Forgive me for my wordiness but if you want to hear this story the right way, you need to hear it in its entirety…
The weekend began when Mark arrived at my apartment on Halloween night. We quickly changed into our costumes, Mark was dressed as a high school coach and I was a high school soccer player. He looked so hilarious with his short shorts and tube socks, but the tucked-in white polo, whistle and aviators are what made the outfit. My costume consisted of one of my old soccer jerseys (I knew I was holding onto it for some good reason) matching black shorts, soccer socks, cleats and I topped it all off by tying my hair up in pig-tails.
We headed over to Tracy’s apartment, guacamole and jack-o-lantern in hand, to join the party. Emily was Hannah Montana, Jacob and Tracy were “hot ‘n heavy” and Geoff and Erin were “the life of the party”. Gavin, Martin and Scot had the best costumes though, posing as convicted pedophiles complete with crotch candy buckets. The party was so much fun, we carved pumpkins, had some good food and ended the night with a fun round of catch phrase (seemingly a trend at our get-togethers)
On Saturday, Mark and I headed to the A&M vs. Colorado football game. Since I forgot to pull tickets until Thursday we had the choice of sitting up on third deck or in the south end zone bleachers, so we opted for the bleachers to avoid the long trek up to the top deck. The seats turned out to be pretty amazing, we were on the second row up from the field and literally ten yards from the south end zone. Of course this makes all depth perception nearly impossible and the giant screen for replays was directly behind us, but it made for some great pictures. Even though the game was close, Mark was kind enough to let us leave after half time because I was afraid that I wouldn’t have time to get ready before our dinner reservations at 7:00. So we headed back to my apartment to start getting ready for the rest of the evening.
By 6:30 we were all dressed up and leaving for dinner. Mark wore black dress slacks and a blue, long-sleeved button up shirt, he always looks so handsome in such attire. I wore a short length, plum colored cotton dress with peep-toe, bronze wedges. Rarely do we have a legitimate excuse to get all fancied up but this was a particularly special occasion; my 22nd birthday had been the previous Sunday and our 3 year anniversary was the following Monday.
Earlier in the week I had made dinner reservations at Messina Hof Winery but little did I know that Mark had also called and asked for us to be seated in a secluded area of the restaurant. We arrived just as the sun was setting and we were seated at a quaint table for two in the empty back room of the restaurant next to the window looking out onto the vineyard.
We both began to peruse the menu and wine list, trying to choose entrees that had matching wine suggestions. I ordered the tea spiced duck breast and Mark the surf and turf; we also had a bottle of unoaked chardonnay. We enjoyed the delicious bread appetizer with our wine and salads as we watched the sun fade away over the vineyard. Then our food was brought out and we both marveled at the beauty of the food on our plates. I had never tried duck before nor had I ever tried scallops so Mark and I enjoyed trying different things from each others plates. I am very proud of myself for trying his seafood and I don’t think it’s the taste that I have a problem with, it’s the consistency; it’s just too chewy for me. Regardless of my land-loving tastes, Mark thoroughly enjoyed his meal and we both agreed that it was the best tasting meal either of us had ever eaten.
I began to think to myself that he might actually propose tonight, the atmosphere was so perfect and the weekend was already an accumulation of celebrations. But that thought was brushed away as a few other parties were seated near to us. The table closest to us was a pair of couples enjoying a weekend together at Messina Hof’s bed and breakfast. There was a rather large party seated nearby as well, I believe it was a class reunion gathering, needless to say they were very loud. Then another group sat down two tables away, we noticed that it was a boyfriend and girlfriend and their respective families. A few minutes later, the guy proposed to his girlfriend right there in the restaurant. At this point, I didn’t know for sure if Mark was going to ask me that night but I sensed from that moment on he was a little upset about how the evening had played out.
Mark and I have this long running inside joke between us. At Taco Bell on all the sauce packets there are random little sayings and a few months ago we found one that said “Will You Marry Me?” We’ve held onto it and every so often we would give it to one another and the other would say “of course” or ” yeah whatever.” Keep that in mind, it will relate later on in the story, I promise.
On Sunday Mark and I decided to go for a walk through Wolf Penn Creek Park to get outside and enjoy the beautiful day. As we were walking out of my apartment Mark said that he needed to go back inside for something so I waited outside for him to do whatever he was doing. I was a little suspicious especially when he shut the door with me standing outside, but I didn’t really think that much of it. So we went walking for a couple of miles, trying to catch leaves falling from the trees as we walked (it’s not as easy as it sounds).
When we got back to my apartment I was the first one to walk inside since I had the key to unlock the door. When you open my door it leads directly to a stairway that leads up to our apartment on the second floor and sitting on a step about five stairs up was that same Taco Bell sauce packet with the message “Will You Marry Me?” I grab it, toss it back at him and jokingly say yeah sure. I kept walking up the stairs but about half way up I realize that he isn’t following me. I turn around and he is at the bottom of the stairs on one knee with a small box in his hand. Once it registered in my mind what was actually happening I went down the stairs and stood in front of him. He professed is love to me saying that it was with me he wanted to spend the rest of his life and asked he me to marry him. With tears of joy filling my eyes, I said yes.