Thursday, June 25
I've been in Palm Springs all week long and have nothing to show for it except these pictures, darker skin, lighter hair, used phone minutes, an almost finished book and less blank pages in my journal. I guess that's what a vacation is for?
Colin's here working on the almost done refurbished wind turbines and I'm just enjoying the time I can get with him. I'm going back to Texas Saturday morning and he's leaving for Asia soon.
Monday, June 15
I came to L.A. to visit Colin one more time before he goes back to China for a while. On Saturday morning, he told me he had an appointment he couldn't cancel, but after that he wanted to go on a hike since he'd been inside all week. So, he came to pick me up at my friend's house. I had bought a skirt the day before and my friend wanted me to wear it (she knew about the plans and kept them a perfect secret), but I told her "We're going on a hike! I can't wear a skirt!" He was a little late, but blamed it on traffic and I didn't think anything about it. After he picked me up, he kept getting text messages, but I didn't really pay any attention to that either. I noticed his hand was a little clammy, but didn't say anything. I was curious about his "appointment" from the morning, and asked a few questions, but he didn't seem to want to talk about it, so I let that go. If I'd thought about all these things together, I might have suspected something, but I had been trying not to expect anything. I knew that he'd been really busy all week. If he'd waited a weekend, I might have had a few more expectations or suspicions. I'm really glad I was surprised, though!
We got to the park and walked up to a redwood grove that we had been to before. In the middle of the redwood grove, there was a couch, coffee table and rug that someone had brought up. Colin commented about it, wondering what it was. He said it was probably part of some kind of setup for a photo shoot or something. (He really didn't know what it was, but it was good, because it helped to throw me off!) As we kept walking, I saw something else at the corner of the grove and wondered out loud what it was. As we got closer, I made the silly comment out loud "You know what? It looks like someone is going to propose here!" As soon as that comment left my mouth, I realized that it was probably him that was about to do the proposing and I went into a little bit of shock. (He thought I must have suspected something and that was a sarcastic comment, but it wasn't!)
He and his friends had been working on the setup most of the morning. They set up a blanket with a heart shaped carpet of rose petals around it, outlined in Gerber daisies (because I had commented once that they are my favorite!). His guitar was there with long stemmed roses around it and in the middle was a heart shaped rock that he'd found for me on the greenbelt in Austin when he came to visit. Wow!
So, he pulled out the ring box and played Over the Rhine's "I Want You to Be My Love" on the guitar. (That's one of my favorite songs and I gave it to him on a mix CD after we started dating.) Then he said some really great things, but for some reason I can't remember what he said. I was just smiling and smiling. So, he asked me to open the box and then he asked me to marry him. I said "yes" in a kind of high voice and he put the ring on my finger. I'm so impressed with how perfect and unique the ring is!
He also had his friends buy my favorite Korean food: dduk bokki and kimbap plus lots of other tasty things. It was so good, but we couldn't eat much because our stomachs were turning flips. I didn't have my phone with me, but we called a few people from his phone. He had called my parents earlier in the morning to ask my Dad if he could ask me to marry him. He also asked if I wanted to celebrate with people or have time to process it first, which was sweet. I don't think the magnitude had really caught up with me at that point (maybe it still hasn't!). Later on that night, we met up with some friends for wine, cake, and the food we couldn't eat before. It was really nice that he had thought to call up my friends and have them waiting to help celebrate.
I told Colin last night that since I was a pretty happy and even-keeled single person that I thought I would probably just stay that way the rest of my life. Not that I really wanted to, but just because it was usually okay with me. But, this guy has surprised me and swept me off my feet and I am so lucky, so blessed, so happy. I never expected any of this, but I am so thankful that he found me.
Thanks to facebook and text messages, most of you who read this already know my news: I got engaged on Saturday!
I haven't posted much about Colin because I could really go on and on about how great he is and how he surprises me with songs, flowers, cards, sweet words, and just being a thoughtful guy. We met in China about three years ago when he came for a visit from Korea. We met a few other times, but never lived in the same country at the same time. I left China and then he moved there. I got to visit China last year and we hung out a little. I kept thinking I was going to move back to China anytime (but still haven't gotten back!) and he was waiting on me to get back to see if the relationship would work (but I didn't know that).
So, he came back to the States and after a while started calling. After a few calls, he told me about this great girl that he'd met one weekend in China. I was wondering who the girl was, but then as he went on, I got very quiet and realized he was talking about me. Then, he asked me on a date! He's in California and I'm in Texas, so I asked how that was going to work. He told me about his plan for a Skype date. He sent me a webcam, flowers at school, and dinner to my house and we had dinner together over Skype.
Not too long after that, a friend of mine asked me if I wanted to join her on a roadtrip to L.A., so I got to spend 5 days with Colin at museums, great restaurants, the beach, and Disneyland. A friend of his gave me a ticket to spend another weekend there a month or so later, and that same awesome friend gave Colin a ticket to come to Austin for a visit. I got to go to Colin's family reunion with him as soon as school was out which was a lot of fun. If we wrote in some embarrassing moments, I think we could make it into another Meet the Parents movie. So, things have progressed very quickly, but the whole time it has felt absolutely right and I have loved every minute.
Tuesday, June 9
You quit your seat in a darkened movie theater, walk past the empty lobby, out the double glass doors, and step like Orpheus into the street. And the cumulative force of the present you've forgotten sets you reeling, staggering, as if you've been struck broadside by a plank. It all floods back to you. Yes, you say, as if you'd been asleep a hundred years, this is it, this is the real weather, the lavender light fading, the full moisture in your lungs, the heat from the pavement on your lips and palms - not the dry orange dust from horses' hooves, the salt sea, the sour Coke - but this solid air, the blood pumping in your thighs again, your fingers alive. And on the way home you drive exhilarated, energized, under scented, silhouetted trees.(from Annie Dillard's Pilgrim at Tinker Creek)
I remember this really resonating with me the first time I read it, and it seems right to post it now. Not only because I'm lacking in posts lately but because it's summer - the time to spend a few hours holed away in a cold movie theater and then emerge to feel the real weather, and the excitement of reality. The best movies are the ones that draw you in so entirely that you forget about real life for a while, but when you re-emerge back into reality, you're energized to think about it in a new way.