day neither of us can remember exactly what I said. I fumbled with the box, couldn’t get it open right, and forgot to get down on one knee. I never expected perfection, but I was hoping for a much better execution. Looking back, however, I would not have had it any other way. It was a beautiful day and the look on her face was priceless. And for those of you still wondering, yes she did cry! I slept like a baby that night.