There are three things I don’t talk about publicly/online, my finances, my family, and my relationship. And despite my typical inclination to keep things private, I will pull back the curtain this time since it is such a monumental life-decision.
It’s been pretty well documented that I’ve been with my girlfriend for a while. So long in fact, EVERY time I was around any of my family I would be hit with the barrage of “when are you going to propose to that girl?!" questions in their many annoying forms.
As I was driving home from work one Friday this past September, something clicked. I’m not sure if it was a commercial on the radio, a lyric in a song, or realizing my own mortality as I contemplated the meaning of life… or the cure for cancer… or some other existential shit that people think about while stuck in traffic. I’d be lying if I said I knew exactly what it was, but I can say I know the EXACT moment, I decided “I will never be more ready to marry this woman than I am right now, what am I waiting on?”
Fast forward to December 22.
I text everyone a couple of days in advance telling them I need their help with Sam’s “Christmas gift” and didn’t give them any more details than that. I was having a hard enough time keeping my plan from her, so I didn’t want to give that burden to anyone else, or risk them mention it in passing, and it getting back to her.
A little about Sam. Sam is a bloodhound. Her hearing and sense of smell are among the strongest I’ve ever encountered. Once while we were sitting on the couch, she looked at me concerned, and said, “The woman on the second floor of the apartments two streets over has a heart murmur…and a gas leak… I must go warn her." Ok… admittedly that last bit never happened but she’s that damn sensitive to hearing/smelling. She’s just as attentive to seemingly insignificant details, and putting together a theory. She’s the "figure out the movie plot after hearing the cast" type of person. So if anyone leaked ANY information she would figure it out, and it was really important to me that this remain a secret.
Back to the story.
I tell everyone to meet at the Nasher Sculpture Center in Dallas at 2pm (where we had our first date 5 years earlier) and not to be even a second late. Sam and I arrive and everyone is in their places.
We walk into the sculpture garden and she recognizes the first group of people. Her friends from school. They’re art students, so she didn’t think it was odd that three of her friends were randomly at a museum on a Sunday. We talk for a while, and I make up some bullshit about it being cold, and we needed to go and would catch back up with them later.
We walk down the path some more and we “run into” her music friends (check out Sam Lao on Spotify / iTunes / Vevo / Soundcloud). She now recognizes her DJ, her producer, her manager, and her mentor, and turns to me asking “what are you doing?!" I reply, "what!?" We talk to them for a bit, and I rush her along to the next group of people on the path.
She recognizes my brother and his wife and a couple of our other friends, and asks again, visibly trying to calm herself down, “what are you doing?!" I again, this time smiling respond "what?!" We talk for a little bit and she turns again asking "what are you doing?!?”
We leave that third group and get to the end of the path and turn to find her parents, and everyone else she had passed on the path standing behind them, and again says “WHAT ARE YOU DOING!?!?!? THIS BETTER NOT BE A TRICK." I assure her it isn’t a trick, and begin to kneel. Her hands cover her face, and tears well up in the corner of her eyes. I speak from my heart, and to be honest I have no clue what I said, but I remember finishing with, "so will you do me the extreme honor of marrying me??" Without hesitation, or even looking at the ring she nods through her tears and hands signifying yes, she would indeed marry me.
I am now the proud owner of a fiancé!