This beautiful wedding picture up there almost didn’t happen.
Yep, that’s right. Had things gone a little differently, I may not be sitting here happily married to my soul mate. Don’t worry, it has nothing to do with anyone cheating on anyone else, or anyone trying to be in a relationship strictly for the money…and I promise I wasn’t on the verge of the “it’s not you, it’s me speech.” This story goes back to before we were engaged several years ago.
My husband and I fell in love while stargazing lakeside one night. That is an entirely different story that I’ll tell you another time, but for now just consider it an important back story fact that you need to know to understand the full impact of this story.
One day in April of 2003, Nick asked me if I wanted to go stargazing that night. This is something we frequently did since we were blessed to live in a small city in central Nebraska, so just a couple of minutes out of town and we were clear of the majority of light pollution. Seeing the stars on a clear night was amazing and it’s something I miss to this day.
I was tired, I had school all day (in my senior year of my undergrad degree), then I had to go to work at a local pizza place after school and work til close. I knew I was going to be tired. This was a new job and I was still learning so not only would I be physically wore out, but mentally too because food service has never been a forte of mine. Put me in my own kitchen and I do wonders, stick me in the middle of a place where I have to be surround by a bunch of people judging my process and procedures, making sure I’m sticking to policy, then throw speed in the mix (that sounds bad, but you know what I mean) and I was beyond stressed. Despite knowing I would be tired, I could tell that Nick really wanted to go out that night, so I agreed, warning him I may be extra tired that night.
I went to classes and they were a breeze. Then I went to work. That’s where the crazy started to happen. I was immediately informed I would be closing the store by myself.
I had only been working there two weeks part time. I knew how to make the pizza’s and clean, but I wasn’t fast at it. Now you want me to close the registers, get two people’s work done well and efficiently…BY MYSELF?
My palms got clammy. This wasn’t good.
I’m not known for my superman speeds when I’m still learning something. I’m even slower when I’m nervous.
I had no choice. I had to close by myself.
My teammates tried to get me as prepped as possible before they left, but they had no way of knowing the chaos that was going to ensue after they walked out that door.
I had a flood of phone call orders and people walking in the door. I spent all the time I was supposed to be cleaning, helping customers. That’s not a problem, but I didn’t have time to tear down the ingredients table either.
Suddenly I realized after the last person walked out the door thirty minutes after closing time, no one showed me how to lock the door! I went to the door and spun the little lock.
The door was still open.
I spun the sucker this way and that way, I spun it around several times.
Nothing. Anyone could still walk in the store at any time, and I couldn’t leave with the door unlocked! I didn’t even feel comfortable running in back to clean!
Suddenly one of my co workers who I hadn’t seen in a long time barged in the door and was surprised I wasn’t just about on my way out. I was so happy to see him, even though I didn’t care for him all that much.
How do you lock this door! Was the only thing I said to him. I fully expected him to show me then leave. He didn’t (but he did show me the lock…the evil thing). Then he went in back to check the schedule. He wasn’t on it. I found out later that the boss had been writing him off the schedule in hopes he would quit because he didn’t want to fire him. I didn’t know that was legal, but hey, I’m not the boss. Just wish she would have told me that so I didn’t let him in. Oh well.
Finally he left and I was free to start ALL of the cleaning, an hour after doors should have been locked.
Remember, I’m not fast at this stuff.
Two hours after I was supposed to clock out I finally did. I felt horrible. Defeated. Mary 0, Pizza Place 5 million. At least that was my perception as I carried myself out of that place.
I got home, grease and grime covered me. My feet were sore, my head hurt, and all I wanted was to climb in bed. I apoligzed to Nick for being so late and he understood. He gave me a look. I took a deep breath and turned to him…”do you still want to go stargazing tonight?’ He immediately lit up. Yep, there it was, I was heading out the door again, barely giving myself a chance to clean up.
We parked the car and hopped up on the trunk to look up at the stars. It was cold. I couldn’t get my stinking mind off of the cold, my aches and pains. The stars were beautiful as always. I was there with my boyfriend who was so loving and understanding. He was doing his best to snuggle next to me to warm me up, but I could tell he was distracted by something. I figured he must be cold too.
“I know we haven’t’ been here long, but do you just want to go home? I think we’re both tired and cold.”
Now it was his turn to look defeated. He knew I was exhausted. He couldn’t say no. Yeah, he said, let’s go.
I think I was a little to eager to jump back in the car. But he didn’t climb in immediately after me? What was taking him so long?
I still don’t know exactly what he was doing, but shortly after he got in the car and we went home. I said I was sorry for ruining the night and promised we’d do it another night when I didn’t have to close the store.
When we got home I was almost asleep. It was only a five minute drive, but I was that tired. He pulled in our parking lot and sat there for a minute. I kinda woke myself up and turned to him and smiled. I apologized again for ruining the night.
Then he did it.
He pulled out a ring and asked me to marry him.
I was speechless. I smacked him in the face.
Don’t worry, this was an agreed upon response to mean yes that we had planned out for the past couple of years. I always told him that would be my response.
He laughed and asked if that meant what he thought it did, I said yes and gave him the biggest hug and kiss ever.
Who knew that he was planning to propose and I almost ruined it that night. I know he had it all planned out to propose under the stars in this big romantic move. I feel bad that he didn’t get to do that, but I still love our story. It’s going to be fun to tell our kids when they get older.
So, yes, that is the reason that picture way up there almost didn’t happen. I almost ruined the proposal and if he lost his nerve from that, who knows if he would have tried it again! I’m so glad he salvaged the situation, and it’s still my favorite piece of jewelry ever.
Was there anything exceptional about your engagement? If you’re not married, what do you hope your proposal is like, if you plan to get married, that is?