It had been 21 days since we had seen eachother. He lived in Tacoma, and I lived in Selah. There were 125 miles and mountain pass between us. I was in beauty school and he worked a full time job. It was our longest break in seeing eachother since we had spent a whole night on messanger confessing to have a crush on one another. We had gone from crush to love, and now we were talking about getting married. I told him I’d rather not get engaged around Christmas, but anytime after would be fine. (Don’t ask. I was young and had some silly notion that I knew what was best.)
Like I said, it had been 21 days since we had seen each other. We had tickets to see the Nutcracker at the Pacific Northwest Ballet, and I had a greyhound bus ticket to get me there. When I woke up on the morning of December 23, 2008, I felt like I was the leading role in a perfect love story film. I was so over the top excited to see my guy, nothing else mattered.
Nothing. Until I arrived at th Geryhound station. My mom had dropped me off with my weekend bag and I proudly walked in. Three minutes later, I called my mom back in a dead panick. She was on her way to work but I needed her to come back quickly. She pulled up, I jumped in the car, and desperately tried to hold back all my tears. “THEY CANCELED ALL THE BUSES FROM THE PAST TWO DAYS DUE TO ALL THE SNOW AND THEY ARE GIVING PRIORITY TO THE PASSENGERS WHO HAD BEEN WAITING TO GO AND THERE WON’T BE ROOM FOR ME TO GO UNTIL TOMORROW AT THE EARLIEST. THEY CAN’T DO THIS TO ME!!!!” I took a deep breath, beacuse I had forgotten to breath durring my rant, and then tears came. Suddenly the leading lady in this perfect love story film was in a terrible mess. In hindsight it makes sense. Every movie needs a good conflict.
My mom didn’t have much time to help me out and though I begged for her to call in sick to work and drive me over, the roads were no match for her car either. There had been a good reason for the busses being canceled. 2008 happened to be the year of Snowmagedon in Seattle, or rather the whole state of Washington.
My sweet mom dropped me off at the coffee shop near by and told me to let her know if anything changed and I was able to go. I sat on my lap top researching every mode of transportation. I wiped back the tears every few minutes and all the coffee drinkers in Yakima flashed a concerened smile an wished me a Merry Christmas. I spotted a couple snowboarders grabbing coffee before they hit the road. I pleaded for a ride if they were going toward Seattle. Of couse, they were not heading my way at all.
For three weeks I had been counting down the minutes to this day. I had been looking forward to it with my whole heart. I had a fancy dress and a string of pearls packed in my bag and ready to wear to the ballet. I was in no mood to let the weather interfere with my plans.
I called the airport to see if I could get a plane ticket. They weren’t flying on account of the weather. I walked back the Greyhound station to see if a seat had miraculously appeaerd. It had not. I called the airport shuttle bus to see if they had an open seat. They didn’t answer. I called again. And again. Finaly I walked, trudging through the snow to the airport shuttle depot to see if my tears and money were enough to earn me a seat. When I arrived, the shuttle wasn’t there. I kept calling. Still, no answer.
Finally, the shuttle arrived. All the pre-paid passengers lined up an boarded the bus. Myself and one other fella waited patiently to the side. I didn’t want t be rude, but I knew there was no way he needed the seat more than me, so I stepped in line first. The driver asked if I had a ticket and with tears in my eyes, I said “No, But I would desperately like to buy one if you have an extra seat”. He smiled and counted two open seats. I wiped me tears, smiled at the kid behind me and happliy took my seat. I sent a text to my mom, and one to Jonathon. My troubles were over.
“What a morning!” I said to the kid next to me. And that was pretty much all I said for the next two and half hours. The rest of the journey was spent day dreaming of just how perfect and romantic the rest of the night would be.
Meanwhile in Tacoma, our dashing hero in the film had his own set of troubles he was sorting out. You see, Jonaton hadn’t taken to kindly to my thoughts on waiting until after Christmas to get engaged. He had other plans, and unfortunately Snowmagedon was taking its toll in that department too. Earlier in the week he had booked a horese carriage to take us on a romantic stroll through downtown Seattle prior to going to the ballet. That morning, the carriage company called to appologize for the inconvenience but on account of the snow and ice the horse carriages were all being canceled for the day.
That was strike one.
But we have a clever man on our hands, and love cannot be shaken so easily. It actually worked out better in the end, due to my transportation dilemma, we wouldn’t have made it in time for the carriage ride anyhow. In fact, we barely made it to the ballet in time.
Just before Mr. Hackett was going to come to the airport to pick up his lady in waiting, he frantically discovered his recently altered tuxedo shirt had been OVER ALTERED. The sleeves were three inches too short and he had to improvise fast! He quickly ran home, grabbed a new shirt, threw it on, buttened his jacket and zipped to the airport.
I had arrived only a few minutes before him, so I used the aiprort bathroom to change into my fancy dress and pearls. I bought a banana, granola bar, and pack of gum from a corner kiosk, and then I saw him.
He was coming up the escalator with a giant bouquet of flowers in his hand. He looked better than I had ever seen. And just the way he looked at me made me feel more beautiful than I had ever felt. And even though the day had gone nothing like planned, I felt like we really were the stars of the perfect hollywood film. It was a Jimmy Stewart and Jean Arthur picture perfect moment.
We parked our car and just as we slipped the $20 bill into the parking machine, we spotted the “exact change only” fine print. We really didn’t care tht we had just tipped the City of Seattle an extra ten dollars, we were only seconds away from taking our seats at the Nutcraker Ballet.
The ballet ended and our stomaches grumbled. Neither of us had eaten much in all the chaos. We went to a late dinner and then took a midnight stroll through downtown. The city was brilliant, covered in snow and lights. And then he turned the corner and looked at the Macy’s Star. He took a deep breath and then looked at me.
I looked at the star and then back at him. He was on one knee asking me to be his forever. Through happy tears I said yes, OBVIOULSY. And six years later I am the happiest version of myself. And I love just how memorable all the choas made this day. In the end I wouldn’t change a single detail.
Happy proposalversary, Mr. Hackett. Thank you for making me your MRS.
Photo Credit: Lora Grady Photography