On September 1st I proposed to my boyfriend, and he said yes! (squeals and hugs self). I had been thinking of doing it for a long time. Like a lot of millennial women I question tradition and how gender roles have and should change as we move forward as a society. I think my constant questioning is what gave me the clarity of mind and freedom to divert from tradition and follow my heart. I proposed for the same reasons men propose to women: I love my boyfriend (now fiance) and I was ready to take it to the next level. I was not only impatient to propose, I also had a really great idea for how I wanted to surprise him.
After a few months of dating, Eric began to reveal his nerdier side, and the more I learned, the more I fell head over heels for him. For example, when he inadvertently revealed his Dungeons and Dragons mini figurines I scolded him for not telling me sooner that he used to play DND, because I had always wanted to try it! Flash forward one year later and we have a regular bi-weekly DND group. Similarly, he reintroduced me to the Magic the Gathering card game. In the fifth grade I had watched in envy the boys playing MtG during study hall, but I didn’t have the courage or monetary support to get into the game at the time.
Magic is a little bit tricky to get started in. The sheer number of rules, cards, and card combinations can be a bit overwhelming. I admit that I actually despised the game for awhile, that is until I hatched a plan to use a Magic card to propose to Eric. Once the idea occurred to me I did some digging and found that someone had actually done this already. Using this online tool, and modelling the card after the example I found online, I was able to create my own proposal card. I used the image file to order it as a custom sticker at Kinkos, and with their friendly assistance I was able to make it look fairly nice. I put the sticker on a basic land card and slipped it into a sleeve to help mask the extra sticker layer.
But there was more to be done than simply playing the card in the middle of a game. First I had to learn how to play the game better, and enjoy the game, so that Eric wouldn’t think something was amiss if I asked to play out of the blue. Being the sweetheart that he is, he bought a dueling deck at Target so that we could play with simpler cards to enable me to familiarize myself with the rules and turn sequences. After about a month of this I asked him if he could help me create a Green/White deck. The White being essential for me to play the custom card I had created. I played with this deck for about a month, and that’s when I started seriously trying to figure out the timing of my proposal.
Needless to say, I was incredibly nervous. What if he said no? Sure, he told me he was ok with a woman proposing, but what if he changed his mind when it actually happened? Also, was I ready? To assuage my fears I tried not to think about it for awhile. When I could think about proposing without qualms, I knew I was ready to move forward. It also helped that he started hinting at proposing himself. That put an extra fire under my butt to try and beat him to it!
Last weekend we traveled to my parents house and I slipped the proposal card into the deck. I had decided that if he asked me to play Magic, I would play the cards and let fate take its course. Except I totally chickened out and brought the other dueling deck along as a backup, which is what we ended up playing with. But that’s ok. The moment wasn’t right yet. It was when we returned to his house at the end of the long weekend I decided “tonight is the night”.
I was in my PJs and doing laundry. I didn’t want to dress up or anything, because that would be out of character and I didn’t want to do anything to raise his suspicions. I suggested we play a game of Magic when he was done putting together a new Lego set, and he said “sure”. In the interim I did my best to take deep breaths and keep my cool. My hands were already shaking and my heart was in my throat, but I managed to maintain a calm demeanor when we finally sat down to play. I had shuffled my cards when he was not looking, and made sure my custom card would be in my first hand. This was the moment I realized I shouldn’t have made the card so darn expensive! 5 Mana – what was I thinking?
On top of that, Eric played Time Spiral, a card that forced me to shuffle my hand back into my library. Well, I cheated and placed the proposal card on my lap. No way was I going to risk not drawing it again. Fortunately, at this point I was able to play Mirari’s Wake, which doubled my mana, allowing me to play my expensive Sorcery. I laughed and said, “I think I just won the game” and threw the card down. Eric was perplexed for a moment, because he is a long time MtG player and knew all, and I mean ALL, the cards. It took him a moment to read the text, and another moment for realization to dawn upon him.
At this point I could no longer contain my nervousness. I leaned forward, with what I’m sure was a pained expression, and said, “it’s OK if you don’t want to answer right now. I can wait.” Which of course wasn’t true at all, but I was so worried that he wasn’t ready yet that I couldn’t help but offer him a way out. Eric smiled at me, made a few jokes about not wanting to mess his deck up by actually shuffling the two decks together, and then said yes. That was when I finally remembered the last step in my plan. I fumbled to open a Ring Pop package and offered it to him to officially seal the deal.
I was still a nervous wreck for about half an hour, and a bit confused about what to do next. I honestly hadn’t planned that far ahead! After my mind calmed down a bit, I finally digested that my plan had worked and that I was truly engaged. We sat down and proceeded to call our families and friends. This was also when I learned that Eric had already confided in his father that he had been planning on proposing soon himself.
It’s still been less than 48 hours since I became officially engaged, but it still feels a little surreal. Sure, I stumbled through my proposal a little awkwardly, but it was authentic and 100% me and I am really, really happy I did it. Congratulations from friends and family have been pouring in, and even if people are momentarily surprised that I proposed, I have received nothing but positive reactions to the news and my method of proposal. So for all you ladies out there that have been considering proposing to your significant others, if it feels right and you have received encouraging signs from your partners, then I say go for it.
P.S. Eric blogged about the proposal on his own website: AGeekCritique.com