I always had a vision in my head of how my engagement would go, but when my now-husband decided to propose on a day I got really sick, I learned the hard way that life doesn’t always go exactly the way you plan.
He’d planned every possible detail of the proposal… except me getting sick. My boyfriend waited a whole year so he could propose on the perfect day: a palindrome with significant numbers to our relationship. He hired a ton of people for the engagement to make it extra special for me—a photographer, videographer, decorators, and even an engagement planner. They didn’t come cheap, either.
I felt like crap that day. He’d told my boss months before that I’d need to leave work early. Little did he realize I’d be calling out sick that day anyway. I had a nasty sinus infection and a stomach bug and just felt terrible. Unfortunately, the two illnesses just made each other worse.
It happened on a totally regular day in the middle of the week so I wasn’t expecting it. I didn’t connect the significance of the day at all. I thought it was just a normal day and I just so happened to be sick. In no way was I expecting him to ask me to marry him, which is why I was reluctant when he tried to pull me out of bed and get me into something other than pajamas. Eventually I decided to just go with it because he was so insistent but I was dreaming of going back to bed.
We had to drive down a long winding road to get to the spot where he wanted to pop the question. We’d watched our first sunrise together up in the mountains and overlooking the city. It was this exact spot that he’d always planned to return to and pop the question. This time it was a beautiful sunset we were watching instead, symbolizing the start of a new chapter in our lives. It sounds super romantic… unless you’re sick. Driving through the twisting roads did nothing to help my stomach, which was already nauseous before I even got in the car.
I kept stopping at trash cans on the way because I really thought I was going to puke. One of the worst feelings in the world is knowing you’re going to be sick but it just hasn’t happened yet. An even worse feeling is knowing it’s about to happen in front of the person you love… when you’re about to get engaged (even if you don’t know about it yet).
I didn’t even realize he was proposing until he got on one knee. Until he was down on one knee with an open ring box, I honestly didn’t see what was going on. I caught the glare of something shiny and realized “Wow, there’s actually a ring. This is actually real.” I remember everything being a little hard to process that day. It was a weird mix of pain and euphoria. I wanted to kiss my partner but I also wanted to stay away just in case I puked all over everything.
The adrenaline kicked in and overpowered my desire to throw up. The body is an amazing thing. For a while afterward, I didn’t remember being sick at all. People kept asking me how I felt and I’d tell them I felt great—and I actually meant it. I’d literally felt dreadful all day, but the amount of love and happiness I felt after I said yes to his proposal erased all of that… at least for a while.
Life is all about embracing the unexpected. It’s all a funny story now, one that we love to reminisce about often. It wasn’t how I imagined my proposal to go and my husband feels the same, but hey, that’s life. In the end, I’m glad it happened the way it did. If life played out exactly how we expected it to, it wouldn’t be interesting or fun or worth telling stories about at all!
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