We got engaged on Christmas, because apparently we are pretty basic. I didn’t know we were basic until the next day on Facebook when it seemed like all of our other friends also got engaged on Christmas. Like, close friends. Like, we really should have planned this out. Now we are forever going to have to compete with our friends for who has a better relationship, engagement ring, bridal shower and bachelor blowout, wedding, honeymoon, first house, etc. That’s how that works, right??
I had it all planned out.
We were going to wake up on Christmas morning and have a nice breakfast… Looking back, I don’t know why I thought that. I didn’t really actually prepare anything, didn’t go shopping for food. Then I thought that we’d go on a hike, maybe Griffith Park. Actually, I don’t know why I hadn’t thought of that, either. We don’t hike. We’re not hiking people. We never have been. Part of how Lee and I fell in love was from our mutual hatred of hiking, but for some reason I thought we might get into it. And it seemed like it would add to the story about the day we got engaged. Anyway, after the hike, we’d go home and open presents. According to my plan, the last present under the tree would be the ring, wrapped up perfectly.
And then we’d live happily ever after.
It didn’t go down that way. Not at all.
Part of the problem is that I forgot just how much everyone else loves Christmas. See, I was raised Jew-ish and Christmas was just a normal day to us, except just a little more sad. … But Lee and everyone else? You guys love Christmas.
Normally Lee wakes up at a solid 11 a.m. to noon every day, part of why I love her so much. So maybe I thought I still had plenty of time. But come 5 a.m. on Christmas morning, I was sound asleep, then all of a sudden…
“CHRISTMAAAASSSSSSS!!! It’s CHRISTMAAAASSSSS!!!”
Lee was screaming at the top of her lungs.
I woke up terrified. By the time I got to the front room, she was already unwrapping the gifts under the Christmas tree. My brain was panicking. Was I about to propose at 5:30 in the freaking morning? Was I even ready?
But there she was, locked and loaded, ready to tear through every present. Awkward side note: She bought me like eight presents and I only got her two. I mean one of the two was a really big present, but maybe it actually shouldn’t count as I was going to give it to her anyway…
So if you’re keeping count, that meant that for every one of my presents she would open, I would have to open four awesome presents in between. Due to my impending petrification of asking the biggest question of my life, I had forgotten how to react to how awesome the gifts were, because in my head I was thinking: “Oh, no. I am such an idiot. I didn’t get her enough presents, I didn’t plan this out enough. WHO DOESN’T PLAN THIS OUT ENOUGH? She’s gonna say no. I would say ‘No.’ ”
Then we were almost out of gifts, and it was time. I told her to stand up and close her eyes. Then I gave her the tiny box, wrapped ever so nicely. I didn’t even try to put it in another box. Fairly obvious what was in the box. Again, poor planning. She opened her eyes and began to open.
And so at 5:30 in the morning, in my pajamas, hair huge and all fro’d out, sleep still in my eyes, I got down on one knee… And I just start talking. I don’t even remember what I said, but it was something along the lines of, “I love you very much, I just don’t want to become that basic, boring married couple, I don’t think we’ll do that, though,” and I just kept saying more and more words. Blah blah blah. By this point, I was standing up again.
And Lee was like “What is happening right now!?”
I think we both blacked out. Somewhere in all my talking, she said yes. We were terribly excited, and then we calmed down a bit. About four hours later, while watching Tim Allen in “The Santa Clause,” I sat up, grabbed her and said: “Lee, I love you so much. This is the first time in our relationship when Hanukkah and Christmas happen at the same time, which I think is a beautiful symbol of our relationship. I love you so much. Will you spend the rest of your life with me?”
You know, something nice, something that should have been originally said if it wasn’t 5:30 in the morning.
She just looked at me blankly and said, “Why didn’t you say that the first time?” and I mumbled something about how we were going to do brunch and a hike. “But we don’t hike,” she said. And we laughed, lots. You get it.
For the rest of the day she made me re-propose to her, the right way. I’d get down on one knee and say, “Lee, I love you so much —”
She’d cut me off and say, “Come on, that’s not convincing! Do it again!” So I’d say, “You are my favorite person —”
Again, she’d cut me off and say, “Come on. You’re an actor. Sell it!”
I think she made me propose to her about 30 times that day. It was nice, every time she said yes, but there were a few nos thrown in there to keep me on my toes, and those did sting a little.
Now, sometimes, when we eat out at restaurants, halfway through the meal she’ll look at me and whisper “Propose to me here!”
As soon as she realized you get free stuff when you propose in public, she made me propose to her all over Los Angeles. I think we’re up to about 35 restaurant proposals. It’s nice though.
Except for the one time she said no. That was awkward for everyone. Everyone stared at me, feeling sorry. I sat there a little confused, because I was in on the joke, and somehow wasn’t. And she just sat there, smiling, finishing her food.
I guess you could say we are both insane and both madly in love and somehow it all makes sense.
Come to think of it, I’m kinda surprised she didn’t make me re-propose at the wedding.
L.A. Affairs chronicles the search for love in and around Los Angeles. If you have comments or a true story to tell, email us at LAAffairs@latimes.com.
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