06 January 2009

Engaged (In Chase's Words)

What Chase has to say about it:
This past Saturday, January 3rd, 2009, I attempted to propose to my girlfriend of two years. I had it all planned out. We would go out for a nice dinner disguised as a farewell 'party for two' since she was moving back to Missouri the next day. Then, we would go out for a look at the Quadrantid meteor shower and, at some point during the shower, I would get on one knee and do my thing. Romantic, unique, once-in-a-lifetime (or at least a year) opportunity, and generally awesome.But that's not quite how it turned out.

I started out my expedition into uncharted waters by asking the blessings of mygirlfriend's father. He's a quiet, unassuming man, but I know that he can be stern. I expected a strange sort of grilling unlike what you would expect from more aggressive men, which made me all the more uneasy about the idea. But, I knew that I wanted permission prior to asking her so I didn't have to say,"alright, now I gotta go ask your dad..."

So, I sneak into the house(thank goodness the weather was warm that day and my girlfriend was enjoying some time outside before the next deep freeze) and sat next to her dad watchingbasketball. I waited for a commercial break, glanced around for signs of girlfriend entry, and then sent out a short barrage of my intentions. He looked at me blankly for a second, obviously in mild shock (I was in shock, too), and then responded, "Well, it doesn't bother me as long as you make her happy. That's the main thing." and then some other stuff about not being too surprised about my inquiry. Much to my surprise, that's all there was to that part of my journey. What I had built up in my head as this huge thing turned out to be less than a minute ordeal. I think we were finished talking before the commercial break ended, so we just sat there awkwardly watching the commercials.

Now we come to the dinner. My girlfriend had informed me that a family friend was leaving and they were going to have dinner, but I thought it was Friday night. Turns out, dinner was Saturday night, so we went out with the family. I was barely able to eat half my meal from nerves and sat there listening to everyone and trying not to act stupid or suspicious. It seems to have worked.

Then comes the meteor shower. Keep in mind that a cold weather front is on the way and a cloud wall with rain and sleet is on the edge of the state as we started on our journey out into the darkness. I decided it would be cool to go way off into the woods by this lake about an hour from our home town so that we could be far enough away from the city lights to see everything.

So, we drive out there for an hour or more and finally get to theroad to the lake itself. So we start down it, and at least a half hour later, we finally stumble across the road that will take us to the lake...apparently, the"lake road" is not the road to the lake, but a scenic route through the hillsaround the lake that eventually takes you to the -real- lake road... I digress.

So we get to the lake, and what do we see but flood lights everywhere.They built a camp around the lake and covered it in security lights to keep people safe. So now the lake is a loss. I decided to try a boat ramp which the sign indicated was around 0.5 miles (~0.8 km) away. We started down the road and quickly realized that it was not 0.5 miles, but 5 miles (~8 km). So we go down the road about a mile and finally happen upon a small open field. We decided to stop there rather than go all the way to the boat ramp and setup our tarp and sleeping bags in the field.

We nestled in for a long night ofstar-gazing and my girlfriend got out her nifty camera and started taking long-exposure pictures of the stars. We expected meteors at any moment...any moment now...was that one? No, it was an airplane...two, three, four, ... ten airplanes later and still no meteors. Thirty minutes and no meteors. The moon set and still no meteors. The clouds finally reached the trees and started tocover us and still no meteors. It was only after we got back home that I found out that the Quadrantid meteor shower has a one-hour "sharp peak" meaning you won't see anything until the peak hour, during which you can see 40-60 meteors per hour. That peak turned out to be 3-4am, about 2 hours after we left the lake. So...no meteors.

At one point, my girlfriend heard rustling in the leaves in the distance, so she wanted to leave. I convinced her to stay a little bit longer, but eventually she was ready to go. So she stood up and started getting blankets folded up and I stood up and then acted like I was going topick up the sleeping bag but instead got down on one knee.The followingis a basic rendition of the conversation that followed:

Me - *with ring boxin hand on knee* You know, I didn't need to see a meteor shower tonight...*interrupted*
GF - What? *stops folding blankets*
Me - *continuing* or even the stars, because all the light of the stars is wrapped up in your eyes.
GF - Wait...wait a minute! You're kidding right?!?
Me - No...
Me - *continuing again* And I don't need to wish on falling stars, because I know that a higher Power has brought us together. All I need to know is, will you marry me?
GF - *almost interrupting my question* Yes! *generalexcitement, giddy gibberish, and hugging*
GF - This is the part where youput the ring on...
Me - Oh yeah... *opens ring box in hand

So yah, I almost forgot to give my girlfriend the ring... *sigh* Anyway, it was at this point that she tackled me giggling and we kinda stared up at the sky some more being generally excited and such. But then, we started hearing coyote showling in the background (remember the rustling in the woods? Yeah...) so we decided to get the heck out of there.

On our way out, I was driving down this really narrow road with a steep embankment through the fog.I was doing the speed limit, about 55 mph (88 kph). We're just driving along being excited and checking cell phones for reception to see if we can call people when out of nowhere this white flash emerges from the fog and over the white border line on the road. It was a freakin' white rabbit... I swerved to miss it, and I didn't hit it with my tires, but it jumped up under my car and I heard it hit. I figure there's a chance it survived since I didn't roll it, but it's probably dead. The End

Chase's Disclamer:Please recognize that certain portions of the original post may have been modified from the actual events so as to make for a better whale of a tale or two... Also, the overall tone of the OP is negative, but the evening was by far the most awesome set of events that could possibly have strung together and Katie and I both had a lot of fun...except for the poor bunny.
So that's Chase's view...I'll have to post mine soon :)
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Janie said...


Kim said...

Chase's story was hilarious and sweet. I can't wait til I hear your story.

Anna said...

loved your story...still waiting for Katie's version. By the way, we look forward to you joining our family!
from future mom-in-law