[Today, July 6th, marks Adam and my 1 year wedding anniversary. In honor of this lovely day I'm sharing the story of our engagement. Hope you enjoy!]
Adam and I had been together for nearly five years by the time he finally asked me to marry him. I mean, come on kid, put a ring on it! I joke. Honestly, I only really got the engagement itch after I’d followed his ass to Alaska. The first three years of our relationship were so busy with relocations and buying houses and getting dogs and trying not to go completely broke and have a mental breakdown, that getting hitched was the last thing on my mind. But once we’d made the 2,500 mile trek to Alaska together, survived, and still liked each other, I started to really get the, I want to be married to you itch.
We started seriously talking wedding in late 2011. Drunk on wine one Thanksgiving I got up the courage to ask if he planned to pull the trigger in the next six months. He said yes, that seemed feasible. I being female, held onto this drunk admission like it was a fucking promise written in blood, and as most women do, spent every waking moment wavering between sane, and absolute INSANITY in all capital letters.
Skip forward to Memorial Day, 2012. My friend Erin and I had planned to drag our significant others on a hike on this gorgeous free day off from work. As I tooled around that morning with my coffee in the office, reading nonsense online, Adam suddenly appeared and asked if maybe I’d be interested in canceling our plans with Erin and instead going kayaking just the two of us.
My heart stopped. It’s not like kayaking with your boyfriend is such a weird thing, it’s just that Adam isn’t the planner in our relationship. EVER. So for him to ask me to cancel plans I’d already made so we could go do this VERY specific thing just the two of us had my brain on very, very, very high alert. Something was most definitely up. He was either proposing, or setting me up for the most disappointing afternoon, ever.
Of course being crazy and female I promptly told him that would be fine in my most casual voice possible, and then proceeded to send Erin about 4 million text messages apologizing for being a flake but OH SHIT I DON’T WANT TO JINX IT OR ANYTHING BUT WTF I AM EITHER GETTING ENGAGED OR AM GOING TO BE SO FUCKING DISAPPOINTED.
We got ready for our mysterious kayaking trip and it took my entire being to keep my heart from beating out of my chest. That’s the worst thing about knowing you're on track for engagement. You try not to let your hopes get up at certain activities or moments, but it’s 100% impossible. And if you don’t check yourself, you could go on a weekend away with your boyfriend thinking for sure he’s going to propose, feeling sick to your stomach the entire time, and in the end not get engaged and just catch a case of hot tub folliculitis.
So we finally make it out of the house, and then there’s this snafu with work and Adam has to go in real quick, and suddenly I think it’s all destroyed. Now Adam’s in a bad mood, and I’m sending frantic text messages to my friend while I wait in the car, but then he’s back, and he’s all flustered, and I’m sweating, and then we’re back on the way to kayaking, but we’re hardly talking, and I still can’t tell if this is or isn’t happening, and I’m really trying hard to stay cool and all, but OMG how I'm failing.
We’re finally there, and we get our kayaks, and we finally dear god, push off. And it’s beautiful and lovely and I’m telling myself that if this isn’t it, if I’m wrong again, at least I have this view.
After paddling a bit Adam suggests we make our way to the shore and eat lunch, and although the idea of eating sounds horrible right now with my nervous stomach, I agree because I feel like I’m supposed to follow his lead today. We get to the shore and find a spot looking out across the most amazing lake at the most wonderful view.
And we just kind of sit there in silence.
Adam gets out his binoculars and we look at sheep on the mountains, and he hands me a sandwich, and the whole time I’m trying to take slow breaths and not talk too much and WHAT IS HAPPENING?
While I’m attempting to breathe Adam casually asks me if I’d like a beer.
“Um… ok,” I stutter.
“This beer is from Seattle,” he says with a small grin, handing me a Seattle Pikes ale. “Where we met.” He then reached in his bag and grabbed a beer for himself. A Fish Tail.
"This beer is from Olympia," he said. "Where we bought our house."
And he just leaves me in suspense. We sit there, drinking our beers while my heart races in my chest. This is it, right? It has to be it. Why wouldn’t it be it? Why are we just sitting here now and OMG WHY CAN’T I STOP SMILING? Thankfully he didn’t leave me in suspense for too long…
"Care for another?" he smirked.
"YES PLEASE" I tried not to scream.
From his bag he pulls out another beer. This one a Midnight Sun brew.
"This beer is from Anchorage," he says. "Where we live now.... Oh wait, there's one more in my bag."
Out came a beer from the Deschutes Brewery in Bend, OR.
"Do you know why I picked this beer?" he asks.
"Mskdjsenfdlkjfioefkjsdnfmsdndfien," I hyperventilate. Unable to even make eye contact.
"This beer is from Bend. Where I want to marry you next summer," he says.
And with that he got up, balanced himself on the precarious rocky slope on one knee, and asked me to marry him. I promptly took a breath for the first time in about 15 minutes and said yes quite a few times as he slipped the ring on my finger.
Just like that we were engaged. Engaged with four tasty beers, representing the journey we’d been on in our relationship, sitting on a remote beach in the middle of a perfect Alaskan day. We were outside of cell service which enabled us to simply bask in the fact that we’d just gotten engaged, and think about what this meant for the future.
I had always wondered how he’d do it, and now I had my answer.
And it was perfect.