Tuesday, December 1, 2015

My Engagement Story - Part I

This weekend, Sheldon asked me to marry him. I cannot say this was a major surprise. In fact, because Sheldon and I have been talking about marriage for a long time, this was not a surprise at all. In fact, because of the kind of person Sheldon is--a skilled planner and terrible secret keeper, I had a pretty good idea of when Sheldon would propose. I could have predicted the moment down to the exact hour. Some people have asked, "Didn't it bother you that you weren't surprised?" To be honest, no. I know that the reason Sheldon is incapable of keeping a secret is because he is so transparent. The Sheldon you meet on the public street is the real Sheldon. In To Kill a Mockingbird, by Harper Lee, Miss Maudie Atkinson tells Scout that her father Atticus, "Is the same in his house as he is on the public streets." I have always thought that this quality of consistency and transparency is incredibly attractive. Sheldon has that. Deception of any sort is so against his nature. My FIANCE (So exciting to use that word!) carefully planned the entire day and made it very special. I will describe it to you here. I hope you enjoy. 

After church on Sunday Sheldon picked me up at my apartment to "go on a walk". I put that in quotation marks because both Sheldon and I knew that this walk would contain Sheldon's proposal. Sheldon knew that I knew, but both of us were committed to pretending that the other person didn't. I think we thought we would break some solemn custom of secrecy surrounding the ritual of proposal, if I spoke aloud the words, "Sheldon, I know that you want to take me on a romantic walk in order to propose to me."

We drove to Geneva, Illinois in Sheldon's new truck. First we stopped at an unnamed coffee establishment (unnamed because I do not want to support them by giving them free advertising). Ordinarily this would have been a great treat and I would have gladly ordered coffee, but because of my nerves about being proposed to, I had had a weak stomach all day and could handle the acidic coffee. Instead I went to the bathroom for the twentieth time that day (also a result of nerves) and Sheldon bought tea.

We took our cup of tea to the final destination: The Fabyan Villa designed by modern architect Frank Lloyd Wright in the early part of the 20th century. The villa has extensive grounds and overlooks the Fox River. The first snow had fallen the day before so it was covered in a layer of fresh snow. We walked together through the snow to the outdoor bathroom so I could pee again and then traipsed toward the villa to "check out the architecture". Now, ordinarily I love some cool buildings, but on this occasion it was pretty hard to care about the harmonious simplicity of one of America's finest structures. I was more like, "Alright Sheldon, we all know why we're here. So when are you going to do it?!" Eventually we wended our way down toward the river. By this time I was getting supremely cold. But I knew I had to hold out until we got to Sheldon's ideal spot.

At one point I asked, "Hey Sheldon, can we turn around here? The wind is really blowing in my face." This was downright cruel, because I perfectly well knew what Sheldon was about to do and that he had a specific spot in mind. I guess I wanted to see what he would say. He was like, "Um actually, I had a specific spot in mind and so let's keep going." At this point both of us started giggling uncontrollably. It was as if our charade had reached the height of ridiculous and both of us couldn't hold it together for much longer. It ended up not being necessary to either stand in the cold or maintain our strange facade, because we reached our destination.

We had walked out onto a sort of peninsula on the river. On one side was the grey river and on the other was an frozen inlet of grey water. We stood on a snowy finger of land in between. Sheldon later remarked upon the significance of having four forms of water present at our engagement: water, snow, ice and the vapour from our mouths. Somehow we both think this is significant. We haven't figured out why. You guys will have to tell me if you have any ideas.

Back to the story. Sheldon gently unhooked my hand from his so that he could reach into his pocket. "I need to get something out of my pocket." He pulled out a piece of paper which he had folded into a special pouch. He got down on his knees and asked me to marry him. I said, "Sheldon, I would love to marry you."

Stay tuned, Part II comes tomorrow!


  1. As you might guess, I'm all teary reading this. And giggling at the same time! That's an awesome combination of emotion on your behalf!! This m story makes me so very happy and I'm positively thrilled that God has designed such a perfect partner for you, and you for Sheldon. Happiest of congratulations to you both!!

  2. This is exciting! Can't wait for Part II! Will you invite me to the wedding? (Unless it's next to a frozen inlet of water). Congratulations from Danny Voll!

  3. How very exciting and cold sounding. I can think of the significance of four types of water, but I'll let you know if I do. I can't wait to read about part 2. :)

  4. Lucy,
    Congratulations on your engagement! Sheldon sounds like a great guy from your blog. The Pitcher family is rejoicing!! Ken Pitcher