So he buys a ticket without telling me, flies down, calls me from the airport at 6am, and I pick him up. It was all very surreal. It was just like a normal visit, and we were just talking about the weather and stuff. Eventually, 30 minutes later, the conversation stalled and M said to me: "I was thinking about doing it when my parents come for my graduation ceremony."
I knew what he meant, but I was speechless. He was talking about us getting married.
M had already started the US visit visa applications so that his parents would be able to visit America and attend his Ph.D. graduation ceremony. It was only 49 days away. It wasn't the time issue that had me at a loss for words though, it was the way he'd put it. He'd basically just said he wanted to marry me, but he'd done it by saying "I was thinking about doing it when my parents come..." Not exactly the words a girls dreams of hearing all her life...
So I said "Do WHAT when your parents are here?"
And he said "Uh....you know..."
(. . .)
Me: "You know, you have to say the WORDS"
Him: "Oh! Um. Will you marry me?"
Me, exasperated: "Yes."
So that was it. We were engaged. Of course, with such little notice, there was no ring. I actually wanted a very specific kind of ring, so I was a little relieved I'd be able to help guide him to the right style. (Small, understated, simple)
Two weeks later, I went to visit him and we decided to go for a movie. It was probably an 8 o'clock show and we got there pretty early and walked around the nice downtown area. There was a fountain and tables and chairs and lights in all of the trees lining the street. We sat at a table to pass the time, and got lost in conversation. Eventually I got antsy and it was getting to be close to the movie's start time, but he was just blathering on and on. Something about the moon...beautiful? Didn't he know we were about to be late? I tried to interrupt, but he wouldn't let me. Fine. The moon. It was full.
Oh, yeah. It does look beautiful, doesn't it?
What? I'm beautiful, too?
Yeah, I'm excited to spend the rest of my life with you, too.
I love you too.
And then, all of a sudden, he was down on one knee. And he was holding a little velvet box.
(I must admit I was immediately nervous about opening the box, because I'd had no input and I really only wanted one thing.)
If there's one good thing about M (and there are actually many good things about M,) it's that he knows when to make an occasion special. He knew he'd fumbled the ball on the first go-round, so he was gaming for a do over. It was spectacular. It wasn't as cheesy as my name in lights at a football game, but there was a smattering of applause from people around us. He had the most beautiful ring - I have no idea how he'd been able to pick out exactly what I'd wanted in an engagement ring, but it was perfect. (I thought he must've asked my friends or family, but it turns out he just has the exact same taste as me.) I was so giddy, and I just stared at the ring throughout the movie.
I don't know how to explain it, but being with M makes everything better. It's like, I love having so many options in my life, so many different things converging into what is our life. So many people, so much culture, so much love. And it's not just the intercultural parts. Life is just so much richer with him. I got two engagements, two different stories I get to tell when people ask. Two wonderful memories. I got to have four different wedding functions. My life is so much richer than I could have ever expected it.
Of course, that 2nd engagement was 2 weeks later. 14 days our of 49 days had already passed. I had only 35 days to plan a wedding. Two weddings, actually, and a Valima! (The 4th function was a valima in Karachi when we visited a year later.)
Don't worry, we'll cover everything, just give me time!