Taking a leap on bended knee

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Given how it’s (about) Valentine’s Day, I think I shall share my story.

After two years of dating, I finally decided to take the plunge – I proposed to my girlfriend, Kellie. And she said yes.

We actually met here at the newspaper. It was the age-old story – she was in production; I was in editorial. It was never meant to be.

But somehow we overcame the odds and managed to eke out a solid relationship.

I had decided about six months ago to pop the question, and was fairly certain of the response. The real question became where and when to do it. That required some thought. If I am going to make such a decision, it was going to be on my timeline and it would be a surprise. Unfortunately, life has a way of testing you.

We went to Disney World in December. This was my first time there and it was sure to be great – she loves it. However, everyone I spoke to told me Disney is the perfect place to get on one knee. I’m sure this is true. It also turned out to be a good weekend for engagements – while on the trip, several of her friends posted on Facebook they were getting engaged.

So it was with not a little amount of stress that I chose not to propose in front of Mickey Mouse.

I only later found out Kellie, her friends and her family were taking bets on whether I would. She was sure of it. But I blew it.

Then came Christmas. Oh boy, did Christmas come. We spent it with her family and her mother made a note Christmas morning that she expected a ring in one of the boxes. It was not. Knowing this certainly made the day a little awkward!

So then our anniversary came up. Two years with a great woman. I made up my mind I would do it then, after carefully navigating a labyrinth of arguments over whether I wanted to get married or not. I couldn’t let her know my plans but also had to pacify her that eventually I would do it.

I made reservations at Milton’s Cuisine in Crabapple. The guys there are amazing and it was the site of some of our earliest dates. With their help, I set it up so that when we ordered dessert, instead of the chocolaty treat, they would bring out the ring on a plate.

As luck would have it, the timing could not have been more perfect. I had just finished telling Kellie how I was “willing to give it another year,” and “We don’t want to rush into anything.”

It doesn’t sound right in print, but I can assure you it was said in a loving and tongue-in-cheek way. Honest.

During all this, I was cool as a cucumber. However once it came time to order dessert, I became anxious. Sweating, I wondered if she really would say yes, or what if the ring had been lost? What if I couldn’t go through with it?

At last, the ring did come out. I got down on one knee and opened the box, much to her surprise. I didn’t even get a word out before she happily said “yes.”

And that’s the best story I have for a belated Valentine’s Day.

So Kellie, I’m looking forward to not just one more year with you, but many, many more. Happy Valentine’s Day!