As I write this, I sit at my desk, completely oblivious to the work environment around me. I am not thinking about the analysis due tomorrow by COB, I am not thinking about the fantasy football discussion in the hallway, and I am not even thinking about my lunch. My phone lights up. It’s my girlfriend’s mother.
I text her back that this is the hardest secret I have ever had to keep.
Haha you have to *insert laughing emoji*
I know, I know. So far, so good. My girlfriend has no idea. She’s sitting in her bathtub, hundreds of miles away, enjoying her day off in the middle of a week full of 12 hour shifts. She has no idea what this weekend holds. She doesn’t know that there’s a ring just for her sitting in a box on my dresser at home. She doesn’t know I have a master plan. She thinks we are going to take family pictures with her family on Sunday. That’s been the plan. She doesn’t know that there will be a ring in my pocket just for her. She has no idea what’s about to happen.
Everyone else knows though. Her best friends know. Her mom knows. Her sister knows. Her whole family knows. My whole family knows. Literally everyone knows but her. How is this even possible? I have never been able to surprise this girl before. She figures out every single one. Normally I ruin every surprise. I always get so excited for what I’m about to do that I completely spoil it. So how am I supposed to keep the most life-changing event of my life a secret? I have this one giant thing that I can’t contain my excitement for and I can’t even tell the one person that I tell everything. There is no way I make it to Sunday.
It’s been easy so far because she has not read my body language. Tomorrow is my true test. I’ll leave the office a little early and head to her house for the weekend, just like every weekend. We might go on a date or we might grab Taco Bell and a Redbox. I have to do the best damn acting of my life. I can’t give it away. I can’t let her see me talk to her mom. I can’t even let her see me make eye contact with her mom. I have to hide the ring. I have to hide my excitement.
Saturday will roll around. She will head off to work one of those dreaded 12 hour shifts. Plenty of time for me to prepare and plan for the next day. Plenty of time to let out some of my excitement to her family. Plenty of time for me to go play golf with some of my old college buddies and just try to relax. Plenty of time to get pissed off because I suck at golf. Plenty of time for my mind to start playing tricks on me. What if she says no? Also plenty of time to gamble my money away on college athletes.
The sun will rise Sunday morning and we’ll drag our butts to church. We’ll scarf down some good food and get ready for these family pictures. She will have her hair perfectly the way she wants it. She’ll be wearing exactly what she wants to wear. The Shenandoah Valley will be looking its best while the fall foliage transforms the Blue Ridge Mountains from their normal peaceful blue into a vibrant display of all the red, orange and yellow that we love. She will think we are about to take some normal, basic, pretty good looking fall pictures. She won’t know what’s in my pocket. She won’t know that I’m going to say “hang on a second” and reach in there. She won’t know that I’m going to get down on one knee and face her. I’ll surely be shaking, trying to open the box, fumbling it while I stutter out those four words. Is she going to say yes? I sure hope so. I guess I need to get back to work, worrying only makes things worse..
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