On a Saturday night, Joe and I took a ride in one of these,
stopped and stood beneath these lights,
Looking back there are two things I do not believe. I do not believe that after two and a-half years of dating that I did not see it coming whatsoever. It did cross my mind that maybe I should paint my nails that week, just in case I did receive some piece of symbolic jewelry, but I never acted on it. Secondly, I do not believe how perfect it was.
Downtown Chicago during Christmas time is my absolute favorite time and place. And this proposal occurred then with all of the bells and whistles. Joe whisked me to Michigan Avenue after my family's Christmas get-together at my Grandma's. I was worried about his navigation skills in the downtown area, but we ended up parking and running towards a horse drawn carriage. Apparently, we had a date.
In the carriage, there was a bouquet of roses. And champagne. And a cozy blanket. Oh, and the horses's name was Arthur. I thought the ride was a ridiculously well-thought out Christmas gift. The driver stopped in front of the Drake hotel where she "had to check something on the horse." So Joe walked me to the lighted gazebo in front of the hotel and I am fairly certain that there had not been a more perfect moment in my life before then. I remember him saying something romantic and then BAM, he was down on one knee with my dream ring, asking me to marry him. That moment literally took my breath away. Of course, I cried, said yes, and we went home to tell my parents. (My dad already knew, since Joe asked his permission to marry me about six months earlier.)
At this time, I did not possess a quality digital camera, or even a phone with a decent camera because we don't have any photos of the actual event. (My parents did take photos of me all in tears at home afterwards. Which are clearly adorable, but for some reason I can't find them.)
Since that day, there have been some extremely significant and amazing moments in my life, but this one will always be up there. And I do hope someday that my little girl is lucky enough to find someone as wonderful as her father.