Sunday morning dawned early on the river.
There was no lollygagging to be done, not when Bootcamp Dave had a project scheduled. I had volunteered Dave to help Leah and Vic install new laminate flooring in their bedroom. We were supposed to meet them for breakfast in Sprucedale at 9:30 a.m. and then Dave and Vic were going to go at it in the bedroom (!).
We were up by seven. Dave hopped in the shower, I made coffee and then roused the boys around. They're pretty sound sleepers, especially Sam, and the only thing that dragged them out of their bunks was the promise of Valentine's candy.
We all met up on the couch a bit later, me trying to rub yesterday's mascara off my face and wondering if the coffee would have more impact if it were injected intravenously. I passed out Valentine's cards to Dave and the boys, then some small gifts: chocolate hearts and funny animated devils that sing "I'm just a love machine... and I don't work for nobody but you..." for the boys and a box of cheapo chocolate-covered cherries for Dave.
He had warned me, forcefully, not to be spending much money for Valentine's Day. For once I paid heed: the chocolates set me back $1.97 at Walmart.
The boys had bought me some nice stuff: Sarah Jessica Parker perfume and a heart-shaped box of Bailey's liqueur chocolates.
I was all happy, hanging out with my favourite men, sitting in my crumpled pajamas, pushing bed-head hair out of my face and dabbing spit on my curdled mascara.
Then Dave pulled a small box from behind his back.
I looked at it, hopefully, but didn't think much because, as you probably know, I've been bugging him to tie the knot for almost five years now and I've learned that a small box generally means small earrings.
Which is cool.
I like earrings.
I opened the box and a diamond ring winked at me.
I looked up at Dave.
"Um, what's this?" I think I asked.
His eyes were filling up with tears.
His lips were moving, in slow motion, but I couldn't hear any words.
He looked like a trout, a mime trout, with his red eyes and his silent moving lips.
I'm deaf at the best of times but I certainly couldn't hear a word he was saying.
"What????? I can't hear you!"
He grabbed me, pulled me close, and said this in a hot, breathy whisper, directly in my ear:
"Will. You. Marry. Me?"
After all my whining about him not asking I was quick to reply, "I have to think about it."
I thought for about two seconds and then said, "YES! Of COURSE!"
Dave says none of my earlier whining had anything to do with him asking. He says he'd been thinking about asking for about a year. But when his ex announced she was getting married, and then I had my big blogged-FIT about never being proposed to (see "What's Wrong with Me" if you have the stomach for it), he was momentarily scared off. He was afraid I would forever believe I had whined my way into a marriage proposal.
You know what?
I am so happy right now I don't give a good goddamn why he asked.
Only that he asked.
This photo was taken this afternoon by Angus. It's our 'official engagement photo' taken under the watchful eyes of the Face in the Tree at our home on the banks of the Muskoka River.
I think that, when a smiling tree is watching over you, and the man you love is pure of heart and strong of mind, you are lucky beyond reason and your future is as bright and sparkling and endless as the river itself.