The proposal

by Katie on February 12, 2010

I know this event took place a long time ago…in fact, it seems to us like it was nearly a decade ago. But, we still get asked about it.

I think it’s because proposals have been somewhat romanticized. And I suppose for some couples they actually fit those expectations.

I mean, you have your public professions of love, sappy words direct from a screenplay, roses, candles, etc. Not so much for us. And I wouldn’t have it any other way.

In fact, our proposal was marked by a hot dog wiener, seven yelping puppies and my grandpa on a golf cart.

To set the scene, we had traveled down to my parents’ house for the weekend from College Station. They had made a trip to Oklahoma, but Brandon, Calli, Morgan and I were scheduled to go on a canoe trip down the Trinity River on Saturday.

Now, this ended up being the worst canoe trip I’ve ever experienced. The water level was a bit low, the wind was blowing in our face, and the last stretch of the trip required us to battle fierce winds while paddling against the waves across a lake.

We put our canoes in the water about an hour after daylight that morning, and it was fully dark by the time we disembarked on the lake shore. Not to mention the fact Calli and Brandon caused our canoe to tip over in the gator-infested, muddy lake. More than two years later, I’m still not all that happy about it.

Anyway, all that to say it was a pretty rough day, and we had more than a few moments where we weren’t all that happy with each other. So he must have been pretty sure about the whole thing.

Sunday rolls around. Calli had returned to College Station Saturday night, which left us in charge of Morgan. We took him to church, and planned to leave that afternoon.

Only as soon as we were back from church, Brandon made a mad dash to pack his things, and was driving me crazy to leave that instant.

I don’t think I ever told him this, but I was a little upset/mildly annoyed at how eager and pushy he was to leave my little brother at home by himself. All I wanted to do was at least make the boy some lunch, and Brandon asked, “Can’t he make a sandwich?”

Of course, now I know he was just eager to give me a big diamond, which makes his behavior perfectly acceptable. He really does like my brothers.

So we fed Morgan, wished him well for the rest of the day by himself (until the rest of the family returned from Oklahoma) and set off for College Station.

But, once we were on the road, Brandon seemed perfectly calm and content, and suggested we take “the scenic route” back, since we had traveled through Houston on Friday. That “scenic route” or “back way” takes you right by my grandpa’s place, which Brandon knew was my favorite place in the world. It also takes nearly half an hour longer.

So we get close to his house and Brandon suggests “stopping by to say hi”. I inquired about his sudden disinterest in getting back as quickly as possible, and he says saying hello to my grandpa would just “be the right thing to do”. So we stopped.

He didn’t appear to be home (we arrived to a bolted gate at the end of his driveway), and Brandon then suggested throwing a line out for a few minutes down at his pond. I asked what exactly he intended to use as bait.

And he pulled a cut-up hot dog wiener from his backpack. Apparently, he had stolen it from my parents’ fridge.

I agreed, although I found his behavior in the previous couple of hours awfully strange, and we drove down to the pond. This is where I should mention we were also crating around seven puppies. Seven. My dog, Dixie, had birthed them a few weeks before and we had to travel with them that weekend.

Brandon immediately baits a pole down at the pond, tosses it in, but wasn’t exactly paying attention to it. I had been fishing with this boy quite a few times. He is a serious fisherman. Actually, he’s serious about just about anything he does. So, for the sake of sounding corny, I knew something was “fishy” at this point.

We ended up having to release the puppies from the crate in the back of the truck because I couldn’t hear a word Brandon was saying over all the yelping and whimpering. So then we had them running all under our feet the whole time. Quite a scene.

Then Brandon got all serious in the conversation, and starts looking out across the pond, seemingly pondering life. Totally weird. He asked me a question that had something to do with where I saw myself/what I saw myself doing in so many years.

This is where I caught on to what he was probably leading up to. I remember thinking to myself, you know, I could make this really easy on him, and just give him the extremely cliche/movie screen answer of “With you,” and be done with it. But I didn’t. I rambled on with some vague answer completely unrelated to our relationship.

He stammered through a few more sentences, still trying to pull some sort of answer out of me that would help him lead up to the big question, and I kept avoiding it. Now, it’s funny to me. Probably not so much to him.

Finally, I guess he realized he was getting nowhere, and just dropped to his knee in front of my camp chair, somehow without squashing a puppy, and asks me the one question he really wanted the answer to.

And clearly, I said yes. We smiled. We kissed. We hugged.

Mid-hug, he says, “I can’t believe this!”

I quickly stand back and ask, “Uh, you can’t believe what?”

“That I’m getting married!”

“Well, …we, uh…don’t have to. You’re the one who asked.”

“No, I want to. I just can’t believe it!”

“Okay, well you might want to be a little more specific before you say something like that.”

And so began our story. With many conversations much like that one to follow.

As we made our way to the top of the hill, we met my grandpa on his golf cart. He was the first person to find out and see my sparkly diamond. We like to tell everyone who hears this story that Brandon “caught a lot more than one of my grandpa’s fish that day”.

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