I've always been rather impulsive with the things I want to say.
This blog tends to be a written testament to that, as I've more than once just spouted off on something with entirely too little thought as to where I was going to go when I got into the idea that was trying to leap from this candy-coated shell I call a head.
I've also always been pretty romantic. I'm not total goo about things, but I can respect a good film super-saturated with the love. I'm often too pragmatic for my own sensibilities, but frequently I find I'm led by my emotions about a situation more than the situation itself.
And so it was, over a chilled plate of spicy shredded cow tongue, that I asked Maggie to marry me. Not to be too chick-ish or anything, but even us guys do sometimes think about how we're going to pop the question … I dare say (as spaced as my memory can be) I never imagined it would be done over such gastronomic delights.
For a while now I've been tossing around the idea of when I would ask her. Since deciding to stay in China for her, it wasn't so much a question of "if" but "when"… what I didn't spend nearly enough time on however was "where" and "how"… I realized this about three minutes too late when my hands were all sweaty and I was completely unsure as to what I was expected to do next.
One thing that screwed things up quite a bit was not having a ring. I had realized a while back that if I was going to wait for a ring, the proposal wasn't happening for quite some time. I've got a 10,000 RMB flight home in two weeks, 3,000-4,000 RMB spending money while I'm there, I'm helping pay for Maggie's yoga instructor's course over the summer (5,000 RMB) and through all this I'm trying to sort out going back to school (insert insanely large figure here).
So, big diamond was just not in the picture. I had, until yesterday, considered just delaying the proposal until I could 'do it right'… but that's when it hit me – if my love for Maggie and my desire to commit to her this way was being held up by a ring … that's pretty feckin' retarded.
However, I'd always imagined it'd be a bit more silver screen-esque. I'd light a thousand candles spelling it out on a beach, and then have a romantic walk along an overlooking cliff. She'd glance down and see my matrimonial message, look into my eyes with hers beginning to glisten from the swelling of tears… throw her arms around me and shout "yes… Yes… 10,000 yes'es" or something.
But what the hell do I know about proposals. I mean, it's not like I've practiced. This is the first one. I swear, I'll do the next one better 😉
So, today I shook my head, decided that I need to get her some sort of ring and do this thing right. After work, with a scant hour and a half before I was expected to be serving her my attempt at curry, I dashed downtown to a jewellery shop and found a suitable gold and diamond finger lingerer. It took me a while because I decided this would be the opportune time to be educated in what all this diamond stuff is about – in Chinese. Thankfully the clerk had a computer hooked up to the net and we could do a lot of rather goofy translating via Babelfish.
The ring is tiny. Really tiny. My The Proposal: Redux didn't change the cold hard fact I had no cold hard cash. But it's something and it gave me the chance to at least do one part that's always in the Proposal For Dummies books… After the curry and a rather muffled appology about the cockamamie way it was brought up the night before, I got down on one knee and for the second time in my life uttered the words "jia gei wo ba."
She said "yes" by the way. Not ten thousand of them, but hell… I only had four candles, and no beach.