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The Proposal

The last thing I expected was that the proposal would take me by surprise.

For one thing, Steve and I had already spent an afternoon looking at rings online; he’d waited until he thought I was distracted and tapped the name of the style I liked (not so) surreptitiously into his phone. More importantly, Steve, who teaches GIS mapping in forestry, is a self-described “map guy” and “math man.” While it’s true that stats are less straightforward than they seem and a few rogue numbers can even be irrational, Steve possesses all the qualities you might imagine of someone whose life is guided by algorithms and accuracy adjustments: he is solid and stable, a planner, practical, somewhat predictable. I love these things about him, as they balance out my more, shall we say, whimsical approach to the world. Since he’s also a conventional romantic—opening doors for me, spoiling me with good wine and sweet back rubs, sending flowers “just because”—l expected a traditional proposal. He’d tell me to get dressed up for an evening out at the restaurant where we first met, or suggest we go on a spectacular hike on an anniversary. And I, the storyspinner, would know what to expect, since it’s the rare plot twist I don’t discern before the big reveal, the rare tale where I don’t see the ending coming.

Or, in this case, the beginning.

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