~Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Home Sweet Home

As I was leaving work the following night, I complained to my coworkers about my pending kickball game. The pollen count was so high that the ground was slick with yellow dust and billows of pollen blustered through the air. Just standing outside irritated my nose and lungs, much less playing a game of kickball in a grass field. To quote my friend, people were buying meth to make allergy medicine.

Since we had a night game, Abraham offered to get drinks beforehand. Abraham and his roommate began gathering their things as I stood at the door.

"Don't you want your phone?" His roommate called to me.

"No. We're just getting drinks and going to kickball. I don't need it."

"Are you sure?" Abraham asked.

"It's just kickball!"

At the bar I ordered a double gin and tonic. Abraham ordered a pint of porter. A few friends met up with us, presumably because we had a late game. I downed my gin and tonic and looked hungrily at Abraham's beer. I don't even like porter, but I was jealous at the way he was lazily sipping his, without a care in the world.

At one point in the conversation, I made a grab for Abraham's phone. Abraham recoiled.

"Oh hush. I'm just looking at his profile," I said. We have an open-phone policy and frequently look things up on each other's phones when ours is out of reach.

"I thought you didn't need your phone," he quipped.

"I don't. I have yours." I typed away.

When our hour was up, we headed to the kickball field. The gin and tonic (and stolen sip of porter) had diminished my pollen anxiety. I looked at the line-up. I was the first female kicker and the second kicker overall. This was notable because usually the good people kick first... and I'm used to kicking somewhere around last.

"Why am I so high on the kicking order?" I asked Abraham.

"Because you've improved so much this season," he replied.

To be clear, I get zero special treatment on Abraham's team. I kick last. I get shoved to the back of the outfield when our team is losing. But! But, my kicking had been getting better. I'd been consistently advancing runners or sacrificing for the run. I wasn't going to look a gift horse in the mouth. The one game I played this season, I played well. I was going to kick second!

We were playing my old team, and I was in a good mood. We always have fun when we play each other. Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zero's "Home" began playing; it was my turn.

The Leader pitched the ball to me. Ball. I didn't like the second throw. Strike. The third throw I bunted and made it safely to first base. On the base I danced a jig.

"It's my first time this season on first!" I called out.

I looked at the first baseman. Standing awkwardly next to me was Clemson. He had lost even more weight.

The Leader pitched to the next kicker. More balls. The kicker got walked! I excitedly trotted to second base.

"It's my first time on second!" I called.

"Sarah, go to third!" my team shouted at me from the sideline.

There is a rule that a pitcher cannot purposely walk a male kicker to get to a female kicker to try to get her out instead, so any time a man is walked and a woman is next in the line-up, she automatically gets walked as well.

I pranced to third. This was a fun game!

"It's my first time on third!" I squealed. It never got old.

The third base coach told me that there were no outs so I didn't have to run unless it was a good kick. The next girl kicked toward third. I stayed.

"Now the guy is going to kick deep. Make sure you tag up if the ball is caught," I was instructed.

The ball was indeed kicked deep into the outfield. It dropped to the ground. I ran for home.

As I ran for home, Abe ran in front of the plate and blocked me, just as I did when we first met. Then he dropped down on one knee and held up a poster that read WILL YOU MARRY ME?

But April Fool's Day was last week? I thought, confused.

Then I saw the ring, The big, beautiful, shiny ring. That's how I knew this moment was real.

I screamed. I was running so fast that I had to windmill to stop. And then I burst into tears.

So I am the kind of girl who cries when she's proposed to, I thought.

It was not a pretty cry with a single, solitaire tear running down my cheek, not smudging any of my makeup. Truth is, I wasn't wearing any makeup. I didn't even put my hair up nicely. I was supposed to just be playing kickball!

I stood there with my hand over my mouth, doubling over at the waist and crying a cry that sounded more like a grieving honk. Abe stood up and awkwardly hugged me because it was obvious that I need some amount of consoling.

"Is that a yes?" he finally said.

"YES!" I cried. My nerves were shot. "I'm so glad I had that gin and tonic!"

Both teams cheered. I looked around. Several video cameras were going. Someone honked an air horn. The song had been changed to Bruno Mars' "Marry You." A member of my team handed me a bottle of champagne...

Wait? They knew?

Abraham had planned everything. He approached The Leader and told him the plan months ago before the season even started. Together they picked a night and a time for us to play each other. Abraham said he wanted to do it in front of my old team because we were all friends. Lawyered stood in the outfield and clapped.

Abraham coordinated the plays. It turned out I wasn't as good at kickball as I thought. They let me on first. The Leader was instructed to walk the guy after me to push me to third base safely. The other guy was told to kick deep so I could trot home.

But I'm not that great at kickball, so I never trot when I have a chance to score.

The time Abraham refused to go running with me was because he was coloring the poster board. The nights he played racquetball, he had been ring shopping beforehand.

Abraham's roommate reached in her pocket and handed me my phone. "I thought you might want this," she smiled.

"My phone!" I cried.

"When you grabbed my phone at the bar, I panicked," Abraham told me. "When you left your phone at home, I posted to Facebook that there was a big surprise tonight. I was worried you were going to see it."

AND THEN THE GAME STARTED OVER AGAIN. The fake plays didn't count. My run didn't count. I even made sure my foot was on home plate when I said yes. For naught!

I was so distracted during the game that my special treatment had ended. I was once again placed in the back of the outfield. I was literally staring at my ring when the ball was kicked toward me. Someone else had to get it.

I didn't know the final score until two days later. We lost. But as the ref explained to me when he restarted the game and my run didn't count, I had already won.

35 comments:

MissM said...

***APPLAUSE***

A said...

Perfect.

Diary of Why said...

WOW! Wonderful.

Tex In The City said...

Every girl in my office is "Awww"ing as I read this out loud.

Englandia... said...

There better be a freaking photo coming soon of the ring :)

SO HAPPY FOR YOU!!!!!!

Annie said...

YAYYYYYYY! finally the story!! so flipping cute!!

Danielle said...

Great engagement story!! Fitting for you two.

katielookingforward.com said...

AHHHHHHH!!!! Best engagement story ever! Congratulations!!! SO SO SO Happy for you!!!!

Breeza said...

SO happy for you!!! Congratulations!

marie said...

AWWW, YAAAAYYYYY!!
That was perfect!

obx said...

Yay!!! Mazel tov! So happy for you, Sarah!

Dawn said...

I screamed!!!! I literally screamed. My dog jumped out of his fur, leaped onto my lap, and thought I was dying.

I'M SO DAMN HAPPY FOR YOU!!!

I mean, yeah, you knew it was coming... but how freakin' sweet of a proposal is this??? LOVE! LOVE! LOVE!

And as Englandia said (hi, U!!!!), you must show the ring. Tomorrow's good. Thanks.

xoxo

M said...

CONGRATS!! I have read your entire blog from the beginning, so I am so happy for you :) :)

as said...

This was easily the sweetest proposal ever and SO well thought out, made me tear up and smile that stupid giddy smile one gets when the proposal comes! Congratulations and so very, very, happy for you and deserve it more than anyone else!

Readyandfading said...

Mr. Wonderful worked!!!!!!! I AM SO HAPPY FOR YOU!!! Yay for you!!! This is the BEST thing EVER. WHHHHHOOOOOOOOTTTTTTT! And of course, dying to see the ring photos, too. This is such a happy ending. You deserve nothing but the very best and you are a true inspiration.

cd0103 said...

Well played Abraham! Congratulations to you both. I love he didn't do the traditional "romantic" night out gesture.

Angela said...

Love it!!!!! Definitely a great way to surprise you. That is so lovely.

Mummy Dearest said...

Score!
Xoxo

Lpeg said...

I love reading happy endings like this :) And it was fun reading it from Abe's point of view, too!!

Congratulations!!!

musingsfromtheashes said...

I know we aren't friends in "real life" but this made me well up. Congratulations to you both! The first thing I've read since I swanned into work and it was totally worth it!!! Such a beautiful surprise! x

faery-whisper said...

Congrats! I'm so happy for you both!

faery-whisper said...

Congrats! I'm so happy for you both!

Rose said...

I've been reading every post of yours in the past few weeks thinking, "Is this the one where he proposes?!" I had a hunch... this is perfect. Just perfect.

Erin said...

Congrats!!! That was such a sweet proposal!

Miss Chevious said...

Congratulations! What a fantastic proposal story. I'm so happy for you and Abe!

Rose said...

Congratulations! I am so happy for you both! What an awesome story you will one day tell your kids *sigh* *tear* *sigh*

p.s. this must be our year - I got engaged in March!

I guess you'll have to change the name of your blog now *grin*

much love,
prettylittletangents

Juanita said...

Yay, Sarah! By the time I reached the end, I was grinning. I'm so happy for you, congratulations!

Bathwater said...

i don't think there is any reason to read here anymore (but I will), this is the ending of your book. the final lines in a story we all kept routing for. congradulations.

propertyofj said...

LOVE!!

TC said...

He got it just right. Congratulations! This has been a long time coming, but it seems like everything along the way was worth it. Maybe that's easy for me to say, but it seems that way anyway. So happy for you.

Dateafrenchman said...

How wonderful! Congratulations!!! Really happy for you both :)

D said...

LOVE! I read this post about 10 times. Such a good story! You deserve every inch of that win!

Arwen said...

Yes! Awesome! Congrats!

Mannie said...

I was wondering when he was going to pop the question. Congratulations to both of you!

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