photos taken by the lovely miss wise
Saturday, November 26th, 2011
13 degrees, overcast and windy (though the weather report promised sunshine)
It was a lazy Saturday morning. A slow morning. The kind of morning made for coffee and a plum danish at the local patisserie and Mozart playing in the background. The British Boy went to his local Turkish barber to get his hair cut. I fiddled around with photos and other matters of procrastination. We’d planned to go to Richmond but by the time he got home I was in a right funk and the weather had turned and I couldn’t be asked to haul ass across the city. But Joe being his jovial self cajoled me into a walk in the park, so we decided on Hampstead Heath followed by a cheeky pint at our favorite pub, essentially repeating what we’d done when I first arrived 5 months ago. Nostalgia is the go to emotion when you can’t bear the thought of impending separation.
On the way up the Heath, we talked about what a crazy summer it had been and how quickly time goes and how I didn’t want to go home. I think we settled on something like “This sucks!” and left it at that. And then we were quiet for awhile. At the top of the hill were 5 benches overlooking various parts of the city and Joe asked me which bench I’d like to sit on and I chose the middle one and we sat down and he said: “Good, now I can give you your present” and I’m not going to lie to you… the thought of him asking me to marry him crossed my mind but the box was big and the box was heavy and in the box was a flask full of whiskey. “Just a little going away present“, he said. And maybe I felt a little twinge of disappointment, but it was soon replaced with “Holy crap, this is the best flask EVER!” (I do love me a good flask).
And so we sat there, on the bench, under the trees, in the cold, overlooking the city, sipping our 5 ounces of whiskey. It was a very Joe & Jeanine kind of moment. There we were, blah, blah, blah, sip, sip, sip and as the flask emptied, I noticed a sound coming from it. I said: “It sounds like there’s something in the flask” and he said, “Really? Let’s have a look.” And that’s when he got down on one knee (perhaps both knees, come to think of it) and I was very confused because the mouth of the flask was far too small for a ring and maybe the whiskey had gone to my head a bit but then he tipped the flask over his hand and out fell a golden chained ring and he asked me if I’d do him the honor of being his wife and I just about drowned in tears such was my joy. Yes. YES! was my answer. OF COURSE! (much to his relief).
While sitting at the pub, enjoying a pint of cider, we had a right giggle about how he never imagined asking a girl to marry him looking like Burt Reynolds circa 1976 and how the only reason I said yes was because he got me drunk in the first place and how I was too indulged in self-pity that morning to notice any strange behaviors (such as his sudden need to shave when he got home from the barber… meanwhile, he was in the bog filling a flask with whiskey and an engagement ring) and how when I told him on the way to the park that he should make all the decisions that day because I was in a very indecisive mood, his thoughts were “Oh! Shit! I’m about to ask this woman to marry me and she can’t even decide which park she wants to walk in”. There is also the ongoing joke that I could have downright choked on the damn ring before he ever got the chance to propose. I love that about us. The laughter. We’re always laughing about something and I do believe this is what will carry us through the hard times.
The ring, incidentally, is made from a 150-year old Victorian guard chain, from which used to hang a woman’s hand muff (proper, people, proper). It must have been a right ordeal picking a ring for the likes of me. Joe told the tale of how the sales lady at Liberty kept showing him rings that were “too girly, too shiny, too ostentatious, too princessy, too much, no diamonds please… do you have anything more masculine?”. In the end, he picked perfectly — an antique, recycled, creative piece that fits perfectly. And I can’t imagine a better proposal either.
I don’t know what the wedding plan is or what the future holds. All I know for certain is that I am going back to Montreal this Thursday and I’ll likely be there for several months. After which…. I’m getting married to an amazing man. I never thought I would ever get married but here I am, being very girly indeed, ridiculously giddy (over the moon, really), feeling extremely lucky at the thought of spending the rest of my life with this British boy, whose door I knocked on nearly 3 years ago. What an amazing adventure it has been! And I can only imagine what kind of shenanigans we’ll be up to next.
“When you realize you want to spend the rest of your life with somebody, you want the rest of your life to start as soon as possible“. ~Nora Ephron, When Harry Met Sally