At 8:20 we finally left the house.
Our secret Lazy Goat reservation was at 8:30. The earliest we could make it downtown was 8:35, but the restaurant had twenty minute grace period. I thought about waiting until after dinner to ask her, but I had told them we were celebrating our engagement and I couldn’t run the risk of them congratulating us on something that had not yet happened. That would be horrible. They’d say congratulations, Jaimie would say what for, and I’d have to propose to her by the hostess stand.
Over my dead body.
Parking wouldn’t be a problem, because I have a super power, and that super power is finding parking in Downtown Greenville. It’s a gift I have. Doesn’t matter what day or what time, the second I pull downtown a parking spot appears.
It would all be fine. We’d park the car, I’d take a minute or two to propose, bada bing bada boom, and we’d be clinking glasses of complimentary champagne by 8:50. Well, she’d be drinking champagne, I’d be drinking ginger ale.
We got in the car and headed downtown. The new Taylor Swift album had just been released and Jaimie was hand dancing and singing along. I guess our engagement song was going to be ‘You Need to Calm Down.’
Just like us.
On the way there I started to get cold feet. Not about proposing, but about the location. Was that square behind the Warehouse Theatre good enough? Surely there’s a better place. Ohhh- I should do it next to the waterfall behind the Peace Center. It’s beautiful AND it’s on the way to Lazy Goat! We could be at our table by 8:45.
I turned into downtown.
“Tako Sushi’s the other way,” Jaimie said, taking a brief moment away from T Swiz.
I didn’t answer, because it turns out on the one night I needed it to work- my super power failed me. There were no parking spots on Main Street. No parking spots on my secret side streets. There were no parking spots anywhere! This was horrible. Was this ring in my pocket Sapphire or Kryptonite!?
“My stomach kind of hurts,” Jaimie said.
“Yeah I think it’s from that anti-biotic. I don’t know if I can eat that much.”
No parking. Her stomach hurts. We’re in danger of missing the grace period. I should just abort mission. I’ll wait and do it Sunday over pancakes. It’s fine. Besides, she won’t have to drive 40 miles an hour by our apartment to show someone where we got engaged because we’re never going to be able to afford to buy a place so we’ll probably just rent there for the rest of our lives and everything is horrible, everything is the worst, and holy shit Jaimie how much Taylor Swift can one person listen to!
We parked the car. As we headed out, my resolve returned. We were here. I had combed my hair. This was happening tonight.
We passed over a little bridge. Should I do it now? I started to slow down but noticed the spider webs between the columns of the bridge. Nope. Couldn’t have that.
We got to the square, the place I was planning on doing it all along. There’s a sculpture in the square. It looks like a giant piece of Rock Candy. That’s the only way to describe it. This major life event was going to happen right next to a giant piece of pink Rock Candy.
A group of teenagers walked by. I slowed us down waiting for them to pass.
“Why are you stopping, I thought we had a reservation.”
“We do, but look, Rock Candy.”
“Yeah. It’s a big piece of pink Rock Candy.”
I grabbed her hand.
“Oh my God, I’m so nervous,” I said.
“Why are you nervous?”
I reached into my pocket.
Got down on one knee.
A car drove by and yelled, “Congratulations!”
Jaimie was smiling. Crying. Asking if this was really happening.
It was really happening. “Will you marry me?”
She put the ring on her finger and starting kissing me. She looked at the ring and started kissing me again. “Why aren’t you saying anything,” she asked.
“Because you haven’t said yes!”
“Yes. Of course I’ll marry you.”
We spent the next ten minutes looking at the ring and rehashing what had happened over the past few hours. The ring fit her perfectly and looked incredible. It looked like it was meant for her. Because it was.
“So I had actually made us a reservation at Lazy Goat.”
“You did? That’s so sweet.”
“Yeah, but it was for a while ago. I should probably let them know we’re not coming.”
“David, if you call Lazy Goat right now I will throw this ring into the river.”
“Yeah, they’re probably fine. I guess that hostess will just assume you said no.”
We kissed again. Not as boyfriend and girlfriend, but as two people betrothed. Linked together in a way we weren’t just a few minutes before.
Once we recovered we headed towards Main Street. We made our way through the crowds. Past people eating and drinking and celebrating life. The sounds of the baseball game were in the distance. Jaimie was staring at the ring, looking at it in different light and from different angles. It seemed to change color depending on how she looked at it. I got her an engagement mood ring. That will probably come in handy at some point.
By this point it was well after nine, and I was starving. The excitement had made Jaimie a little hungry too. So we went to the only place that seemed to make sense.
We went to Tako Sushi.
I had a Bento Box. She had Miso Soup and Chicken Taquitos.
An odd combination, but undeniably delicious.
Undeniably perfect together.
Just like us.
Thank you so much for reading The Engagement! If you enjoyed it and want to support the blog in a financial kind of way, consider becoming a Patreon! Think of it as an engagement present. I’ll be back writing on Tueesday. Have a great weekend!