Engaged on the 4th of July

Eight years ago today, on a similarly sweltering 4th of July, Ryan tricked me into going on a picnic and popped the question.img_3562He made a first attempt at lunchtime, but I protested, given the heat, so he endured an air conditioned lunch with a diamond ring burning a hole in his pocket.

We went to the beach for a swim, he dropped me off at my place to clean up and said he’d like to take me out to dinner… and I could choose the place.  So I felt fully in control, which was truly a brilliant move.  I picked a restaurant in Manchester by the Sea, called for reservations — it was, after all, a holiday — and got ready to go.

He picked me up and we drove up to Manchester, but as the restaurant came into view, he didn’t slow down… he drove right past it! “Oh, did I miss it?” he asked coyly. “Maybe we should just have that picnic.”

He parked at the path out to Ocean Lawn at the Coolidge Reservation, popped the trunk, and handed me a bundle of orange roses and a bottle of Veuve Clicquot. So, it was immediately clear that this was more than your average picnic, and I spent the whole walk out to Ocean Lawn grinning like an idiot, nervously clutching those roses.

We’d only been dating 6 or 7 months at that point, but it had already become clear that we’d found a lifelong love and partnership. When he pulled the ring out, he said, “I’m going to ask you a question I’m only going to ask one person in my whole life…” The thought of it still makes my heart race — the certainty! The earnest dedication of that early love.And here we are, eight Independence Days later. The fireworks always remind me of that jittery excitement we felt that night we said yes to a future together.

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