On being romantic: Our engagement story


This post was originally featured on Weddingbee.  To see all of the comments, you’ll have to check them out over there!

[Warning: this post is wordy, too! I think it's just the intro posts that are wordy. After all, I can't very well tell you about how Mr. Stinkerpants proposed to me without being a little wordy.]

When Mr. Stinkerpants and I first started dating, he asked me if my past relationships had been romantic. My mind went back to the time I actually asked an ex-boyfriend to be romantic, then had to describe to him how to be romantic–which of course pretty much sucks all the potential romance out of anything he could have done. Mr. Stinkerpants, on the other hand, is incredibly romantic. When we first started dating, he did super romantic things, like slipping a bunch of tiny metal hearts in my coat pocket, so when my hands got cold I found them. And luckily, the romance hasn’t stopped. For example, the proposal was a pretty grand romantic gesture.

Mr. Stinkerpants proposed to me at the Parkway Theater in Oakland, CA last May. A few months prior to the proposal, Mr. Stinkerpants and I went with some friends to see Zodiac at the Parkway. Before all the movies, they play an introduction where the two guys who own the place talk about upcoming movies. While we were there for Zodiac, the guys talked about playing Coming to America, which is one of Mr. Stinkerpants’s favorite childhood movies. After Zodiac, Mr. Stinkerpants talked about Coming to America at least once a week, so when our friends were busy, I wasn’t surprised that he wanted to go without them. He asked his sister, Katie, to come with us.

The morning of the 27th, we were a little late getting out of the house. When we got to the theater, we were a few minutes late and Katie looked a little upset by our tardiness. She said, “The movie’s already started, and it’s really full. There are only a couple of seats left and they’re all the way in the front. We saved them for you. We already got your tickets.” She rushed us in.

We walked into the theater in total darkness; the intro thing with the two guys was playing. We sat in the front row in the couch Katie had saved for us, and I slumped down next to Mr. Stinkerpants, trying to get warm (the Parkway is always freezing). Mr. Stinkerpants kept talking for some reason. I kept shushing him, saying, “you’re one of those annoying people who keeps talking really loud through the whole movie! Stop it!” He said, “It’s just the intro, it doesn’t matter. I don’t even remember what he was saying, but he kept talking.

After the intro thing ended, a movie started. I didn’t even realize what was going on. The first thing I saw was the picture of LuLu, our dog. I could have sworn that I said, “That’s my DOG!” but Mr. Stinkerpants claims the only thing he heard me say was, “oh my god,” over and over again. I thought to myself, Mr. Stinkerpants must have submitted the picture to some photo contest or something.” It took me a few seconds, but I realized the video was for me after I saw something about “hearts” and “love.”

In all honesty, I had no idea what was going on. I mean, honestly. We were there to see a movie, right? And he wasn’t going to propose to me in front of an entire theater of people who were there expecting to see Coming to America, right? Because that’s just rude. During the movie, I heard a familiar laugh and realized my mom was in the theater. That’s when I thought, “oh my god, he’s going to propose to me!” My mom was scheduled to fly in the next day, so it would make sense that Mr. Stinkerpants would surprise me by having my parents come out a day early. I was so excited! I think I said, “my mom is here!” And then, “who are all these people?” when I realized he was going to propose in front of a bunch of strangers.

When the video ended, I don’t even know what I was thinking. I think my mind was blank because I was in such shock. The lights in the theater went on and Mr. Stinkerpants pulled me up to the stage and sat me in a chair.

I was in total shock. As I was sitting up there on the stage, I saw my parents and Mr. Stinkerpants’s parents sitting right in the center of the theater. Then I looked out at the audience and saw a bunch of people. I think I said, “who are all these people?!” On one of the couches in the second row, I saw some people wearing disguise glasses. For some reason, this did not compute. I didn’t think this was strange. Then the people took off their glasses, and a woman pulled off her wig. Suddenly, I realized that it was MY AUNT MELINDA AND MY UNCLE BOB, who live in SANTA BARBARA. And sitting on their lap was my adorable little cousin, Anna, who lives in WISCONSIN. Suddenly I realized the theater was FULL of my ENTIRE FAMILY. I was totally shocked!

Mr. Stinkerpants had somehow managed to get my entire family, my friends (including my childhood friends), and all of his family and friends to come to the theater and not spoil the secret! There were almost sixty people in the theater, and a lot of them had traveled at least four hours to get there. A couple of cousins flew in from Wisconsin, a few of my family members drove up from LA, and a few people drove from a few hours north…there were people from all over the place. It was SO amazing that so many people came for me. So after the proposal, I was in total shock and it turns out that we weren’t there to see Coming to America (although I have a feeling you’ve already figured that out). So we had pizza and beer and soda and a very merry time. (PS, if you want to see the proposal or the video Mr. Stinkerpants made, it’s all on YouTube.)

Now THAT is romantic.

Oddly enough, we found out via Wedding Bee that someone else did the exact same thing for Perfect Proposal–which Mr. Stinkerpants was a little peeved about, because the Parkway told him it was their first proposal. Oh well. I don’t need to be the first or the only! ” It was one of the best days of my life.

Anyway. So yes, Mr. Stinkerpants is romantic in big ways. But he’s also romantic in little ways. We both are, actually. And to me, it’s the little things that matter the most. Those little things are going to carry us through our marriage. Cards he leaves me, hidden in my suitcase when I go to visit my parents, telling me his toothbrush is lonely without mine there to keep it company. How he tells me I’m beautiful even though I am a snotty, sick mess. How he’ll don a t-shirt with my logo and help me with my business.

To me, romance is about creativity and being totally personal. Put simply, he makes me feel like I’m special. It’s not so much about chocolate and roses on Valentine’s Day, but about little, every day, creative things.

What about you guys? How do you define “romantic”? What does your sweetie do for you that makes you weak in the knees?

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