Proposing is a magical experience… or at least it’s supposed to be. My proposal? Not so magical, and I even proposed at Disney’s Magic Kingdom. I figured proposing there would make it doubly as magical… buutttt no. According to math rules two positives can’t make a negative, but I somehow found a way. I guess the proposal could be considered “magical”, but more in the Voldemort meets Darth Vader kind of way. There was definitely some Jedi mind tricks happening as my self esteem was choked out. I had originally decided to propose at Disney the year before in front of the castle with my sister and best friend taking photos to capture the “magic.” It would be beautiful and something special, which is important since the engagement story is something you have for life. It’s the one story you’ll be continually retelling the rest of your life whether to coworkers, grandchildren and nurses who don’t really care. I thought this idea was brilliant… and also an excuse to delay proposing; you know, in case something happened like I met Yvonne Stravhovski. When the time finally came to propose, when I was walking up the street towards the castle, I was surprised at how overwhelming it was. It wasn’t like Alyshia was going to say no, but it was still intimidating. As we reached the end of the road I further delayed it by going to the bathroom… you know, like a coward. When we were finally in front of the castle and the cameras were in place I stood beside Alyshia, and said, “The castle looks good from here.” When she turned, I got on my knee and pulled out the ring. When she turned back to me I began the beautiful speech I had prepared: “Mumble, mumble, mumble (choke back tears) mumble, mumble, (pause in horror).” It was a great speech; it just didn’t come out so well. I was so overwhelmed by the moment that I was far from articulate; blubbery and wussy, yes, but not articulate. Either way it didn’t matter. Alyshia could hear nothing because she was in such a state of shock. When she realized I wasn’t on my knee to tie my shoe, she looked at the ring and… well, she wasn’t impressed. You see, when we first started dating we agreed that I would propose with a fake ring in order to let her pick out the one she wanted with the proposal still being a complete surprise. Unfortunately, in the moment she didn’t remember that conversation. All she knew was I was on my knee with a cheap looking Mickey Mouse ring. She knows I’m cheap, but this was ridiculous. Thus, her initial thought was I was faking the proposal. That’s not a good thing to think, which is why her response wasn’t “I’m so happy!” or “Yea, you finally manned up!” it was “Really!?!” in a very angry tone. This response was repeated several times and why in my mumbling proposal I ‘paused in horror.’
The funny thing… well, now it’s funny, is a wall of people had formed around us. They were much more excited than Alyshia was. For them, it was like in the movies where there’s a long pause between the proposal and the answer. For them, there was a great build up of suspense: will she say yes? Unfortunately, when you’re in that moment; when you’re waiting for the other’s response… not so fun. Of course, it wasn’t fun for Alyshia either. She claims she realized it wasn’t a joke when she saw that I was tearing up. I guess it pays to be a wuss. Even if I had originally been joking, with her angry response the joke would suddenly have to be a reality: “Oh crap, I guess I’m going to have to say it’s real now… yeah, the ring is fake so you can pick the one you want… remember… like you said… good cover me.” After a long pause Alyshia said, “Yes?” but she said yes as a question. That’s not the response you want, but then again, she wasn’t really asked a question. All she heard from me was “mumble, mumble (choke back tears) mumble, mumble (pause in horror).” In all fairness to Alyshia I never actually said the words, “Will you marry me?” so there was a pause for her because she was waiting for me to ask. She eventually just said “Yes?” to end the awkwardness. We hugged and the crowd cheered before dispersing, but for the next hour she kept asking “Really?” Fortunately, it was no longer in the angry tone, but it still wasn’t the “magic” a man hopes for: “Really? Are you sure?… Really? Really?”
Everyone has different expectations for the proposal and wedding day, and sometimes they’re really fair expectations. The thing is, no matter how well planned and thought out they are things can happen. What we expect and hope for won’t always happen quite as planned. The only thing we can do is plan as well as we can and be ready to go with the flow. For Alyshia and I, this “magical” experience is now a great story we can laugh at and tease each other about. Laughter with each other really is great medicine and can make even the most unexpected experiences seem fun.
This week may you find moments to laugh about even when they initially aren’t what you wanted.
Rev Chad, www.ChadDavid.ca, learning to love dumb people