Story time! In an effort to get my mind away from the banalities of life (ie, work, selling a condo, work, chores, work…), I have decided to share the happiest day of my life… thus far. And no, it’s not my wedding day (although it’s up there!).
The happiest day of my life happened two and half years ago in a land far far away (cue Star Wars theme music). It was an approximately 21 hour flight, with two stop overs, and plenty of turbulence. We crossed the Rocky Mountains, the Pacific Ocean, the South China Sea, and eventually landed in one of the most cliché tourist destinations in the world, Bali.
Prior to Bali, Mr. Ness* and I were not considering marriage. Ok correction: I wanted to get married, but he didn’t, which caused me to accept the fact that we would forever be in a common-law partnership. At the time, I was happy with that decision. I let go of the fact that we needed a “piece of paper” to demonstrate our love for each other. As long as we were together, we were happy. So, coming to Bali, I had no idea what was in store for us.
The first week in Bali was magical. There’s something to say about vacationing with your significant other. By forming new experiences, leaving stresses from work behind, and, most importantly, not being able to constantly use cell phones, it created the perfect environment for sincerity and affection. (Sorry to sound sappy, but it’s true.)
Between the surfing and rice paddies, Ness asked me, “If we got married, would you change your last name?” I said yes, but didn’t ask why. I’ve learned from earlier in our relationship that it’s best not to talk about marriage. But the topic kept coming up. We talked more and more about marriage to the point where one day we were eating lunch at a French restaurant and it was decided: we were serious about getting married. I cried.
To make a long story short, let’s fast forward to a hot and sunny Friday in Ubud, which is located in the centre of Bali, and is the epicenter of Balinese temples and yoga. After a fantastic day of booting around in a scooter, and visiting the monkey forest, Ness told me to “wear something nice” for dinner that evening. We ended up back at the French restaurant where I had that happy but embarrassing crying session a few days prior. Ness was oddly suspicious that evening: grinning for no reason, constantly checking his watch, keeping an eye out for our server. What the hell is going on?
After dinner, Ness told me that he wanted to take the “scenic” route back to our hotel. “Okay, so you don’t want to take a cab back like we always do?” I asked. Nope. He insisted that we walk back. Fine. As we were walking back to the hotel, Ness had this dubious pep in his step. We walked past a beautiful park full of traditional Balinese statues. Ness stopped and looked at the statues, looked at me, then looked at the statues again. We kept walking.
By the time we returned to the hotel, I went straight to the bathroom, as is typically expected of me. I came out of the bathroom with my shorts not even done up, and I saw Ness kneeling there in front of me on one knee. He looked so nervous at that moment, sweat dripping down his forehead. He said to me, “Oh my God, I’ve been kneeling here for so long… Now, I don’t know what to say.” I obviously started to cry. I knew what was about to happen. Something, something, something… “I love you so much and want to spend the rest of my life with you. Will you marry me?” I was crying so much, I barely caught what he was saying. All I remember after that was a big YES! And the rest is history. It was the biggest and naturally the best surprise of my life. And to this day, Mr. Ness never fails to surprise me.
*To preserve our privacy, I changed my husband’s name to Mr. Ness