I proposed to Sarah on 6/24/2013 after a series of events led me to understand she was the one. I successfully surprised her, surprised myself and genuinely made her the happiest woman on the planet for a brief point in time. Also, almost drowned.
In May, about 2 weeks before TMT, Sarah and I were spending some time alone. We were making up from a fight I had been a jerk during in the usual young adult fashion; in the dark, loudly and doing discrete things that should not be mentioned around small children. During such activities, an accident happened with protection on my end. After assessing the situation, we discussed ways of settling it and how to best cover both ourselves.
This was over in a record short time for me, with minimal pain and fuss. No panicking, no worry, just a calm assurance that we had taken all the correct steps and things were to be OK no matter what. We had a frank discussion on the topic of children and what a surprise pregnancy would do for us at this point, and moved on. We slept comfortably in each others arms, and the next day went about our business. For those of you who know me well, this is a very odd occurrence which I noted myself later the next day.
I usually have a small panic attack later after the situation, but regularly when a high-stress situation occurs I have a fucking panic attack. I noted this odd occurrence, and for the life of me couldn't understand my concern. I have had accidents in the past with other women, where over-vigorous activities have led to such things, and in every one of those instances I panicked. I thought about everything that could go wrong, was going wrong, and how this was a disaster. This time I didn't, and I was honestly confused.
Flash forward two weeks, to the Friday of TMT. I had honestly put the incident out of my brain, forgotten it had even happened and moved on, when I got a text from Sarah as I was on my way to the event. She said "Hooray, all safe!" Now...if you know my darling woman at all you know she has a terrible habit of continuing a conversation we stopped WEEKS ago like nothing happened. This often results in a deer-in-headlights stare from me and a slow blink until she responds to catch me up. I gave the phone such a stare, and typed back for her to clarify and explain. She replied that her monthly cramping friend had arrived as scheduled, and we had no need to be concerned about a surprise baby.
I reread the text three times, to fully understand what she said. I found a great pounding in my chest, not one of excitement but of sorrow. I realized I had tears rimming my eyes, and I was honestly incredibly upset. And then I was angry, because I did not know why. I pulled off onto the side of the road in the middle of the Ocala National Forest and just sat on my hood, trying to process what I felt. Why I felt sorrow and loss at her text, instead of joy and reassurance. I sat and thank for a good long time, until I came to understand why I felt that way.
As a child, I always wanted to be a father and have a family. Everyone else wanted to be doctors, lawyers, spacemen, soldiers or the like. I was simple, I just wanted a good job I could be proud of and a wife and family. Its been my driving goal since I was younger to find The One for this to happen with, and it had never happened. What I realized, sitting out there alone surrounded by nature, was that I felt sorrow and loss because I WANTED to have that family with Sarah. That she was the one I wanted to be my wife. I had never been so sure of anything in my life, and knew I had to move heaven and hell to make it happen.
As soon as I arrived onto site, I burst into action like I normally do at SCA events and did not have as much time to think and discuss further with folk my revelation and plans. I told my best friend Ever how I felt and why, I got hugs and congrats from her then the important question of "so when are you gonna do it?" I honestly had no idea of the when, but I knew that I needed to do this the right way; I needed a ring and it had to be perfect. I left the event with a renewed sense of purpose and a plan, find the ring then find the perfect time to ask her to marry me.
At a friendly gathering of trusted friends a week later, I made a vow and promise that within 1 year I would be engaged to wed Sarah. I had no idea HOW I was gonna pull this off but I just knew I had to make it work. I began to fret about money, but decided to worry about the fiances later till after I had found the ring. A few days after the gathering, Sarah helped me with the process of refinancing my auto loan (I have a credit score of 608 now, I am super stoked for that) and I was approached about a credit card. I've never had a credit card before, nor have I ever been approved for one, so I was wary about getting one. But seeing as I wanted a house in a year, and you need a minimum 2 lines of credit for a house, I figured applying would be worth the shot.
I was approved on the spot for a card with a 5,000 limit and you could have blown me over with a feather. THIS was how I was going to afford the ring, and it would be beautiful and perfect and good. I was on pins and needles for the card to arrive, finally I couldn't wait any longer and asked Lana to do some basic ring scouting with me. I had no sense for jewelry, so she would be a boon, but it turn out I needed her more for moral support than I needed on jewelry advice! The second ring the gentleman showed us called out me, it just looked so perfect and sparkled and I could picture it on her finger! But I am not known for making rash choices, not on this purchase, and wanted to see all the others recommended. I settled on that ring, but was forlorn because I had NO funds with which to put any kind of down payment on it.
Thankfully the gentleman was kind and could see how attached I was, he accepted a 20 dollar hold for a week which Lana happily covered for me. I was on pins and needles as I wanted for the card to arrive, I confided in my father my plans and he was quite overjoyed as was a mother at my choice and plans. When the card finally DID arrive, I was activating it on the way into the store to pick the ring up I took an hour break because I couldn't stand waiting any longer, I NEEDED to have that ring in my hands.
When I saw it in the tiny box, I could not have been more proud (nor more anxious) of my choice. It was fucking perfect, and I knew without a doubt this was the right choice. I was paranoid about the ring, I didn't want it to get lost or stolen so for 4 days I kept it in my pocket and on my person at all times. I still had no idea how to propose to Sarah, I wanted it to be just the most perfect thing for us both. At first I thought about waiting until Christmas, but then I realized that I did not have the patience for that. I had been planning on Fall Coronation, but then once i saw that ring I knew I couldn't wait those months. I had high hopes for proposing on the day we moved in together (July 1st) but when I heard she didn't have the day off my plans were back to square one. I wanted to do something special, so I arranged for a day off I normally worked to take her out.
Sadly, work is work and I was suddenly having to work the day I planned to propose. I explained the issue to my boss, and he let me leave work 5 hours early to pend time with Sarah to propose. He gave me some great advice, gave me a hug and wished me luck as I dashed out the door on Sunday to pick up Sarah. I had decided to take her to my hometown, show her where I grew up and where the events that shaped me occurred. It was an emotional time for me, so much tragedy from my past welling inside. I still had no idea where I was going to ask her, I felt that the moment would come to me. Thankfully, it did.
We were both still awake and not hungry, so I decided to take her to Sims Park. Its a lovely park where I grew up, right near downtown and by a punch of cool historical sites. As I was showing her the park, it started to sprinkle. I thought the rain would hold off but before we knew it the water was coming down in buckets and we were both soaked and drenched. I joked about drowning as we ran to recover in someplace dry, and we took shelter in the concert stage to wait for the water to lessen. As I looked around the stage, remembering everything i had done here so long ago I knew that it was the place.
Even though I was sure of my choice, I was still nervous and tense as all hell. This was a HUGE thing I was doing, and though I was confidant in her answer I couldn't help shaking my panic. I told her about all the big life choices I had made there; how I decided to work to support my mom and sister there, how I chose to leave for Orlando and allow my sister to go to Japan, how I made the choice to leave the town forever and return to Orlando for new life after I graduated. That the stage was a place of such importance to me, that nearly everytime I was up there I made a choice that changed my life forever. I knew it was now or never, and right on cue the rain slowed down enough o we could talk without yelling.
I took her to center stage and held her hand. I kissed her and apologized, told her I was Tenant Doctor sorry ("I'm so, so sorry") that my last name did not end in an A (running gag, she wanted to marry a man with the last name A so she could say her initials spelled S.E.G.A). She was totally confused as I dropped to one knee, fumbled with the box and opened it facing her so she could see the ring. I asked her to marry me, and the surprised/joyful look on her face was worth all the effort and the near drowning. She said yes, repeatedly (like 7 times in rapid succession) and about knocked me over to grab me and kiss me and take the ring.
So that's the long version, and I couldn't be any happier.