Friday, April 15, 2011

Our engagement

It's fitting that I finally write this today.  Today is our eleventh wedding anniversary.  Yes, we count it that way even with our speed bumps.  It's all part of the same life, you know?  Even though we renewed our vows two years ago in May, it makes more sense to celebrate our anniversary.  E is as much a part of my life as my left arm at this point.  He's been around since tenth grade biology class, which seems like a lifetime ago.


We got engaged in April of 1999 in San Luis Obispo, California.  E had been home from Cal Poly for a year and we wanted to return for a visit while they had their spring fair.  Being the overly-self-critical and black-and-white seeing good girl that I was, I didn't think it looked right for us to go on a trip alone.  We invited some married friends to accompany us and we all drove down.

The day of the fair was nice; we toured around campus and some of the familiar haunts from E's dorm days.  Since it was a big weekend for the school there was a lot to see.  The weather was warm and wonderful, as it always is in my memory of SLO.  It was fun, but E seemed distracted.  He kept obsessing over what time the sunset was going to be that night.  In the pre-smartphone age, that information wasn't as easy to come by.  We all planned to drive up to Cuesta Ridge (pictured above) and watch the sun set over the ocean and the town in the valley.  I thought his obsession with the sunset was a little strange, but I didn't think too much about it.

My friend was pregnant and as the day wore on she started to show signs of fatigue.  Not having been pregnant yet myself, I couldn't understand why she wanted to bail on the drive up to the ridge.  E and I had done that drive a few times when he was at Cal Poly and it was a breathtaking vista of the surrounding area.  How could they not want to go?  I was so not in on the plan.

E and I drove up and found the ridge a bit more populated than it had been on our last trip.  No matter, though.  College kids flew kites and lowered the gates of their big trucks.  We found a flat spot and spread a blanket on the dirt.

For all his worrying, his timing was perfect.  The sun was just starting to set.  To our left glowed Pismo Beach, home of our beloved Splash Cafe.  To our right was the retro, stoic charm of Morro Bay.  Nestled between the mountains, the twinkling lights of San Luis started to ignite.  E sat to my right and I rested my head against his, the warm earth underneath us and the world at our feet.

I remember very little about what we said as we stared at the horizon, only that he started to fidget with something in his hand.  And then he proposed.  I turned my head to look at him and he held out a beautiful engagement ring.  I remember not thinking this was real.  My eyes teared as I said yes.

I couldn't have imagined our life together that day, but in some intangible way I knew he was going to be my family.  I've told him a million times that he is who I want to be with on vacation and at home.  He is the perfect Disneyland mate, the perfect SCUBA partner.  It is his hand I want to be holding when I see the Sistine Chapel or the Champs-Elysées.  He is the one I want sitting next to me on the porch while I slip the pages of my book.  His is the best hug, the one that fits just right.

Happy Anniversary, E.  Thanks for asking me in the first place.


  1. I LOVE engagement stories! I'm surprised you've held out on us for so long :)

  2. I agree with Hutch - way to hold out, but it was worth it. :-) Great story! Happy Anniversary!

  3. Happy anniversary! It's funny how the guys give us hints the day that they're going to propose and we don't seem to catch it! I loved being able to read your story! Thank you for sharing!