January 18, 2010
It flooded on Martin Luther King Day this year.
This was the Monday that the weather freaked out. It was also a holiday. Chris and I poured over movie times online before selecting the new Michael Cera movie, Youth in Revolt. Then we braved the storm to Fashion Valley.
When the movie let out, and we stepped outside the theater, it was Noah’s flood reenacted outside. Apparently Fashion Valley sits on U-shaped pavement and all the water collects in the center. Three steps out and water was seeping through my shoes already. We tried going to another level, in hopes the flood wasn’t as bad. It was worse. We hopped from storefront to storefront, even though our shoes and socks were already soaked, and the water was creeping up to our knees.
We ended up stuck outside a corner storefront. Ahead of us was more flood. Chris looked up at the sign and brightened. “Hey… want to look at rings while we wait out the rain?”
We had never done anything like that before. The whole marriage idea had been in talks for a few months at that point, but it was still a distant idea, at least as far as I was concerned. So a surprise ring-looking excursion was new.
It was also fun, because the store we were standing outside of was Tiffany’s.
So we walked in. Us, the drenched to the skin mall kids. Us, pretty much the only ones left in the entire mall because everyone else was smart enough to get out of there before the flood. And I tried on my first diamond ring. It was gigantic and sparkly.
Up to that point, I hadn’t thought about rings. I figured, my amazing boyfriend was going to pony up all that money, he should be the one to pick it out. But I discovered that there are a lot of rings I hated. And only a few (very few) I really liked.
That night Chris and I got online and pulled up the Robbins’ Brothers website. We picked out about four rings we both liked, and Chris said he would set up an appointment for the next day, after he got off work and after I met with my advisor at National for the first time. He was going to print out the rings we’d liked and take them so they could pull those ones out for us.
My National meeting ran late, so Chris had already been there for about forty-five minutes when I finally showed up. For the next hour or so we walked around from case to case. Every time we found a ring we liked better than the original four, we swapped it in, until the end when we had two rings left.
They were similar to this:
The only real difference was that the one I liked better had a bit wider band at the top then the one Chris liked better. I told him that if he actually did get me one of those rings, I wouldn’t be able to tell the difference without seeing both of them together.
We met with a diamond-ologist (totally making that word up right now) in a little private room, and Chris went over all this diamond knowledge he had with the guy. I sat back and nodded like I knew what we were talking about. Soon after Chris dismissed me from the room. Really. He sat back, looked at me, and said, “Okay, you’re dismissed now.”
I drove home in a very confused frame of mind. Were we getting engaged? What was he doing talking to the jeweler alone? Was he buying me an engagement ring at that moment?
And all because it flooded on Martin Luther King Day.