It was a Race to the Proposal.

Friday, November 23, 2018: That’s the day we both bought engagement rings for one another.

Here’s the twist.

Neither of us knew the other was buying an engagement ring on the very same day. Both of us had parted ways during the Thanksgiving holiday that year to visit our respective families. We both were on a mission to find an engagement ring for our to-be fiancée. We also both wished to be accompanied by our moms/families when ring-hunting.

The morning of November 23rd, my family and I went to Diner 22 for breakfast. What was once a railroad car, the diner’s tables were packed together with the backs of chairs touching. With elbows bumping, we all slurped several cups of Joe and guzzled down buttery omelettes, juicy sausages, and jellied toast. Feeling giddy, we headed out in the sleet to Moyer Jewelers in State College, Pennsylvania. This store was my mother’s recommendation. Owned by a woman in a male-dominated industry, the store had recently started a store-wide sale due to the owner retiring. Meanwhile, Maya and her mother drove around Livingston, New Jersey for a few errands before ending up at Walter Bauman Jewelers, also a recommendation from her mother. Were we on the same wavelength that day without even knowing it? Hmmm… there’s more.

C3’s older sister during the sleety ring-hunt

When Maya arrived at Bauman’s, she shared with a salesperson what she was looking for: a white-gold band that men typically wear with the possibility of adding a design for some flair. After browsing a small selection of rings because it was the “men’s” section, Maya quickly narrowed it down to two rings. She tried them on, looked at herself in the mirror, trying to imagine which one I would most appreciate. Soon thereafter, she had a gut-feeling. That was her sign for which ring to purchase. Meanwhile, at Moyer’s, I also shared with a salesperson what I was looking for: a white-gold ring with the possibility of a row of embedded diamonds. After browsing a small selection of rings because the store was voluntarily going out of business, I also quickly narrowed it down to two rings. My older sisters each took one ring and tried them on so I could see how they’d look on someone else. One of my sisters decided to sign while wearing the ring since Maya primarily uses sign language to communicate. Once my sister picked up her hands to sign, tears welled up in my eyes. I could see Maya right then and there, wearing that ring. That was my cue for which ring to purchase. We made our decisions and left the store, both heading back to our respective childhood homes with our moms/families.

I repeatedly opened the ring box, marveling at the braided rows of diamonds and imagining the day I’d kneel down in front of the love of my life.

Maya’s engagement ring

Maya continuously clutched onto the ring box, bubbling with excitement and and imagining how she would pop the question to her one and only.

C3’s engagement/wedding ring

When we reunited after the Thanksgiving holidays and for several months thereafter, we danced around the topic of engagement. However, we omitted from sharing that either of us had a ring secretly stowed away upstairs and were both scheming up proposal plans! We left it up to the element of surprise.

If you’d like to know who beat the other to the punch in proposing, it’s on Youtube! You also could check out another blog post, A New Way to think about Engagement Proposals, sharing why our engagement story turned out the way it did.

Taken on the day we married
Jubilantly posing in front of the U.S. Supreme Court, exactly 5 years after gay marriage became federally legalized

Maya wished for a second ring that would be more modest and simpler for every-day wear. You can see this ring in our marriage pictures, a simple white-gold wedding band on Maya. We bought this ring together at Walter Bauman’s several months after being engaged. Our marriage story is in another blog post titled, Let me tell you a thing or two about imperfect perfections.

Have at it.

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