Everyone wants to hear the story about 'the ring', the 'moment', and everyone at my work keeps rushing into my office trilling "I just heard the NEWS!" (I work in an office of approximately 90% women). Me, in my newly-engaged idiocy; "What news?!"
(then, Oh, yes! Again--center of attention like this...so not me.)
Basically, I got engaged (quietly, on the long-distance line) on August 16th, which was, years ago, my supposed 'real' birthday, the day I was due to be born, but instead I decided to arrive August 24th.
Mike and I were on the phone, late. Yes, we had talked about marriage before, but this time he asked, straight up. I answered, straight up, no hesitation, no doubts. He said, so, we're engaged? I said, no--the ring seals the deal.
We talked about rings (he'd been having a discussion about this very thing with a male friend of his who had just proposed to his own girlfriend). We talked about stores in Portland. He knew alot more than I supposed he would (alot more than me). Diamonds are a stone to me that are too valuable for me to be responsible for. We talked about birthstones, colours, gems. The first major gift Mike gave me, after six weeks of dating, was a pair of vintage-looking aquamarine earrings. Aquamarine, neither one of our birthstone. Instead, the birthstone of the person whose life and death brought us together. And I love blue stones.
Talk turned to the sapphire. I wondered, idly, if it was the December birthstone. In the age of the internet I was able to find out instantly.
September. The month we got together, in 2010, as I waded through the wreckage that was my life then.
It was settled. Never mind that we are citizens of two different countries, that we each have our own life, job, set of circumstances, friends, families. Like I've mentioned before--this time I'm not directing the play.
When I arrived in Maine, late August, right after my birthday, Mike had bought me a necklace for a gift, yellow gold chain, a peridot stone (my actual birthstone, not a favourite).
I'm picky about everything (Virgo) including food, clothes, gifts, and especially jewellery. We discussed returning the necklace and finding a ring instead.
We did, about a week into my trip, and I can remember the drive to downtown Portland, it's cobbled streets, up-and-down hills, the butterflies (good butterflies, like on the ferris wheel) in my stomach, returning the necklace, choosing the ring, together, the one I liked most sliding on my ring finger, no re-sizing needed, a perfect fit.
I wore the ring out of the store, tucking the box into my purse.
We got to the car, a cool Maine day, overcast, some cloud, but that clean ocean air blowing by.
He asked me to marry him again in the car, this time with the ring on my hand, and I said yes.
We went and bought champagne, and for the first time in a long time, I felt like celebrating.
I still can't stop looking at it, glancing at this talisman, one that I had long ago given up the hope of ever having.
Let alone finding a man like Mike.
He is the real star of this play.