I knew I was going to propose to Erin by mid-2005, but I also knew that the ring was going to have to be special… I couldn’t bear the idea of going in to a jewelry store and buying one… it’s just too… ugh. It’s not like there are any heirlooms in my family, so instead I started to research the wedding ring tradition and all the many various different types of rings from all over the world since it started in ancient Egypt. I’m sure I looked at thousands of different examples, in books, at art museums in New York and different on-line galleries on the internet, and eventually I narrowed it down to a particular style from the Byzantine era. I guess that was maybe the end of 2006?
I started looking through different lots of ancient rings on on-line auctions, and pretty soon I knew exactly what I was looking for: it was a style of engagement ring made of bronze with a man and a woman holding hands carved into the face. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find *exactly* what I was looking for, and enlisted the help of a few antiquities specialists who dealt in ancient Greek and Roman rings. Finally, in mid-2007, a contact-of-a-contact found one, in just about Erin’s size, in precisely the style I had hoped, from around the 5th Century AD.
Unsure of what the right time to propose might be, I carried it in my pocket for about six months. Around December of that year, Erin started to bug me for some kind of ring, something to signify she was taken… and I figured it was probably time to propose. I promised we could get one on our anniversary, and we went to a bunch of stores, but I demurred on every ring she suggested… I think she was kind of disappointed. I still didn’t know exactly how to pop the question… and Erin hates to be the center of attention, and I didn’t want to embarrass her, so eventually it was the end of a long anniversary dinner and drinks… and I took out the ring and asked her to marry me. I didn’t get down on one knee because I knew Erin would be mortified… unfortunately, this is perhaps more than a formality, so your soon-to-be-betrothed knows that you are serious serious, because the exchange went something like this:
Noah: Will you marry me?
Erin: What, right now?
Noah: (suddenly uncertain) Uh, yes. Will you marry me?
Erin: You mean really? Do you have the ring and everything?
Noah: (really nervous now) Uh, yes – I have it right here. Will you marry me?
Erin: Well, yeah; I guess.
So with the immortal words, “well, yeah; I guess,” the deed was done. It’s not like there was really any doubt as to her answer, but still. So stressful.