Thursday, October 15, 2009

The Proposal

The Proposal
(told from Jessica's perspective)

Saturday morning, at 7:30, Jesse called my cell phone to say he was in front of the apartment building waiting for me. So I bundled up with a hoodie, pea-coat, scarf, and mittens and headed out. When I got outside, Jesse handed me a blue square envelope, saying that I could open it later. The envelope was square and thick, so I assumed it was a musical Hallmark card. We proceeded to walk to "our bench" which is one of the benches around the President's pond. We sat down and Jesse said that the envelope had something that I could take to Japan with me to remember him by. So I opened it up and saw that it was a small book with a picture of us on the front, titled "The story of our love." Jesse asked if he could read it to me. So we sat on the bench, I held the book and he read. The story was about how we met and how we have grown to where we are today. He hired a friend's wife to illustrated the pages. At first, when I got the book and he began reading, I was thinking, "aww...this is nice. I will be happy to have this with me." But as we neared the end, the second to the last page in particular, I had finally figured out what he was doing. Describing last summer he said "They spend a long, long time apart but they grew closer then ever." Then it said, "They loved each other more and more, until one day..." And at that point, I realized what was happening and became speechless. I didn't know how to react. I wasn't expecting a ring before I left for Japan. I wanted one but I wasn't expecting one. I had convinced myself a few weeks ago that it wasn't going to happen yet. So, he turned to the last page and read "the boy got down on one knee and asked the girl to marry him." (The picture was of me sitting on the bench and Jesse on one knee in front of me.) So, he said some stuff, which I honestly can't really remember, then said "So Jessica, I ask you...Truth or truth?" And inside, my reaction to the truth or truth questions was, "What!?!?!...Just ask me the question, I can barely talk." But I think I squeaked out a "truth." (Quick side note, if you are wondering what a truth or truth question is, it is like truth or dare expect there is no dare part. The asker usually means by "truth or truth" can I ask you a question that you promise to answer truthfully. The original version of this game says that "truth or truth" cannot be used to find out privy information but Jesse and I have ignored that rule for the sake of using the game to get to know each other and ask embarrassing, serious, or personal questions.) So, after the truth or truth question, Jesse said "Jessica, will you marry me?" And I somehow said "YES!" while trying not to explode. And before I could even put on the ring, all I wanted to do was stand out and hug him and hold on to him forever. After some time, I remembered that I still haven't put on the ring, so I pulled back to try it on. didn't fit. But to Jesse's defense, it was entirely my fault. I told him the wrong size. Oops. But it turned out to be a blessing in the end because it meant we spent the day together away from campus. Back to the story, I ended up putting the ring on pinkie and enjoy my first kiss which was short but very sweet and wonderful.

Oh and just a quick description of the weather, which was perfect by the way. The air was crisp and cool and the fog was in the process of lifting. I could see the moon above us and the sun was trying to rise and shine through the clouds. And fog was coming up off the pond. So, Jesse did a great job ordering the weather. It was perfect. :-)

So, by 8, I was no longer a girlfriend but now a fianceÄ—. We took off for a walk, heading towards the Memorial Prayer Chapel where we found David, Jesse's roommate, praying. We talked for a little time and then went inside where Jesse took the time to pray for this new stage in our relationship.

So, back to the ring not fitting...Jesse, being the amazing guy that he is, purchased the ring from a jewelers, as opposed to just a jewelery store. Murray's, in Muncie, does all setting and sizing right at the store. We decided to go there first thing in the morning to see if they would have time to re-size my ring that day because I wanted to have a ringdown that night. (If you do not know what I ringdown is, it is basically a ceremony for announcing the engagement of a girl on a floor.) We went next to Gerig because Jesse wanted to check the hours for the jewelers and I wanted to tell Mandy and Alyssa. But unfortunately, Mandy and Alyssa were not there...they had to find out later over the phone. On the way to Muncie, I took the time to make phone calls to my family. They were excited and supportive.

The guy at the jewelers was really helpful. He sized my finger and said he would do his best to get my ring done by closing (which was 3:00). If you haven't noticed yet, we have not eaten by this point...which was like 10:00. So we walked around downtown Muncie but decided to avoid the dicey-looking cafe and drive to IHOP for pancakes. Working together, Jesse got us out of downtown Muncie and I navigated us to the IHOP. And over lunch, we finally got to freely talk about wedding plans and not beat around the bush or talk "hypothetically" like we had been for the last 2 months. So, by the end of lunch we had covered things like wedding cakes, colors, possible groomsmen and bridesmaids, and anything else we could think of. It was fun to just talk and dream.

After IHOP, Jesse needed something at Walmart, so we took our time walking through Walmart. Then to kill more time, we made a trip to Toys "R" Us to reminisce and explore all the new and crazy toys they have today. I used most of that time to continue making phones calls, but this time to friends. And while we were in Toys "R" Us, the jeweler called and said my ring was done. I was so excited. I could hardly contain myself. I was going to get to wear my engagement ring. So, we made the drive to the jewelers and picked up my ring. I don't think anything could have made me happier.

Summarizing the rest of the day, we went back to Taylor, took a walk to the dollar store, made dinner, watched a movie, and then I had my ringdown. I was so nervous about the function. I got engaged in the morning and wanted to tell people like my apartment-mates in person, so a number of people knew that we had gotten engaged. And I knew that by 11 at night, word had trickled through the dorm. And those who did not already know, could have easily guessed it was me. So, I was afriad that as soon as the girls saw me, they would want to know the story but I wanted to save that for later when I could tell everyone at once. But no one said anything when I got on the floor, which was a relief to me. Alyssa Hartman, one of my good friends, planned/organized the ringdown. She was great. She introduced what we were doing for the freshmen and upperclassmen who were not around last year when we had her ringdown. So, she let the candle which had my ring tied to it and passed it around the circle while we sang "Going to the Chapel." During a ringdown, we pass the lit candle around the circle and after it has gone around at least once, the newly engaged girl gets to blow the candle out announcing that she is one. For some reason, the wick was short and the candle kept going out. Each time it did that it went out, the girl who it went out on would be like "its not me, its not me!" and Alyssa would go running to the rescue and re-light it. And after who knows how long, it finally got to me the second time and I got to blow it out. And all the girls screamed and gave me hugs. Then I got to tell them the story of how Jesse and I met and got to know each other. I was exhausting but so much fun to tell everyone about what God had been doing in my life and in Jesse's.

So, this past weekend has been the best weekend of my entire life and I am so excited for the next 8 months. Prior to getting engaged, God has really be preparing me emotionally, relationally, and spiritually to leave for Japan. This was just icing on the cake. I felt ready before but now I am even more confident that God is going to use this time to help us grow.

Please put June 5th in pencil on your calendar. We are going to have the wedding and reception at my home church in Ohio.


John said...




Jason Maas said...

Awesome! Thanks so much for sharing the story, Jesse and Jessica!