Wednesday, May 13, 2009

It's the Box that Counts by Kate

One Saturday I called my boyfriend to see when he was picking me up for dinner. He sounded funny and said he was “driving around,” so I did what any respectable girlfriend would do…I pried. “Just driving? Why? Everything okay?” I asked—because in my experience, people only go for drives when they’re upset about something, and those people are usually women. “Everything’s fine,” he said, exasperated. “I, uh, went to the coffee shop.” Riiiight. I wondered what he was mad about and continued painting my toenails.

Andy showed up at my house a few minutes early, and when I opened the door he was scrambling to his knee. I didn’t hear a word of his speech, but I saw a little wooden box and what was inside—a beautiful ring that Andy designed himself, using his grandmother’s diamonds. We hugged a lot and cried a little, and I eventually said yes.

Before he told me about the ring, he asked if I liked the box. Andy drove all over town that day, box shopping. (Suddenly, I felt guilty for grilling him earlier. Whoops.) He combed antique stores, boutiques and jewelry stores until he found the perfect one. There’s a slit in the velvet lining—Andy cut it because he thought he could slide the ring in there, like a jewelry-store box. But under the velvet was wood, so it just looks like an accident.
I love my ring. I love that it’s a family heirloom and a product of my fiancé’s creativity. But somehow it’s that darn box that turns me into a sap. When I put my ring in it every night before bed, I picture Andy going from store to store, looking for the right box. I picture him cutting into the bottom, to no avail. I remember opening my front door to a teary-eyed Andy, all dressed up and down on one knee, holding that box in his shaky hands. I remember him asking the host at the restaurant that night,

“Got any tables for an engaged couple?”

Compared to people who write “WILL YOU MARRY ME” in the sky, or hide rings in dinner rolls and champagne glasses only to watch their girlfriends choke on three months’ salary, our story’s not climactic. But I wouldn’t want it any other way. Big things will happen in our marriage—some we’ll choose, like moving or having a baby; and some we’ll suffer, like deaths in the family or losing our jobs—and we’ll celebrate and grieve accordingly. But for every major occasion, I want a hundred subtle reminders that I picked a good soulmate, and I want to do the same for him. 

I pray for a lifetime of little boxes.

© copyright homemade grits


*plum*tree*studio* said...

wow...i love that story. what a wonderful wonderful story. makes you stop and think.

Diana Kat said...

That's beautiful!

our little love nest said...

Maybe I am just an emotional girl but that story made me tear up. So positively sweet.
Good reminder of what is beautiful in relationships and life.

The Dunaway Family said...

Damn. Wow. Just beautiful, Kate.

down and out chic said...

oh, this is too sweet, gosh kate. you're killing me.

Rachel Kay said...

I can just picture Andy's face, asking for a table for the engaged couple. A little silly but mostly really proud.