The wedding planning can’t begin until the proposal happens, right?
Stallion (chosen due to this brilliant scene from Shrek 2) and I are both alumni of Villanova University. In fact, we loved our time at Villanova so much that we stuck around the Philadelphia area for a year or so after graduating. You’d be hard-pressed to find two more rabid Wildcats fans. Needless to say, Stallion wanted to propose to me on campus. But by the time he was ready to pop the question, we had moved several hundred miles north to Boston. So what was he going to do to get me back to Villanova?
Enter my sisters (and two of my three bridesmaids), B and K. B was a recent Villanova graduate, while K was about to start her sophomore year. The timing of K moving into her dorm for the year was, conveniently, the same weekend of Stallion’s and my seven-year dating anniversary. If there was a better time for me to visit Villanova for no apparent reason, nobody could think of one.
Problem? I was not cooperating. Being the generous, loving sister that I am, I did NOT see the point in schlepping six hours to Villanova just to help K move in! I put my foot down. No way, no how, I said. I even threw down what I thought was my trump card—I was NOT spending my anniversary weekend sweating and lugging boxes!
But, at the end of the day, we were off to Villanova, because I always get my way.
Now, smack in the middle of campus, a building named Corr Hall features what are known as the “whispering arches.” Allegedly, one could stand at one end of the arch and whisper into it, and the person standing at the other end could hear you clear as day.
Bottom right (Image via Adric Riedel)
So Stallion and I are walking around campus, reminiscing on the good old college days, when we walk up to Corr and he suggests we give the arches a whirl. He whispers into one end, and…I can’t hear a thing. I ask him to say it again. He does. Again, I can’t hear him. Repeat this back and forth several times. “What are you saying?” I finally yell (classy, right?) and turn around.
Turns out he was telling me to turn around in the first place, so that part worked out fine.
There he was, on one knee, with my maternal grandmother’s engagement ring at the ready.
And I freak out and order him to get up, RIGHT NOW. (It’s not as rude as it sounds—Stallion had gotten ACL surgery the year before, and despite the rehab, he still had trouble once in a while, and I knew kneeling caused him pain. So, oblivious to the ring, I freaked out about his poor knee.) No one does romance like me.
Only then, after the world’s most delayed reaction, did I realize what was going on. Of course I said yes, and I immediately tried to smash the size-five ring onto my size-seven ring finger. Obviously, this was not successful. In fact, I had managed to make my finger swell up so much that the jeweler had to take my word for it that my ring finger was a seven, because it was measuring way bigger than that.
After my finger shrank back down to normal size (personal photo)
After consulting with my mother, Stallion decided not to resize the ring before proposing in case I wanted a new setting. So considerate, right? As gorgeous as the ring was, the family history behind it cemented my decision: other than resizing, I was keeping the ring exactly as is. If it was good enough for my grandmother and my mother, it was most certainly good enough for me. It’s a privilege to be the third woman in my family to wear this ring, and I look forward to keeping up the tradition and passing my ring on to a daughter or granddaughter.
That’s the story of how I got engaged, or alternately, how I managed to turn my proposal into a comedy of errors. Bees, have you ever managed to inadvertently spoil a romantic moment?
(Aside: since this was move-in day, word of the proposal spread around campus like wildfire, and for a moment, K was a mini celebrity—the sister of the girl who got engaged at Corr. Dearest K, if you’re reading this, you’re welcome.)