July 6, 2008: Our Engagement

Posted by Amy Evelyn Oden , Sunday, July 6, 2008 4:10 PM

On Sunday, July 6, 2008, when we were still just girlfriend & boyfriend, Patrick took me to the Huntington Gardens in San Marino, CA.  As we pulled into the parking lot, I had no idea what to expect because I'd never been there before.  I got my first glimpse of the beauty of the place - which is extensive - as we strolled a few of the gardens before a lunch reservation.

Patrick, who seemed a bit nervous, had made a reservation (these can be tricky to get on a Sunday!) in the Tea Room for a splendid lunch of tea & scones and a buffet of wonderful things to eat.

We were pleased to have been seated in the back corner, where it was rather private.

Well, it was, until they seated a large group of about eight at the round table next to us.  Unfortunately, this was not this group's first seating.  They had first been placed up in front by the windows.  I don't know why this was such a problem, but this was a very haughty, entitled group of people with a very haughty, entitled ringleader who was making no secret of his displeasure.  I think he said something about a bad smell.

After a huge to-do, they were re-seated next to us.  If we hadn't been so determined to have a lovely day, they might have ruined it entirely, as we were now subject to overhearing the post-kerfuffle debriefing - the gall of the wait staff seating them there and what they might have done had they not been moved.  At one point, we heard the arrogant ringleader proclaim, "First, you give them a chance to make it right, and then you help them make it right."  Such an ass!!  It was all we could do to not burst out laughing.  (And we have quoted this line to each other many times since, always followed by raucous laughter.)

We left there more quickly than intended to escape further nonsense, and spent the afternoon touring the glorious gardens and the museums.

By mid-afternoon we were a bit tired and sweaty (it was a hot July day) and we found a bench in the rose garden...

...which is now our bench, because that's the bench upon which Patrick & I went from being girlfriend & boyfriend to being fiance & fiancee!

As we sat, Patrick talked about the great weekend we were having, the great day we'd had - and then casually (read: nervously) segued into those words that every girl dreams of hearing, "I don't want to spend just today with you; I want to spend every day with you."  And then, reaching into his pocket and producing the princess-cut ruby with antique band ring that I had picked out the last time he was in Oregon, followed it with, "Will you marry me?"

I said, "Of course."

For Patrick's romantic take on the day, click here.