A little background: I had discovered that The Chad had planned to propose down in Fort Lauderdale. He designed a ring, so I had no idea what it looked like. Despite my knowledge, I anticipated that he would still propose down in Florida. However, he had other plans…
June 19th: The day had finally come for my Masters’ presentation. I had 10 minutes to defend my research to two members of my university’s faculty. After I presented, they asked questions. Since I was going a week earlier than my classmates, there was still class schedule for that night. I had planned to stay and help my cooperating group with their mock presentations.
With no school to attend, I got a manicure and pedicure at my favorite salon at the Promenade Shops. Great relaxing start to the day, and possibly an extra professional “edge” for my presentation that evening. I got home, did laundry, made sure I had all of my materials ready, and started packing. The Chad went out to his parents’ house – something was wrong with their toilet in the back room that caused it to flood in the bathroom. We have some Lowe’s gift cards, and Chad’s dad came out to pick one up so he could buy a piece to fix the problem.
The Chad came home to wish me luck and see me off to my presentation. I was finished around 5:30 p.m. My professor, rather than being a total beast, told me to go home and enjoy my vacation. She recognized that I was mentally spent from cramming all the work in a week before the rest of the class. Not one to argue with reason like that, I peaced out. I called The Chad to spread the good news that I was done and heading home early (rather than getting home at 8:30). He suggested that I stop at Fresh Market – the only thing better than Wegman’s – for some food for our trip. Again, some solid reasoning that I didn’t bother to argue with.
I finally got home around 6:30, and The Chad was still at his parents’ house fixing the toilet. He ran out to our house, sweaty and tired, and told me to take a nap since I had just had a long presentation and had been working so hard. Not really tired…I watched Devious Maids on Hulu. Decided I liked the show and would continue to follow it. Did a little more laundry. Got Frankie’s stuff ready to go to my parents’. Around 8, The Chad asked if I would take Frankie over to my parents’ myself, since he was still involved in the bathroom dilemma and didn’t want it to get too late. It took some convincing – “Why don’t you take a shower and come with me, fool?!”, “Frankie’s bedding is in the dryer!” – but soon I was loaded and off to my parents’. My dad greets me with, “Want something to drink?” I respond, “Sure, water would be great.” “Wine, it is!” and a huge goblet appears in front of me. After giving a rundown of Frankie’s routine, talking about my presentation, and discussing travel plans, I get a frantic call from The Chad around 9 p.m. “Where are you!? My mom got us dinner and we have to pack!” Eager for chicken pot pie, I said my good-byes, hugged Frankie extra tight, and hit the road again.
I stopped at our house and saw the door into our garage was open. This didn’t strike me as strange, since there were things from my classroom that needed to go inside the garage. I figured Chad got to them first. I called out his name…and heard the opening strains of “Don’t Stop Believin'” by Journey. I thought this was great – Chad was cleaning up in the garage and turned on some music. As I made my way through the dark garage towards the source of the music, I saw the second door that leads to our backyard open. I poked my head out and saw Chad, clean and dressed in a Hawaiian shirt and linen pants, standing next to his DJ equipment.
A message lit up the yard one word at a time…
(Those are Lite Brites, by the way.)
He dropped to one knee, and pulled out the most gorgeous ring I could have ever imagined. He asked me to marry him, and we danced in our backyard, illuminated by the Lite Brites, to Journey and “God Only Knows” by the Beach Boys. It was magical, and I was able to practice calling him my fiancé for 5 days in Florida.
Clearly…there was no “toilet emergency”. The Chad absolutely panicked when he thought I was coming home early. And my “nap” bought him more time to put together the Lite Brites. My parents liquored me up so he could get everything ready at our house. It is a little disconcerting to think about the amount of lies and sneaking around that took place…and how good The Chad was at doing it…but he made me so incredibly happy and I couldn’t have been more surprised. We’ve already started thinking about our wedding. With a theme. Things could get crazy. And now I really have to keep getting my butt to the gym!