After dating for a whopping 4 years (and 2 months to be exact!), Erin Smith and Bo Sanford have officially kicked off wedding season for my graduating class. Just a few days ago (October 5, 2010), Bo asked Erin to be his wife. Of course, she said YES! Now I know that’s just not enough information as to how it happened, so I’m going to let the future Mr. and Mrs. Sanford do the explaining….
Basically, in the week before I proposed I had planned a date night at that new Brazilian steakhouse (Brazeiro’s) supposedly celebrating the internship to which I was accepted and also celebrating the start of fall break. I figured the restaurant would ensure she would be dressed nicely, and it would also be nice to not have anything important the next few days so as to allow plenty of time to hug, kiss, and go see people. The plan was to go out to a park or somewhere secluded and set up a hammock after dinner, and then pop the question after talking for a while. In itself the hammock or meal wouldn’t be too suspicious, because they are things that we often do. However, a few days prior to the proposal, I became more and more convinced that she knew it was coming. I didn’t know if I had tipped her off through my own actions, if one of her family members had said something unusual, or if she had just put all the pieces together; I was just convinced she knew it was coming and the idea that it wouldn’t be a surprise was horrifying to me. So, I began to try and set up an evening that would convince her it wasn’t actually happening. Frankly, the new plan hinged on bailing on her at the last minute so as to really piss her off and make her think that “well it was SUPPOSED to be tonight, but I guess something more important came up.” I figured if she was mad at me or ticked off, she would be least expecting of a proposal. So the night before we were to go out, I called her and informed her that I was going with Joe to a political fundraiser. Of course there was no fundraiser, I just needed an excuse to cancel the plans I had with her so I could surprise her later that night. Unfortunately, the old adage is true “oh what a tangled web we weave when first we practice to deceive.” My story was constantly changing, and the more it changed the more I thought she knew. Finally, Tuesday I decided to go with a third plan, plan C if you will. Plan C was to convince her that all of the planning and weird behavior was the result of me trying to give her a promise ring. If I took her somewhere and pulled out a promise ring, surely she would be let down and think that a proposal would be much later. Well plan C worked, and to my own surprise she fell for the promise ring and happily wore it for a few minutes. I made her assure me over and over that she was not hoping I would pop the question that night, and I kept telling her that I didn’t mean to get her hopes up. When I finally became convinced that she was not expecting a proposal, I started the real proposal conversation.
Me “Ok, so you’re sure you didn’t have your hopes up for an engagement ring?”
Her “Yeah, seriously I understand that it can’t be anytime soon”
Me “You’re positive?”
Her “Yes, I promise”
Me “Ok great, because I really wanted this to be a surprise for you. Erin this is something that I’ve wanted to do for so long,…will you marry me?”
And from there on, the rest is history I guess. The promise ring, which I picked up at Wal-Mart, was just to throw her for a loop. My only regret is that I didn’t make her wear it longer.
Ok well we were planning on having a date night at a nice restaurant on Tuesday night to celebrate Bo’s internship in D.C., but Bo called me on Monday to tell me he decided he was going to go to a fundraiser Tuesday night instead and wanted to cancel the date night I was VERY much looking forward to, so needless to say, I was NOT thrilled. Tuesday morning I woke up, put on ZERO makeup, put my hair up, didn’t shower, threw on some sweats and went to class. I came home after a long day and decided since Bo ditched me I would just chill and watch Shawshank Redemption. It was going to be a fabulous night of chilling. So about two hours before the fundraiser Bo was supposedly going to, I get a call from him asking me if he could come over for a bit. Of course I said yes, but did not bother to get dolled up for him. I laid there in my sweats continuing to watch my movie. He finally gets there about an hour later, and sits down on the couch when he walks in and immediately I could tell something was wrong. He said “Erin, I have a confession, there is no fundraiser, but we need to talk. I’m afraid there has just been a big misunderstanding.” So of course I freak out inside and run to get my tennis shoes on and we headed out to go on a drive so we could talk. The whole time I’m thinking “ok, he’s evaluated his life, and I’m no longer in it. He is probably going to break up with me!” So I was mentally preparing myself as Bo stumbled for words. And then he goes “Erin, I’m afraid you’ve gotten the wrong idea, that you’ve gotten your hopes up for something…I’m just afraid you heard I ran into your dad at lunch on Friday and with our big date and all I was just afraid you’d get your hopes up for something that wasn’t going to happen.” At that moment it clicked, he thought I was thinking he was going to propose! We had talked about it months ago and decided it would be best to wait until we graduated, so that was the furthest thing from my mind. I had put that idea out of my mind for at least another year or two! I told Bo I didn’t think that at all and I was so sorry he thought that! We arrived at this park where we got out and sat by the lake and continued our conversation. Bo had some Chikfila (my favorite) in the car so we were going to eat there too.
Bo proceeded to tell me, that despite the fact he had always thought promise rings were ridiculous, he had bought one for me and wanted to give it to me but didn’t want me to think it was an engagement ring. He just HANDED me this box, acting like it was no big deal so I opened it and there sat a ring inside a Markman’s box BUT this ring, when I looked at it, all I could think was “heart shaped…ok, odd.” and “RED.” I justified it in my mind and just said to myself “it won’t match much, but it’s kind of pretty.” I hugged his neck and thanked him so much for it and really pretended to like it a lot and slipped it on my finger. I thought the conversation was over and we could finally eat and just sit by the lake. Bo reached into the bag to get our food out and instead had another box and said, “Well, I’m so glad you didn’t know I was going to propose because I’ve wanted to do this for a VERY long time.” He then got on his knee opened a box with a BEAUTIFUL ring in it and said “Erin, will you marry me?!” I just said “OF COURSE!! I CANT BELIEVE THIS, I CANT BELIEVE THIS!!” I honestly don’t even remember if I put the ring on my finger or if Bo did but regardless it was on there in a matter of seconds! But I was still seriously confused because he had just given me this promise ring! What in the world!? Bo then said, “Gosh, I didn’t think you’d actually fall for the promise ring, I hate promise rings and you knew that! I just got that at Wal-Mart like 10 minutes before I got to your house.” OH my word, I couldn’t believe I just pretended to like this ring so much. Needless to say I was happy to take it off. But we sat around for a while just soaking in the moment and enjoyed sitting there talking. Of course I couldn’t stop smiling and saying “OH MY GOSH, WE ARE ENGAGED. I CAN’T BELIEVE THIS!” Bo told me he had thought I caught wind that he was going to propose so he wanted to act like it was a misunderstanding and basically take the wind out of my sails and then propose, but I had no clue whatsoever so I just went along with it! Haha I went from thinking he was trying to find the words to break it off, to thinking I got a red, heart-shaped promise ring, to I’m ENGAGED. That was a crazy emotional roller coaster, but I wouldn’t change a thing!
But I am finally getting to marry the best man I’ve ever met/the best friend I’ve ever had in my LIFE! SO cliché but so true. It’s actually happening, and that is the craziest feeling! I’M ENGAGED!!
Props to Bo for picking out such a elegant ring & to Erin for wearing it so beautifully! I can’t say this enough, but I’m so excited for you two and what the future holds!