It was a busy morning, waking up early to a bright sun shinning through the windows, and the smell of wet grass drifting into our bedroom with the breeze. There is much to do to prepare for the grand opening for the new primary school, George’s parents are building, and where I am now employeed. The whole community, parents of our new students, the minestry of education and all of the schools investors have been invited to the school grounds to view its progress and celebrate it’s opening. I have promised to make my famous pasta salad- in epic propotions, but I still have to get all of the ingredents and battle through the busy Pick n’Pay lines.
I drag myself from my slumber, fighting the will to wake up, but knowing I don’t have the pleasure of wasted time. I head straight for the coffee maker and begin to plan my day. George springs to his feet, faster than I expected, and is ready to sprint out the door before the first pot is brewed. This is strange, i’ve never seen him so eager to go to the supermarket, but I grab my shoes and hope some of his sudden energy will rub off on me. He stops me before I have the opportunity to get to the door, and offers to go on his own. It seems like a good deal, but i’m worried he will forget something, so I continue my trek for the door. He insists a second time, and i’m caught off guard, “don’t be silly “I say, “it will just be easier if I go with.” He insists again, “NO. I want to go on my own.” Fine I think- go to the grocery store alone. I decide to turn for the fresh coffee… its going to be a long day with Mr. Grumpypants.
He calls an hour later asking for the list of things I need from the store. I am confused, what has he been doing for the last hour? I save myself the trouble of asking, and remind him of the “To-Do list”.
When he returns the water is boiling rapidly on the stove and I begin making my pasta salad feast. We start the drive towards the main event. Its the end of the month and we have both just been paid, so starts the tradition of figuring out our debts, bills and needs. Its not my favorite conversation every month, but it’s one that must be had. Half way to the destination the pot and a half of coffee I managed to down before we left is catching up to me- I may burst- this minor problem also makes it’s way into conversation. George stops and looks at me at one point and says “ I love you.” He is in a very strange mood I think to myself.
We get to the school and find it empty. We make a few phone calls and realize we are actually the first to arrive. We lite a smoke, and pop open a Hunters Gold cider from the six-pack we brought with us. I’m still talking away about the temporary bathroom I have to use at the new school, and filling the passing time with frugil conversation. George is quiet… which means I talk more about nothing inpartcular. Then he says, “ will you look behind that book in the car door?” I was confused what he could possibly need now, so before I look, and being the control freak I am, I ask “why? For what?”. He asks again, “please just check behind that book in the passenger side door.” i’m half looking, for what I still don’t know, and asking George too many questions.” Finally my fingers run across a small black box, with a white ribbon tied tightly around it.
My heart stops for a moment, and George is staring at me, quiet as a mouse. “NO WAY!” I scream. “NOW?” I am still holding the unopened box. I’m somehow not sure this is for me- maybe he is holding it for a friend. Finally, when I stop shouting, he says, “open it”, as causal as a stroll to church on a sunday morning. I open it, and can’t even look for long- he continues to stare, and i’m still not convinced its mine, or I should touch it- its so shinny I’m scared to dirty it. He quietly says, “well… put it on…” and I obey, still shouting about something- but i’m unsure what words are excaping my lips. About 5 minutes pass like this, and I stare at my finger, giggle and shout something, and I may have swung a few playful smacks in his direction too. Then I realized he still hadn’t ASKED me yet, so I inquire. I know that we have been planning the wedding for a long time now, and its never been a question of IF we will get married, but WHEN; but somehow the wieght of this diamond on my finger is making it all seem more real. Its exciting, and i’m dying to tell someone, but its 4am in the states.
Before long, and luckily for George, other guest start arriving, and i’m forced to stop ranting and raving. We tell his sisters and brother, and welcome the hugs and excitement. I try to wast away a couple hours, willing someone to wake up eary in the states so I can share with them too. At 5:30 am (stateside), I give up- I can’t take it anymore, someone MUST be told, so they can start our family phone-tree. I call my mom first, knowing that her being the first to know will be an exciting bragging right. I call the “mom” listed in my contacts, and let it ring, and ring…. and ring some more. “THIS IS UNBEARABLE!” I think with each screech through the reciever. The voicemail triggers, and I begin my message (clear throat) “ WHAT! You guys suck! I had amazing news, but no one wants to answer my call, so now I have to tell the voice message… I’M ENGAGED! I’ll try to call you later, and you BETTER answer- this is a kill joy! Love ya, bye!” I’m a little forlorn, but I dial my sister bobbi next- again forced to leave a voice mail. I swear I come from a family of early wakers- today they must have agreed to sleep in. I’m sad I still haven’t been able to tell anyone, but I stare at the sparkly diamond on my finger and i’m suddenly in a good mood again. If they find out on facebook, at least I can say I tried to tell them in person first.
The day goes on, and its nearing dusk before we are packing up to go home. I still haven’t received a call back from anyone in my family. This whole time difference is annoying me. I try calling Bobbi again, and get through! At last I can tell someone on the opposite side of the world how my amazing day started. She is excited , and i’m sure by the time I hang up and make my way to the car, everyone in the family will know the news. Our phone-tree is speedy and efficent.
I allowed myself to post the event on facebook the next day, knowing all the important people found out at least by phone, and watch the comments roll in. I read the new post daily, and smiled at all the well wishes and congratulations. Then I saw one from my friend Kelly… “CONGRATS! My mom called and said that you left her a voicemail, sorry I missed you, but you know we don’t live in the same city right? Anyway, happy for you guys- talk to you soon!” WHOOPS! The “mom” listed on my phone was a left over number from it’s previous owner…. sorry mom- I tried.
So that is the epic, fairy-tale story of how I came to be engaged. It may not be the classic story you dream about as a young girl, but I think its quite a perfect redition for George and I. Thinking back on it now, I really can’t imagine it happening any other way lol.
And now we prepare for the wedding. If you are looking for an excuse to go on a safari, or get out of your hemisphere, please send me your address- we are starting to collect. The wedding will be held in Swaziland in late June 2014. We wanted to make sure you all had time to save your pennies.
Thanks for all the love, and support as my crazy adventure continues!