I didn't even have particularly high proposal aspirations - Bug is not a grand gesture kind of lady. Which is ideal, because I do not have the money, or the support network of sickeningly creative crafters, that a grand gesture requires. So I decided to propose at home - something sweet, intimate, and simple. Make a little dinner, plan a little speech, dazzle the lady with my charm, and get myself a fiancee.
A week before I was going to propose, Bug got needy. She demanded to know, in excruciating detail, exactly why I loved her.
"You're clever, and sweet."
"You make me a better person."
This went on for about five minutes, and she just wasn't having it. She could not be placated with general (but true!) statements.
I'm not proud of what happened next, or the reasoning behind it. I gave her my sweet, tender, passionate, and endearing proposal speech a week early, sans proposal.
Just to get her off my back.
So now in addition to needing dinner plans, I needed a new speech.
I knew myself well enough to know not to cook anything crazy the night of the proposal. If it went badly I'd get distracted and throw off the entire plan. And with the level of pressure and nerves riding on the proposal, cooking was going to go badly. So I went simple: crab cakes, a summer pasta salad, and a bottle of white wine. For dessert, some cinnamon sugar biscuits with caramelized peaches. Served on our balcony at sunset, it would be delicious summer time perfection.
So I waited. The day of, J took me shopping for ingredients. I cooked, put on my fanciest dress, set up the balcony, and waited for Bug to get home from work.
When she got home, she immediately vetoed the balcony dinner. It was too hot. I pressed a little, but she wasn't having it. So we compromised - dinner inside, dessert outside when it cooled down. Not ideal, but livable. I don't remember anything at all from that dinner. At some point we must have finished eating and cleared the plates, because I managed to get her onto the balcony for dessert. She even closed her eyes.
So I pulled the dessert plates together, put her ring right on the plate, and brought them outside. I told her to open her eyes, and she saw the ring on her plate.
I froze. After I gave her my proposal speech the week earlier, I couldn't come up with anything that sounded halfway decent. So I kind of didn't rewrite the speech. I just said the first thing I thought of:
"I was hoping you'd marry me."
She said yes. And then we called our friends, and they came over and we all talked and laughed and drank champagne out of solo cups.