Sunday, February 14, 2010
....and on this day
4 years ago, in 2006, this was the day that Damion (my husband) proposed, for the second time.
Yes, I am a blessed woman to have had two proposals. Let me tell you a little story....
We met at a dance studio in Boston, Massachusetts in August of 2005. I was doing competitive ballroom and he was starting hip hop classes. Upon seeing him enter into the dance studio (there's a limited number of men btw so besides the fact he was tall, dark and handsome, I noticed him) and thought to approach him the next time I saw him. Btw, at that time, I was dancing with my instructor so it was unlikely that I could just interrupt the lesson to start chatting it up. So the next week, Damion came in the studio for his lesson and since it was in the rush of signing people in for the next class, I was kind taken by surprise when he came in and I only had so much time to talk. So I approach him and ever-so-eloquently I say, "Hi, I'm Ellen. I'm looking for a male dancer". *Insert mouth drop and instant red face. Oh yah, and that awkward moment of silence and a smirk from Damion*. Ahem, what I meant to say was "Hi, I'm Ellen and I am looking for a dance partner". He laughed it off, I kind of laughed it off and then he said sure, he was game. And because I was trying to get out of the awkward-ness, I said okay, well, I will just get your phone number next week or something". He then suggested the brillant idea of just swapping them right now. K, here ya go. See ya! hehehe
So we were strictly dance partners for a couple of weeks, maybe a month, but there was definitely flirting and we both enjoyed our time. Fast forward (to keep this story relatively do-able), we started dating October of that year and I didn't know it yet, but we were going to be engaged by December of that year.
Actually, he didn't know it either, hehe. It was my first time up to Niagara Falls, Ontario to visit his family (for the Christmas and New Year's celebration) and upon being introduced, I was his girlfriend. New Year's early evening, we were having dinner with his family and his brother's girlfriend asked us what we were doing for the evening and we said we were going down to the Falls for the fireworks. "Oh, that's where everyone gets engaged", she said. Oh really???? Damion looked shocked, so I knew it defintely wasn't his plan. But it was starting point ONE.
That evening before heading out to the fireworks, we go to his mother's church service and the pastor taught from Ecclesiastis (for us Christians, it was about "a time for everything"....a time to be born, a time to get married etc etc...). We just chuckled. Well, some of us semi-chuckled and gulped a little. That was the second point.
Right after the service, during the "chatting time", we were approached by an old-time friend of the family who asked Damion "so, how long have you two been married". I think I heard Damion's heart skip a beat at this point. This woman totally knows the family and if there was a wedding, she would have been invited, so it was an odd thing to ask! She then proceeded to tell us how she dated her then husband for only 3 dates before they were engaged and then married a couple of months later.
And at this point, can I just say that it was a little awkward driving to the Falls?! We had talked about where we were going with this relationship and we knew that we would eventually get married but Damion had instilled some rule and like taken a vow or something about "dating 2 years before even approaching engagement". *I smile softly at this point*....
So things at the Falls seemed normal, we were enjoying the evening and honestly, I forgot about the whole "propose at the Falls" concept. But at one point, as the countdown was going on and then the fireworks go on, Damion turns my shoulders towards him and says......
"Ellen, things have changed".
Do you know my first thought was: is he breaking up with me? And I am stuck in Canada with this guy and he's breaking up with me. What nerve?
And then he asks: "Will you marry me?"
Such an emotional rollercoaster.
I obviously said yes and then it was a momenmental kiss that lasted about 20 mins. No joke. Previously, upon arrival, we had learned that this was the most attended New Year's celebration. Ever. Something like 20,000 of our closest friends.
Well, after 20 minutes, we stop (probably for a breather lol) and then the Falls was completely empty. I think I saw some snow covered tumbleweed cross my path, that's how empty it was!
So that was my first proposal. And because he did it unexpected, even to him, there was no ring. So when I get back to the States and do the "happy I'm engaged dance", the record scratches because you tell people this and they ask to look at your ring and then I have no goods to show and they are all like *sucks teeth*, "girrrrl, you ain't engaged....you better get yo'self a rock from that boy to be official". Yeah, I don't know how Shenaynay became my friend, or my marriage counselor, but I know I stopped telling people because they made it so awkward.
So for the next couple of months, I casually and not so casually show Damion rings I like. And it didn't even dawn on me that he would propose again on Valentine's Day. Here's how he did it.
I am still working and dancing at the studio. In fact, I was co-teaching a lesson and so while I was upstairs preparing, he was letting my students in on the evening's agenda. He even employed one of them as his "camera man". And it was funny, this guy just kept following Damion around, like he was Damion's shadow. At one point, Damion came up to see me and there was Steve (thus said employed camera guy) right next to him. I ask, "Steve, did you need me for something"? And he says no. Um, okay. So why are you up here, I thought. Anyhow, the lesson is about to start and we were doing tango. My instructor asks people to line up and Damion re-assorted us so we were across from each other. The instructor kind of breezes through the basics of tango (we were somewhat of an advanced class) and then Damion interrupts. "Um, so with the initial beginning of tango, how do you approach the lady". And I think, "what, Damion, are you kidding me? I taught you tango. You should know this!". hehe So there I am getting all jizzed up and then Damion approaches me, takes my hand and says something along the lines of "is this how I get down on one knee?"
Him opening the ring box certainly enforced the thought. And my, was the ring GORGEOUS. He actually custom designed it.
And the last funny thought I will leave you with is the image of my instructor (who at first, thought Damion was just being a joker and interrupting the class) with his hands on his head and giving that stressed out look.....but the he approached us, the hugging couple, checked out my ring and said "yup, it's real".
It was just so nice to have my class in on it and to hear them cheer "Go Damion", "Yeah Ellen". No wonder they were so giddy at the beginning of it.
And then something remarkable happened. I couldn't dance. We went and sat in the corner and just talked about the day's events, admired the ring and each other.
We were married July of that year. Yes, on our wedding day, while the pastor was preaching, we were giggling about how we didn't even know each other for a year and we were getting married.