Updated: Feb 6, 2019
As I mentioned in my last post about our relationship, Ravi and I met and started dating in October of 2015. He met my parents on our way home from our first trip to Portland on November 1st. I moved in with him around Thanksgiving.
We're frequently asked about whether his family accepted me. Initially, his parents were hesitant. Jersey Shore and the like did nothing good for the reputation of American women in the global community. Everyone had concerns about whether American women respect the sanctity of marriage, respect their elders, or have morals. It took a long time for his parents to understand me and my family.
We're the type of people that have family meals and take our shoes off at the front door. We've been exposed to other cultures and ways of expressing respect. We're a close-knit, affectionate family. I don't come from a broken home. My parents were both military, so we're on the more conservative side. I had a great upbringing.
I remember our first Thanksgiving together, Ravi liked the stuffing so much (it was Stovetop), mom assigned that dish to him. Most dishes at our holiday table are assigned. We make green bean casserole every year, in the traditional condensed soup way, because it's dad's favorite- that's his dish. Mine is mashed sweet potatoes with pecan crumble baked on top. So, forevermore we will have stuffing at the table for Ravi. It was his first American family Thanksgiving, so I think that made it extra special.
Christmas came and my mom asked what Ravi wanted as a gift. He didn't even know how to answer because he hadn't really had a family Christmas before. He ended up having just as many presents under the tree as the rest of my family. He got a 3 foot stocking, too, and it was full of thoughtful trinkets and Kit Kats- his favorite.
My parents accepted him immediately. They didn't hesitate when we told them we were moving in together. It's as if they felt exactly what I felt about him. His parents warmed up to the idea of me around this time.
I was ready to marry him in December, the day after Christmas. I dropped every hint from then. I made my ring size available, slowed down to eye the diamonds in the shop windows. It was quick, but I was very sure what I wanted.
I started researching his mother's religion at the time, Brahma Kumaris. She doesn't speak English enough for us to communicate freely, and I obviously don't speak Gujarati, so I sought out the only avenue to connect with her. There's a center in Redmond, even, and he hadn't known. I immediately signed up for courses. That seemed to make her very happy.
I made an attempt at learning Hindi, but I struggled. I still struggle with Hindi. Even when I learn something, I don't know how to apply it. I really wanted to be part of their family.
Months went by. In May, he and I went to San Diego together for Memorial Day. This was a time in our life that we were drinking heavily and blowing a lot of the money we earned, which I'm not proud of. I drank a bit too much and let him know that I had expected a proposal this weekend. I even got on the plane, thinking about what cute way someone could propose on a plane. "I'd never propose to you in a city that means nothing to us," he told me.
I'd given him tickets to watch Lionel Messi play for Argentina at the Copa America match at CenturyLink Field in Seattle. The match was on 14 June, 2016. I'd grown very impatient by this time. I discussed proposing to him with my mom. I figured if he wouldn't, then I would. She never told me not to, but she did suggest that I shouldn't take that day away from a man.
We'd gone to CenturyLink to watch the Haiti vs. Peru match on June 4th. I got a terrible migraine and really needed to go home, but he really wanted to visit the VIP area. He said "maybe I can meet Messi next week- no harm in asking, right?" I sat in the waiting area, trying not to be sick.
He came out looking just slightly disheartened and took me home.
A few days later, while I was at work, he texted me, asking to dinner that weekend at the Space Needle. As I wondered what I would wear, he texted me again: "There's no reservations available this weekend. Let's go Monday." I guess he really wanted to go to the Space Needle.
Monday came, we got dressed up and drove down to Queen Anne. Nothing was totally abnormal. We valet parked, the sun was shining.
We entered the elevator that goes up to the restaurant. I remember wrapping my arms around his waist, under his jacket. He pulled away suddenly. I thought I felt a box, but I chastised myself for that thought. If he hasn't done it all these time you've expected it, don't get your hopes up.
We ordered a couple glasses of wine and watched the scenery on rotation. The discus part of the Space Needle turns so you can get a 360 degree view. It's really beautiful on a sunny day. We ordered our meals, held hands, and did all the romantic flirting that young couples do. He gave me a hundred compliments that night.
I don't remember what we ordered. The meal was good. I think the experience was the most valuable part. It's iconic. The view was stunning.
After we ate, I went to visit the ladies room. I'd heard somewhere that it had a big window in the bathroom like at the Columbia Tower. Nope.
When I returned, a waitress swiftly carried a bowl to the table in front of me, overflowing with dry ice smoke. Perched on top was a black box holding a full karat, classic cut solitaire diamond ring in white gold.
He dropped to one knee beside me as I sat in shock. He talked about our relationship, our friendship. He asked me to be his wife. And I said yes.
They had stopped the rotation of the needle for us. The view outside went on forever. Over a hundred people in the restaurant were fixated on us, but I felt like we were the only two people in the world. I cried a little bit, as I do.
Turns out, he was going to propose to me at the Argentina match. He wanted the cameras to show it on the scoreboard and met with officials for weeks trying to set it up. That day at CenturyLink when I was sick was the last meeting. They'd finally told him no, since it was unsafe for the eyes of security to be off of the high-profile players.
We attended the match together, newly engaged. It was an awesome way to celebrate. We had great seats. Argentina won 3-0!