One question, I found, that Shannon was asked a multitude of times was “How did he propose?” in relation to our engagement. I want to set the record straight, and tell it from my perspective. If you've been lucky enough to hear Shannon tell it, feel free to compare notes.
Things rarely go according to plan. This simple fact has made me the flexible individual that I am today. I want to tell you about the day I proposed to Shannon, and how it in no way reflected any number of scenarios that played in my head. First, a little background information.
I Knew that I was going to ask Shannon to marry me when she came to visit in August. We were going to see each other for the first time in a few months, shortly after I was finishing up working at a summer camp. I knew that I wanted everything to be perfect. Remember how I alluded to (by flat out saying) that I'm a flexible person? That very thing was the reason that I shaved my head for the camp, and, consequently, tried to dye my dark brown hair blonde. I say “tried” because being payed lower than minimum wage at camp, we were a little stingy on the quality of hair dying product to buy. Armed with little knowledge of the process, I proceeded to bravely dye my hair a rusty orange color. This was all great for a good laugh at camp, and I proceeded to spend the remainder of my time acting like a pirate. Flash forward to August, I'm proposing that night.
I used some nice hair goo to spike my short orange hair, deciding I looked presentable, and on a hot southern california afternoon, I headed to pick up my soon to be fiance from the airport. I was driving my mother's minivan that had no air conditioning and the roof was the color of my hair.
I swung by a flower stand and picked up a bouquet of red tulips (Shannon is dutch and all) and proceeded to the airport. The combination of nerves and excruciating heat caused me to perspire a little more than anticipated, but that wasn't going to thwart my plan.
I had come up with a thousand and one scenarios on how to propose, and I finally settled on having a picnic on the beach ending with a sunset proposal. So I was sweating a little (lot) that wasn't going to matter. I parked the 1996 dodge caravan and headed to the small airport's one terminal.
After much anticipated hellos and whatnot, I gave Shannon her tulips. Though they weren't as lush as they had been when I had bought them, she appreciated the gesture all the same. It became evident that the air conditioning not working was going to be a real problem, so we cracked the windows and drove to the beach. That is to say, that was the intention.
I should note that I'm not the best person when it comes to directions, and while we had plenty to talk about on the drive, it became apparent that I didn't know what I was doing when I got off the free-way and 30 minutes later ended up back at the airport. We drove through side streets, asked people on the street for directions, heck I even resorted to calling home for help. Shannon graciously laughed it off in the same manner she laughed at my hair.
Upon finding the ocean (a feat you would think would be easy in city called Huntington Beach) I paid the meter and we headed to the ocean front for our picnic. The sun had already set.
Timing isn't everything, and so what if the wind was throwing sand at us, right? I was about to propose! So we got set up and I asked her to stand up for a second, I stood on one knee and whipped out the ring. Her breath was, needless to say, taken away by how smooth I was. She said yes, thankfully, and we enjoyed the moment, despite the rapid drop in temperature.
I should mention that it was a good thing I proposed before the meal. The pre-made Trader Joe's wraps that I had packed had gone a little slimy, and contained a much larger quantity of onions than I had anticipated, leading to a half eaten meal, despite how hungry both of us were. But she said yes, and God has blessed me with the perfect wife, and I thank him daily.
Shannon and I began our marriage together on June 4th 2011. She is my best friend, and puts up with me continually. She even forgave me the time I accidently left her at a gas station in downtown Seattle the day after our wedding, but That's another story.