how joel proposed. a friend suggested i share this story. so, here it is!
a little back story (for my plethora of new followers who don't know me personally). joel is a diamond in the rough. he is a man's man. outdoorsy, rugged, not sentimental (at all), only gets emotional when he hears sad stories about puppies and babies (true story). but. he is incredibly romantic. when he wants to be.
this is a semi long story. so MORE back story.
1st date-we went to college together at UNC charlotte and there is this little shopping center near the campus centered around a lake. we ate at this pizza joint (i really can't remember the name) and it wasn't anything special, especially since we were broke college students. but it was all full of butterflies. lovey dovey, i know......
our favorite place to eat-mcalister's deli. who doesn't love soup in a bread bowl and a big ol' sweet tea?? and it's cheap. and we were poor. (noticing a trend??) but we ate here a lot.
our first valentine's day-we went to a beautiful park in charlotte, had a picnic, walked around, played in the rain. oh yeah, it was raining. but it was wonderful and fun. and again, full of butterflies.
fast forward a few months. joel asks my dad for permission (he's old fashioned like that) and then begins to take me on a string of dates-mostly very fancy, like, you know.....olive garden. and randomly he would get down on a knee. to tie his shoe......or....pick up a fork. (if you're wondering, yes i had an idea that a proposal was coming). come october, still no ring. i had told joel that if he was going to propose, i wanted at least 9 months to a year to plan a wedding. and knowing our timeline, i knew that window was closing soon.
ok now to the real story. he picks me up one day from my dorm. i don't know what we are doing, except that he has the whole day planned. we head over to mcalister's and he buys 2 sweet teas and 2 salads. next stop, that nameless little pizza place i mentioned earlier for a nice big dessert. then we head over to brixx pizza oven for a wonderfully yummy pizza. finally we get to that same park from our first valentine's day.
now i have to say, at this point in our relationship, i was very desensitized to the idea of a fancy proposal. i had really started thinking that it would be incredibly random. so i wasn't really expecting anything. especially not this day.
we get to the park, gather all of our "picnic" gear and start walking toward the picnic area. we get halfway there and joel turns to me.
joel: will you go get the lighter from the car?
me: it's ok, we don't need candles. i'm hungry.
joel: just go get it.
me: no, why? i just want to eat.
joel: (in a very stern voice) go. get. it.
so i huff, loudly, turn around and go get. i get back to the table and joel has the table cloth all spread out, candles and food set out, music playing. very cute. we eat our dinner backwards-dessert first, then pizza and salads. after we're done eating i start cleaning up all of the stuff, blow out the candles and pack everything up. then joel stands up and does that little "whip the table cloth out from under the place settings without pulling the plates off" thing. only, there is nothing on top of the table cloth.
me: ooohhh. good job honey, you didn't break a thing! ::giggle giggle, snort::
me: at what? (yeah, i'm clueless.)
joel ::nods towards the table::
i look down and carved into the wood of the table (which i'm pretty sure is destruction of public property but why let a silly thing like the law stand in the way of true love!?) are the words, "WILL YOU MARRY ME?". my first reaction-"aw, that's cute! someone carved that into the table!!"
i look back to joel, who now is on one knee, with a ring in his hand. like i said. i. am. clueless.
obviously, i said yes, and almost immediately started planning.
skip ahead 8 months. may 20th, 2005.
5 years ago today, i married my best friend. really.
he makes me laugh, especially when i am angry. usually at him.
he makes me cry. but in a good way. like when he comes home and jumps on the floor to play with our baby. even before he has taken his shoes off.
he knows me, sometimes better than i know myself.
he sharpens me, mentally and emotionally.
he gives me confidence. he believes in me. he encourages me.
he leads me. he guides me. he walks beside me.
he is my better half.
when he isn't around, i do silly things. like throw the keys away (it has happened).
most of all, he is part of who i am. without him, i am only half of a much better whole.
i love you honey.