OK so this is a tough one to write about.
Have you ever lied about something by mistake and then sort of just had to go with it?
No? Well that’s lucky. I have.
It’s because of a freak accident. A series of events that culminated in something too hard to take back.
It turned into me accidentally proposing to my girlfriend, now wife. Well sort of wife. We’re separated.
You’re probably wondering how you can accidentally propose. Well I’m going to tell you, and without a word of lie this is what happened.
I had been with Rachel for 3 years. We didn’t live together yet, but I was seriously considering asking her to move in. We already spent most nights with each other and were forking out money for rent on two places, and that seemed silly.
Things with us were good, and yeah it wasn’t exciting all of the time, but it was good. You know what I mean? The sort of good where you spend 90% of the time thinking about what you guys will do the following weekend, and 10% wondering whether you still had it, and could pull the pretty bar tender serving you beers.
Rachel hadn’t explicitly mentioned that she wanted to get married and we’d never had a serious conversation about it. At 25 it’s not something you think about too often, but I did know that she idolized her parents relationship and they had married early. They were one of those weird couples that are so in love that they fall asleep together every night on the couch watching TV, and are completely content you know?
So how did I end up accidentally proposing?
We were out for lunch. We were eating on Collins Street, the Paris end which is a wanky way to allude to the fact that there are some expensive clothing and jewelry shops up there. Rachel worked at 101 Collins at that point, and we would often have our lunch breaks together.
It was a beautiful day so we were sitting outside at a table on the street. The sun was shining and we were having a nice time. We’d just been talking about how we actually met at a bar on Collins Street after work one night. We were sitting about 100 meters from where it had all began.
It was just a normal lunch, a normal day. And here’s where the freak accident happened.
Now I know parts of this story because I found out afterwards, from the other guy that was involved. We pieced it together sitting dumb struck at a bar a few nights later after exchanging details when the smoke had cleared.
He was walking down Collins Street. He had a hop in his step and was smiling. He’d just picked out an engagement ring for his girlfriend. He was ready, they were ready. He’d been working up to this point for months, he’d asked her father, taken her sister ring shopping for advice, stolen one of her rings to make sure it would fit and they were flying to Noosa the next week. He had just picked up the ring.
He just kept getting it out and looking at it and smiling. Pulling it in and out of his pocket and admiring it. As he got it out a man bumped into him and he lost site and control of the ring, and it, and the box it was in dropped to the ground.
It landed right next to my foot, and I bent down to get it.
“Hey” I called out to him trying to get his attention to let him know where it landed.
But it wasn’t only his attention that I got. Rachel turned around too. She turned around to see me, holding a beautiful engagement ring looking between her and something off in the distance, off in the direction of the bar that we first met 3 years ago. And she burst into tears.
“I…” I said… I couldn’t say anything. I was looking between her, and the guy standing on the street who was taking in the scene, me seemingly proposing to my girlfriend with his ring.
He was looking between us as though about to say something but didn’t. He was looking at Rachel crying with her hands over her mouth and understood what had happened.
My mouth was open, his mouth was open, and he sort of shrugged in a what the fuck can we do sort of way.
And then my attention turned back to Rachel.
“Yes” she screamed and the tables around us started clapping. The waiter brought out Champagne, the guy walked over and shook my hand and said congratulations, slipping me his business card. The rest I hardly remember, it was phone calls, and Rachel putting photos on Instagram, it was my parents calling, it was her parents calling.
A few days later I was sitting in a bar with the guy, his name is James and he was informing me that I owed him $10K. I told him I’d need a bit of time, and he was really cool about it. I actually ended up inviting him to the wedding, we’re still mates. His marriage is still in tact.
Anyway, that was years ago. Recently Rachel and I were having some problems. She suggested marriage counseling and they said it was a safe, open environment where you can share anything. I shared that story… It wasn’t a safe environment.
As I said I’m separated. We’re working it out, but it seems even white lies can cause massive issues.
Anyway, life can be funny sometimes. Thanks for listening.