In the early weeks of our engagement, many of you have asked "how did he ask?" The answer seems obvious: "will you marry me?" What else is there to know, really? Did he drop down on bended knee? Were you surprised? Did you cry? The proposal itself was personal, and boring to most. The precise location of him popping the BIG question was anything but romantic. But I've quickly realized that you all want a story...
|Jultomten (aka Daniel) and his youngest niece Tilde|
It was Christmas Eve, and we had just concluded opening presents from Jultomten at Daniel's parent's house with his sister and her children. Daniel played the convincing roll of Santa, giving out hugs and posing for pictures with his adoring young nieces. His plan was to take me out to Lake Bolmen, a 25-minute drive from Ljungby, where he'd pop the question with the lakeside scenery as a backdrop.
|Lake Bolmen, Daniel's ideal spot|
He'd mentioned the idea en route to meet up with friends who were conveniently running late (as always) and suggested this as an alternative to just waiting at their apartment stuck in a stuffy, cold car. Of course, I thought this was an impractical waste of gas, rationalizing that the amount of time it took to drive out and back would be almost an hour, and they were merely 20 minutes away. Luckily, he had a backup, devising a plan to take me for a walk along the Lagan River that runs throughout the town. He kept his spirits up, talking about how beautiful the water is with the Christmas lights and that it would be really peaceful.
We parked in a retirement home parking lot, and started wandering along the water. A drizzling rain started, and a few minutes later, another couple joined us in the park. Their mere presence caused him even more stress than the engagement ring burning a hole in his pocket. He quickly grabbed my arm, turned us around and headed back towards the parking lot.
Once they disappeared from his eyesight, he grabbed me to face him in an embrace and began expressing his love and appreciation towards me for moving to Sweden and believing in our relationship. He reached into his pocket, and I immediately felt my entire body flush. As he started to kneel, I grabbed his arms and pulled him into me, burying my teary-eyed face into his jacket. When he finally opened the box, exposing my great-grandmother's wedding band, he asked me to marry him. With shaking hands I accepted, after ensuring he had spoken to my parents.
Apparently in the week or two leading up to the proposal, he had been texting my parents in the middle of the night to ask their permission, and express his everlasting love for me. Haunted by Apple's iMessage that syncs all texts from his phone to his iPad and MacBook, he became obsessive in erasing any evidence. He had considered giving me the ring in a Christmas present, but knew that my overwhelming fear of public proposals would result in an emotional meltdown.
Many people have these fantasy engagement stories, you watch TV shows and romantic comedies where the standards of American engagements are set incredibly high. My expectations of an engagement have literally been that I will just wake up to a ring on my hand, and that's the end of it. These two alternative extremes are completely unrealistic, because real-life moments are rarely perfectly times, and real-life emotions are unexpected.