This year marks the ten-year anniversary of my marriage. Even all these years later, I’m still regularly asked to tell the story of how my husband and I met. I’m forever explaining how on earth a farmer from Kansas could have met a writer from Boston (the Internet), whether I was scared to move so far away (not really) or how much of a culture shock it was (freakishly huge). But the one story I don’t have is an engagement story. We met; we got married. As to how we got there, I couldn’t say. At the time it didn’t bother me, because being married mattered more than getting married. And I did have a ring–albeit one I picked out, a couple weeks before I moved. “I found a ring,” I told my now-husband on the phone. Great, he said, and gave me his credit card number. There was no getting down on one knee, no deep gaze into my eyes as he asked me to be with him forever. It was as if we already knew the answer, so the question didn’t need to be asked.
Maybe that’s why I treasure Laura’s engagement story. First, it exists. Beyond that, it’s just enough off-kilter to be interesting, which I think beats traditional any day.
“I was wondering …” Almanzo paused. Then he picked up Laura’s hand that shone white in the starlight, and his sun-browned hand closed gently over it. He had never done that before. “Your hand is so small,” he said. Another pause. Then quickly, “I was wondering if you would like an engagement ring.”
“That would depend on who offered it to me,” Laura told him.
“If I should?” Almanzo asked.
“Then it would depend on the ring,” Laura answered, and drew her hand away.
Then there’s the song. Do you remember, the one Laura sings? (And which you can listen to here — thankfully for me, since I’d always sung it in my head to the tune of “My Darling Clementine” and apparently needed to be corrected.)
Finally, there’s the ring, which has nothing whatsoever to do with diamonds. (Neither does mine. It’s a sapphire.)
What’s your engagement story? Does it compare to Laura’s?