Remembering our Engagement

All the memories that are making this the most special time of my life.

My proposal story

on March 29, 2012

 You and I are Chicago people. We may have met at U of I, but our relationship really developed three years later in the city. I lived in Lincoln Park when we first got back in touch in 2008-2009, and all of my memories of those early times have the skyline as a backdrop, from calling you on my 2am cab rides home from the office, to the big dates you would plan for us along the river. I moved to Sydney for 10 months just 6 weeks after we started dating, and you became synonymous with Chicago and all the things I was looking forward to when I got home.
 
When I moved back in 2010, we spent nearly every weekend exploring the city. Even though we grew up in the area, we both lived at home that year, and spending time together was like always being on either a lazy vacation or a crazy adventure. Plus, as they say, love makes you see the world (and the city you thought you knew) totally differently. Besides, you are either an architecture buff, or just really loves the Chicago skyline – I’ve learned from you all kinds of things I never knew about our buildings! We ate our way from one end of the city to the other, checked out all the summer concerts and events, had picnics, and just enjoyed life.
 
2011 was the year we both moved to the city. We got to experience our respective neighborhoods together, and Chicago took on yet another new flavor. We were surrounded by friends, and were able to see each other more often in the evenings. We developed an affinity for the $2 taco establishments around the corner from each of our places, and discovered a lot of new parks and spots along the lake to spend time.
 
We are essentially forever tourists, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. I love that every time you and I head south on Lakeshore Drive you say things like “look at how pretty the lake is today” and “what an incredible place to be able to work.” That constant enjoyment of life and appreciation of every moment is something I really value in you, and of course it helps that it was all about my favorite place! So it is no wonder that you proposed to me with the same cityscape as the setting.
 
You picked me up one Saturday morning in March and told me we were going to spend the weekend doing things in Chicago that I’d been wanting to do. And you really had kept track of everything I’d been saying I wanted to try – from veggie hot dogs on the street to 9 courses on the 40th floor at Everst. We went to several museums and exhibits I’d been talking about for ages, and even browsed the knock-offs and second-hand goods at Maxwell Street Market, which has been on my bucket list for years! The whole weekend truly epitomized the spirit of our relationship, and I felt like the luckiest girl in the world already.
 
On that Sunday afternoon, after a visit to the Museum of Science and Industry, you told me you wanted to check out a park that looked cool that we passed on the way. You told me you’d just gotten a new tripod for your camera, and thought we could try it out. I should have been suspicious, but for some reason I took it at face value. You do love your pictures! The park was beautiful – a quiet bit of grass that juts out into the lake, with a pretty stone lighthouse and a view of the skyline to the north. Being northsiders, it was a different angle and we were having fun with the tripod. Then you told me to go and stand as if I were looking pensively out over the water toward the city. So I went and stood with my back to the camera and waited for you to take the shot. You kept telling me to hold still, and I patiently stood there waiting. Then I heard you right behind me saying “ok, turn a little bit.” I turned a little bit. “Turn a little bit more.” I turned a little bit more. “Ok, just turn around.” I turned around, there you were on one knee.
 
The funny part is neither of us remembers exactly what you said, even though we both had independently thought through what we would say a million times before. We both were so swept away by the moment. It even took me a minute to realize it was happening! I caught the gist of it, and the part where you said “will you marry me?” and instead of the calm, collected response I had anticipated, I said “YES!” Thanks to the tripod, the whole thing is on video. Afterward, you sat my very teary-eyed self down on a bench in the park, took out your laptop, and played for me a 5-part video of the different stages of our relationship set to songs that I love. It was all waterworks! Of course the next thing we did was call our families and best friends, before even leaving the parking lot. And then we had a champagne toast and a cheese board, in our true style.
 
A little bit about the ring. I was walking down the street in Los Gatos, California last fall and for some reason, in the middle of the block, felt the need to cross the street. In a shop window, directly in front of where I was crossing, was this beautiful ring. Even though I wasn’t looking seriously, I went inside the shop and tried it on. It was so perfect! I had the lady at the shop write down the item number and everything. But before I left Los Gatos, I threw the card in the trash thinking “if I’m still thinking about this ring in a week, I’ll tell him about it. And if it’s meant to be, he will find it!” Sure enough, a week later I was still thinking about it, and told you. I couldn’t remember anything about the shop except the location, Los Gatos, the name of the saleswoman, and that she said “it was the most delicate ring in the shop.” You went to work! You took a day that you were in Palo Alto and tracked down my ring. And it was the very ring in the box the day you proposed!
 
Bottom line is you made this the most special weekend I’ve ever had! And hopefully everyone sees what I have had the joy of seeing these last few years: a thoughtful, hard-working, and giving man that I am lucky to get to spend the rest of my life with. So, thanks for reading and please consider this my speech for the whole wedding process.

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