Find parts 1 and 2...
Charlie gets back from Spain, finally, and we make our way to his parent's beach place for Charlie to watching Everybody Loves Raymond marathons so he could acclimate.
After that, things went pretty smooth. Charlie started back at school, I found a job working as a temp at an HOA property management company which turned into a job I would keep for almost 2 years.
Charlie had mentioned in passing that "November was going to be a great month". Charlie and I both have birthdays in November and mine being the last day of the month. So my over analytical mind was assuming that he would propose in November.
Every weekend and event I was on edge that "it was going to be then" that he was going to put a ring on it. Every weekend that is didn't happen I was looking forward to the next, for some reason I assumed it was going to happen on the weekend. The as we got closer to my birthday I would try and set Charlie up, giving him the time/place, for him to propose. Morning coffee walks to the Capitol building, downtown walks in the evening, ANYTHING for him to make the grand gesture.
Fast forward to my birthday. I was FOR SURE confident that it was going to happen, obviously, because it hadn't happened any yet. I'd told people at work, made a big stink of it, so confident.
We go out to dinner, fancy italian place, I'm on edge. We hold hands, talk about our future, so excited about what would be coming. I was waiting, waiting, waiting for Charlie to get on his knee. The wine is flowing (that will be important later) and Charlie had made plans for us to meet up with friends after dinner. At some point, I believe we were back at The Foundation, and I was getting worried things weren't going to happen. So I asked something to the effect of "Umm, are you going to propose to me?" and he said it, I will remember my whole life "I will, but not tonight" CRUSHED.... tears started to flow. And I wish I could say I kept myself together for the rest of the night, but it didn't happen. I cried in front of our friends at two different bars.
The wine + completely disappointment = uncontrollable crying in public. Not my best performance.
I come into work the next morning extremely hungover and bitter. Not knowing what had gone down (or not gone down) a co-worker asked if I'd gotten engaged the night before. More tears. She didn't know but it triggered me again.
So from then on I didn't think anything was going to happen for a while. I went along like normal with the understanding that sometime in the future he would propose but no date.
Friday, December 10: Charlie e-mails me about a dinner date, there is a Christmas meal deal kinda thing and it was for Thursday nights, not Friday. All the while I'm concerned Charlie will think he's getting the deal, and he isn't.
I mention his date night invitation to the same co-worker and she goes "He's going to propose tonight". YES! I hadn't even thought about it! Dinner time rolls arounds, Charlie has brought me some cupcakes before dinner.
Keep in mind I again had proposal in the back of my mind.
First stop was the Busy Bee Cafe for drinks, a restaurant's soft opening we'd gone to a one of our first dates. Next we walk around the blocks a few times and make our way to Cafe Luna for a great meal, lots of hand holding, wine, etc. Next we go back to the bar we'd met out, The Landmark Tavern. I have a few bloody marys (a specialty that I can enjoy at any time of the day). All the while I'm texting with a friend's wife telling her to come meet up with us at The Landmark. After discussions on our future and kids and our life he says "come with me" and we leave abruptly. As we are leaving the friend and her husband walk in the door. Charlie says "Wait here, we'll be back". Now I think something might be up. We start walking to the skating rink that downtown Raleigh sets up around Christmas. It's incredibly windy and cold that night, and Charlie wants to go skating. I tell him I really don't want to, and ask if we can start walking back. As I start to put my gloves back on Charlie says "Wait, before you put your gloves back on" and starts digging in his pocket.
The rest is a blur but involved tears and the next thing we're calling parents and telling them the good news. Of course they all knew what was going on, but were all very excited of course.
We walk back to the bar, I find that everyone knew this was going to happen and we were meeting them all later for a concert of a great cover band The Old Habits.
I wish there were pictures of this, but at the time I didn't have a smart phone or a digital camera and we'd taken pictures on a disposable camera.
OK folks, from meeting in February to December we'd met and gotten engaged.
We would get married the next August and the rest is history