These last 10 days have been a dream.
September 15th 2018. Paul and I had been planning a date for a few days. He mentioned wanting to take a drive down the beaches and stop for a drink at a little spot we love called Jimmy B’s. The plan was to leave in time to make the sunset, which is funny since we never end up making the sunset since it usually takes 20-30 minutes to find parking. We were going to watch the sun go down, have a drink or two and head to Cody’s Roadhouse for a chicken salad (our favorite). So, at 7:00pm we hopped in the car and put on a little playlist we like to call – PB&J.
Music has such a way of triggering emotion. If you are anything like me, you can hear the first cord of a particular song and suddenly you’re ripped away from today and are now 14 years old getting ready for the movies with your BFF on Friday night. See, when Paul and I started dating, I didn’t have cable, and when he’d come to visit I always had Pandora on in the background. We listened to the same 25-30 songs over and over again for about 2 to 3 months straight and now… if we hear any of those songs, it brings us right back. PB&J has all of our old jamz and we listen to that playlist ALL – THE – TIME.
We cruised the beach, starting at Indian Shores and made our way down Madeira, Treasure Island and ended up in the middle of St. Pete Beach at our spot. Jimmy B’s is a typical beach bar with a band, half way decent food and tropical drinks with orange slices and those little umbrellas. To most it really is just a bar, but to us… it’s a bit more than that. Jimmy B’s is where Paul and I had our very first date. It’s when I discovered his love for Stella and when he learned how uncomfortable I felt about men paying for me on dates. (I soon got over that). It’s where we walked for hours up and down the beach, getting to know each other and where he kissed me at the car for what felt like hours. Honestly, Jimmy B’s is where I fell for Paul and where I realized that this guy, could be THE GUY.
When we got to Jimmy B’s that night, I started to make my way to the bar when Paul pulled me back and said “Let’s go watch the sunset first, then we can grab a drink” Was this real life? Did we really make the sunset for the first time in our relationship?! How could I say no?
I took my shoes off and walked through the powdery sand, towards the orange and pink sky. We passed a wedding and I stopped to witness the love that surrounded the two as they gave themselves to each other. They said “I do” and my eyes instantly welled with tears. I don’t know why, but weddings, and babies get me every time and this was no exception. The wedding party started to take their pictures so we found a spot to sit down and watch the sunset.
We were trying to guess the names and singers of the love songs that played from the wedding when Paul kissed me.
Have I Told You Lately That I Love You – Rod Stewart
He looked at me and said “It’s crazy that just 2 years ago we had our first date here” He explained how much he loved and appreciated me and I said the same. I saw him wipe a tear from under his sunglasses and my heart grew so much. Watching a man get vulnerable and show emotion, the way Paul has done with me, is something I have always wanted in a partner. Knowing he loves me so much, it brings tears to his eyes… That’s love in its rawest and most unfiltered form and I live for it.
I grabbed his face and kissed him, not wanting to draw attention to the tears I saw. He shifted in his seat and put his hand in his left pocket.
My heart stopped.
It couldn’t be. There’s no way. We just bought a house. He hasn’t hinted that he’s ready. What is happening?
And there it was. A mahogany colored box that came with a question.
“Will you spend the rest of your life with me?”
The tunnel of emotions I experienced was unlike anything I’ve ever felt. Tear after tear fell from my face. I just remember wrapping my arms around him, both of us so emotional and in the moment, it was a complete dream. We sat there for 2 or 3 minutes until we finally calmed down, and then he asked again. “Will you?” I was so overwhelmed I completely forgot to say yes and had not even looked at the ring!
I said “Of course” and when I finally looked down I began sobbing again. The ring was perfect. It’s classic. It’s timeless. And truly is such a reflection of the love that Paul and I have together. I couldn’t have designed a better symbol for the commitment we are ready to share and he will never understand how perfect it all was.
He put the ring on my finger and said he already called my dad and got his blessing as well as my little brother’s. How the hell did I get so lucky?
We snapped a few photos to remember the moment and headed back to the bar. We never did get a drink because Paul had made reservations for Ruth’s Chris at 8:30 and after the sunset we had just enough time to make it. We had sizzling hot steak and wine and really savored the moment.
When we got home there was 3 dozen roses waiting for me with my favorite champagne on ice and two champagne flutes. I can not put into words how I have been feeling these last 10 days but I will tell you this, I didn’t need a fancy photographer, I didn’t need a grand gesture or candles. I just needed him. Then, now & always.
I love you Paul and I can not wait to spend the rest of my life with you.
The Future Mrs. Metcalfe