Several years passed since the Yellowstone trip. With our full time jobs, it was difficult for Matt & I to get away on road trips the way we had in college. We did a lot of travelling but although it stayed always in the back of my mind, our planned National Parks trips were put on hold. Life came easily, but it wasn’t enough for me and in 2006, we decided to see other people for a while. That decision is usually the kiss of death for most couples, but somehow, we were unable to stop dating completely. Though we moved out of the apartment we shared and both began seeing other people, he was still always the first person I wanted to talk to each day. It was so difficult to try to keep myself from wanting to fall back into the comfort of our old relationship again, yet I remained convinced it was the only way for each of us to figure out what it was we really wanted.
Lucky for me one of us figured it out and made the decision we both were hoping for…
As far as I knew it was just another date, although a fancy one. We went to Shade for dinner, and out to Monty Python’s Spamalot at the Wortham Theater after. It had been such a lovely evening, and I was ready to go home when suddenly Matt grabbed my hand and dragged me across the street. “Let’s take a walk,” he insisted, against my indignant protests (“I’m tired! My feet hurt! What are you doing!?”) Once across the street, he was suddenly contrite. “I’m sorry,” he offered, “here, let me rub your feet.” Slightly mollified, I sat down while he babbled on awkwardly about the buildings downtown and the moon. Abruptly, he stood up and gestured at the fountain. “Let’s go throw in some pennies for luck!”
“Pennies…?” I thought, but played along. I tossed one in and then gasped as Matt “fell” in after his penny. Then I heard running feet, and two boys whose faces I vaguely recognized came galloping out of the darkness. “Looks like fun!” shouted one, as he leapt in after Matt. I stood, absolutely frozen in shock, as the soaking wet boys formed a barbershop line in the fountain and burst into a rendition of “Heart of My Heart.” Tears started streaming down my face, as I realized Matt had planned a surprise and they were singing to me, something I’d always wanted when he was in his college a cappella group.
After the song, the other two guys disappeared and Matt led me back to the bench. “Oh good, they left a towel” he said, pulling one out of a bag one of them had left. Not just any towel, though, this one was edged all around with pictures of the National Parks. As I sat, totally at sea, holding the towel, Matt pulled out a bouquet of flowers and… a ring. He told me, “I want to spend the rest of my life with you. I want to take you to all the National Parks. Will you marry me?”
Well… you know the rest. I sat and hyperventilated and bawled for a few minutes, and now I’m married & pregnant in Barcelona.
Of course, the last thing we did before leaving the States was embark on that National Parks trip. I still don’t know if I’ll ever get to all of them, but we managed to get a little bit closer at least.
Life throws you curveballs sometimes.