I apologize for the brevity of my post on Sunday, considering what big news it was I was posting about, but I was busy this weekend spending some time with Vivian on the one-year anniversary of us “officially” becoming a couple.
Friday night, we went out to Sakura Bana for sushi with Jenny, Hugh, and Sarah. It was the same restaurant where we’d dined a year ago before Vivian let me have it on the way to JNO, so it was a great little reunion. We both got to try out the sushi deluxe, which had such delicacies as salmon and smelt eggs wrapped in seaweed, along with the traditional pieces of raw fish on rice, maki rolls, and the delicate blend of pungent, green-tinted horseradish and ginger petals.
We arrived at JNO a bit late because we were, absolutely not kidding, talking in my car, reminiscing about the last year (and NOT MAKING OUT). Nobody believed us, of course. I drove Viv home to get to bed a little early, and then I went to join our other friends from JNO at Village Inn. They were busy eating breakfast at one in the morning and making fun of the Peter Pan doll Merinda won from the crane game. Seriously, it is truly frightening.
Saturday was our big one-year anniversary. We started off the day with Vivian making me a delicious breakfast around eight o’clock. A little later, I took her down to Just Dance for a surprise anniversary present: a private waltz lesson. Vivian’s been eager to try some “pretty” ballroom dancing, so we went through the basics of a box-step and a simple turn within the space of an hour.
We got some exercise afterwards walking down a bike path in Ralston. I stumbled upon an old tree house and just had to climb on up and see if I could reach the top. The crawl space to the top platform was just a wee bit small for me, so I had to stop there, but it was fun to feel like a kid again. I used to explore the woods and find tree houses like these when I was a kid back in Michigan.
That evening, we went down to Lo Sole Mio, a lovely Italian restaurant on 32nd street that was an accidental find of mine back when I had my very first date ever a couple years ago. The food there is excellent, though getting in at dinner took over an hour-long wait, and they don’t take reservations. It was well worth it, though.
Of course, by now all of our family and friends also know the magical moment finally happened Sunday afternoon. Vivian and I went to church together at Core Community, which was a very friendly place, and then we stopped back at her place to have some leftovers for lunch. I told Vivian that I had some “work to do,” and then I drove down to Bellevue to have lunch with her parents and ask their permission to pop the question. Viv’s dad asked for “three camels” as a dowry.
I returned to Vivian’s place and got her to come with me to the Eagle’s Lodge under the auspices that I had somehow lost my little USB thumb drive at the dance hall where we first met. I had arranged for the upper ballroom to be all ours on Sunday so I could pop the question. When I took her there and revealed that I hadn’t lost my USB drive after all, I instead brought out a couple portable speakers and an iPod. We danced there together, alone, as the setting afternoon sun gleamed through the open windows. I had cued up a playlist with some of our favorite songs: Unchained Melody by the Righteous Brothers, (I’ve had) The Time of Ours Lives from the movie Dirty Dancing, and Let’s Call the Whole Thing Off with Louis Armstrong and Ella Fitzgerald. The fourth song was the theme from Ghost, which is one of Vivian’s favorite movies. I had chosen this quiet tune to pop the question. I guided Viv over to the spot on the floor where I first asked her to dance, and then, on a shaking, bent knee, I asked her to be my wife. For a moment, she had the look of someone about to be hit by a runaway freight train, but then she answered, “Yes!” with the connotation as if she had said, “DUH!” That was all I needed to hear as I slipped the ring on her finger.
We returned to my car so we could start telling all of our friends the happy news via cell phone, Facebook, e-mail, and every other medium possible. It was a moment I’d both been dreaming about my entire life, and it finally happened. After a whole year with this wonderful, beautiful woman, we had finally made it “officially” official. We were in for keeps, and we were going to spend the rest of our lives together.
I can’t wait. The best is truly yet to come.