We had been dating for 7 years when He finally proposed this past Christmas. Our decision of when to get engaged actually had a lot to do with finances. I had been in debt denial, and was insisting that he should take on more debt to buy an engagement ring. He was being more rational, saying that we shouldn’t start our life together by getting deeper into debt. This argument had been bubbling up for years when we finally got on the same page last year. My student loans had come due and I was finally seeing the magnitude of my debt. Once I agreed to work on my debt, and he agreed to stick by me through it, we agreed that we should pay off some debt, then save up until we could afford to pay cash for an engagement ring.
This is not the stuff fairy tales are made of.
While it was difficult to keep it a surprise, I think we did pretty well. He saved our money in an ING Direct account so I wasn’t keeping track of how much we had saved. We made deposits to the account when we could, and he also saved his bonuses as well. We looked at lots of rings online so I could give him an idea of what styles I like. I also chose the designer, Whitehouse Brothers. He found a retailer who carries the designer’s styles, and He picked out the ring himself and paid cash for it – no debt here!
He proposed on Christmas Eve. We had agreed to each open one small gift. He played down his gift – I thought I was getting a mix tape! He mumbled that it wasn’t wrapped well and I’d be able to tell what it was, so he asked me to close my eyes. When I opened them he was down on one knee. He asked me to marry him and of course I said YES! Then he tossed me another small gift and told me to open it too. It was a little package of Sniff Tissues that were printed with a vintage photo of a housewife and the phrase, “she threw herself eagerly into the paths of unsuitable men” Of course by then I was crying so I needed a tissue…he knows me so well. The proposal was perfect.
Right after he propsed we went to the midnight church service. I don’t think I heard a word of the sermon becasue I couldn’t stop twirling my ring under the candlelight to make it sparkle. It was so magical with the choir singing carols and the city glittering outside. It was even more special because my ring represents not just our love and committment, but also the first financial goal we achieved together. It was the perfect start to a lifetime of happiness.