Monday, August 1, 2011

new york new york :: part 8 :: the proposal

[[ title photo credit to stig nygaard from flickr (creative commons). the rest, as always, are mine. ]]

This is a special post, I am sure you will soon discover why. 

After a morning full of exploring various NYC landmarks and a museum, me and Pat headed back in to the park to try and find Belvedere Castle. I had heard about the castle before coming back to New York, and really wanted to find it this time around. (They certainly do not make it easy to discover with hardly any signs along the way and a fairly significant uphill climb). Thanks to smart phones and Pat's keen navigation skills we soon found ourselves wandering in the correct direction. 

It was really hot outside and I was tired and lagging behind a bit, but to my surprise Pat was trekking ahead as if he was on an important mission. I choose to take it slow and capture some pictures on the way up instead of rushing ahead as well. After climbing several flights of stairs with no clear indication that we were going the right way, there was a small clearing with a sign marked "Belvedere Castle". Finally. We turned the corner to reveal a little castle situated on the top of a hill with a beautiful view of the park, Turtle Pond, and the city. There were some people around, but not many, as the castle was closed for the day. This was nice because I was able to capture some uninterrupted photos, though it was a little bit of a bummer we could not venture inside. 

After ten minutes or so I turned my attention back to ice cream and suggested we make our way down the hill. Pat however wanted to stop to take a rest, so we set out to find a bench or something. Around the corner by the tower there were some unoccupied stairs, so we settled down for a break. I, hungry and impatient, pulled a leftover croissant from my purse and broke off two pieces, offering one to Pat. To my surprise he said no, which I thought was a bit odd since he is always hungry, but I did not have enough time to consider my confusion because what happened next changed everything...

All of the sudden Pat leaned in and said "I have to ask you a question" my response came in the form of a puzzled look. The next few things happened very quickly.

Pat stumbled back and got down on one knee and out of nowhere he had a small grey box in his hand that I immediately recognized as a jewelry box. I placed my hands over my mouth in complete shock and the box opened to reveal a ring as he clearly spoke four little words... "Will you marry me?"I was caught off guard, but I immediately shot up and said "Yes!", giving him a huge hug and kiss. A part of me has always known that I would say yes no matter what or when. 

Anyone who knows me, I mean really knows me, will have no trouble understanding that as excited as I was, I had to collect myself for a moment because marriage has long been something that has completely paralyzed me with fear. This has nothing at all to do with Pat, it is just me. We sat on the steps for a few more minutes as people kept walking by and stopping right next to us and all I wanted to do was be alone with him. Finally I stood up and suggested that we climb over the railing and sit on the rocks overlooking the pond because there no one could see us. After a little bit of hesitation, he agreed and we settled in to our own little world. Once on the other side of the railing it felt like we were all alone and could speak freely. I immediately felt my fears melt away, and began telling Pat everything I have known for a long time, but been to afraid to admit out loud.  

Finally I said "Will you please do it again? I am ready now..." to which he responded "Are you serious?! Don't you know how hard it was to do it the first time??!!" AND because I have the best man EVER he spoke some beautiful words, put the ring on my finger, and it was settled, we were officially engaged! We sat in that spot overlooking the pond for what must have been two entire hours just enjoying each others company, crying (yes, I cried), and taking some pictures. 

Pat revealed to me how he had been planning this for over a month and working with my family to get it together in time. The diamond he used to propose was from his mom and dads engagement ring (they are since divorced like my parents, who's diamond I also have, set in a pendant). He had driven up to Portland a few weeks prior to meet with my dad and ask his permission, which I will forever be impressed with. My dad had the ring set simply in a band, my brother picked it up, and it was my friend Megan who brought it to us right as we were leaving for the airport, which explains all of the seemingly aimless rushing around we did! Of course my sister who lives in NYC knew everything about it already, and her friend even sneakily asked me a few days earlier what I would do if Pat proposed. I thought nothing of it at all and responded "If Pat proposed to me tomorrow, I would say yes." I cannot believe I never even suspected anything. It was not "tomorrow" but three days after that conversation in the beer garden that this happened. 

We are not setting a date yet, and have no plans to do so for the next year at least. It seems only fitting since we have been together for so long already (we just celebrated our sixth year). First order of business is figuring out what kind of rings we want. Pat was smart enough to know that I would want a say in what type of engagement band I will be wearing for the rest of my life, so we are going to pick them out/design them together. I have no idea what I want as of now... The only thing I have decided is that I want to mimic the rectangular cut of the diamond I am currently wearing (emerald cut, I suppose), because it will be more sentimental, and I like the way it looks on my finger. In the mean time I am wearing the ring from the proposal, but eventually the diamond will be turned in to something like my parents ring has been and can be passed down. 

Someday within the next few years I will be Mrs. Matthis... weird! I have no doubts in my mind that Patrick James Matthis is the only man for me. (cheesy but I don't care). I love you babe, so much it's ridiculous. Thank you for ensuring that my trip to NY will be one of the most memorable trips of my life. I can think of no other person that I would rather share all of my adventures with.