The engagement itself wasn't what he had planned. He planned to hike the Appalachian Trail, and at the very end—Mt. Katahdin in Maine—he was going to have me meet him there, and he would propose at the summit.
Except we didn't really want to wait that long. It takes 5 months to hike the AT at least, and you can't start until about April, and well, we didn't really want to wait that long.
We had already decided to get married. We had already decided that that evening, he would ask my Dad. For him the story is much more dramatic because all I had to do is sit at home with my Mom, reading a book or something. He was out "playing tennis" with my Dad, nervously awaiting the moment when he'd ask this man if he could marry his only daughter, his baby girl, the one with 4 older brothers.
He asked. My Dad said yes. They came home from playing tennis.
And then I was surprised. Because we'd already agreed that we wouldn't have an engagement ring. We already each had an engagement earring (yes, we did; he still wears his), so who needs a ring? Plus, we were flat broke and thought furniture would be better to have than a ring.
But he had bought me one anyway, the sneak. And he gave it to me right there at the dining room table in my parents' house, and I said yes, too, of course.
And that engagement day was nearly 22 years ago, in a house that is no longer in our family, on a cool September evening in upstate New York. And our oldest son is nearly the age that we were when we met, and people swear he looks just like his Dad. I'm just glad he acts like him, because that's a good kind of person to be.
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