Sunday, March 17, 2013

Sorry Ladies, I'm Engaged

Ladies, I have terrible news. I know that your parents said that if you dream big and work hard enough, anything is possible. Well, unfortunately, that is no longer the case. I am engaged, so you will have to settle for second best. Here is my story.

My biggest goal was to have the ring for as little time as possible. It was supposed to be ready by 4:00 on Wednesday. My jeweler was going to let me know when it was done. The problem is that I work 45 minutes away from the jewelry store, so I had to leave without totally knowing if everything had gone smoothly.

I arrived, and the ring looked great. I felt like a boss. Also, free champagne (there was a bunch of other stuff in the bag, but I got distracted by the free champagne and tuned her out after that). Then she required me to pay for the balance of the ring. I confidently handed her my card, ready to get home to start making dinner. My card was denied. Aw, crap. I knew I had enough money in my account, but I forgot to see what my limit was because I do not think ahead, and I am not used to making extravagant purchases. I mean, I frequently spend over $100 on groceries, so it's not like that card doesn't get a good workout. I look up the number to my bank and see if they can approve the charge. I chat with a banker, and he tells me that he can, but he will have to call someone else and give me a call back. No problem. As I wait, my jeweler assures me that this happens all the time, and I confidently wait. 

I get a call back, and the banker tells me that he cannot get the charges approved for 24-48 hours. Sweet. But I can go in and get a Cashier's Check to take care of everything (Oh yeah, I also don't have checks, because checks are for old people and I'm a Toys R Us Kid or something). Okay, just wasted some time and now I need to get to the bank and take care of everything. This is not ideal, but I needed to stop by the grocery store anyway, so it's not the end of the world.

I drop by the bank, and the banker I talked to greeted me to get things taken care of as quickly as possible. He asked me where the check should be made out to, and I told him the jewelry store. He congratulated me, which was nice. But then he told me that had he known that, he could have just approved it over the phone as an emergency. I WISH I WOULD HAVE KNOWN THAT OPTION. Anyway, no big deal, I walked away with a large cashier's check (it was actually a regular sized check, but it had a big number on it) and headed to the grocery store.

My girlfriend had made it very clear to me that she wanted something simple. In fact, she flat out told me that if I proposed in any sort of public place, she would not only say no, but we would immediately break up. So, I kept it simple and planned a nice dinner of steak, asparagus, and grilled peppers. With me being able to throw everything on the grill, it was also a fairly easy meal for me to make. I speed-walked through the store and picked up all of the necessary items and got in the shortest line I could find. Just one lady in front of me, so it shouldn't take that long. Of course, the lady I was in front of brought in recyclable bags and a bunch of coupons. I slowly deflated as I saw every line move faster than the one I was in. This probably robbed me of, at worst, three minutes, but I wanted to headbutt that lady into submission.

Back to the jewelry store to finalize everything. I give her the check and take my ring, champagne and other stuff back home to prepare my night of romancing. I get home, let the dog out and start gathering wood, because we have a fireplace that we have never used, and what better night than this one to get started. I was never a boy scout, but I have been to many bonfires, and I am building what I believe is a pretty bomb ass fire structure. Then I get a knock at the door. I have gotten an unexpected knock at the door maybe twice at the house I have lived at for over a year. Some clown is trying to sell me a roof. "I do not have time for this, and I am renting, so get out of here, clown" is what I'm thinking, but I politely decline his offer and get back to fire making.

I didn't get lighter fluid, because I've watched enough Workaholics to be an honorary Beagle Scout. So, I get the fire going a little. There was definitely more smoke than fire, but a little fire is a good thing, that fire is going to catch any second now. But man, it was really producing a lot of smoke. Still, I'm not giving up. I have to turn my head away as the smoke burns my eyes, but I think I am almost there. Still nothing. My dog starts barking, and I look back to realize that the house is beginning to fill with smoke, and my dog is warning me to get out of there. Operation fireplace romance is cancelled, as I shut the doors to the fireplace and open up doors and windows to try to get all of the smoke out of there. I look back at the fireplace and realize that the doors don't close perfectly, and there is a crack right at the top letting a consistent stream of smoke out. I lean a chair against the doors to solve the problem. Things are not going as I had planned. 

There is no fire, but you bet your ass I can do candles. I bought 50 small candles and a few big ones to pimp out the house. I was going to do candles along the path from the door to the dining room, but I realized that my dog is too stupid to not knock them over, and there would be wax all over the place. My girlfriend would have been pissed about the mess, and it would not have set the ideal mood. So, I got two strips of aluminum foil, set them down in a couple locations and started doing some candle drawings. On our buffet, I designed a heart, and my art work was rather impressive. On the table, I wrote "ILY" which was not a poor homage to T.I.'s song, "I'm Illy" but stood for I Love You. Trust me, I know that this sounds very douchey, but I promise that it is more of a joke than anything we take seriously.

As I get everything set up, my girlfriend calls me to let me know that she will be heading home. That's basically my 15 minute warning to get my ass moving. It still definitely smells like smoke, but it's also March in Iowa, so I need to shut the door so she is not shivering through dinner. It's not nearly as smoky as before, but I can still smell smoke, which probably means that it smells pretty strongly of smoke, since I am nearly smell-blind. Blame it on the candles, I think to myself, which reminds me that I need to get like 60 candles lit up. I scramble around and get everything lit, but instead of admiring my masterpiece, I need to get the grill started and all the food prepared. I quickly season up everything and get it on the grill before she walks in the door.

I greet my lady with a kiss and a hug. She immediately asks me if I was burning incense and not in a good way. I explain the fireplace issue. But I apparently did a good enough job of clearing the house of smoke that she does not bring it up again. We sit down for our meal, and everything was going well until she looks over and notices that wax is dripping off my aluminum foil and onto the buffet. Our heart of love had to be extinguished. Not a good sign.

She then talks about her day and how things are going at work. And she just keeps talking. It was mostly interesting, but I was only half paying attention, because I just wanted to get rid of this damn ring. I kept looking for any opportunity to butt in, but she was like the Energizer Bunny and kept going and going and going. I felt like she was trying to filibuster this proposal. Not gonna happen, lady. She got up to clean off her plate (should I have probably done that? Yes, but I had a lot going on in my head, so give me a break), and this gave me my opportunity. As she was at the sink, I grabbed my expertly placed ring from a drawer and walked over, dropped down to a knee, told her a bunch of lovey dovey, mushy stuff about how much I love her and want to spend the rest of my life with her, and boom, popped the question, got the yes, and put the ring on her finger. 

So I got my main squeeze locked down,which is good, because she's actually successful, and I have enough time to write a blog, so clearly things aren't looking up for me any time soon. Obviously, that is number one from this experience. But number two ain't bad either. My lady didn't feel like champagne that night. Champagne-drunk St. Patty's Weekend? Don't mind if I do.

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