Sunday, January 16, 2011

Her 'Dream Ring'....

     The place and timing were right for Ben's plan to propose to Ashley.  The little fact that he did not have an engagement ring at that time could not deter those plans.  Here is his clever alternative, and their story.   On June the 25th, 2011 they will be married, and celebrate with us here at The Lalumondiere.


How we met...in Ben's words

Ashley and I met while we were in high school.  Not exactly the stereotypical high school sweetheart romance.  Ashley lived in Iowa and I in Missouri.  I had been friends with Ashley's closest girlfriend, Megan, from before she moved away for about a year.  Megan had been talking to me about how special the month of February was because her birthday would soon be coming up.  She invited me out to dinner with her and a few of her friends.  I hung out with her very seldom and had never met any of her friends so I was very reluctant to say the least.  

I arrived at the restaurant a little early and being a very shy person I stood in the corner of the bar and waited patiently for these people to show up.  After about 25 minutes I was deciding how much longer I should stay before I cut my losses and walk out when suddenly the door swung open and a group of obnoxiously loud people came dancing through the door.  (After 8 years together I have learned that being late and loud was not a trend it was just the way Ashley is).  

For most people they say when they see their true love the entire world stands still.  Well for me, the moment I saw Ashley, it felt like the entire world was in overdrive.  “Who is that?” “Could this be the girl Megan was telling me about?” “I need to speak to her! But how?” “Should I sit next to her or will I come off like a stalker-ish, creepy, dork?”  “She is absolutely breathtaking.” “Should I introduce myself to her, or let Megan take care off that?” “Is it hot in here? I wonder if she can notice how much I’m sweating.  Oh, my God, I should have put on more deodorant” All of these thoughts went racing through my head in the split seconds she walked in the door.  After the mad shuffle from door to table Megan had introduced us and we made very forgettable small talk about where she was from and what school I went to.  The entire evening I just seemed to be coaching myself on how not to stare and listen for my chance to enter a conversation with her.  And then it happened, she was talking about a song she heard on the radio and made a bad attempt to recite the lyrics, but I knew what song she was talking about and like a "stud" I came up with the artist and song title.  And that was it, our conversation was over, she grinned, looked me in the eye and said she had to pee.  She got up and started heading to the bathroom tapped Megan on the shoulder and the two went to the bathroom together.  I later found out that it was for the purpose of staying connected with me through the very trendy form of Instant Messaging. 

The engagement...in Ashley's words

Leading up to this moment there had always been jokes about a proposal.  I promised I would say yes even if it were to a gumball ring; it wouldn't take much for me to be his.  He always laughed and joked that after 7 years it was common law, so technically we didn't need the formalities.

The big moment...we went downtown Omaha and had a fantastic dinner at one of our favorite restaurants, Sushi Blue. When we left, Ben wanted to go for a walk around the Heartland of America Park and I agreed.  It started misting rain; there wasn’t a person left in the park...which I found strange because he wanted to continue walking in the rain.  It wasn't until we reached the gondola that a feeling of panic kicked in. He pursued to tell me how much he loves me, something about our families (I don’t remember, I was sort of lost in a whirlwind of thoughts).  He was real fidgety; rubbing my hand while he held it and the other in his pocket just fumbling with something. My heart started pounding; I could feel the butterflies float in my stomach and doing somersaults in my throat  but I doubted my suspicions as I couldn’t think of when he would have had the time to pick out a ring without me finding out. (He’s not very good at keeping secrets or hiding things from me) Suddenly we stopped in front of the water fountain, he took both of my hands in his (he got down on his knee) and he said “I want you to be in my life forever, I want you to be my wife, “Will You Marry Me?” He reached for his pocket to pull out, not a shiny diamond ring; but my dream ring, the one we had spent countless hours laughing about...an origami $10 bill.

  I couldn’t help but smile and tear up at the same time.  I had to remind myself to breathe. When I found the capability to talk, I believe the first words out of my mouth were, “Are you serious? Am I on camera?” Ben assured me he was very serious, “Sooo, is that a yes? With tears in my eyes and a grin slipping through my lips I said, “YES, I love you”.
  
He informed me my “real” ring was being shipped, it just hadn’t arrived. With my sister and friend coming up that next weekend and then us leaving the following to go back home, he wanted to do this privately but wanted to be engaged when we went home to the family. I very giddily wore my paper ring for a week until the day the real deal came in. My sister and friend were in town to capture the event...the second time around! 
We went back to the same place he originally proposed so again he could get down on his knees and ask me to marry him. The second time was just as exciting as the first. After all, its not very often that a girl gets two rings…and gets to keep them both!


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