So Andrew and I have been going to see the cherry blossoms in D.C. every year for the past three years. The first year we went, we were giddy because he had just come back from three months in England the day before. The second year it rained, we went after peak season, and I sprained my foot from the sheer amount of walking we did, but it was still fun–we huddled by the hot chocolate stand when we got too damp, took strategic close-up photos of remaining blossoms so photo evidence would look lusher than what we actually saw, and he offered to carry me back to the Metro station. This year was the third year, and, unfortunately, my schedule was super-full, and we didn’t get to go.
At least, that was the plan.
So on Thursday, my Sunday dinner plans fell through. I was disappointed, but couldn’t very well blame my friends for illness and last-minute project panic. I sent Andrew a quick email asking him if he wanted to go to D.C. with me instead, and he replied, quite enthusiastically, that he would.
So Sunday: he picks me up at the church where I work, still in fancy clothes (button-down, dress slacks). He told me he hadn’t had time to change after church. We drove down to the Metro and hopped on the Orange Line. Now, Andrew’s got budding Dad Pockets already, between wallet, a hefty bunch of keys on a lanyard, and phone, so I was teasing him by playfully grabbing at his pocket. He told me later that I actually grabbed the ring box at one point (I thought it was his phone!). Seeing as how I didn’t gasp or give him a knowing look, he started breathing again, and put his jacket on his lap as a protective measure for the rest of the ride.
The cherry blossoms were GORGEOUS this year. Big, frothy things bobbing up and down (one of the things I love about the cherry trees is no one prunes the runaway limbs, so you have to duck under them as you walk. It can be a little scary when you’re walking four abreast on a narrow strip of sidewalk with nothing separating you and the water and realize a huge branch is now blocking the way as well, but I think trees deserve to be allowed to make proper canopies. Besides, even if you fell in, you could grab a branch to pull yourself out!). Andrew and I meandered around, taking photos of each other and narrowly escaping arrest for illegally climbing flowering trees (so worth it).
Eventually, we started to talk about going somewhere for dinner. We headed off the path, just to notice a little clearing with some beautiful trees and almost no one around. Andrew said he wanted to “look at” these trees, and I’m like “Okay! Trees are pretty!” So we’re standing there, and I turn around and he has a card in his hand. I recognized it from a prior Valentine’s day–it’s a little card with two birds in a tree and one is singing to the other and it’s adorable. Andrew told me he had wanted to write me a card because we don’t do that often anymore, and again he’s romantic enough and I was oblivious enough that I took this at face value. The card was really sweet, all about how many things remind him of me every day, and how important it is to him that I am in his life. So we hug, and kiss, and then he says, “And…”
And I say, “There’s an ‘and’?”
And he tells me again how he will never stop loving me, and I tell him this too, and it was only when he said, “So I wanted to ask you…” that it finally hit that this was our moment, right now.
And he got down on one knee, and pulled out the ring, and I was crying, and he said, “Will you marry me?”
And all of a sudden I realized that I had my hands on my face and I was so happy I couldn’t speak. Which was a bit of a problem, because the man I love more than anything is on one knee and would probably like an answer. So I start nodding, and as soon as I can take my hands off my face I say “Yes,” and we spent the next 20 minutes laughing and kissing and crying and saying “Oh my God” way too many times and jumping up and down.
Neither of us wanted to wait through dinner before telling people, so we went straight home to my family and told them, and then to his parent’s house. By the time we got back to my car at the church, all the restaurants were closed, so we went back to my place and ate leftover spaghetti and split the last bit of wine in the bottle, and it was completely fitting.