Thursday, February 28, 2008

Emily in Bloggerland

The blogging community is amazing. I learn from you, I cheer with you, I hope for you. Thank you for sharing joy and wisdom and thoughtfulness and wonder and grace and beauty and love. I don't even know most of you but please know that I wish I did, and in the meantime, you have each helped give me the courage to stand up and be myself. Out loud. So thanks. Love you all.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

The Progress of Love

I am ENGAGED!!! My amazing sweetieheart, Justin, proposed to me and I want to share the delightfulness of the event.

The weekend before the proposal, the NFL playoffs dominated all social interaction and pretty much monopolized a complete 48 hours of our lives. Sunday night, post football, Justin suddenly starts talking about the following weekend and how we should go out in the city and do something like go to a museum. (I love museums. A lot.) Then he says, "What's the name of your favorite...isn't like...(dramatic pause)...the Frrr...the Frick?" Oscar worthy, right there. And I, in my delightful ignorance reply, "Oh yes! Let's go there, it's my favorite!" So we make plans to go the Frick the following Saturday.

Cut to Thursday night. Justin calls and says he wants to go to dinner after the museum on Saturday. A French restaurant one of his co-workers told him about. Ok, I think, sounds good. I ask what the name of the restaurant is, so I can look it up and determine what I want to wear. He suddenly starts hemming and claims he can't pronounce it properly and when I ask him to please text me the name of it he couldn't totally remember and said it was recommended to him.

It’s worth mentioning at this point that I enjoy the surprise of events. I don’t skip to the end of books to find out what happens, I don’t try to solve the mystery in suspense movies, I don’t open Christmas presents early—I really enjoy the thrill of surprise. So, in the back of my mind, there was a little wiggling thought that there might be something special about the dinner portion of the evening but had no clue what it could possibly be and resolved not to bust Justin’s chops over a dinner reservation. He next mentions that the dinner reservation is for 7PM. What??!?!?! WHY??? Dinner should be eaten at 8 or 8:30 and if we go that early I won’t have time to change etc….he calmly suggested I wear whatever dress I want for dinner to be worn all day. To the museum. It all makes sense—all part of the master plan of the day.

Saturday arrives bright and cold and beautiful and I fuss and fumble with my outfit, trying to decide what would be appropriate for the museum and yet fabulous enough to the mysterious unknown French restaurant. My sister helpfully suggested that I just go for fabulous (she had started to put two and two together while I will still gleefully unaware!). I settled on a classic black V-neck dress with a ruffled collar from BCBG and a cranberry cardigan from J.Crew. My lovely pearl earrings maddeningly broke as I was putting them on so I had to wear flat mother-of-pearl earrings instead. Black tights. My new favorite black suede ballet flats.

So the afternoon whiles away and we fiiiiinally make our way to the museum just after 5 (it closes at 6) and I was feeling rushed and frustrated that we were arriving later than anticipated. Through my boss, I had secured passes for us from the Director’s office and couldn’t believe we were arriving so late. I start zipping Justin through the collection, showing him highlights and my favorites and giving a quick running commentary. While I can pass many a happy hour in a museum, Justin’s attention span is much shorter and I was trying to be sure to go through quickly while he was still enjoying the art. Strangely, he kept slowing down, stopping to examine a painting here, an enameled French soup tureen there, pointing out the colors he liked. And I thought that was odd. Great! But odd. There was a room that had recently been renovated and re-installed: the Fraganard Room. The room is pink, with crystal everywhere and the most gorgeous paintings. Sigh. How fabulous. We kept going. Fifty minutes later we had completed our sprint through the Frick and were being ushered out by the security guards. From the back, there are two ways to exit—walk along the Courtyard or go back through the study and the Fragonard room. Justin suggested walking that way, as I had skipped over the study earlier. We amble through and I thought how great it was that we were alone in Henry Frick’s study. As we passed into the lovely pinkness of the Fragonards I veered to the left to look at my favorite painting one more time. It's titled "The Progress of Love." Indeed.

Justin came up next to me and put his arm around me. The following then took place:

Him: I love you.

Me: I love you too, Justin. (La la la, museums are fun and now we’re going to dinner.)

Him: (Clearly not finished) NO, I really love you. (The speech begins. It will be kept private, but I must say that this is the moment when I should really have realized what was happening and I just….didn’t. I was pretty enraptured in his lovely words though…)

And then he took my left hand. And I knew. I could feel his weight shifting and in that moment I knew he was going down on the knee. OMG!!!!! HE’S DOWN ON HIS KNEE!!!!

Him: Emily Roberts, will you please marry me?

SPEECHLESS. I was absolutely speechless. I could see he was holding ring box that he had awesomely popped open with one hand but I couldn’t look away from his sweet eyes.

I said yes.

And then I kissed him, he stood up and asked me, “Well, would you like to see the ring? Do you want to try it on??”

And the ring is so beautiful! So beautiful. And he had done the whole ring thing on his own. It was so amazing to be so surprised. I truly had no idea. Magical!

The evening went on from there—the moment was absolute perfection and I could not have asked for anything more. He went so above and beyond to make the experience something that I will never forget. The most amazing part is that the Frick has been my very favorite museum since I moved to the city eight years ago. Since my very first visit, it had been my dream to be proposed to there. Justin didn’t know this—he picked the museum for his own reasons. Isn’t that just incredible? I am the happiest and luckiest girl the world.


Emily (soon-to-be-Birch)