January 12, 2013
HIS SIDE: My family loves Agatha. A few months prior, my mom offered the ring that belonged to my great grandmother. I picked it up from my parents on their 35th wedding anniversary on Tuesday afternoon. They both hugged me and wished me luck. I hadn’t made a plan yet as to how or when I was going to propose, but as soon as I had the ring in my pocket, it was the only thing I could think about. I knew I would have to make a plan soon or I would drive myself crazy.
HER SIDE: Well I knew something was up when Kenton texted me on Wednesday afternoon to let me know that he had made dinner reservations for Saturday night at Rick Erwin’s. He never makes reservations that far in advance! Later that night, I think I was complaining about something trivial, and Kenton made some comment about how I should be nice to him or else I was going to feel foolish…
On Friday, he had come home early from work and suggested that we go see a matinee showing of “Silver Linings Playbook,” but I was heading to Toccoa and didn’t have time. I said, “Why don’t we go see it after dinner tomorrow night?” And he said, “Yeah, we could do something like that.” I was totally onto to his secret scheme, but I wasn’t entirely sure of what it could be. Later that night, I told my friends, Kristy and Jamie, that I thought I might be getting engaged that weekend, and explained the series of clues from the week. But then I thought maybe I was just overanalyzing things, as I often do.
HIS SIDE: I was pretty pumped! I was telling all sorts of people. I had to be careful though, so it wouldn’t get back to her.
HER SIDE: On Saturday, Kenton left for the day, and mentioned that I could pick out whatever I wanted for him to wear for our date. He also requested that I wear my hair down since he really likes it down. Uh huh… So, I wondered if I should get a manicure? A bikini wax? A new dress? I mean, I thought I should be prepared for a night of romance at the very least. I rushed to the mall at the last minute, and in a mad dash, bought several options for my date attire, without trying anything on first. I hurried home to get ready, and decided on a green dress (green is Kenton’s favorite color). Kenton was looking dapper in a new blue shirt that I got him for Christmas. And we dashed off to get our table at Rick Erwin’s West End Grille.
HIS SIDE: I went out to get my hair cut. Then I went by Rick Erwin’s to make sure they would put us in a nice spot. I cleaned out the car and made final arrangements with the carriage company. Things were coming together nicely.
HER SIDE: Upon arrival at Rick Erwin’s, the hostesses were grinning at us like crazy, and I thought they seemed unusually happy to see us. We were seated in a table with a nice view of the whole restaurant on the corner. Our dinner was absolutely delicious – steak with béarnaise sauce (my favorite!) and shrimp and lobster; yummy wine; even crème brûlée and coffee with Baileys for dessert. While we ate and chatted happily, I decided that he wasn’t going to propose, that he just wanted to have a nice, romantic date night.
As we were winding down on dinner, Kenton checked the time and was all of a sudden in a big rush to go. He was practically dragging me up Main Street. I kept wanting to stop and window shop. I also thought maybe we were going to go ice skating at the ice rink they set up downtown for the holidays.
HIS SIDE: We had a bottle of wine during dinner, and then an after dinner drink with dessert. Mainly I was hoping to calm me down and get her drunk enough to say yes. I kept checking my pocket to make sure the ring was still there.
I was also nervous about making it to the carriage ride reservation. We were running on schedule, but cutting kind of close. I still had to walk her a couple of blocks up the street. I know Agatha well enough to know that she can be easily distracted by anything “cute” in a store window, and tonight was no different. It took awhile to convince her that we didn’t need to go ice skating… It is very difficult to execute any sort of surprise plan around here!
HER SIDE: Once we trekked up Main Street to the spot in front of Nose Dive, Kenton walked up to the horse drawn carriage stop to let them know we had arrived for our reservation. Awwww! This was sweet, but also funny. I have given Kenton a hard time in the past about not always being the most romantic of planners, and he would always joke that he was really planning for us to ride around in a horse drawn carriage all night under the stars. So this time, he really did!
It was a lovely, unseasonably warm night for January (mid-60s), and the carriage ride around downtown Greenville was so pleasant and relaxing.
HIS SIDE: I hoped she would think the carriage ride was romantic and not too cheesy. So, it was reassuring when we rode by two couples walking together. The girls both “awwwed.” One of the guys said something I couldn’t quite hear – probably something about how corny carriage rides are. Then one of the girls responded, “Every girl wants a carriage ride!”
HER SIDE: Once we pulled back up to Nose Dive, I hopped out and got my photo taken with our horse, Earle. I really had to pee, and I was just about to head into the Westin to go to the restroom when Kenton pulled me by the hand over to the fountain in front of the Westin Poinsett, just outside of Nose Dive (now I really had to pee with the sound of trickling water behind me!). Nose Dive is where we first met and had our first date. The night of our first date, after we shut Nose Dive down, we came out and sat at the fountain and talked for at least another hour.
So Kenton sat me down in the same spot at the fountain, and we reminisced about our first date. He then went into a story about how he had not gotten my necklace fixed (a gift he had given me last summer when we moved in together), and then he stood up and said that hopefully he could replace it with something better…
He got down on one knee with a little blue box in hand and opened it up. He said he loved me so much and that he wanted to spend the rest of his life with me, and asked me if I would marry him. My cheeks were frozen in a big grin, and I said, “Yes!” He put the ring on my finger and explained how it was an antique family heirloom that had belonged to his great grandmother. I said I loved it, and asked him if we could make bigger. He said, “Have you even looked at it?!” I meant bigger, as in SIZED, so that it would fit on my sausage finger, as it was cutting off the circulation of my finger, but I was determined to wear it anyway! People all around us cheered and clapped, and a couple kindly snapped a couple of photos of us. I then requested, “Do it again! Do it again!” Unfortunately, he did not. We were both grinning like idiots, and we went into Nose Dive for a celebratory drink.
HIS SIDE: I was so nervous! I had thought about and practiced what I wanted to say. I’m pretty sure I said most of what I planned, but to be honest, it was kind of a blur. I just remembered she said yes! It even got applause by random passersby!
Afterwards, I couldn’t wait to tell everyone! I sent texts to everyone I could think of. My Facebook status update: “I wanted to shout it from the top of a mountain. But, I don’t have a mountain. I have a cell phone and Facebook… I just got engaged!” (Thanks Ron Burgundy!)
Kenton is so positive, kind, affectionate, funny, smart, and patient, and I’m so glad that he really loves me no matter how nuts I can get. I am looking forward to living happily ever after with my fiancé, Kenton Allison!
HIS SIDE: I know this is just the beginning of the best adventure of my life. I’m so happy to have found someone so smart, strong, and beautiful to go on this journey with me. I’m excited to find out what happens next in our story!