Oh boy, that last month (or so...) got away from me quick! You'd think, being unemployed, I wouldn't be so busy, but it's been a whirlwind of moving, applications, vacations, and getting engaged...
What's that? Oh! That last one. Yeah, I'm pretty pumped. You want to know the story, do you, dear internet browser? Well, who am I to deny you that.
A bit of background to set the stage. Matt is my boyfriend turned fiance. We've been together about 2.5 years, since before I started grad school. I cannot begin to tell you how much fun 2 years of long distance lovin' was #sarcasm! But finally I finished school, moved closer to him, and something wonderful happened...
Maine has long held a special place in my heart. My grandfather, who passed away in 2007, was born and raised in Maine. When my mother and her sisters were children, they took regular trips up there to see their grandmother. My grandfather's mother eventually passed away, but the trips continued. When the grandchildren, my generation, came along, we had to start renting houses for our visits so everyone would fit in the same place. I've been many times in my life, and those vacations hold innumerable fond memories for me, especially after we lost some of our loved ones. My family started planning this most recent trip about 2 years before we were actually going to go. When you're coordinating a dozen or more people's schedules, you need that kind of time. My family encouraged me to invite Matt, which seemed like an excellent idea. In a way, his coming to Maine would be a symbol of him joining our family, and of my family's acceptance of him. When he requested off and told me he'd be able to come, I was ecstactic! I could show the man I loved this place that had always and would always mean so much to me. I would be able to make even more precious memories with the people I loved, and the person with whom I knew I'd be spending my life. After all, Matt had told me a while before the trip that he was looking for a ring, and we've often talked about our future together. We both knew we'd end up married, it was just a question of when.
The Thursday during the trip, I was not having the best day. Bad traffic, rude people, and crummy weather conspired to make me a little senstive. Matt was right there by my side when I lost it and let me hide in his arms until I could get it back. We'd spent midday shopping in Perkin's Cove in Ogunquit, and I heard my brother say something to Matt about, "Tonight?" but ignored it. I admired jewelry, bought candy, and we went on our merry way to Flo's Steamed Hot Dogs. Seriously, the best hot dog joint you'll ever find. The transit between these two locales is when I encountered my frustrations, and I had to take a moment before lunch to recover myself. When we finally got back to the house, I was still a little annoyed, and Matt could tell. So he suggested a walk on the beach. I balked at first, and made him play ping pong with me, but eventually gave in. Getting out of the house for some salty beach air suddenly sounded amazing. I grabbed my jacket, and off we set.
Except we didn't. Matt asked if I had my phone. I did not, and neither did he. Wandering about on our own without a way to contact anyone was probably not the best idea, so he went back inside to grab his. (I now suspect he decided on the spot in this moment to get the ring, but I can't be sure. I know he did genuinely want his phone for photos.) He returned, and we walked. Wells beach, the area of coast where we were, had a bit of a rocky formation just south of our house. Matt and I had discussed climbing it before in preparation for the Portland Headlight (where we always do a lot of rock climbing/hiking and is typically my favorite day of the trip). The tide had been too high, so we'd given up, but today it was just right. So we set out into the rocks, breathing in the briney smell of drying seaweed and salt-water life trapped by low tide. He and I simultaneously settled on a larger rock that would be our destination. It was higher than the others and offered enough room to sit and rest before making the return trip. We made it there despite my poor choice of shoes and the slick seaweed covering everything, and he asked me to pose for pictures. He wanted me to look pensive. The he asked me to take his photo. I had to sit and slide down the rock in order to allow him into position because of the shoe choice I mentioned earlier, so I was facing away from him when he reached the top of the rock. I turned around with the camera and he was standing there just as in the picture above. I was so surprised I just froze. He smiled and said,
"Aren't you going to take the picture?" So I snapped a photo and stood. He asked the question I knew was coming.
He took another photo of me moments later with the ring on my hand, smiling. When I'd imagined the moment in the past, I always figured I would cry. And boy, I definitely have since. But I was just so genuinely shocked when it happened that I didn't have time to do anything but answer, "yes."
If that story looks familiar, its the same one I posted on the official wedding website, so I'm plagiarizing myself a bit. But it's okay, I give myself permission to use it. I'll try really super hard from now on to actually keep up with this blog. Like, updates once a week, yo! But I am still looking for work, and sorry to my rabid, desperate, stalker-like-in-their-dedication followers, but that takes precedence. See you soon, my dearies!