The Proposal

Short version

Date: August 21, 2013

Location: West Meadow Beach, East Setauket, NYDSCN1149

Long version

Before we get into the proposal, there’s a back story that is important in making me not seem like a complete idiot. In May, Tom and I had looked at engagement rings at Jared, but I honestly didn’t think he would ‘pop the question’ until at least the end of this year. Whenever the topic of proposals came up, Tom assured me that I would not expect it.

More than once he said, “If I’m taking you out to a romantic dinner or it’s a holiday or anytime you’re expecting it, it won’t happen.” Okay, fine. I enjoy surprises, so that works.

Fast forward to my birthday, August 21. The plan was to go out to dinner, go to the beach to watch the sunset, and then have dessert. The thought of his proposing had crossed my mind once or twice, but each time I told myself it was too expected. I mean, it was my birthday. And we were going out to dinner. And watching the sunset?! Come on, that’s too romantic and too cliche!

That morning, I woke up early and noticed that Tom’s dad was still at home. But I knew he should have gone to work by then. So naturally my mind started coming up with the worst possible scenarios. He must have had a heart attack! Why else would he still be home?!

I raced up to Tom’s room, apologized for waking him up, and asked why his dad was still home. He groggily told me not to worry, that his dad was going to work late that day. It made sense seeing as Mr. Harrigan had picked up Mrs. Harrigan from the airport really late the previous evening. Okay, so he wasn’t dead. Phew.

When Mr. Harrigan finally came downstairs, he said, nonchalantly, “Oh it’s your birthday today, right? We’ll do something later on, okay?”

Okay. I mean, we honestly didn’t have to do anything. I would have been happy just spending time with them. So I said, “Okay,” he left, and all was well.

The day went on pretty uneventful. I probably sat by the pool for a bit since it was a great day out. Tom and I waited for his parents to get home from work so we could all go to dinner together. Except then his parents decided we should just go together and they’d meet up with us at the beach or to grab dessert or something.DSCN1146

Hm, okay. I told Tom on the way that his parents could have come with us; they didn’t have to stay home, I would enjoy their company, too. He said something about it still being early and since his parents had just gotten home they would eat a little later.

We went to a restaurant in Port Jefferson called Schafer’s and got a seat on the top deck outside which overlooked the harbor and the Long Island Sound. It was a gorgeous day; not too hot or cold, not too windy…it was just perfect. We had looked up the sunset time earlier, so we knew what time we needed to be at the beach in order to see it.

By the time we finished dinner, which was delicious, we had about 20 minutes to get to the beach before the sun was completely set. Tom was kind of speeding, but he drives a bit fast sometimes so that didn’t really surprise me. The entire time we were in the car I was thinking, “Why are we speeding? There will be a sunset tomorrow…”

We made it to the beach with about 10 minutes of sunlight left, and it was gorgeous. I got some good pictures of the sunset, took a couple of us, and then I walked around in the water for a bit; Tom snapped a couple pictures of me in the water.DSCN1157

When I walked back up to Tom, he hugged me and said, “I love you.” I don’t know if it was the wine at dinner or what, but I was in a silly mood, so my response was, “Aww, I love you too.”

He was still holding me and then said, “I want to spend the rest of my life with you.” Again a silly, “Aww really?” Gah, looking back on this, I was so dumb and naive!

Then. All of a sudden. He’s on one knee. And he has a box in his hand. And he opens it to reveal a gorgeous diamond ring.

And me? I’m in complete shock. I mean, I was just acting silly like we usually do and this turned into a completely serious and life-changing moment! But I had talked myself out of the possibility of this moment all day! And now it was actually happening, so my initial reaction was complete disbelief. That’s probably why I asked him, “Are you serious? Tom, you’re not kidding, right?”

Seeing as he was still kneeling on the wet, seashell-covered sand, he said, “Will you say yes, please?” So of course I said yes. Not because he asked me to so he could get up. But because I love him. This was the moment I had been secretly hoping for all day. This was the moment I wasn’t expecting to actually happen. And because of that, it was the perfect moment.DSCN1170

So I put the ring on, he got up, we hugged, and I still could not believe this was actually happening. Apparently a couple sitting on the beach saw the whole thing and started clapping for us. I was completely unaware of this because I was over the moon. And I might have taken a spin around Jupiter and Saturn on my way back. Ha, corny enough?

“Wait,” I said after a minute. “Did you ask my mom?” This was kind of a deal we had; it’s one of those traditional things, but I wanted him to ask my mom before proposing.

“Yep,” he said. So then my head started spinning even faster. I had just talked to her earlier that day. She called to wish me a happy birthday. She had said, “I couldn’t remember if you said you were working today or were going to be with Tom…” Oh she knew where I was and what I would be doing. Sneaky mom!!!

And of course Tom’s parents were in on it. They were waiting for us back at his house with pink champagne and cake! Hugs were exchanged, eyes filled with tears. Tom and I were engaged! Happy birthday to me!

While having cake and pink champagne, everything started making sense…

His parents skipping out on dinner.

The speeding to the beach.

It also came out that Mr. Harrigan had gone into Manhattan that day instead of work. Apparently the ring had been cast wrong (Tom got it custom made) so he went and picked it up from the jeweler. So this whole thing almost didn’t happen; but I’m so glad that it did!

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