Jon and I were living in the new apartment with Jim and Sandi. I was still traveling a lot to the mid- and western part of the US, while Jon concentrated on the Northeast region. The times when one of us was on the road, Jim and Sandi were always there to feed the other dinner or just entertain. They were like our adopted mom and dad. In other words - they were amazing.
One such week, while I was on a trip to Chicago (does this remind of you the promise ring?), Jon was visiting with Jim and Sandi. He needed to use their printer and some moral support. I guess these details will need to be filled in by JK himself, so I'll just tell you how it all happened from my perspective while you send Jon encouraging notes and letters to get him to speak up.
I landed from Chicago at my usual middle-of-the-night time and hurried to my car. I was exhausted and anxious to get home to my boyfriend and puppy. Jon and I had this routine down to a T - I texted him when I landed, found my car in the parking lot, and got on the road. When I was finally safely on the highway, I always called Jon and he would talk to me to keep me awake as I drove home for an hour. At that point the conversation was similar to any other - how was your day? how's Travis? do you miss me like I miss you? If I think back to our conversation I can remember that he seemed anxious, even a bit nervous. But at the point, I really didn't pick up on this as something odd.
When I got home, I always announced it to Jon over the phone and hung up. He would then meet me at the car and help me with my luggage. So when I finally arrived at home just after midnight, I eagerly told Jon that I would see him at my car. "But I'm already in my PJs," he told me. So what? I was getting very annoyed with him. Couldn't he just put on a robe or something? "Come on, I'm tired, can you just come help me bring my luggage in?" I pleaded. He continued to make excuses and now I was mad. I hung up the phone and stomped around in the driveway, careful not to slam the doors too hard since this wasn't exactly Jim and Sandi's fault and therefore I didn't have a reason to wake them up. (I know now that they were up and waiting to see if I would leave again in the car in the middle of the night or stay.) I huffed and puffed as I got my luggage, computer bag, and miscellaneous stuff together and dragged it to the entrance. I unlocked the door and put my stuff down, sighing extra loud, letting Jon know that he was in big trouble. Instead, I saw this.
The note told me that he was glad that I was home and to put Travis into his crate and come on up. Now, if you were in my place I could see how your heart might start pounding and you might allow your thoughts to put the puzzle pieces together to assume that something huge was about to happen. But not me. I was 23. I thought that Jon was being sweet; a little romantic maybe. I kissed Travis hello, gave him a good belly rub, put him in his crate, and walked upstairs, slowly shedding my winter gear.
Our make-shirt living room/second bedroom
At this point your mind would start wondering and you would fix your hair in preparation for the biggest moment in your life. Not me. I thought I was in for a night of romance. The note said to put a blindfold on and come to the bedroom. I shed the remainder of my clothes, put on the blind fold and knocked on the bedroom. Jon asked me in a shaky voice if I was ready for what was inside and I eagerly said "yes".
He opened the bedroom door and told me to take off my blind fold. When I removed it, I saw him down on one knee with a ring in his hand. I was in my birthday suit.
Jon started saying something about a lifetime together, happiness and marriage. I stared at him without hearing a word. What was he doing on one knee? Was this another promise ring. No. The diamond was bigger. Significantly bigger. And it was in a nice ring box. And he kept saying something about forever. Why couldn't I concentrate? What was he asking? Hand? Marriage? He asked my dad something? Oh my god, he was proposing. I bolted.
I knew even then that perhaps this was not the reaction he was waiting for, but what was I supposed to do? I was 23 and we had been together for 8 months. Sure we talked about marriage in the future. Future. This was the present. I often jokingly asked him what he was waiting for since we knew that we were meant to be together forever, but come on! I didn't think he'd take this so literally. We were 23 and we barely knew each other.
So what if we lived together for over a year? I guess it only meant that we knew each other as roommates. So we spent a lot of time together and we couldn't imagine life without each other, but doesn't everyone feel that way? Ok, so I had never felt this way with those other guys, but what could that mean? I hid my head in the couch, refusing to hear Jon who was standing over me, asking me something. He seemed nervous. Why was he the one nervous right now? Wasn't I the one that he expected an answer from?
Ok, so let's get things straight. I loved the guy. I mean, I really loved the guy. We were perfect together. We knew each other better than I knew anyone except for family. Actually, he felt like family. I never had to act like someone else around him. I never pretended to be happy when I wasn't. I never sugar coated things before spitting them out to him. He was romantic - everything I wanted. He was patient - everything I needed. I was independent and I could see a future without him - but did I want to? We were 23, but so what? We were only together for 8 months - but what did that mean? And then the most important questions of all - did I want to marry him?
Of course I wanted to marry him! But did I want to marry him soon? Why not? I couldn't think of a single reason that held me back. We were young but we were standing on our own two feet. We only dated for 8 months but we were closer than anyone I had ever been with before. What was I waiting for? Was I waiting for a sign? Was the guy that was waiting for my answer patiently not a good-enough sign? And what did that ring look like again? I know it had a diamond, but I didn't really get a good look at it. Great, now I was curious about the ring. Was I about to do what I think I was about to do?
"Can I see the ring?" I finally mumbled into the couch cushion that my face was pressed against. Jon smiled at me nervously. "Is that a yes?" I nodded and he handed me the ring.
It was gorgeous. I jumped up and hugged him. Then looked at the ring some more. Boy, was it gorgeous! Did he seriously pick this out all on his own? I hugged him tighter and gave him a long kiss. Then I stared at the ring some more. Did I really get to wear this? And oh my god - we were engaged! To be married! I had to call someone.