I find it helpful in the face of difficulties like unsupportive parents and an uncertain legal future, to remember exactly why and how I asked my girlfriend to marry me. In January this year, I began planning my proposal, knowing that we would be returning again to the lovely Highlands Inn in for Memorial Day weekend. It would be a beautiful place, set in the White Mountains in Bethlehem, New Hampshire. We would be among friendly people at this wonderful and inspiring inn for lesbians, all of whom would be delighted for us. Having made our reservations and found a beautiful ring in early April, I was all set to go, except for exactly what I would do and say. That proved to be daunting as I rehearsed a great many plans and proposals, coming down to just two weeks before without so much as a single good idea. Then, I remembered a walk we'd taken the year before on the trails behind the inn, eventually crossing a lovely bridge over water, and decided to leave her some kind of scavenger hunt to follow so that I could meet her there. Dwyer Florist agreed to make up the 20 individual bouquets that I planned to leave along the trail to lead her to me.
I dropped her off at the gym in the morning, and went to the florist, where they'd gotten the time wrong and hadn't started, yet. All four of the florists were in a beautiful flurry of flowers and tissue paper and ribbon and cellophane while I waited. Then, I put the flowers in the trunk, along with every last one of our freezer packs to keep them cold, and packed all of our stuff in the car so that she would have no reason to open the trunk, and went to pick her up. At the inn, I snuck the flowers into the fridge and waited until morning, when I left her a note to follow me in 10 minutes, and left her a trail of bouquets to follow, one at each fork in the path, each containing a note with a line of my proposal on it. BUT, the trail to the bridge was washed out! Instead, I made the trail loop around back to the room, where I waited with the last bouquet and my very important question.
It was wonderful and magical for me (for her, too, I hope). She deserves all the flowers in the world, though I hope 20 bouquets got the message across. Her delight in skipping and laughing along a surprise romp through the woods was beautiful. And though heartfelt words and a ring could never express how I love her, those cheesy jewelers' ads are true- diamonds are one of the most beautiful and enduring things in the world, and so they're a perfect symbol of the love we share. So, despite the difficulties that arise, now that we're ready to declare to the world that we are indeed a family, this wonderful memory brings me back to the simple joy and intent of our engagement- this is my joyful story and I'm sticking to it.