That's right... Jill and I are engaged as of about 6:30pm Monday, February 4, 2008. I am extremely excited about all of this. I think I've told the story at least a dozen times, and I'm sure she's told it even more. Here's a brief recap for the two or three people in our world who might not have heard:
About 6-8 months ago, I was leaving Jill's apartment (back when we lived in Turner Village). Her cable ran along the wall and in front of her door frame, so it often came unstuck. I knelt down on one knee to tape it back in place, and as I was doing that, I thought I might mess with her a little bit. I reached into my pocket as though I were grabbing a surprise (i.e. an engagement ring). She looked really shocked, scared even. She said "Don't do that. Are you trying to give me a heart attack?" I laughed, and told her the next time I was down on one knee in front of her, I'd have a ring and it would be a real proposal.
Fast forward to Monday. We had made plans to go grab some dinner at Panera. I showed up at her door at 6:30 and knocked. I was on one knee, "tying my shoe" (which I had to untie beforehand to make it look real). When she came to the door, I tied my shoe, and then looked at her, asking "Do you remember what I told you the last time I was on my knees like this?..." Her eyes lit up, and her hand flew up to her face. I said "Will you marry me?" and after a brief pause (I'm hoping due to surprise/shock, not fear or disgust), she said yes. Then we made the requisite calls to family and friends, got dressed up and went to dinner at Le Giverny, a nice French restaurant, which was the first nice place she and I went as a couple.
The wedding will be this summer, at a date not yet set.
So, needless to say, it has been an incredible week. Looking back over the last few years, it has been an interesting journey. Coming in to Candler, I was beginning to wonder if I was going to spend the rest of my life as a lonely old man. But my wonder was premature. From the very first day at Candler, when I met Jill at the Martin Luther King, Jr. Center, I felt something important there, something more than the joy of making a new friend. This was deeper, a connection that felt like it had always been there, and I was just stumbling upon it. The shifting sand of life, shaken up by my move to Atlanta and starting grad school, had brought forth this connection to someone I had just met, but felt like I had known from childhood. I know it sounds dramatic, cheesy, whatever, but the point is is that it was very, very real, and still is.
We didn't start dating until last December ('06, not '07), but by that point she was easily my best friend. No one else was close (not discounting the great friendships I have- don't get the wrong idea y'all). From the beginning, we just clicked. To steal from the band Mae, "I [could] feel something different from the first time/ Heaven made sense, and all the words rhymed." ( From the song "Ready and Waiting to Fall").
Being with her has always made sense. So, naturally I want to be with her always. Call it sappy, call it romantic, call it what you will. I call it real. And now I call her my fiancee.
And that is the best news I may have ever had.