(Well, it’s breaking news if you weren’t at our church yesterday or if you live in a remote area with no internet (and therefore, social media) access—and, in the latter case, then what are you doing reading this?!)
Andrew and Hannah, the most loveable young couple of my aquaintance, have taken a big step in their relationship of two months. On this past Saturday (the 21st), Andrew, imperiling the pristine state of his right trouser leg, offered Hannah something gold and glittery while they were taking a stroll around the small pond outside The Barn Restaurant. Hannah gracefully accepted the glittery-gold gift and is now wearing it 24-7, dazzling passers-by with it’s radiance. Okay, that was a bit cryptic—what I’m trying to say is that Andrew asked Hannah to marry him and that she said yes and has a diamond ring to prove it!
Not that it needs much proving. I myself was an eye-witness to the event, as were the respective families, a random gray goose, and about eighty ducks of mixed origins (this pond is a sort of Times Square for aquatic fowl—I have my suspicions that a few of the ducks took pictures of the event and uploaded them to Instagram).
So here’s the full scoop (I know you’re just dying to hear the full scoop). We met with the Peacock family at the restaurant at about four o’clock in the afternoon, as planned. The only members of the families who didn’t know what this gathering of the clans was for were Hannah (naturally), her sister Susanna, and Tanya and William (who probably wouldn’t have cared too much anyway—they were pretty focused on the ducks). Andrew was nervous. He says he wasn’t nervous, just ‘jittery’, but the body language amounted to the same thing—a lot of pacing, a lot of checking in his pockets for a certain jewelry box, and a bit of anticipitory perspiration. His plan was to ask Hannah to take a stroll around the pond with him, and to pop the question after setting the mood by a retrospective chat about their relationship. He asked me to do him a favor during this stroll; he had gotten Hannah a lovely corsage for the occasion (five red rosebuds, with baby’s breath, tied with a sheer pink bow), and my job was to sneak this floral offering out of the van after they had started on their walk and to have it ready for her when they returned. Simple.
So the Peacocks arrived, Andrew asked Mr. Peacock if Hannah could go for a stroll around the pond with him, and they started on the great journey. Mom whipped out her camera before the couple was more than fifty feet away, which might have tipped Susanna off to the fact that this was no ordinary walk, and I hustled over the van to retrieve the corsage. A.J. and I stood on the cement walk, a little apart from the rest of the excited families, and watched Handrew strolling in the distance. At this point you might think that, with my brother about to get engaged, I would be reminiscing about our childhood or something, maybe with a few tears in my eyes. However, here’s what was actually going through my head:
“The weatherman said it was supposed to be 55 degrees today, and it’s less than forty—somebody needs to have a look at that guy’s license. Do weathermen have licenses? I need to google that. They’re still walking—Hannah seems to be really cruising. Hope that won’t mess Andrew’s speech up; “Will you marry me?” won’t sound as good if he’s panting. William! Get away from the water! He’s going to fall in, I know it, and we’ve only brought two changes of clothing for him. Ah, he’s about to step in those soggy pretzels! Mom, grab him! Tanya is going to slip on that mud and fall if she doesn’t stop running. She already got a black eye this morning from slipping on the barn floor, and that’s going to look just lovely in the group photographs in a few minutes. I should not have worn my hair down! I took the time to curl it and everything, but what good is that when there’s a young typhoon kicking up on the pond? Oh my goodness, they’re stopping!! Is he--? Nope, I think Hannah’s got some gravel in her shoe. They’re moving on now. Shoes—I wish I hadn’t worn these new boots today. I have to inspect every inch of ground before I step, in case I put my foot in something. Wait—wait, they really have stopped now, right next to the row of arbor vitae. They’re deep in conversation, I can tell. This is where I need to look away and give them their privacy. Right, privacy. But everyone else is looking—Mom’s got the zoom on her camera and everything! Okay, look away. Say, J, isn’t that a neat barn over there? They grow corn too, obviously. Sneak peek back at Handrew—heavens, he’s on one knee!! I am not looking, I am not looking. Concentrate on that weather vane—is it a rooster or a horse? Can’t tell at this distance, with the wind whipping it like a marry-go-round. Marry-go-round, get it? I wonder if he’s using her full name—he said he would. What if she says no? I can’t think of any reason why she would, but, still.... You say they’re done? Did she say yes? Well, I wasn’t looking! Much. Did he put the ring on her finger? You couldn’t see? They’re coming back! Gotta hurry over there with the corsage...”
Something like that, anyway. Of course, Hannah did say yes, to Andrew’s immense relief, and he did put the ring on her finger. And it fit (guess who clued Andrew into Hannah’s ring size?). I gave Hannah the traditional future-sister-in-law-post-engagement hug, and we celebrated by taking a lot of pictures (and I do mean a LOT of pictures!) and by having a tasty meal in the restaurant, accompanied by a full orchestra, roses raining from the ceiling, and rainbows drifting hither and thither about the room. At least, Andrew and Hannah heard and saw these phenomena, apparently. I was not priviliged to witness them, but I did enjoy a mean cup of broccoli-cheese soup. For all of you who are not engaged, Hannah reports that you do feel different after the experience—mostly, you feel heavier, principally on the left hand. We finished off the evening with ice cream (Andrew’s treat!).
So they’re now officially engaged, and free to plunge into the maelstrom of wedding planning. Congrats, you two!