Last October I went to California to visit Dan while he was still living there. When I got back and blogged about it, I titled the entry “the toll bridge prophecy.” I often title my posts with things that mean something to me, if not to everyone else. Anyway, this particular title has become relevant and now deserves a little explanation.
On 10.13.2007, we were driving over the Bay Bridge into San Francisco and had to stop and pay a toll. Of course we got in line for the slowest toll booth ever, and it appeared that the toll booth attendant was just having a conversation with each car as it passed through. While we were sitting there, we had our first serious discussion about marriage and where our relationship was going in that respect. He said that he was very serious about things and that even though we had only been together a few months, he could tell that we work well together and would make a great match someday. I said that it certainly appeared that way, and that it was good to know that we both expected marriage as an eventual step we would take (you cannot assume these things when you date people, trust me).
So we finally got up to the toll booth and the attendant was (and it sounds like a stereotype but I’m just describing what I saw) an older, jolly, wise-cracking black man who did not immediately say hello or take Dan’s toll money, but instead just blurted out “Hey! What’s wrong with you? Why haven’t you put a ring on that girl’s finger yet? Look at that smile on your face! Look how happy she makes you! Why are you wasting time?”
Was this guy psychic, secretly able to hear conversations happening within all the cars in his line, or just very, very perceptive? Dan and I looked at each other in astonishment and laughed back with him, thanking him for the advice, etc. We have come to refer to this strange coincidence as “the toll bridge prophecy.”
Last night we went out to celebrate the 1-year anniversary of the toll bridge prophecy, and after dinner at Mamma Zu we went down to the Canal Walk and trekked along the river. Dan had never been to the Canal Walk, so it was a lot of fun. You get to see a little bit of old, crumbly, industrial RVA that way. We read all the placards and all the metal medallions on the ground, emblazoned with historical nuggets. We crept over a lot of cobblestone and dodged several spiders. On the walkway across from Brown’s Island, he proposed. I said “yes” of course, and am now the proud owner of a blingin’ diamond ring. Inside the ring is inscribed the numbers 15:12:11, the time that’s printed on our toll bridge receipt.
In truth, I feel like we’re already married since we came to the juncture where we had to be completely serious about our future many, many moons ago. Neither of us has looked back since. After Dan moved here in November we started doing pretty much everything together, making all our decisions together, and just in general behaving like life partners. When you’re doing everything from the most exciting activities to the most mundane activities with the same person day in and day out, you get the opportunity to really examine whether you love them down to their core, or whether you don’t. It’s very easy for me to say that I do love him, and have not doubted that for a second this past year. So this will be us going from life partners to a married couple…semantics really. Although I feel like it’s been “official” for months now, and I know I’ve always had this level of commitment from him, it’s still nice to have the symbol that most other people consider “official” sitting on my ring finger. Let the planning begin.