Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Anatomy of a Proposal: Part 2

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GUEST POST BY BEN PODGORSKI, GROOM
Check out part one of Ben's "Anatomy of a Proposal" series, then find out how it ends in part three!


When we left off, I had just explained that my initial plans for proposing had fallen through. Now, by a combination of (sort of) favorable timing, a little lack of patience, and a LOT of love, I decided my new date was three weeks away.

And I did not have a ring or a plan.

Step one was to find the ring. If you recall from the last post, I mentioned "stealing" some ideas your partner has (no-so) subtly hinted. So, I hit up her Pinterest page to see what rings were on there. Almost everything on her page was either actually antique or had a vintage feel to it. With that info I hit the streets. It became clear early on that I was not going to find what I was looking for at one of the big chain jewelers. Anything in my tiny price range was too generic for my liking.

After some intensive research, I came across Brilliant Earth. Not only did they have several rings in styles that were exactly what I was looking for, but they make conflict-free gems a huge priority, and donate proceeds from sales to helping rebuild communities harmed by the jewelry industry. Perfect.

Oh wait...rings cost money... My initial plan included saving a small percentage of my paychecks over ten months to be able to afford a ring. The ring I picked was only slightly less than originally anticipated and I'd only been saving for a few months.

At this point, I did something that I do NOT recommend. At all. With the trip coming up that could act as an engagement-moon, and the wheels already being in motion, I did not want to stop this train. So I called Brilliant Earth, made sure the ring would arrive in time to propose the day before we left for the trip, and waited. Tomorrow I would get paid, and have just barely enough to buy the ring and exist on a small amount of money for the next two weeks.

Side note: Ring sizes. There are a lot of clever ways of figuring this out. Stealing a ring from her jewelry box, asking a friend/mother, etc. All of those are great - if your partner wears rings. Nope! Not mine.

So, I got gutsy. I flat out asked her (her response was wrong and we had to have it re-sized anyway, but that's a different part of the story). She knew we were going to get married one day, so I said, "if I have to ask you what your ring size is, you're going to know I'm proposing soon, so figure it out now and tell me so I have it on hand." And then 8 hours later I bought the ring. [Insert evil laugh.]

Now it's 8:00 am. I have the ring size. I have the band style picked. I've chosen which diamond. I am refreshing my bank statement, just waiting for my paycheck to clear. There it is! I order the ring, and now this is REALLY real. I also have $150 to live off of for 2 weeks, and I work 20 miles away from my house. Time to get creative with my meals.





So at this point, I have a ring on the way, no money, and no plan. I knew she wanted something fairly private and intimate. I tried to think back to the defining things in our relationship, and two stood out in my mind: guitars and secrets.

When she was living downtown and I was in the 'burbs, I would call her while she was falling asleep, she would put her phone on her pillow and I would play and sing a few songs on my guitar. We also have a thing where we ask each other for secrets throughout the day. Early on, it helped us learn a lot about each other and now it serves as a "what's on your mind/whats going on that we haven't discussed" sort of thing.

So now I'm thinking, "Yeah, I can work with this..."

Using those two ideas as a base, I began to ponder a location. The two of us frequently take walks, and like to hang out at playgrounds, because - let's be honest - we're just big kids. In fact, our first date started on a playground. She insisted it wasn't a date at the beginning of the night, but by the end of the night (after I bought her ice cream) she had changed her mind.

The plan was to decorate that same playground with white Christmas-type lights, create a path using paper bags and candle luminaria with a card providing a "secret" at every bag. The path lead would to me with my guitar playing one of her favorite songs, "Question" by The Old 97's.

I have a ring on the way and a plan! Nothing could possibly go wrong now! ...Right? 


Check out part three of Ben's "Anatomy of a Proposal" series!

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