rainy monday

in case you're not in the same corner of the world as me today, it rained quite a lot here. cold and grey permeated the world around us, and as i tried to snuggle under blankets and stay warm throughout the day, i thought back to another rainy monday.

it was quite a while ago now, but that rainy monday happened to change my life forever. that rainy monday was november 21, 2005. at that point in time peter and i had dated for just under three years, and had decided to celebrate our anniversary early because of my school schedule and the craziness that surrounded our actual anniversary.

i must also inform you that at this point in time i had made it known that all i wanted from him was "jewelry". yes, really. i can remember sitting in my room at school, on the phone with him, and he asked me if there was anything in particular that i wanted for our anniversary, and "jewelry" was my reply. what can i say? i tend to speak my mind…

i had also told him that i refused to move to a new city with him if i didn't have a ring on my finger. i would not be strung along, nor would i upend my entire life if he wasn't sure about us. so let's just say he knew where i stood. he also may have had a tiny inkling that part of the reason i had decided to graduate a semester early was so we could get married a little sooner if we so chose. and he may have a bit of a passive-aggressive streak in him.
[in the above paragraph, "tiny inkling" should be interpreted as "100% certainty," and "a bit of a passive-aggressive streak" should be interpreted as "a huge passive-aggressive streak."]

lastly, you need to know that he told me that if and when he proposed he did not want me to see it coming - he wanted it to be a surprise.

so there i was, uneasily close to the end of my final semester of college, adamantly refusing to move cities without a ring, and no idea where to look for a job. did i look in pittsburgh? in charlotte? then there was the possibility of another city entirely. i felt the metaphorical rope sliding farther and farther through my fingers. so i made a deal with myself. this trip to visit peter was it. it-it. if we got to the end of the visit and i had no ring, i was going to end it. three years is a long time to spend with someone, and if he didn't know by now, who's to say he ever would?

so i took a deep breath, packed my bags, and drove 8 hours to charlotte. i drove down on friday. i would leave on tuesday.

{via fodors.com}

on monday, peter took me to the biltmore in asheville. we took a rooftops tour, in addition to the regular one, walked around the gardens, toured the winery, and had reservations for dinner at the restaurant.

we chose to walk around the gardens when we first arrived because the clouds hung heavy and grey in the sky, and we knew the rain would come.

the christmas decorations already adorned the house and peter got himself in trouble for taking a photo of the giant christmas tree. our rooftop tour turned out to be even better than we expected because we were the only two people on it. we tasted all of the wines at the wine-tasting, and peter joked that his favorite was not any of the wines, but the palate-cleansing crackers.

i bought a bottle of white zinfandel for grammy. we looked around the gift shop. and then we decided to take a drive in lieu of a walk due to the rain and imposing chill. we had some time to kill before our dinner reservations, so we parked next to one of the ponds on the property and decided to exchange gifts.

peter gave me a book, and then presented me with a non-ring-shaped box, and remarked, "you said you wanted jewelry." and i opened up

a diamond necklace.

and i was pissed. i tried really hard not to cry [and thankfully succeeded]. all i kept thinking was - i'm actually going to have to break up with him now. three years, gone. how could i be so sure, and he so not sure? a freakin diamond necklace. i decided i would wait until after our dinner to have that conversation though since we had a couple hours in the car back to charlotte. there was no sense in making a scene now.

so we sat there, and to this day i have no idea what i said in the time that elapsed. we sat there for 30 minutes after that talking about something. and as soon as i could i told him we should head back to the restaurant so we didn't miss our reservation.

and do you know what he said? he said - "one more thing before we go to dinner" and he pulled out a ring shaped box, opened it up, and asked me to marry him. and i said - "will you pinch me, please? is this actually happening?" and then i said yes.

yes, i will remember that rainy monday for the rest of my life. i'll remember the look on his face. i'll remember the waitress asking us if we were celebrating anything because she thought my ring "looked very shiny." i will remember calling my brother and both of my parents to tell them and getting voicemail for ALL of them. i will remember the excited disbelief in my best friend's voice when i got her on the phone, and my sister-in-law's barely masked glee when she called back and asked what was going on - when she very well knew already. i will remember arriving back in charlotte to peter's family awake and ready to receive us.

i will also remember almost getting into an accident on my drive home the next day because i was distracted by the refracted light coming off of my ring.

no, rainy mondays are not usually a great sort of day, but they'll always hold a special place in my heart for the unhappy surprise that turned into the happiest of all surprises. [and surprised i was.]



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