Hey there! I'm Linda! I was born and raised in Maine, spent the last 6 years in Portland, and now call the Boston area my home!
Most days you can find me playing on the floor with my daughter, writing love letters to my husband, and reading with a cup of tea!
I am mostly known for being able to find all the things my husband has lost, making as much food as I can from scratch, my obsession with chips and salsa, and my mad organization skills.
As a wedding photographer, I love love stories. I love to hear about them and the excitement of it all. So often I’m asked about me and Steven and our story (it was quite the fast whirlwind!), so here I am, sharing our story from the moment I actually noticed him, to when we said “I do!”
Okay, so I know I said there were only two more weeks left, but then I decided that we should hear from Steven at one point during this whole series! So, today’s post is brought to you by Steven and is sharing his take on the proposal!! Enjoy!
Where does one even start with a proposal story? Do I start the day of the actual proposal? Do I start when I knew Linda was the one? Or do I start many years earlier when I knew that my relationship goal was to find someone I could be with for the rest of my life?
First I’d like to share a disclaimer. My ability to recall accurate timelines has always been pretty poor. I’m going to do my best to make sure these events are in their approximate order. This whole timeline of events is one of the things I’m the least good at. We’ll start closer to the beginning of my time with Linda. I figure the Proposal story ultimately starts with, “How did you know?” Yeah… How did I know? Well, in hindsight I’m not quite sure exactly which qualities of Linda’s were what reeled me in. But I do know I approached every relationship I was in the same way. At the beginning, very early on I would ask myself, “Is this someone I think I could spend the rest of my life with?” I was sure that I could do that with Linda.
It must have been some combination of how hardworking she is, and how motivated, and smart, and how attracted to her I was. Now I want to interject a second here and maybe take a smidgen of the magic out of this moment. I’m not the type of person who believes in a soulmate. I’m the logical statistical type of person. There are seven billion people in the world, it is so incredibly unlikely that the person you find is the only person in the entire world you could spend the rest of your life with. I went into my relationships knowing there were probably going to be others, I may or may not ever meet them, but of course I had to have a partner that I would be happy with for the rest of my life!
So in a nutshell, I basically “knew” before it had really been too long. Had I been unconvinced about the life spending thing, I wouldn’t have kept seeing Linda after the first one or two times we talked. I almost immediately started figuring out what I had to do for a proposal when the time came.
I fantasized about expensive rings, over the top proposals (the things of youtube legends!), and rather or not she would say yes. I came to learn and realize a few things.
Next was figuring out what I wanted to do exactly. I knew it should involve Acadia National Park, and I knew it should involve sunsets. The first time we hung out we drove all the way to Acadia National Park from Bangor just to go to the beach and look at the stars for half an hour. This is a special place for us. I also knew that Linda loves sunsets. So I wanted to do the proposal around a sunset. I also knew that I had always wished I could play or sing a song for someone special at some point in my life.
This was mostly a foolish desire. I had always said, “If there was any one thing in the world I am the absolute worst at, it’s anything music related.” So anyway, I did what I do (make a questionable decision) and decided on a song that could both ask Linda to marry me, and be cute at the same time. How did I land on “All I want is you” by Barry Louis Polisar? Well I’m not sure. But it was simple, and cute, and asked someone to marry me all in the same package!
Next step was get permission. I didn’t know how this was going to. For those of you who don’t know Linda is a CODA. This means both her parents are deaf. This also means they can’t hear me. To put this into perspective for you: When I’m in a job interview and they ask the, “What’s your biggest weakness” question, my answer is always the same. Language Barriers. I don’t remember exactly where I was at this time in my life, but I found some time to head to her parents house. Using a paper pad and a pen, (because my ASL was weak, and still is!) I asked for and received permission to marry Linda! Yay! Anxiety producing hurdle number one has been overcome!
Next steps are: Learn to play guitar so that I can serenade Linda. Pick out ring.
I’d been browsing Brilliant Earth for what felt like years, but realistically was probably only a handful of months. I think I heard about it from JoAnna, (first girlfriend). So I knew that’s what I was into and wanted to get for Linda. What I learned shortly is that the prices I had been seeing were all pre-diamond. At that point in time you went through all these ring design steps and got a “price” but it was all before the diamond was added. When I realized that the diamond doubled the price of the ring, I was like, “uhh…. Nope!” I love things. I’ll be the first to tell you I’m a closet consumer even though I try not to be. But something like a ring is so special yet so NOT utilitarian. So I looked for something more simple and elegant, that was also more affordable. Dropping thousands of dollars on a ring, “just because” is not my style, and I was pretty sure it wasn’t really Linda’s style either.
After consulting a friend of Linda’s, we went out and browsed and picked out what felt like the perfect combination of reasonable price, pretty, and meaningful. You’ll have to ask Linda how she feels about it today! (For the record, I still LOVE my ring to this day! – Linda)
Where are we now? Of course, the final phase. The hardest and most difficult thing I’ve ever tried to do. I always thought playing guitar would be difficult because where do I put my fingers? But, it turns out placing my fingers was not as difficult as I anticipated. Oh, by the way I have to take a second here to shout out to my coaches and guitar supplier. Big thanks to the Malcolm Clan! Yes, that’s you Herb, Bethany, and Eleanor! Not only did they let me use/borrow a guitar which I carted around with me in my car and tried to practice at times, I got lessons about how to play! What I learned really quickly was not that placing my fingers was super difficult but strumming and making the guitar make the same sounds as the music was exceedingly difficult for me.
So then I practiced, and practiced, and practiced. Never feeling like I was really improving. I’m sure I got a little better. I was feeling anxious to actually propose. I wanted to do it sooner rather than later. Everyone hears stories about people together for years and years before getting married. If that’s what you and your partner want to do that’s awesome, but it wasn’t what I wanted. I wanted to be married! I wanted to be married to Linda! I didn’t want to keep waiting. So I planned a time with her to go to Acadia. I can’t remember if I told her we were going to Acadia or not, but I definitely remember she didn’t know I was going to propose. My car (as many of you know) is exceptionally small. It’s hard to miss a guitar in the back of that thing. Especially when you don’t play guitar.
So I pick Linda up and of course the first question, “Is that a guitar? What’s that doing in here?” I’m pretty sure I just said that I was holding it for a friend or something like that. So we get to Acadia. We arrived pretty late so I had to improvise. I think my original intention may have been to head out onto the beach or hike up somewhere to see the sunset. If you haven’t been, there’s this little pull out called the “Schooner Head Overlook” near the entrance to the park. We pulled up and the sky was already lit with pinks and oranges. I got the guitar out just about as awkward as it could have ever gone. We may have even needed to switch seats because I can’t imagine a guitar fitting well in the driver’s side of my car. (It was definitely already dark when we arrived, and yes we totally switched seats 🙂 – Linda)
At this point I could basically play and strum each chord separately and reasonably clearly. I think I said something like, “So I’ve been working on this a little bit, check it out!” I’d love to tell you, that just like in the movies it all came together right here. That not only did my playing happen naturally and link together, but I had learned how to sing! HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA
Yeah right! I struggled through chords, singing short lines one at a time. I think after the first chorus and verse I basically stopped playing and just sang the song. I could tell Linda wasn’t totally sure if I was proposing, but that she was definitely getting the gist of it. So I finished singing and said some really cute gushy love stuff. I may have even whispered, “sweet nothings,” into her ear. (This is a killer trick I learned from my best friend Calvin Libby!).
Somehow, after my obviously poor performance, Linda decided it was just right. She loved the timing (sunset), the ring (simple, clean, elegant), and the song, (sweet, cute, and different).
And then she said, “YES!!””
Friends, thanks for following along on The Story Of Us! I hope you enjoyed this week’s post from Steven! Come back next week for the next installment!
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