After we moved in to our house in the Shire together, we were slowly getting accustomed to seeing each other every day after work. Normally, Nici would get home a little later than I would and I would typically be in the middle of laundry, or mowing the lawn, or cooking vegetarian delicacies for her, or playing with our dog with endless energy, or feeding/cleaning the dog, or doing more work from home, or all of the above. On a few occasions, Nici made a slight, not overly dramatic in any way, fuss over the fact that I didn't seem excited to see her when she walked in the door because I didn't drop everything I was doing (did I mention I make dinner every night... and she tends to pick what we eat at about 5:30 so I can't ever plan ahead.... ever... but I digress) and run to the door like Charlie to greet her. So on a random Wednesday, Nici came home from work, and I was standing in our living room with 7 (her lucky/favorite number) dozen roses... for the first time in about a year, she was speechless. After explaining to her that I don't need to have a special occasion, and no matter what day it is I am always excited to see her, I told her I didn't know of a better way to show her I can't wait to see her every day... and I handed her the flowers and got down on one knee. I asked her to marry me, and after about 11 seconds I had to inform her it was the appropriate time to respond, and she did with a "slightly" tearful yes. In my brilliance, and an attempt to keep it a secret, I had purchased a small decorative ring and put it in a box since I was going to let Nici pick the exact ring she wanted (some might call this a romantic gesture, but as every man reading this email will understand, this was the smartest thing I've ever done as there is no way I could get it wrong), which gave me 11 seconds of slight panic when she was staring at the ring and not saying a word. But we hugged it out, she cried, I had to throw out the mascara stained shirt, and then we got Thai food takeout (for those of you who are down, you understand the importance of the Thai restaurant). We made a great memory, and I still get excited when she walks in the door... after Charlie jumps on her.
In July of last year, I joined Donald in our cute little house on the border of Hyde Park and Oakley in Cincinnati after a little less than a year of long distance dating. I was really looking forward to seeing him every day after spending the previous year making weekend road trips to and from Cincinnati and Columbus. We had been talking about marriage for some time, but not long after moving to Cincinnati, I started to wonder when he was going to ask me to marry him. Being the Type A control freak that I am (no attorney jokes, please), I wanted to know exactly when he was going to ask (how unromantic is that?) so I could start making arrangements for the rest of our lives (always in a hurry, that Nici). He, however, made it clear to me that he wanted it to be a complete surprise. So I had no choice but to sit in the corner and wait (he is famous for making me do this,which is why he is perfect for me). So the weeks went by and I truly thought nothing more of it. And then, on October 17, 2012 – an otherwise completely normal Wednesday – I came home from work to find Donald standing in our living room holding seven dozen red roses (that is SEVEN DOZEN...as in 84 roses) in his left arm and with a big grin on his face. Even though it may have been obvious to anyone else, I remember feeling a little confused – what in the world is he doing?, I wondered. I noticed that he had Maxwell playing in the background (my favorite!), and then he handed me the roses and shouted “Happy Wednesday!” (Happy Wednesday? I still had no clue.) He then proceeded to tell me that he couldn't wait for me to come home from work every day for the rest of our lives and got down on one knee. Still not sure what was going on, I was in a bit of a shock when he said those 4 words that I, until that moment, thought only existed in movies.I immediately started crying and, of course, I said yes. To celebrate, we ordered dinner from our favorite Thai restaurant and picked up some Veuve Cliquot on the way home. Life has only continued to get better from that moment and I still cannot believe that I am planning our wedding. I never saw him coming but I am glad he showed up!