I’ve been sitting at this keyboard for a while now thinking about how to start this post. And I’m kinda bummed that this is how I’ve decided to start it – so cliche! Nonetheless, I have a very exciting story to tell….
Last week, Drew mentioned that we should go on a date to The River Club in Columbus. I was first shocked – it’s expensive and nice and we rarely do that – and then I was excited for a fun date night. Annnnnd THEN it dawned on me. I thought, we never do stuff like this….he must have something special to ask me!!! And so I started fantasizing about what could possibly happen. We set the hot date night for Friday (that was last night) and the week slowly began. I kept thinking to myself, I might be engaged this weekend. I have to get a manicure. I need a new dress. I need new shoes. I need to lose 5 pounds by Friday. What should I order for dinner? When will he do it? Will I cry in front of strangers? (wouldn’t be the first time) Do my parents know? Does anyone know? …and you get the picture. Friday arrived and I was very excited!! Drew didn’t seem to be acting any different, so a little bit of doubt crept in and I had to give myself a pep talk. “Megan…if this doesn’t happen tonight, do not be disappointed.”
Our reservation was at 8:00pm and at 7:37pm I had to ask Drew to get in the shower so that we could go soon. My mind was screaming. He’s not even anxious at this point!! There is NO WAY he’s going to propose. (But I still had a little hope.) We arrive at The River Club 10 minutes late. The parking lot is packed and I’m thinking this is going to be soooo fun! We walk into the restaurant and I notice there is a gorgeous deck outside over the river with the Columbus skyline in the back. Drew says “we’re sitting out there!” and I’m thinking “this is gonna happen!!” Then the hostess tells us that the deck is closed for a private party, but to follow her to our table. We walk into the dining room and it’s empty. I mean there were maybe 8 other people at three tables. And they put us right next to them. You can hear crickets. ]Drew looks like he’s going to explode with anger. We keep looking at each other like “this is it?”. Oh and our dinner music was the noise overflow that was coming from a wedding reception in the banquet hall complete with the Electric Slide (hence the parking lot being packed). So I think “well it ain’t happening now.” And I didn’t understand why Drew was so angry. He kept saying how he specifically asked for a seat on the deck. Not inside a stale dining room. Hmm…I told him (in my best Miss Mary Ann voice) “honey, we have two choices. Tell the server how unhappy you are and we leave. Or enjoy our dinner!” He chose to order dinner and we decided no matter what, we’d go to Gresso’s patio after dinner to sit outside and enjoy the night. In the mean time, I’m giving myself that pep talk again. “Megan, this is not happening tonight. Do not be disappointed.” Drew starts to relax a little bit and I notice that it’s because he’s finished his entire beer and I’ve only had two sips of my Pinot Grigio. He orders another one.
Our dinner conversation – which I’m pretty sure the other 8 people in the restaurant heard because they were sitting right next to us – was about how I discovered this restaurant. When we lived in German Village and I was training for a marathon, I ran along the Olentangy Trail that goes right by the The River Club. Drew asked me if the trail was pretty and I told him that there was a great little waterfront down the road that I took Senior Photos at (remember Jenn?). He said that on our way to Gresso’s we should stop there. I didn’t think anything of it, because I was noticing that Drew had just finished his second beer and I was now only 5 sips into my Pinot Grigio. Dinner arrived and we ate and left. Quickest “nice dinner out” I’ve ever had.
We pulled up to the waterfront and he parked the car. I had done full inventory of the car and his pockets and hadn’t found a little black box anywhere so I’m thoroughly convinced now that we are out for a nice dinner just because he loves me. Which is in and of itself pretty awesome.
I start to head down the sidewalk and notice that Drew is at the trunk of the car (forgot to look there!) getting something out. When I see it, I’m immediately excited. It looks like a box from China!! (think shoe box size) For those of you that are wondering why on Earth I would: A. know what a box from China looks like? B. be this excited about it. That’s because my little Lyn-Dee is from China and all gifts from China are amazing!
Drew: “Your Uncle Tom and Aunt Lori wanted me to give this to you.”
Me: (I was jumping up and down at this point thinking “I’m getting a Lyn-Dee gift!!”)
Drew: showing me the box, says “It’s a doll.”
Me: “DON’T DO THAT!! Don’t tell me what it is yet!”
Drew: “Sorry. Let’s walk down by the water.” (He still won’t let me hold the doll box.)
We get down by the water and I’m dying to know what’s inside.
Drew: “Here open it”
(Time out: I just realized that my heart is pounding right now as I’m typing this. Awesome feeling!)
I open the box and see that there is a Dowry Box inside. Dowry Boxes are also known as wedding boxes. They are used in China to store family treasures, keepsakes and all things of value for the girl in the family to give to her groom when she is married. Lyn-Dee has one and now I HAVE ONE!!! I’m so excited at this point I don’t even notice that Drew is trying to help me open the top of the Dowry Box….and that’s when I saw it. A little ring box was inside. Before I knew it, he was down on one knee with the most beautiful ring I’ve ever seen and said the 5 best words my little ears have ever heard. “Baby, will you marry me?” I couldn’t even speak. I was shocked. I was tearing up. And my mind was screaming at me “Say YES! Say YES! You have to say the word YES!” I finally croaked it out while he wrapped me up in a huge bear hug. We jumped up and down and screamed and did a little fist pumping. I think I even yelled “I did it!” which makes no sense to me now. It all happened so fast. I made us reenact it once so I could remember it better.
Simply put…it was perfect.
He said to me, after I was done ranting and raving about how gorgeous this ring is, was that he felt that this ring “was me”. I loved that he knows me that well already and found something that represented me to him. I also loved that he said “it’s real.”
This is the Dowry Box that was hiding my beautiful ring.
After we called our parents – I cried big tears of happiness as soon as I heard my mom’s voice – we headed to Gresso’s. Where Gresso himself congratulated us and announced to the bar that Drew and I had just gotten engaged. And then he gave us Gresso Bombs. (Meg R he remembers you too and wondered why you weren’t there for karaoke?)
Instead of heading home after that like a good engaged couple, we decided to stop in at Thurman’s for just one more drink. When we lived in German Village we were at Thurman’s all the time and got to know the great people that work there. Again, drinks were bought for us and we sat at the bar and I gave everyone who would listen the details of our engagement. By the end of the night, the manager got us a cab home. And I didn’t make it to the Columbus Running Co this morning for my Saturday run. You only get engaged once.
I’m really looking forward to planning this wedding. (I’ve been planning it since Grandma Dee made me that wedding gown to play dress up in when I was 6 years old.) We’re so excited to have our family and friends come together to help us celebrate our commitment and love for each other. I’m the luckiest girl in the world to have a man as wonderful as Drew to love me for the rest of my life. Thank you Pumby, for the best night I’ve ever had. So far.