In August of 2006, Sawan and I went on vacation in Montana. I grew up there, so I took him to all of the places that I had gone as a kid, and we even went *gasp* camping. I wanted him to get to fish at the place where they filmed “A River Runs Through It” which I had made him watch, even though he had resisted, because it had bastardized fly-fishing or something like that (when he watched it he loved it). It had made people think they could fly fish when they really couldn’t. My family had gone camping in that area every summer of my childhood and I wanted him to see it, and we had a great time. Sitting around the campfire that night, I had made him the perfect s’more. I’ve had years of practice at this. The key is to get the chocolate melted by setting it next to the flame while you roast the marshmallow. How could any man not be in love after you’ve made him the perfect camping desert? It had been a day of perfection, and he was looking into my eyes, and started to say something, and stopped himself.
Sawan always said that I could read his mind. We would often be in situations and I would ask him a question and he would say, “Get out of my head!” I think that this is due, not to the clairvoyance that he gave me credit for, but actually more that I’m just pretty intuitive. Back to the camping scenario, it was one of those perfect moments that I knew that he was thinking that he wanted to spend the rest of his life with me and was thinking about asking me to marry him. But he didn’t. I didn’t ask him about it, though, didn’t bring it up.
But, Sawan couldn’t keep a secret, and didn’t keep stuff like this to himself. The next morning, he told me “I almost asked you to marry me last night, but I don’t have a ring and I haven’t talked to your dad.” So I thought that we would come back to Denver and he would buy a ring and talk to my dad.
Weeks passed. Then months. I thought he was maybe waiting for our anniversary that was in October, but that came and went as well. Finally, I was unable to not bring it up. Sometime in November I finally did. Well, I shouldn’t put it mildly. It became a huge fight. I just couldn’t understand why he had been sure about me in August and now he no longer was. Had I done something wrong? Plus, I felt that he had inadvertently asked me for my answer, which I had given just by nature of still being with him, but he hadn’t asked me the question, so it was just hanging out there, and this made me feel that I was somehow more committed then he was. It was a very uncomfortable place to be in.
So in November we went and looked at rings. He got an idea of what I wanted, but was still just not really on board, and for some reason he was mad at me, felt like I was pushing him, even though I felt that it had been his idea all along.
That was a rough couple of months. All through the holidays we fought often about it. It came to a head on the day of New Year’s Eve where, I don’t remember what started the fight, or what all went on, or how we worked it out, but I told him he better not ask me to marry him, because I wouldn’t say yes. Then I left. But we didn’t break up, somehow. I think it’s because we just really loved each other. Somehow, for me, this felt like I was able to take back my answer. The next few weeks were just about the best few weeks of our entire relationship to that point. It was like we fell in love all over again. I no longer felt the pressure about my answer being out there, I just was able to remember all the reasons that I loved him. I had, however, set a date in my mind, that if he hadn’t decided that he really wanted to be with me by Valentine’s Day, then I needed to probably move on. I was old enough that if I wanted to have a family, I needed to be thinking about that, and I shouldn’t waste any more time. I wasn’t one of those women who would issue an ultimatum to him, I didn’t want to be controlling, but I had that date in my mind.
Sawan worked in the restaurant business. There are dates that you are never allowed to ask to have off work- Mother’s Day, Easter, and Valentine’s Day. So he was working on the 14th. He made plans to take me to dinner on the 13th.
Like I said, Sawan couldn’t keep a secret. So I totally knew he was up to something. Well, I was pretty sure. He had never made a big deal about Valentine’s Day before, so him making a dinner reservation was a pretty big tip-off. Plus he kept dropping hints. He was just so little kid-ish in his excitement.
That year the 13th fell on a Tuesday. I had a training conference for the company that I’m an educator for starting Sunday and ending that Tuesday. I came home, exhausted, but excited about my date, and started getting ready. He came while I was still in the middle of getting ready, and was anxiously trying to hurry me along. I was expecting him to ask me while we were at dinner, so I couldn’t understand why he was trying to get me to hurry so badly. Finally, at one point he says, “Baby, I have something we could do before dinner, so if you could hurry up, it would be good.”
I thought, “Wow, does he want to stop for drinks before hand or something? He’s really trying to make this special.”
So I finish up putting on mascara and flat-ironing my hair (and I can hear his heavy breathing in the next room because he’s so nervous. It was cute). I come out to my living room where he’s waiting and start to put my coat on. Now, I wish I had a video of this. He says, “Wait one minute before you put your coat on.” And I realize, “Oh, my gosh, he’s gonna ask me right now!” But I already had one arm in my coat. I’m sure I looked hilarious as I tried to get my coat off and hang it back over the back of the chair. I was so NOT smooth. He pulled me in the living room and got down on one knee. He told me that I looked beautiful, and he would never be the one to give me fashion advice, but my outfit was missing something. Then he said, “Noel Hoggatt, will you marry me?”
And I said, “Yes.”
He thoughtfully had decided to ask me at my own house in case I got emotional and I didn’t want to be in front of people, this had happened to a woman the night before when he was working and he felt so sorry for her. So like him.
The rest of the evening is a blur, except that I remember looking down at one point at my ring and thinking, “This is the most beautiful piece of jewelry I’ve ever seen and I get to wear it every day for the rest of my life.” This is why I have trouble now with taking it off.
|February 13, 2007|
Happy Valentine’s Day, Baby. I miss you.