How'd it happen? Certainly more than you want to know.
On a painfully early Saturday morning, Joel pulled gently at Katie's left hand and slid something on. In a half-conscious daze, Katie opened her eyes and saw the most god-awful ring glaring back at her. The longer she looked, the more gaudy and hideous it became. And Joel had the gall to say, "Katie, I just couldn't wait till 6am - will you marry me?" The ring was gaudy, hideous, and likely would be a prized possession of any 4-year-old's dress up party.
And this dream Katie felt was important enough to wake Joel up for, and to explain in detail. Joel's a jerk. He remembered.
Katie's a conservative girl, in a manner of speaking. Sure, she's a Viking, but she's a proper one, and so she was somewhat hesitant about moving in with Joel prior to, at the very least, a ring on her finger. But Joel is persuasive, and a bad influence, and has very little regard for proper etiquette, and so it happened that, in mid June, they were moving in together. The commute from West Seattle was a bit of a killer, and since Shawn and Laurie had abandoned them for Hawaii, what really was the point of staying, now that they worked in Everett?
So they found a place; a quaint little duplex, with an endearing landlady living in the other unit, and almost enough room for all of Katie's <stuff>. On a Saturday morning, they began the process of moving. In no uncertain terms, that day sucked. Not only was an unacceptable amount of moving going on, but nothing whatsoever went right. It started with Katie getting her renewal license application back in the mail, having been denied for the third time over a smog test verification that even the DMV agreed wasn't required. So Katie, in a fit of quiet compliance <cough> started off the morning by running to get her car's emissions tested. Now Joel, while not necessarily a very smart person most of the time, knew that this was a bad omen and attempted to help move things in the right direction by heading to Safeway to buy some flowers (okay, so Safeway isnít exactly the best florist to be found, but it was 8am on a Saturday morning, in the middle of a move Ė give him points for the effort, anyway). That was his first mistake. When he got back to the duplex, he suddenly realized that he no longer had his wallet. After a frantic search of the duplex and his car, he drove back to Safeway, where he discovered that of course it had disappeared. He knew right where he'd left it, on the small ledge under the automated credit card reader at the check-out counter, and there it was most decidedly not. Thus concluded his second mistake (the money he could handle, but it had a $100 gift card to Best Buy - I mean, come on - that's just cruel.)
So they moved. And moved. And just in case anyone remains unaware of an important point - Katie has HEAVY furniture. Anyway, they loaded up a Budget rental truck, and somewhere in the middle of it realized that Joel's badge was missing. This, in a word, sucked. Not just because it was embarrassing, or because it's needed to get access to work, but because in Joel's new job the badge has to be swiped every time he leaves the floor, meaning that Joel would need to be escorted to and from meetings, and the cafeteria, and his car - for at least a week until Boeing would issue him another one. So once again they searched. The badge had been on his keychain, but the plastic had broken and the badge had fallen off. They searched the cars, the apartment, and even the department of licensing that Katie had taken Joel's car too when she renewed her tabs. No joy.
So here's the thing - Joel had bought the ring two week prior. He'd had to fabricate a story to get a few hours free to go shopping, and had had to stop by Best Buy in order to have an excuse for why he was so late. When they first went up to Everett that morning, before the main moving trip and before the rest of the "adventure", he'd actually made Katie carry it inside; "Katie, could you carry the lockbox in? My hands are full and I don't want to leave that out here." Katie had said that she didn't want to live with someone she wasn't engaged too, and even though she'd sort of acquiesced anyway, Joel figured she'd be a little happier with a ring nonetheless. So Joel had been planning to propose, and while he's not a particularly religious individual or one given to much mysticism, he can take a hint, and it seemed pretty damned clear that fickle fate most assuredly did not think he was making an appropriate decision.
And so, as Joel drove back to Everett, with Katie and Ryan following behind in the Budget truck, he made a little deal - if he found the badge back at the duplex, he'd still propose. If not, well, he'd just go put his head in the oven to see if that made it stop. When he got home, he opened the door to the kitchen, and there staring at him was his mug, captured on his badge, leaning plain-as-day against the pile of half-put-away groceries he'd brought in with the flowers, and run away from so hastily when he realized he'd forgotten his wallet. It happens, especially to Joel.
So the unpacking commenced, and slowed, and eventually they went to bed. Somewhere around 4:45am the next morning, Joel got out of bed. Katie opened her eyes to see him leaning over her, staring at her alarm clock. "Joel, what're you doing???" "Nothing, just wanted to know what time it is. Go back to sleep." And, miracle of miracles, she did.
Joel left the bedroom, went and got the ring out of the lockbox (which was hidden, most brilliantly, in the pantry), and went back to the bedroom. Joel tried to very carefully pull her left hand free, but Katie was tired, and had had just about enough of Joel keeping her up this morning, so she grabbed his hand and held it firmly (he probably just wanted to snuggle, right? Right.) Then he extracted his hand, opened the box and set the ring just in front of her face (she was laying on her side). He sat there for a moment, trying not to laugh at the fact that Katie was staring right at her ring. And then, probably just as she was drifting back to sleep, he said, "Sorry Katie, but I just couldn't wait until six - will you marry me?"
So, was this Joel's third mistake? Time will tell, of course, but our money's on "no."
Some key info-
- Yes, we met at Boeing.
- No, we don't feel bad about it. Anymore.
- We'll be staying in Everett, unless Michigan solves those sultry summers, flocks of mosquitos, and develops a robust aerospace industry. Mountains wouldn't hurt, either.
- In fact, we're just about to close on our new house!
- The wedding is times for Joel's spring break, but he'll probably take the semester off anyway.
- Katie's favorite color is blue.
- Some of the baubles around the house are actually Joel's (but he'll never tell you which ones).
- We thought the Hilton had some good symbolism, seeing that you could look out over the Boeing flightline from the South windows.
PS - if you haven't gotten your invitation yet, don't worry - no one else has, either. They're going out in December or January. Hopefully. Honestly, it's Katie's job, so don't ask me.
And the most important question; Kids?
And here's the gratuitous ring shot.
It's a white gold setting with a semi-tension
main diamond, and three small side-stones
on each side, themselves in a tension
setting as well.