So, this is a leap year… and the only one where I will be engaged. : ) Because of this, I will tell you the story of Napkin and I getting engaged.
Last summer I got a terrible sinus infection. I tried really hard to beat it naturally but it just got worse and worse. By the time I finally went to the doctor I was almost to the point of hospitalization (crazy, right?) and they put me on lots of strong antibiotics. I had to cancel a string of shows and was pretty depressed about it all and so when I finally started feeling better Napkin suggested that we do a little weekend getaway. This wasn’t anything strange, we have always traveled well together and he knows how much I love a spontaneous trip anywhere. So a week into antibiotics and feeling somewhat normal we went to Oak Island, NC. His grandparents owned a little beach cottage that was really special for Napkin and I was excited to be in a place where he had so many memories. The medication I was on made me really sensitive to sunlight so we didn’t do a lot of beaching it up… we just spent time relaxing.
The second morning that we were there, I woke up feeling a little strange. I went to go brush my teeth and realized that my entire body was covered in hives. I ended up (after multiple calls to both my doctor and pharmacist) having an allergy to Sulfa (an ingredient in a lot of antibiotics) that showed up a week into my being on the medicine. I felt mostly fine, I just looked weird. So I took a Zyrtec and pouted for a while. Napkin suggested we do some sight seeing from the safety of our car. We went and saw the lighthouse on Oak Island, drove up and down the coast, he took me to places he remembered going to as a kid… and we stopped off at the grocery store and bought tons of food and decided that, when the sun went down, we were going to grill out. We grilled corn on the cob, vegan kielbasa sausages, (haha) baked potatoes, made a salad… we literally made enough food to feed eight people. I remember, while he was manning our little cast iron grill, walking down the steps to give him something and saying, “I feel like we are a little family or something.” He laughed and then we ate until we nearly died.
Later, he suggested we go on a walk so we strolled around the island for a little while…stopping by the pier and the beach. Then he had an idea. “I really want to take you to the point of the island. But we have to drive there.”
After driving as far as we could, we parked outside one of the biggest houses I’ve ever seen and started winding ourselves through one of the narrow paths towards the ocean. We ended up walking a good bit, basically following the water line. One thing that I love the most about Oak Island is the lack of light pollution. After a time it’s just you and the moon and the beach… and it’s beautiful. So we’re walking and I couldn’t be happier and then we get to the point on the island.
“This is it,” he says and we just stand, arm in arm, looking out on the ocean… the thing we love most on earth. Things are totally quiet and then Napkin says, “Do you want to spend the rest of your life with me?”
“Haha, yes…” I say, thinking it’s weird that he’s asking me a question he knows the answer to …and then he is pulling away from me, keeping one hand in his and he’s getting on one knee.
“Will you marry me?”
I don’t remember breathing… I do remember slapping my hand over my mouth so hard that it stung. Then I remember feeling the ring on my finger.
I said yes!
And then he lifted me up and we are hugging and then FIREWORKS GO OFF!
It was Fourth of July weekend and some kids were shooting off roman candles in the distance. Little do they know that they punctuated my engagement so well. I kept saying, “I can’t believe it…I can’t believe it…”
Napkin had taken a flashlight with him (which was also completely normal, he’s an Eagle Scout) and we had used it to spot ghost crabs… but he turned it on and let me see my ring. As if the moment hadn’t been perfect enough… my ring was amazing. It was everything I had ever hoped for.
We walked back along the water line, back up the little path and back to our car. Walking back is one of the most vivid memories I have. I don’t remember a time when I’ve been happier. The water shone more, the moon was brighter, I couldn’t feel the sand underneath my feet. I just kept his hand in mine and said, “I can’t believe it, I can’t believe it…” over and over some more. When we were driving back I looked out on the island, all the little shops and houses and realized that it would never be the same. That everything was different. Everything was right.
We got back to the cottage and I called my family and friends and told them the news… laughing when I came to the realization that I was still covered in the allergic reaction to Sulfa. “He must really love me if he’ll ask me to marry him while I’m covered in hives!” They laughed, we all cried and I still felt like I was flying. My splotchy self was getting married to the man of my dreams.
After a while we got in bed but I couldn’t stop staring at my beautiful, handmade ring and thinking about what it all meant. When the morning came the first thing I said was, “I can’t believe it.”
And I still can’t.
I’m glad that I wrote this post. It will serve as a reminder of what’s really important… Beyond the elven circlets and cute cake toppers and something borrowed, something blue… I’m planning a celebration. We did it! We found each other and are celebrating the beginning to a life that’s full of real, honest love.
And that is something amazing.