Today, I took my ring off.
Not like that though.
I took my ring off to clean it, which is something that happens on a regular basis. But as I’m sitting here in our house, writing this letter, my ring finger feels naked. I don’t think I’ll ever get used to the feeling of a bare ring finger… not after having this blue diamond wrapped around it for as long as we’ve been together anyhow.
This letter isn’t about the ring though: it’s about you… more specifically, about us.
I met you at 19… and at first, I wasn’t sure about you. You had this Lynden high school t-shirt on the day we met at the fair. You were tall, but not towering over me like some people do. You were shy… in fact, you didn’t say a word until I spoke first. It’s strange looking back on that hot August day a few years back…August 15th, 2013: The day that changed my life.
If you were to tell me that day, that’d we’d be married now, I wouldn’t have believed you. You were too quiet: a trait I wasn’t looking for in a potential significant other. You were nervous, which came across as weak to me. You weren’t the guy I was picturing spending forever with. But you were nice to me, you were honest, and you asked for a second date. If it hadn’t of been for all my failed attempts for finding someone, I wouldn’t have said yes to that second date, and I would’ve walked away from the best future I could’ve had.
I thought we would just be friends. You were sweet, but not romantic. You were chivalrous, but also blunt. You didn’t drink coffee, play an instrument, or want to travel, but you did love God. I weighed my options, asking myself if you were someone I wanted to know in the next 10 years. I prayed about you, and tried to make a decision that I wouldn’t regret later on. When you asked me to be your girlfriend on my 20th birthday, I said yes. And then I cried about it for an hour and a half.
Not exactly the way you would think a forever relationship would start, but I am awkward and backwards in so many ways. Through tears, I contemplated telling you that I had made a mistake, that I wanted to just be friends. But everyday we hung out after that, I grew to like you a little more. You were funny, a trait that got me comfortable around you. You liked my dog, and my dog liked you, so brownie points there. You became my best friend, and the relationship felt right. The first time you bought me flowers, they were yellow roses. You told me the meaning behind the color -a symbol of friendship- and it made me realise that we were on the same page: we were friends despite the title of ‘boyfriend’ and ‘girlfriend’.
I can’t really pinpoint the exact day and time I first felt love for you, but it happened at some point. Then a year later, you showed me a tree.
I had always pictured a grand gesture marriage proposal… something over the top, and planned out weeks in advance. Maybe it was due to my family’s record holding worst proposals ever- my parents got engaged on a car ride to the store, and my brother in law popped the question by taking my sister to pick out a ring- but I always dreamt of a huge surprise proposal… And I told you that. So when we went for a walk in your front yard, and found the ring carved into the tree out front, I expected to be a bit disappointed with the lack of planning… But in that moment, I didn’t care. The guy I loved was on one knee in front of me, holding a ring and asking to spend forever with me, and it was all I needed. You were off the hook because I love you, but don’t expect me to let our boys get away with that kind of proposal when it’s their turn to fall in love.
Our wedding took a year to plan, and you were much more of a bridezilla than me… or would it be groomzilla? Either way, we got married in the church my parents got married in. Everyone told me I’d be so nervous walking down the aisle, and that all brides get cold feet, but I honestly didn’t feel that way at all. I don’t know if you were nervous, if so, you hid it well. It’s been a year and a half since then, and although we’ve had our fair share of roadblocks along the way, I wouldn’t change these last few years for anything.
I love you, and am so excited to see where we go from here. Maybe we’ll move to Kaukauna, maybe we’ll stay in Washington. Maybe we’ll have kids in a year, maybe we’ll be pet parents. Maybe we’ll travel, go sky-diving, start a family, or just settle into being settled. Either way, we’ll do it all together.