Mark’s Proposal, by Laicie Olson
Mark and I met more than four years ago. We were working at a TGI Fridays, of all places, and I remember asking a co-worker to tell me who the “cute one” was. Turns out in the end he was a lot more than cute…he was everything I had ever needed.
Of course, when the day came for him to propose, I might have messed it up a little. I suppose he knew for sure at about 9:45 a.m. that I had no clue what he had in store. It was about that time that I was officially going to miss my Sunday yoga class, the first stop on a scavenger hunt that would lead me all the way from our home in Maryland to West Virginia, DC, and eventually to Oregon, where I grew up.
When I did finally drag my lazy bones out of bed that morning, I stumbled downstairs to discover a hydrangea, a camera, and a note detailing the terms of my hunt. I was to snap a picture at each destination, then text for my next clue. He wouldn’t talk to me along the way, but he would answer any question I had. “This one adventure may take all day,” he said in the note, “but the rest of our lives is the true adventure.” And he wasn’t kidding, the hunt really did last all day.
I visited the place we had our first kiss, our first home together – all of our favorite places. I told the through-hikers at the AT Visitor Center in Harper’s Ferry about my hunt and snapped their picture. I snapped my own picture. I cried at least ten times.
At the end of the day, Mark gave me my final clue. It was an address. Walking to the restaurant I knew he would be there. I was shaking, wondering how he would propose. Would it just be him? Would others be there too? Would he be down on one knee the second I saw him?
I arrived at the restaurant and was led to a table, but what I saw there wasn’t Mark – it was my three best girlfriends with a bottle of wine and another note! The note told me to pack my bags. His brother would be by our house early the next morning to take me to the airport; I was already checked in for my flight. The rest is kind of a blur. We had an amazing dinner (followed by a little trip next door for fro-yo) and then I headed home to pack my bags. Waiting at home was my iPod, which had recently gone missing, programmed with a personalized playlist of love songs for the long ride.
When I arrived in Portland, a town car took me to our favorite hotel. I opened the door to our room to hear The Ramones, “Baby, I Love You,” playing on a loop. On the dresser was my final clue.
The clue sent me to Powell’s, just around the corner, for a book on Frank Lloyd Wright and there he was. He led me to the waterfront, he got down on one knee, and he asked. It was like a dream.
The next day we celebrated in wine country with my family. I still have a hard time wrapping my head around just how amazing it all was, but really, I shouldn’t be surprised. This is the man I am going to marry. He’s been that same man every day of our lives. He’s amazing, and I can’t wait to marry him.
Laicie Olson is currently blogging her way to the altar at her blog A Thousand Threads