Yesterday, I asked Samantha to marry me. We’ve been dating for ten months (as of this coming Friday, anyway) and I felt it was time. Never in my life have I felt more simpatico with someone. She supports me, comforts me, encourages me, challenges me, and makes me a better person every day. Not only does she provide this naturally, but I seek it from her, because it’s something that makes us both stronger. We are very happy, and completely in love.
A few weeks ago, I purchased an old pocket watch-style compass that was from about 1910. I took it into a local jeweler to see if I could get the question engraved on the inside. I went to J David Jewelers in Broken Arrow (as it was important for me to support local business for all of this) and was delighted at how helpful they were. As I was telling the lady what I wanted to do, it seemed like everyone in the store came over to hear my story. My plan was to plant this in a shop and have her come across it as we were browsing. I was shocked at how immediately invested these total strangers were in my success. Getting the compass engraved was no problem, and a week later it was ready; they made me swear I’d come back and tell them all how it went.
For the ring, I knew Sam was not big into traditional jewelry. After some searching through Etsy, I found the local artist that made one of her favorite rings; in fact, the only ring I saw her wear regularly. Aaron Paul Designs makes rings from antique sterling silver spoons. After some discussions with Aaron about the possibilities, I decided on a ring made from a 1928 rose spoon. Now that both of these wheels were in motion, it was time to make the call that I stressed about the most: Sam’s father. I met him this past Christmas, and we got along well…but everyone has prepared me for the fact that he could give me a hard time of historic proportions. He’s the proto-typical New York dock worker type of personality and a competing strongman. I had no idea what to expect. I talked to Sam’s mother first, whose blessing I knew I already had, and got the info to call Sam’s father. I went to an office at work on break, closed the door, and settled my mind. All of this preparation for a five minute phone call, with no awkwardness. He sounded very happy, actually. It had ALL gone very smoothly, as a matter of fact.
Although I had planned on proposing on our ten month anniversary (8/15) I couldn’t wait now that all my ducks were in a row. Plus, Sam’s mom was going nuts not being able to tell anyone! This past Friday, I drove out to the Generations Antique Mall on Route 66 and spoke to the owner. I made out a rudimentary price tag [DOES NOT WORK $25] and set everything up for Sunday the 10th. I took the ring, placed it in a little felt bag, and hooked it on the driver’s seat adjustment lever in the Mustang; she’d never see it there and I could access it quickly.
Sunday morning rolled around and…Sam was feeling a little under the weather. I kept calm and offered to take her to breakfast….which she accepted! We got around and left the house at about 9:25. The shop owner opened at 9 on Sunday and I knew the compass was being put out that morning; hopefully nobody had tried to purchase it before we got there. We pulled into the parking lot for Tally’s Cafe, a Route 66 diner icon, and walked by the antique mall. “Hey, they’re open! Let’s go look inside!” Sam shrugged; we were a little low on money and she didn’t want to chance finding something she absolutely HAD to have. I told her not to worry, and opened the door. We went in and wandered around for about ten minutes before we came to the case where the compass was sitting.
“Oh, look, an old watch! Let’s take a look at it.” I said trying to mask my excitement.
“Twenty-five dollars? For a watch that doesn’t work? That’s way too high. It’s okay.” she said with WAY too much conviction.
“Oh, no, I bet we can haggle with the guy. No worries!” I said, now trying to mask slight panic. I waved at the owner; he came over and unlocked the case.
Sam fiddled with it for a second, then opened it. As realization of what the inscription said dawned on her face, I dropped to a knee and produced the ring. She turned around & gasped. “Samantha, it would be my honor…” was all I could say before she said yes. I stood, we kissed, and the rest of our lives started in that moment.