Before I tell the story, let me ask for votes again, not for therealljidol, though I'm sure contestants would love your votes there (note to self, read those entries today), but for votes for my sister. Romey Grace, my adorable niece is, by proxy, entered into an internet scrapbooking contest. She's currently leading but only just. To my blind readers, I don't think I've found a way to accessibly vote. If you can see, and/or can figure out how to use the site, http://www.celebrity-babies.com/2008/02/hftg-finalists.html to vote. Scroll down, and vote for Romey Grace's page. My sister would love you for it. She makes tasty food, take it from me, and I bet we could organize a deal :). Voting closes tonight at midnight Eastern.
Now to answer all of the questions from everyone about Holly, how we met, and how I proposed.
The most common question I've gotten re: Holly is ... tell me about her, how did you guys meet. I could, and have written lots about this, but the facts are all locked tighter than a Pharoah's tomb.
Holly is 26, and she's studying to get her bachellor's of fine arts. She's specializing in painting portraits. Some people say that it's odd that me, a blind person, will marry Holly, an artist. Art comes in all forms thjough, and we find sollace in the art of music, the art of conversation, and the art of science. She's interested in scientific things, very cool, and she even likes to watch documentaries. She's getting good at describing art to me in museums, and I'm getting good at actually understanding visual art.
Our eyes met across a crowded room, and it was love at first sight. How cliche. How utterly not me. We met through church. One of our mutual friends suggested that we meet. After a month or so, I plucked up enough courage to email her, and then plucked up even more courage to call her, and the rest they say, is history. It's not a storybook beginning, but we work for each other, and that, in my opinion, is the most important aspect to love.
I'm a guy though--therefore, I don't know anything about these things--and they say that girls like storybook beginnings, especially when it comes to proposals for marriage. It didn't matter that we had already picke out her ring together--it had to be memorable, and it had to be good. I knew that Holly would appreciate this, so siding all of my male utilitarianism, I crafted a plan.
It all started when the jewelry store called me the weekend I first went to Knoxville. They had gotten an opal in, and it wasn't the right one. They were going to send it back, because, in there words, "we're just not thrilled with it". That particular opal too six weeks to come in, so I figured that it would be safe to tell Holly that it wasn't going to be in for a while, and that I wasn't going to be able to give her the ring the second time I planned to visit.
I got a call about a week before I was to go back to visit, and they told me that the opal had come in sooner than expected, and "could I come in and pick up the ring?" Of course! So my Mom and I took the trip to pick it up, and thus began the path of deceit and detraction that led up to the proposal.
My Mom suggested that I rent a limousine, take her out, and propose. I wasn't sure if this was good enough, but it was an option, and I hadn't invented anything myself that would have passed muister--heck, if it were up to me, I would have just asked her. I can guarantee you that just asking her would have been much less fun than what happened. I called Holly's Mom, who called Holly's cousin (a limousine driver), and everything fell into place ... he was available even though it was close to Valentine's Day. The restaurant reservation was made, and all was well with the world. Both Moms were excited, and all I can remember about the whole thing was that I was nervous. I have no idea why I was--I knew what she would say, maybe???--but the laws of nature which state that the man proposing must feel nervous held true.
I wanted to not even tell her that we were going out to eat, but because The Regas, the restaurant that we were going to, was pretty fancy, I had to tell her that we would be eating at a place that she needed to dress up for (going to a fancy restaurant in paint clothes probably wouldn't be a good idea). By the evening, she'd named all of the restaurants in town, and I hadn't told her anything save for some turn by turn driving directions thanks to the modern marvel of gps navigation. I don't know if I've got a control issue, but I found it somewhat exciting to know exactly where I was and where we were going for once. We had planned, at first, to drop the car off at a country club in town and then leave with the limo, but we decided on a grocery store parking lot instead, just in case the country club decided they might need to tow us.
I didn't tell her where we were going until we were a mile from the store, and she couldn't figure out why she'd gotten dressed up, only to go pick up a TV dinner--fine dining at its best. She found her cousin in the parking lot, said hi, and then realized with shock that the black limousine was for us and that he wasn't just there as ornamentation.
Though surreal--the whole evening was surreal for me--we made it to Knoxville without much event. I still wasn't sure how I'd manage asking her the big question, but I suggested that we walk around downtown. I figured that I could manufacture a momenbt that I could propose as I didn't want to propose in the middle of a crowded restaurant--too cliche for me.
After going into a couple of shops, she steered us toward some steps. The stps would do.
My proposal wasn't perfect or hugely romantic by most people's standards, but it was perfect for us. I gave her the ring, and she was shocked again. The funny thing about the whole thing is that Holly usually can anticipate anything, so it was pretty cool. I doubt I'll be able to do that many more times.
I thought we were alone, but apparently I happened to ask her right in front of a homeless guy. he got sucked into the excietment, and started jumping around maniacally and congratulating us. He even almost forgot to ask us for money he was so excited.
The dinner was amazing! Never had a better filet, but that could have just been the contagion of the whole moment.
All I have to say is that I hope to never have to do it again. She's the only one I ever want to expend that much planning, trickery, and secrecy again :).
The only splotch to deaden the magic of the whole situation was when I noticed on Sunday night that her opal had mysteriously cracked. Opals are notoriously unstable, and we knew that. The thing is that she only slept with the ring and didn't bang it up. It's at the jewelry store now, and we're just hoping that its like we think it is, an imperfection in the stone. Who knows.
My fam went to Memphis today, so I've been sitting here reading a book and watching basketball games. I'm just hoping that Mississippi State loses to negate Arkansas's loss to Kentucky. Could be close. More soon.