“So…What Do You Think?”
I tricked Kate into saying that she’ll spend all of her love currency on me, until forever.
To say I tricked her is actually incorrect. For the last three years, I’ve conducted a thoughtful and calculated campaign of love. I’m talking flowers, I’m talking handwritten notes, I’m talking cleaning the toilet bowl.
Someone asked me “When did you know she was the one for you?”
Realistically, there are two answers.
The first answer is the moment I saw her. I was working on a couch in a cramped two-bedroom apartment of a startup we both worked at. She walked in, and I immediately was smitten. But to go from smitten to dating took a while.
The second answer, and more honest of the two, was when we had a big fight, but then didn’t break up. In fact, she ended the fight with something like “I know this is tough, but let’s work through this.” Up until that moment, I had never been in a relationship that could have conflict, even more so, healthy conflict that made our bond stronger.
Therefore, my most logical step was to lock that shit down.
After a month of design and work, I had the ring. I returned from the Jewelry district in DTLA last Wednesday and immediately felt it burning a hole in my pocket. Against the guidance of my peers at work, I strongly considered asking her that night, just on the canals, but it didn’t feel like the right moment.
I did know that I wanted to do it soon. Early in our relationship, I had mentioned that I would propose to her on a hike, so that was the sketchy plan of mine. I slyly asked about our schedule that weekend, and she told me that we were going to visit a Wolf Sanctuary – an experience that she had gotten as a gift for the both of us during Christmas.
Wolves? Other people? This didn’t feel right. But then the more I thought about, the more I considered it.
On Thursday night I laid in bed and was 97% good-to-go.
Then Friday I went to my book club, consisting of all married men (and me). After discussing Vonnegut’s short stories, I mentioned my wolf proposal thought process. Each and every one of my book buddies encouraged the wolf avenue.
“Wolves dude. Wolves”
So Saturday morning we drove out to Palmdale to visit The Wolf Connection. Upon being let in, milling around with the other 15 or so participants, I sprung into action.
By that I mean, I waited until Kate went to the bathroom, then awkwardly ambled up to one of the employees and said “Uh…Hi. I know this is kind of sudden, but is there an opportunity during this experience where I could maybe…sorta, propose to my girlfriend?”
I was told yes, there might be a spot, but it wouldn’t be until the end of the experience.
So, for the next two hours, Kate, myself, and 15 other people become one pack. We learned about the 33 wolves on the compound, learned about what makes wolves special, and then we spent 30 minutes in several wolf cages, petting the wolves and getting wolf licks.
Finally, it was time to go on the wolf hike. We formed into a single file line, with wolves on leashes interspersed, and trudged up a short and easy path through the brush. Then we came to a fire road, where the group assembled.
The leader of the experience leaned over to me, and whispered “Now would be a good time” and I instantly was filled with terror.
Muttering something lame to Kate like “hey let’s take a walk over here”, we went up the fire road, rounded a bend, and had privacy.
I began to say the speech that I had come up that morning on my run. It involved an allegory about things being temporary, like popsicles, but how the love we have is permanent (unlike popsicles).
Stupidly, I hadn’t thought to take the ring out of my super cool CamelBak, so 3/4th of the way into the speech I had to awkwardly sling it around, and grab the ring and the box. Bending down on one knee, on a fire road in Palmdale, surrounded by wolves, I asked THE question.
After exactly one second longer than I was mentally prepared for, Kate said yes, and we smooched.
We had a few minutes to ourselves, then the leader of the experience rounded the corner, saw our happy faces and gave us hugs. Then she brought out a special “engagement wolf” for us, and we sat on the side of the road and petted a very large wolf-dog named Koda. We’re talking Game of Thrones size.
The drive home was full of phone calls, text messages, and smiles. We threw an impromptu party at the bar across the street, and friends came out of the woodwork to celebrate us.
Besides getting literally drunk, I became drunk with engagement power. At the bar, we barely paid for drinks, due to our happy moment. However, after leaving the bar, we saw a hot-dog truck across the street. Kate loves hot dogs, my feelings are well documented.
We ordered the dogs, and then I shouted “We’re engaged! These hot dogs are free!”
I was very quickly and sternly admonished by the owner of said hot dog truck that no, they were not free.
In summary, proposing around wolf dogs is awesome, but it doesn’t result in free hot dogs.
Proposing – 5 out of 5