Today is our 20th anniversary. We were supposed to be camping at Zion, but my tugboat guy had to leave sooner than planned. This should be a short assignment and we’ll celebrate when he returns — but he’s out of cell phone range already so I’ll only get a short call on the sat phone…such is the life of a tugboat captain’s wife.
More to the point, appropriate gifts for the 20th include china and platinum.
Hmmm…good to know for my shopping trip today. Deets later.
“Don’t ask any questions, but get all dressed up and be ready to walk out the door at exactly eight o’clock.”
“What part of don’t ask any questions don’t you understand?” “Just be ready to go.”
I had no idea what was going on, I really didn’t.
My twelve-year-old son already had plans to stay over at a friends house, and while my tugboat man drove him there, I tried on dress after dress, littering the bed with pretty much the entire contents of my closet.
Without knowing WHERE we were going nor having any idea WHY my tugboat guy was acting so mysterious, I figured the solution was to get as dressed up as I could because, in my experience, you can never be overdressed. And I HATE being underdressed. I like to shine, always have, always the princess.
I chose a pretty silk floral dress with a wide belt (1990s ha ha), a wide skirt that fell mid-calf (1990s calling again) and a pair of really high red heels. I have always been passionate about a pop of color.
“ARE YOU READY?? IT’S ALMOST EIGHT 0’CLOCK!”
I’ve never been one of those females who makes her guy late; if you tell me I need to be ready at a certain time, I’m usually ready a few minutes early, so yes, I was fully dressed, made up, perfumed, and really curious.
I wasn’t used to being surprised by my tugboat man; mostly we planned everything together after a lot of discussion.
I mentally ticked off the possibilities. It wasn’t my birthday, it wasn’t Valentine’s Day — the only thing I could think of was that this was somewhere around the time of year that we had our first real date in 1991 and we were going to go out for dinner to celebrate, especially since I learned early in our relationship that my mariner NEVER misses a meal.
I love to cook and bake — he loves to eat — a perfect match, right?
My boyfriend (ha ha, it’s funny to think of my hub as my BF) told me it was time to go NOW.
I opened the front door.
Parked in front of my house was the longest, shiniest stretchiest black limousine I’ve ever seen.
I looked at my tugboat man who was grinning from ear to ear.
“This is just the beginning”, he said.
All the neighbors were outside pointing and waving to us.
I felt like I was in a dream. My first limousine!
After getting settled in with a glass of champs, we drove away, taking a detour to show my son and his friend the limo. My sweet tugboat man had obviously thought of everything.
The boys thought it was totally cool.
I found out later that my son was in on the surprise and had totally kept the secret — in fact, my amazing guy had asked HIS PERMISSION to marry his mom. A lesson to all you guys out there…this is how to do it RIGHT.
I kept asking where we were going and what was going on and my sneaky mariner kept deflecting my interrogation with more champs.
I bet you can tell where this is going, but I was totally clueless. TOTALLY.
We took a drive up and down the coast. I was feeling like a real princess in the back of a limo with my handsome guy.
After a bit of kissing (details are intentionally fuzzy here ‘cos you know how tugboat man hates it when I spill too much on my blog), we were holding hands when he slid away from me and dropped to one knee.
He really did, I swear, just like in the movies.
My mouth dropped open.
It’s like you’ve always daydreamed about something and played the scene over and over in your mind, but you’re still not prepared for the actual feelings that go along with it when it’s REAL and not a DREAM.
That’s what I was feeling.
He was so nervous and took my hand and was saying all these amazingly loving things and I was having a hard time breathing and I was all shaky and couldn’t even hear anything very clearly except when he said, “I love you. Will you do me the honor of marrying me?”
Oh, of course I said YES, a huge YES, and in case you’re wondering, he didn’t have the engagement ring yet, ‘cos he knew I’d want to be a part of the selection process. See how well he knew me even back then? Hee hee.
We ended up at a romantic restaurant on the beach in Encinitas. When we were seated, the maitre d’ brought me a dozen long stemmed red roses that my now fiancé had delivered. I guess he knew I’d say yes, right?
(I don’t remember what we ate except dessert was my very first ever Chcolate Lava Cake, which is now one of my faves to bake for my tugboat guy.)
My guy thought of every single detail to create an unforgettable moment in time.
We drove around a bit more after dinner. When the limousine dropped us off, I was literally walking on a cloud.
We didn’t want the magic to end, so we stayed up the entire night and went for a walk on the beach at 5:00 a.m. to watch the sunrise.
We walked miles that morning. On the way home, we stopped at a little restaurant in Carlsbad and had breakfast.
February 20, 1994
After the ceremony, me In a vintage gown, my tugboat man in a tux, we danced to our song, Nat King Cole’s Unforgettable.
Here we are in 2014, twenty years later, and I’m still the luckiest girl in the world.
Even though my tugboat man is out to sea and I’m alone for our anniversary, I know we are as connected by our hearts now as we were in 1994.
And that’s all that matters.
P.S. Along with the prezzy I’m getting. Just keepin’ it real, y’all!