February 5, 1999.
It was a Friday evening. Usually I got together with my gal, whom I was merely dating at the time. However, she wanted to spend this particular Friday night at her parents’ place, so I was on my own for the evening.
Since Ridgedale was the mall closest to my apartment, I decided to walk around and maybe even shop for a Valentine’s Day gift. After browsing around a few places for a half hour or so, I wound up in a jewelry store. Before you know it I was looking at engagement rings. At this point in time, the gal and I had been together for seven months but only recently had discussed marriage. We determined that we would get married in the Summertime since she’s off work for all three months. Since we felt that the Summer of ’99 was a little too soon, we decided we would wait until June/July 2000 to tie the knot. Therefore, it didn’t make sense to become officially engaged until a year before the wedding.
Nevertheless, I saw a ring that would look great on her finger. And since I had just received my tax refund I figured that was as good a time as any to buy it. However, there was the sticking point that was our informal agreement: No engagement until Summer. But since I had the money I decided to just go ahead and buy the ring but keep in my safe until June. Then I got home and just stared at the ring for several minutes. Finally I thought ”Ah, who am I kidding? I’m going to ask her to marry me tomorrow.”
I don’t know how I got to sleep that night.