There’s a great song by Frank Sinatra called Nice ‘N Easy that perfectly sums up Joel’s way of progressing our relationship. The dude took… his… time…
“Let’s take it nice and easy
It’s gonna be so easy
For us to fall in love”
It took Joel a year and a half of knowing me before he asked me to “officially” be his girlfriend.
“Hey baby whats your hurry
Relax and don’t you worry
Were gonna fall in love”
It took Joel an entire year after I told him, to tell me he loved me too.
“We’re on the road to romance – that’s safe to say
But let’s make all the stops along the way”
After 2 years of flying back and forth to Pittsburgh every 2 or so months, Joel asked me to move up.
“The problem now of course is
To simply hold your horses
To rush would be a crime
‘Cause nice and easy does it every time”
After 4 years and a few days of being in each other’s lives, Joel asked me to marry him. Four years probably doesn’t seem like a long time, but I knew he was my freaking soulmate from the very beginning, so I (understandably) erred on the impatient side of things at certain points in our relationship. “Get your shit together, Blumer” is what I found myself thinking a lot before we got engaged. At one point, Joel had to put my mind at ease and let me know It was coming. The big question… he gave me a 6 month window and said something along the lines of “it could be tomorrow, it could be in June, but you will have a ring soon enough, you hot babe you”.
He was smart to give me a window because there were literally countless times when I thought it was going to happen then didn’t. Date night at the Andy Warhol Museum? OMG HE’S GOING TO PROPOSE IN FRONT OF MY FAVORITE PAINTING! Nope… Meeting up with his parents for dinner on a Thursday? IT’S HAPPENING, BETTER PUT ON SOME MAKEUP. Nope… HE WANTS ME TO GO TO THE GROCERY STORE WITH HIM?! IS THIS IT?! No. It’s funny, the one time I let my guard down and didn’t expect anything was when he pulled the trigger. And so it goes…
Last Easter Sunday, Joel and I had plans to host a small, casual brunch at our house. It was supposed to be a laid back weekend. I got up Saturday morning to do some light cleaning and catch up with the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills. My friend Lauren texted me asking Joel and I to come visit her new house to help her pick out paint colors for the walls, but when I told Joel the plan he said “ohhhhh, I forgot to tell you, Bryan is coming over to play Catan.” Settlers of fucking Catan, a board game that I absolutely loathe… I texted Lauren back asking if she could please pick me up earlier than planned.
While Lauren, her cousin Liz, and myself went shopping and back to Lauren’s house to drink wine and watch 10 Things I Hate About You, and yeah sure paint colors were briefly mentioned, I had no idea what was really going on at home. Joel, Bryan, and Steve had only started setting up their game as a farce to get me out of the house. As soon as I was out of sight, they got to work lighting 1,466 candles: one for every day Joel and I had known each other.
I was happy to see only Joel’s car in the driveway when I got home. “Yessss! we can order pizza and watch a movie!” I thought as Lauren pulled up to the house to drop me off. I ran up to the front porch and noticed a note stuck to the storm door. It was a post card from Joel… it reminded me of how special he felt when I would send him post cards from Texas and to go through the house and find the rest of the post cards, ordered 1-10. AND CUE THE TEARS. IT WAS FINALLY HAPPENING.
All of my senses were overwhelmed when I opened our front door. My skin was blasted by the heat of the candles, my ears were enjoying the sounds of “Come What May” from one of my favorite musicals, Moulin Rouge, that Joel had playing softly on the sound system, I could taste my own salty tears as they fell like Niagara Falls down my face, I could smell my own sweat because it was really freaking hot in there. I followed the candlelit path, gathering post cards as I went, quickly suppressing the idea of our house burning down because of the whole paper/fire theme Joel decided to roll with. As I went up the stairs, my heart started to race even faster than it had been… When I reached our bedroom, I saw that on the walls, Joel had taped up Sunflowers and Gerbera Daisies by the stems. And there in the middle of a candle and flower filled room, with a bouquet of pink roses in one hand and a ring in the other, on one knee, was my Joel.
When Joel and I talk about the happiest day of our lives, this memory tops it all so far.