On Sunday night, March 5th, 2017, Tom proposed.
This was interesting for the following reasons:
- Per our original discussion in Sukhothai at the beginning of 2016, I had said I wanted to be engaged “this year” and Tom had responded, “I was thinking the same thing.” So for most of 2016, I told friends and concerned family (mostly my mother and aunts), not to worry. Tom and I openly talked about it, I said, we were on the same page.
- So consider my chagrin as 2016 inched towards 2017 and the only proposals Tom had offered were whether I wanted bacon, egg and cheeses on Sunday mornings. I wondered in August if he would propose in October, and when October rolled away, told myself that he was likely to do it right before Thanksgiving, because how romantic and convenient would that be? Right before the holidays so we could see and celebrate with both our families in rapid succession. The week before Thanksgiving it became clear this was not Tom’s plan, if he had a plan at all. One night, I asked where his head was.
- He explained that when he had agreed to “this year” what he meant was “within a year.” Instead of strangling him, I rolled my eyes and huffed.
- There was also the question of the ring. I didn’t want a white diamond and instead wanted a colored stone. While it didn’t need to be expensive, I told Tom it would probably take some time to find and design.
- “How hard can it be to pick out a ring,” he would say, because even though Tom is very smart, there are moments when he is very dumb.
- The week before Thanksgiving, we went to look at rings. An eye-opening experience, especially when Tom casually asked the sales associate, “So if we did decide on a design today (which wasn’t going to happen because I didn’t like anything I saw), how long would it take to get it made?”
“Five to seven weeks,” she said, “So if you guys did decide on something today, you probably won’t be able to pick it up until after the New Year, because of the holidays.”
Tom raised his eyebrows and quickly put them back down, “So, right quick then.”
- We spent Christmas at my parents’ house and then went to Hawaii for our friends’ wedding and then to Australia.
“Oh my god,” everyone I told about these plans asked at some point, “Do you think Tom is going to propose on the plane?”
And I, knowing that the ring was still being made, said, “Nope, nope, definitely not.”
“But how do you know?” they said, “Maybe he’s planning a huge international surprise.”
“I just know,” I said.
- And honestly, I don’t think you need a ring to propose. Much joy and happiness to all those people who do it without a ring. I suggested this to Tom too. After hours of trying on different rings and stones from different designers and looking online I worried that it might be months before I found anything. But Tom is sometimes oddly old fashioned.
“Don’t be ridiculous,” he said, “Of course you have to have the ring.”
- 2017 arrived. Tom went to pick up the ring and happy that it was in hand, (just not on my hand), I didn’t think much more about it. For the most part my New Year’s Resolution was to not get fired from my job.When February rolled around, I told him, “You better not propose on Valentine’s Day.” And I didn’t need to worry about that, because I was let go from my job the day before Valentine’s Day. I don’t have exact figures, but sudden unemployment is probably the world’s leading proposal-killer. Also, as my father said when I told him the news, “Poor Tom. I would think twice about marrying someone who gets fired all the time.”
- Two weeks later, our friend Thani proposed to his girlfriend. While happy for Thani, Tom grumbled about his own plans being thwarted.
“You just can’t have two back-to-back proposals,” Tom said.
I agreed, “That is not ideal. But you have zero pity from me. You had all of 2016.”
“Shush,” said Tom.
- Which leads us to Sunday March 5th, 2017, when Tom proposed.