I should've written this post months ago, but the chaos of my life never seems to end. 2018 ended the best way possible for me: with a proposal! That's right, Christian finally popped the question!!! I say finally as if we've been dating for 10 years. At the time, we had been dating a little over 2 years, but I had been overly zealous (aka a pain in Christian's ass) about getting engaged for about a year (I'm a nightmare). Anyway! I figured I'd walk you through that day because it was a mixture of so many details and emotions.
Christian and I got engaged on Saturday, December 29, 2018, but the story begins several days before. That previous Sunday, while at Christian's family's Christmas get-together, I asked Christian's brother Coleman, who works at the Metropolitan Opera, about "The Magic Flute"--an opera Christian and I had been talking about seeing and that was playing at the Met that coming weekend. Coleman said he believed the Saturday matinee show was sold out, so I naturally pouted and told Christian how sad I was that we were going to miss it for a second year (we had planned to go last year, but none of the show times worked with either of our schedules). Right there in his grandparents' living room, Christian looked up tickets, found them, and bought them (*claps*). Plans solidified: we were going to the Opera on Saturday, the 29th.
Christmas Eve and Christmas Day came and went. I could've SWORN a ring would be sitting under our Christmas tree or brought to me by our dog Bogey. But when no diamond arrived for the holiday, I knew it would happen on New Year's Eve instead (especially because we made dinner reservations at a fancy restaurant in Philly, and Christian made sure to emphasize that we look nice). In my head, then, a proposal was set to happen on the 31st.
Saturday, the 29th arrived. Getting engaged on this day didn't even register in my mind, for two reasons. One, New York City means nothing to us. Christian and I are Philly through and through. Why he would propose in a place that holds zero meaning to us as a couple was not a realistic possibility in my mind. Two, we had just made those plans. Going to the Opera was simply that: going to the Opera. It would be a nice day out together, especially if Christian could stay awake through to the end! I dressed decent (we were going to see an opera, after all), but I barely did my makeup, didn't wear earrings, and substituted a hair wash for baby powder. (Rule of thumb for anyone expecting a proposal who also wants to look nice in photos: Be dressed to impress AT ALL TIMES).
That morning, I was in a pissy mood (when am I not), but for a kind of good reason. One of my closest friends had gotten engaged on Christmas Eve, but when she and I talked on the phone about it on the 28th (Friday night: the night before seeing the opera), one of the first things she said to me was, "I was wondering when I'd get a phone call like this from you." Hearing that from someone outside my own head frustrated me, made me feel like I'd just be waiting months and months more, with no foreseeable end. I was tired of playing the waiting game, and hearing that innocent passing comment just deflated me. So I spent the entire car ride to New York City (about 90 minutes) carrying this mixture of anger and sadness inside me.
We parked in the Met's garage around 10:50 a.m. Our lunch reservation wasn't until 11:30, which was when the restaurant actually opened. When Christian parked the car, I turned to him and asked, "Well, what are we going to do for the next 40 minutes?" He said there was a fountain and a statue in Lincoln Center that he thought would be neat to check out. I rolled my eyes. I hate being cold. More than that, I hate walking around in the cold. It wasn't too chilly outside, but it was still a late December morning. My nose would for sure be running. "Fine, as long as it doesn't take too long."
We headed out of the garage, up the escalator that leads to the lobby of the opera house, and out the front doors. Christian started walking in front of me, leading me toward the wading pool in between the Metropolitan Opera and the Opera's restaurant. There were barely any people in Lincoln Center at the time, but I did notice a woman with a professional camera around her neck, just kind of walking around the plaza. That's when the thought of a proposal popped into my head.
Once we got in front of the wading pool, Christian turned around to face me. He had this really nervous look on his face. Then, he started talking all lovey to me, telling me how much I mean to him and how much he loves me. And in my mind I was like, "Yep, here we go!" When he said he wanted to spend forever with me, he got down on one knee and opened a small, velvet box that contained the most stunning ring! I said yes (obviously!). Christian cried like a baby and I was honestly so stunned that some of our photos look like I'm emotionless or like ??? haha. Like I said, I didn't think anything of this day, so when it actually happened, I was extremely caught off guard. Well played, Christian.
The beautiful, extremely thoughtful thing Christian did in planning his proposal was hiring a photographer (who was, in fact, the woman I saw from earlier!). SLizzie Guillen not only captured our very special moment, but led us through a 30-minute post-proposal shoot so we could remember being "just engaged" forever. Everything happened so fast, that I honestly forgot I had new bling on my finger!
At 11:30, we went next-door to eat lunch and pop bubbly! We both called our parents (who were thrilled!) and I FaceTime'd by best friend who screamed HOLY FUCK so loudly that I had to put her on mute haha. Christian's brother Coleman came to see us (since he works right next door) and our friend Max rode his bike to congratulate us in person! We drank a lot of champagne, saw a 2-hour opera (that neither of could pay attention to due to being on cloud nine), drove home in bliss, and then had some friends over our house to celebrate!
Our 'Yes' Day ended up being perfect in its own way. I realized that it doesn't matter what you're wearing, how you look, or how or where it happens. It will end up being perfect simply because it is happening--because someone you love loves you back and can't imagine his life without you by his side. And that's pretty wonderful if you ask me.
Photos by SLizzie Guillen.