We were celebrating on one year anniversary in Santa Barbara, chilling on a fairly empty beach. It was really beautiful outside although a little chilly. I looked at Cindy and thought, “I wish I had a ring right now.”
On the drive home, all I could think about was wanting to propose to Cindy for real. Yes, the Fax proposal was cute and being Facebook engaged was fun but I was ready for the real thing. I had been ready for awhile but it was important to me that I had a job first. I didn’t want to go to her dad to ask for his blessing when I couldn’t even support myself.
Since last summer, I was obsessed with getting an antique engagement ring. I would occasionally look at the website for Erie Basin, an antique jewelry shop in Brooklyn I read about. I would see a ring I liked for Cindy but knew I couldn’t afford it yet and watch it get snapped up. There was one ring that really caught my eye. I don’t know what it was about the ring that drew me to it but I looked at it everyday at work for a week. I’d come into work and check the website to make sure it was still available. The Monday after Santa Barbara, after words of encouragement from Sheila, I finally went ahead and bought it.
Next, I had to find a way to ask her father for his daughter’s hand in marriage. I thought about renting a car or making up some excuse to disappear for a couple of hours. Luckily, her mother was having a fundraiser at their home on the 19th which we were both enlisted to help with. I got her sister’s cell number and texted that I’d need her help with something secret but didn’t tell her what until the two days before. I didn’t want to burden her with keeping a secret like this for too long. As we were driving up to the house, I started getting nervous. We were set up at a table to sell tickets for the fundraiser and Lori came up to us saying that she needed my help breaking ice. She led me inside and brought me to her dad who was waiting in the living room. We tried to go into her grandparents’ room but it was occupied. All of the sudden, Cindy’s cousin, Nancy, came up to us and said, “Hey, what are you guys talking about?” In retrospect, I could have come up with a bunch of excuses to make her leave but I panicked and froze. Luckily, she got distracted about Mr. Mosqueda’s injured eye. She made fun of him for a bit then walked away. We went into their bedroom and I asked for permission to marry his daughter. He looked at me for about 10 seconds and then gave me a big long hug. After about 45seconds, I said, “I hope that’s a ‘yes’.” He told me, with tears welling up in his eyes, that he’s seen how happy I make Cindy and how happy I am when I’m with her. He appreciated that I came to ask him first and gave me his blessing. I went back out to the table and passed Lori. We slapped hands and I said, “Good job.” I sat back at the table relieved and excited.
30 minutes later, Cindy’s mom escorted some of her church friends towards the table and introduced us. “This is my daughter, Cindy, and her fiance, Sean.” If it were possible for eyes to fall out of your head, it would have happened then. I wish I could have seen the look I gave Cindy’s mom. She winked at me. How did she know? I only just asked her father. Cindy didn’t flinch so I relaxed (The next day while we were driving to go cheer Cindy on, she told me that she didn’t know then but did notice the surprised look on my face).
I wanted to wait for a special moment. Maybe at the park where she mentioned she might want to get married. Maybe I’d take her out to dinner. I spent a whole week brainstorming but this ring was burning a figurative hole in my pocket. Cindy picked me up from work and she was wearing her pajama pants and flip flops, still sore from running the LA Marathon the day before. When we got back to her apartment, I knew I couldn’t wait any longer. I kept trying to think of ways to do it on the fly. We decided to go to dinner at Gloria’s Cafe. Usually when we went there, it was pretty empty so I thought this might be a good spot. I grabbed the ring out of its hiding place in the closet and put it in my jacket pocket. When we got there, it was packed. We had to wait to get a table. When I asked Cindy a while ago about how I should not propose to her, public places was on the list so I decided to wait until later. While waiting for our food, Cindy brought up the guy I had told her about who proposed to his girlfriend during the NY marathon last year. We both thought it was a horrible idea at the time and now that she had run one herself, she thought it was a really horrible idea. I told her, “Well, the marathon happened and I didn’t propose to you” and we high-fived. Then I remembered something.
Last Wednesday, Cindy and I were joking around via Twitter. She had tweeted a link to a Lost-themed bar that I wanted to go to for our honeymoon but was waiting for me to ask. i told her I already proposed to which she replied:
When we got back to the apartment, I positioned myself behind her and sent her this tweet:
She turned around and I got on one knee, took the ring box out of my pocket and said, “The marathon’s over so I’m proposing.” She asked me if I was serious and I said “yes.” I opened the box and started choking up. She started sniffling and said, “Well, you have to ask me.” When I had been thinking about this moment for the last two weeks, I thought I’d be able to tell her how much I loved her and that I wanted to spend the rest of my life with her and how happy she makes me. When the moment actually came, it took everything I had just to get the words, “Will you marry me?”, out of my mouth. She said “yes” and then we had one of our long airport hugs. She asked me if I talked to her dad and I said yes.
I’ve never cried tears of joy before in my life. I cried them last night. Then again this morning when I started telling my East Coast friends the good news (it was around 1 AM EST when I proposed). And several times while trying to write this post. Knowing how I feel when I’m with Cindy, I don’t imagine I’m done with tears of joy just yet.