Nine years, 2 months and 23 days ago.
So lately there have been a lot of tweets, blog posts and facebook updates about weddings and engagements.
And it made me nostalgic.
One of the things that is the most fun about making new friends is that you get to recycle all your old stories because to them, they are new! One of my favorite stories is THE PROPOSAL. I realized that this blog could be a great way to tell all of you, who haven’t yet heard it, the story of our engagement.
Most people who know me know that I am a pretty no-nonsense kind of gal. I pretty much tell it like it is. And when I started dating Mr. Lipps, that was no exception. There were two things I told him pretty matter-of-factly:
- The first, was pretty early in our relationship. I was 24, almost 25, and he had just turned 30. I told him that were both at the age that we shouldn’t waste time dating each other just for the sake of dating. That if we knew that we weren’t “THE ONE” for each other, there was no reason to date for a long time. Basically, don’t wait forever to pop the question, handle your business like a grown-ass man.
- The second was related but it came after we had been together a little while. I basically told him that when he proposed (notice there is no longer an if there) he had to make it really good. I had worked in jewelry stores throughout college and had heard some great proposal stories, so he had a lot to live up to.
Cute fact: The first time he told me he loved me, he was so nervous that he phrased it this way: “I’m not so sure I don’t love you.”
We moved in together in June of 2002, after dating for 6 months. I guess we both felt we knew.
He had always said that he wouldn’t propose on a holiday or on my birthday or anything like that. When he made reservations for us at Pier W for Valentine’s Day 2003, I was slightly suspicious. Maybe he had just said that thing about not proposing on a holiday to throw me off. Off we went to dinner, and when we got there, as they were walking us to our table, I could see a bouquet of roses on the floor. And I thought, this is it. It is so happening right now.
We sat down and he made no mention of the flowers that were in a vase on the floor between us and another table. He reached across, took my hand and wished me a happy valentine’s day and handed me a card. I opened it, and aside from a lovely card, there was a gift certificate. For couples dance lessons. The man who will not step foot on a dance floor just gave me a gift certificate to take dance lessons with him? So, he’s really not proposing…???
I didn’t dwell too long because we had some exciting plans shortly after that. At the time, Todd was working at Key Bank, and had made it into their President’s Club by being the number 7 salesperson in the country for the bank. Every year, the top 100 salespeople made President’s Club, which basically meant a free trip for him +1 to some fabulous location. That year the trip was to the Atlantis resort in the Bahamas.
His sister and brother-in-law had a condo in Miami, so we were planning a big trip: five days in Miami and then 5 days at Atlantis.
The plan was to leave on Friday after work. My mom would pick us up and take us to the airport.
A few days before, my mother had asked me to pick up some stuff for her at Aldi. They had some stuff on sale and there wasn’t a store near her. Since she was going to see me when she took us to the airport, I could give her the tea and carrots then . (this will matter, I swear)
Friday came and it was time to go. Normally when we had travelled together, I was always the one who was in a hurry to get to the airport early while Todd was always very laid back. That evening, it was a whole different story. Todd was running around the apartment like a crazy person. He was sweating and anxious, and just WEIRD. He grabbed our luggage and said he was taking it downstairs and he would see me down there. I couldn’t understand what was wrong with him and why he wasn’t waiting for my mom and stepdad to get there and help us with the luggage. But, I just shrugged, grabbed our carry-ons and locked up.
As I came downstairs, Todd was coming in from outside. He grabbed the bags from me and told me to come on, they were here.
We walked outside and I asked where my mom was, and he said right there.
And pointed at a white limo.
Why is my mom in the limo? He said come on honey, let’s go.
This obviously all happened very quickly, but there was still time for plenty of analysis and hypothesizing in my mind.
Maybe Key Bank had sent the car for us. Maybe transportation to the airport was part of our President’s Club package.
Then, when I got in the limo and saw the bouquet of red roses on the seat: maybe he just wanted to surprise me with a nice start to this trip that we had so been looking forward to.
Although we had talked about getting married, NEVER ONCE did it occur to me that this was it.
The limo started moving, and Todd took my hands in his and said “Lilia, you know how much I love you-”
“I know babe, I love you too. We’re going to have such a great trip!”
“No, quiet. I mean hold on-”
And with that, he got down on one knee, on the floor of the limo and said ” hncwincjenc ksn bchdfv iwecb vrvoiuemc ed.” Or at least he may as well have said that because I have no idea what he said. However, somewhere in there was a proposal. I know this because I do remember him saying “I need an answer.” And I looked down and he was holding a ring.
After answering him in the affirmative, I picked up my cell phone and started trying to call everyone I knew so I could share my big news. No one was answering their home phones or their cell phones! Why wasn’t anyone available for me to tell my exciting news???
Also, this. “Wait, where is my mom? I have her carrots and tea. How am I going to get them to her?”
He assured me that this wasn’t really a big concern.
We pulled up to the airport, got our luggage and walked inside.
And there, waiting for us with balloons and flowers, were our parents, grandparents and best man and maid of honor. It was so great to get to share that with them.
And that gift certificate for dance lessons? He had given it to me on Valentine’s day knowing that exactly one month later he would be proposing, and that we would use that certificate to learn a choreographed dance for our first dance as husband and wife.
Go ahead and swoon. I did.
How did you get engaged? I love hearing these stories!