So here it is, our engagement story:
After I graduated from Michigan, Brian and I decided to make the joint move to Chicago. Our move coincided with our four year anniversary, so as my gift to Brian I made ten personalized checks to be cashed in Chicago. They were designed to help us learn the city; cocktails on the roof of Hancock Tower, an afternoon in the Lincoln Park Zoo, a romantic sunset stroll down Lake Michigan, etc. Well, as it often happens with homemade coupon-style gifts, a year passed and not all checks had been redeemed. As our five year anniversary neared, I reminded Brian that his checks were about to expire and that any checks not redeemed would be null and void. Coincidentally, two nights before our five year anniversary (nothin' like waiting 'til the last minute!) we were both free to take that romantic (life-changing) sunset stroll. After numerous, irrationally frantic phone calls from Brian obsessively questioning the exact time of sunset, we moseyed on down to the bike path along Lake Michigan. There we sat, taking in the impressive Chicago skyline and watching the sun set over the lake. At this point, Brian says to me,
"So I brought the checks with me if you want to go through them just to double check they've all been cashed...?"
"Nah, that's okay. I know we've done 'em all at this point."
"No, come on, let's go through them together. It'll be fun!"
"Licoln Park Zoo, Aquarium, Hancock Tower, Miracle Mile, 'Will you marry me?'..... WHAT?!"
And as fast as I could look up from reading this foreign hand made check, Brian was down on one knee, promising to love me forever and asking for my hand in marriage.
[Before meeting me for our sunset rendezvous, Brian had snuck off to Kinko's and made a copy of one of the checks, replacing the amount line with the words, WILL YOU MARRY ME?]
"Did you ask my Dad? Oh my god, this ring! Is it insured? Woah, that means we will have children together... I mean, YES! YES! My answer's YES!"
I remember Brian saying something about never wanting to be apart and speaking our own language. To be completely honest the rest of the night is a vivid blur. I remember the steps we took, the people we called, certain specifics like that, but a lot of the exact details are fuzzy. I remember my cheeks hurting the next day (from smiling) and thinking that was a good sign.
Brian might have a different recollection of the night, but that's how I remember it. I remember it being one of the best nights of my life and thinking - but how can it get any better than this?