On Wednesday, November 22, I went to school to turn in my Masters thesis. My first stop was at the printers’. When I walked in and asked for my thesis, a woman said, “Oh, you’re the happy girl!” It took me a minute to realize what she was talking about, as I was recovering from a nasty sinus infection and felt a little fuzzy. Then I remembered on my email order I had written that if they had any questions they could call me; I would be happy to answer; I was the happiest person for having finished my thesis.
I then walked through the halls of school towards my advisor’s office. On the way, I got a text from CPGH telling me that he would be arriving early to spend the Thanksgiving holiday. Rather than arriving at 7:45pm as originally scheduled, we had dinner reservations at 7 pm, and he would be “picking me up” at 6pm. I had no idea how he would do this, considering he lives 1400 miles away. I offered to pick him up at the airport, and he said no, he was all set. My wide smile grew even wider. I was giddy.
When I got to my advisor's office, I left the cover sheet to a thesis in my advisor’s mailbox to sign. In an open office sat the professor who had made me take differential equations (damn undergrad English degree…) to get into school and had since become one of my biggest supporters. I went into his office to thank him and to show him his name in my acknowledgements. I could tell he was honestly pleased. He smiled, and told me how special it was to see my with my completed thesis, when he knew “what I had been through to get there.” It was really pretty amazing. My day was getting better and better.
I then went to my program’s offices, and turned in my thesis. Oh, glory of glories!
From there, it was to the office, where I had received a text back from CPGH answering my query as to what to wear: “a dress. I’ll be wearing a suit.” I totally freaked out. My coworkers had gone to lunch, but I had stayed behind, knowing I’d have to leave early to pick up a watch I had picked out for CPGH on the off chance tonight was the night. To calm myself down, I put my iTunes on random. "Oh, What a Perfect Day" by George Strait came on first. (I swear, I'm not making this up!) After a couple of hours, I couldn’t take it any more. I left. I stopped by Filene’s, picked up the watch, and headed home.
At 5:50, there was a ring from downstairs. It was CPGH. I asked if he wanted to come up or if I should come down. He came up, bringing with him a dozen red roses and his person in a sharp black suit. After about 10 minutes of greetings and putting roses in vases, we went downstairs together. A town car awaited us. We got in, and the driver asked, “The Top of The Hub?” CPGH replied “Yes.” I had never been there, had always wanted to go, and was so excited.
We arrived early, at about 6:15. We were going to have drinks at the bar, but they sat us at a wonderful table with a view of Cambridge. The earlier dinner was perfect; because I had been so sick, I had barely eaten for days. We tried to decide if we wanted to do the 5-course meal or individual plates. CPGH told me that he had seen the 5-course meal on line, and the dessert looked great. We had a great meal: 5 courses accompanied by wines. Avocado and lobster, swordfish with rice, filet mignon with potatoes, a palette-cleaning beet dish, and chocolate lava cake with mint chocolate chip ice cream. YUM.
Now I would be remiss to say I wasn’t expecting anything after the big prelude to this dinner. I had been afraid to leave the table for any length of time, despite the fact I felt as though I had drank my weight in tea that day due to my sickness. When the dessert came and went with no hidden ring, I figured I could finally go to the ladies’ room. When I got back, CPGH asked, “How is your level of anticipation?” I muttered something about it being okay, not really knowing what to say.
Then he reached in his pocket, pulled out a box, and got down on one knee. He opened the box and placed it in front of me. “FDC, will you marry me?” He asked. The tears started rolling. I reached for tissues I had tucked in my purse at the last minute. “Yes.” I answered. I can’t remember what else I said (I later asked CPGH if I had actually said "Yes" or just nodded). Then he took the ring, and put it on my finger. It was gorgeous. Just gorgeous. The man who had treated me like a princess had picked out-all by himself-a princess cut diamond.
Then we kissed. And kissed. And kissed. And told each other we loved one another. I am usually so anti-PDA, but I was so overwhelmed by emotion, it was unreal. When I “came to” again, the table behind us had moved =) Eventually the waiter started to clear out plates, then realized what had happened. CPGH asked for a couple of glasses of champagne. The waiter obliged with a big smile, saying they were on the house.
As we were leaving, he invited us back for all our anniversaries. He said to call ahead and say that he had been our waiter when we got engaged. We took a few pictures, then got down to street level where I could call my family.
When we got back to my condo, CPGH started texting people a picture of us to let them know we were engaged. While he was doing that, I grabbed the watch from its hiding place in my drawer. I was nervous to give it to him, because I know he’s not a jewelry guy. I told him he had given me a small box to show his love, and I wanted to give him one almost as small to thank him and show him mine. He had tears in his eyes, and seemed so surprised and happy.
After, um, “celebrating our love” and after-cuddles, CPGH fell asleep. I just could not. I was awake for hours. I literally did not want the day to end. I tried cuddling next to CPGH, but had happy feet, so got up and moved around. Throughout the following hours, I would repeat that pattern: try to sleep, get up, watch TV, look at ring, try to sleep on couch, get into bed. I finally fell asleep around 5am, only to awaken at 7am to go join my family in New York for a Thanksgiving that would begin with an 11am champagne toast to our newest family member, CPGH.