It was a beautiful Tuesday afternoon in June.
I had just survived the second day of a four-week, seven hours a week, writing workshop that I had to commute an hour each way to get to. I was sitting by my computer organizing the “homework” I had for the evening–prioritizing the writing against the reading against my final writing presentation work.
I was really, really tired.
As usual, Cort came over shortly after I got home.
“You know,” he said as he walked through my door into my teeny house, “we never take walks anymore. Let’s take a walk.”
“Um, I take a walk almost every day. YOU never take a walk WITH me anymore. And no. I don’t want to take a walk. I am tired. This 9-hour a day commute/class thing is tough. My body hasn’t adjusted yet.”
“Come on. Let’s take a walk. It’s so nice out and you’ll feel better.”
“Dude. Really. No. I don’t want to. Can’t we just hang out here?”
“Yeah, but I want to take a walk with you. Come on. COME ON.”
I will save you all the time, but this back and forth went on for more than five minutes. Finally, I agreed.
I stomped crabbily into my tiny room and pulled off my clothes from the day to change into athletic shorts and a t-shirt. I pulled on socks and found my sneakers in a pile in the corner of the room. I didn’t stop my grumbling even to pull my hair into a pony tail.
As I was sitting on the floor in the living room, crabbily tying my shoes, I looked up to Mr. Happy Take A Walk Pants and got even more annoyed.
“You’re not even wearing walking clothes. You’re wearing jeans. You hate to take walks in jeans. You always bitch whenever I get you to take a walk with me and you’re wearing jeans. Are you even serious about this? Why do you want to take a fracking walk in jeans?”
“I’m fine. Really. This will be totally fine.”
“Whatever. This is stupid. But I’m going. See? Are you happy? Let’s go already.”
He opened the door for me and I stormed past him determined to make our 2-mile route go super quick…and make him wish he wore walking shorts…or didn’t make me do this.
As our shoes crunched down the gravel of my driveway and we turned on to the road, he tried to make small talk. He mentioned something about getting a shipping notification about the new computer he had ordered me and how it would be here within the week.
I just grunted and kept walking.
We paused at the corner while we waited for cars. He was still talking. I was still ignoring. I’m good at being crabby and pouty.
I had to admit it was a nice day. Of course, I didn’t admit it out loud.
I lived in a nice neighborhood and we had mapped out a 2-mile stretch that took us down to the deadend of my road, over a really beautiful wooden footbridge, up a hill past the ice cream place, down into another neighborhood, down a large hill into yet another neighborhood, and out onto the road we cross at the beginning of the walk and back to my tiny house next door to my grandparents’ place.
They own the little house where I lived for four years and they only charged me $200 a month. Plus my grandpa came over and fixed things anytime they needed fixing. The roof, the toilet, anything. He even mowed my lawn. It was a great deal for a single gal right out of college.
Cort and I had started dating just nine months prior. By the time of this story we had fallen into a comfortable routine of seeing each other almost daily.
But back to the walk at hand.
I was still pretty pissy about the whole thing as we approached the footbridge.
About halfway across he stopped to tie his shoe. I walked to the side of the bridge and rested my arms on the rails. There was a bunch of trash in the creek (pronounced “crick” in these parts) down there. It made me more annoyed.
And all I could help thinking was, “Good grief, Cort. Really? Your shoes are untied? Maybe if you wore your good walking shoes this wouldn’t happen. Or better yet, if we were watching TV at my house? Your shoes wouldn’t be on and we wouldn’t have to worry about this at all. Stupid walk…”
“Hey Kate?” Cort said, interrupting my inner monologue of crab.
“What?” I demanded as I turned around.
And there he was. On one knee with a ring.
“If you’re not doing anything next summer, wanna get married?” He asked with a goofy grin on his face.
“SHUT UP! IS THIS FOR REAL?”
And then we laughed because I always said I would never, ever say either of those two things when he proposed. Because, duh.
I put the ring on my finger, and burst out crying. I was saying yes and apologizing for being the world’s biggest bitch.
He just laughed, “I almost didn’t do it. You were one more grump away from me calling it off and putting the ring back in my truck until a less crabby time.”
I just smiled shyly at him.
“Oh,” he continued, “and we don’t have to continue the walk. We can go back home.”
And then he took my hand, and we slowly wandered back to my little house, excitedly talking about how we couldn’t wait to tell everyone.
We were getting married.
Don’t forget about my giveaway over here for a Babies R Us gift card.