In the first year I spent with Rickie, I was constantly afraid of the speed at which our relationship progressed. We moved in together early, bought a house early, everything seemed to happen too quickly. The first time he said “I love you” was on the phone and I had to go over right away and see him because I needed to make sure he didn’t just say what he thought I wanted to hear. I knew that I loved him from very soon after we started dating, but I was irrationally afraid of taking things too fast.
By the time we’d been together two years, I’d made a complete turnaround. I knew I wanted to marry him and we were already discussing marriage and children on a regular basis. I was in a HUGE rush to get married and have kids, but he still hadn’t proposed!
Over the end of our second year and the first part of our third, I began to push and pester about getting engaged. Rickie always said that of course, he wanted to marry me… but no proposal seemed to be forthcoming. My over-analytical personality kicked in and I constantly worried about why we weren’t engaged yet. Was it me? Were there things we didn’t agree upon that he was waiting to resolve? Why hadn’t he asked?
Finally one night, I broke down and asked him what was holding him back from proposing. I was newly pregnant by then so the conversation was laden with tears and hormones and I’m sure all he wanted to do was run for his life! But we talked and it turned out that he hadn’t proposed because he had been worrying about how to find money for a ring. I promptly told him that I wanted a proposal, an engagement, and a marriage… but I did NOT need an expensive ring.
With the concerns about the diamond put aside, I began to push for a proposal with renewed hope. I realize now that I should have just waited patiently and that it wouldn’t take him long… but I think he enjoyed baiting me and listening to me trying to figure out why, with financial concerns removed from the picture, he STILL hadn’t proposed.
Around the beginning of December 2010, one of my best friends called me from Edmonton asking if we could come and visit her on the 8th. Her brother was in the province, she said, and had to fly home the next day. I wasn’t sure I’d ever even met him, but she insisted that I had and that she wanted us to come up and spend some time with them while he was visiting. I agreed and went to “convince” Rickie, who put up his usual fuss about going anywhere far from home, especially during a vacation where we had planned to stay home (we took that vacation to play the new World of Warcraft expansion pack). Finally he grudgingly agreed to go.
On December 8th, we prepared for our evening in Edmonton. I packed a small bag with a change of clothes for each of us, just in case the weather changed and we had to stay the night. Krisz asked us to meet them at West Edmonton Mall in the afternoon and so we headed off to Edmonton after lunch.
On reaching the south end of Edmonton, I called Krisz and left a voicemail asking where exactly we should meet them so that I’d know where to park. As we waited for her to call us back, we got talking and Rickie somehow steered the conversation around to the Fantasyland Hotel. To this day I cannot imagine how he did that without me suspecting something, especially when he wanted to know whether there was an outside entrance or the Hotel was inside the mall. Apparently he was just curious… about something that I should know he wouldn’t care a lick about normally!
When we got close to the Mall he asked where the entrance was. I had been describing it to him – the tall glass and fancy chandelier and valet parking, and he played curious and said since Krisz hadn’t called us back, we had time to drive by it so he could “see what it looks like”. Still suspecting nothing, I gave him directions right to the front door of the hotel, only to be horrified and embarrassed as he drove right up to the sidewalk. I quickly told him that “we can’t drive up here, they’ll think we’re staying here!” and he calmly replied “Well that’s okay, since we are”. He actually had to go so far as to tell me that we were NOT meeting Doug and Krisztina before I finally clued in that the entire thing was a masterfully orchestrated set-up. He had even packed a suitcase with my makeup, hair straightener, and extra clothes and somehow gotten it into the car without me knowing.
We checked in and went up to the Roman Theme Room where I’ve always wanted to stay. Once in the room, we set down the bag (and the unexpected suitcase Rickie had packed) and Rickie went to the window and threw open all the curtains, commenting on the “decent view”.
When I was standing at the window completely distracted by the view of the mall and city, he got out a tiny box and got down on one knee beside me. I didn’t even see him in my peripheral vision and he had to say my name to get me to turn and give him my attention. When I did, he opened the box and asked “Will you do me the honor of being my wife?” Needless to say, the answer was a positive one… although I was so surprised that I could barely spit out a “yes”! I hadn’t even gotten over the surprise theme room stay, and he was springing this on me!
Without giving me a chance to recover, Rickie went on to say “Well, you better get ready!” I couldn’t imagine what for… but he had booked us tickets at Jubilations Dinner Theater and brought along everything I needed to get dressed up for a fancy night out. We had a fantastic time… wonderful show, beautiful room, and (thank goodness) there were no more surprises after that!