|What’s that smell? Pine-Sol?|
When I was dating my now-husband, I was a divorced mom of two little boys. I was finishing my undergraduate degree and he was a starving grad student. We had no money and two adorable chaperons.
We had a day off school in January and were hanging out with my kids. Between studying and loads of dirty clothes, I discovered my younger son had a horrible bathroom incident.
I will spare you the details, but I will tell you I had to mop the ceiling and bleach everything in the bathroom.
I was a grumpy mess. Hair slapped up into the Ponytail of Despair, wearing my ex-husband’s sweatpants (can’t say he never gave me anything!), hands smelling of Pine-Sol and bleach and perhaps something worse.
I had just been snappish with my son when my boyfriend took my hand and tugged me out of the bathroom to talk to me privately.
I was pretty ashamed of myself for losing my temper a bit with my poor, sick boy and followed reluctantly.
Away from my children, I prepared myself mentally to be gently fussed at.
Instead, he held my hands, got down on one knee and asked me to marry him.
I was a mess, and my hands probably smelled bad, but he didn’t notice or care.
The proposal was not an impulse, but he hadn’t bought a ring so we could pick something out together.
He wanted me to have the option of “small ring from grad student now” or “big ring from working man later”. Ring now, please!
We went to a local jeweler to browse. I fell in love with a beautiful princess-cut diamond. Later I went back alone to gaze upon its loveliness and my ring was gone. I cried a few real tears over it.
My fiance hugged me when I told him and reassured me we’d find another perfect diamond.
A few weeks later I was almost ready for our Valentine’s Day date, primping last minute, waiting for him to arrive.
I didn’t hear my sister let him in so I was in the bathroom brushing my hair when he rushed in.
From behind his back he whipped out a huge bouquet of roses and a ring box containing the longed-for ring. He’d had it the whole time.
When he’d consoled me, the ring box was in his pocket right then! It must have been difficult to not give me the ring, but he was determined to do it right on Valentine’s Day.
He was going to do the public proposal thing at the restaurant, but he could not wait a single minute more.
I can still remember dropping the brush, thankfully missing the commode.
So my proposal began and ended near a toilet, and I wouldn’t change a thing.
When the person is right you don’t need romance and moonlight. You need the man who will be there when you are fat with his babies, crying at your grandfather’s funeral, mad at your sister, wrinkled and old.
When you find a man who thinks you look great first thing in the morning, loves whatever you cook and is good to your mama, grab him and love him forever.
I did and I do.
P.S. I’m going out of town today and he sent me this little bit of sweetness via text:
“HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY! Check tire pressure before you go. Set air pump to 32. Pump will beep when the pressure is right.”
Back off, ladies. He’s all mine!
How do you know that you are loved? Any special plans today?
Cupid picture from here.
Nota, I love your engagement story. 🙂
How do I know I am loved? When my husband rides herd on all the kids when I am feeling cruddy, when he took me to and from chemo, and held my hand and cheered me up, well, I know I'm loved. I think maybe that's it. When they love you in the nitty-gritty, pine-sol scented catastrophes, you know you are loved.
@Andrea, a man who is your rock during chemo is a wonderful man.
That's the best thing I've read in months, Nota. You are one blessed woman.
That's beautiful. Just beautiful. Hold on tight and don't let him go!
This one made me tear up!
I know I am loved, because he is always trying to fix things that I don't need or want fixed for me. (My "disorganized" spice cabinet, my relationship with certain siblings, a $15 toaster. You get the idea.)
I also know I am loved because he can laugh at me when I am a grump and snap at him that if he doesn't knock off teasing me I plan on having PMS next week, too!
Even though we aren't going out for Valentine's and he asked me to order my own gift (perfume) off Amazon, thanks for reminding me that mine is a keeper, too. 🙂
The Reader says
When he agrees to not make a big deal out of V-day, because it actually holds some sad memories for you.
When he sees your video blog post and immediately skypes you to laugh at what a risque video was posted on your family-friendly blog (and secretely he's loving every minute of it).
When he cleans the dog puke so you don't have to, and lets you snot on his shirt because you are crying your eyes out, and when you know that together, you two can face anything — then you know you are loved. At least, that is what it looks like for me.
LOVE your post today. Happy Valentine's Day to both of you!
Free Range Anglican says
I love the way you write! What a charming story. Yes you found a winner… who says romance is dead? Really its just lurking around the corners we think are mundane.
Julia (Jmmom) says
What a wonderful story! My Valentine just sent me an email telling me he's checking the times/prices of a bus vs train when we travel to see my grandma….a man who takes vacation time so you can go see your 92 year old grandma is a keeper in my book!!
I love your story.
I know I'm loved cause my husband works so hard to make sure that all our needs are taken care of.
Aww! This post gave me chills! Happy Valentines!
I know he loves me because I said, "Hey guess what! I am going to a homeschool convention in Memphis for three days and leaving all four kids with you!" and he said, "Okay, remind me when it gets closer to time!"
Love, love, love!
What a sweet story.
Love is a man who folds EVERY. SINGLE. LOAD of laundry because he knows how much you loathe it. That's what my husband does to show me his love for me.
Missus Wookie says
The stories made me laugh – and that text? Could have been from my Wookie.
Susan in the Boonies says
He's a keeper, but his true brilliance lies in knowing a good thing when he saw it. He's the lucky one.