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The Engagement Story

Just shy of eight years of dating, Derrick proposed to Amy on a sunny morning fall morning at Deep Cove, British Columbia. To say Amy was the least patient engagee-to-be would be an incredibly understatement, as it was a proposal she was waiting for for a few months at this point (or maybe even a few years!). They had, after all, discussed and decided to get married the summer before, but there were many steps along the way, the least being the ring, and the more important step being asking her parents for permission.

Over the last few years of dating, they had begun a yearly summer pilgrimmage to Deep Cove due to the beauty of the surrounding area and the picturesque qualities inherent in the sleepy little town. It’s one of those places to go and relax, watch nature, sit on a bench, and just walk around, and earlier that summer, on their yearly visit, Amy joked to Derrick about how they should retire there some day.

This apparently sparked ideas for Derrick and while Amy dreamed of a Disneyworld proposal, Derrick hatched a plan in his quiet way.

He worked all summer, over time when he could, to get Amy her dream ring; a ring they had gone shopping for together. He weighed in his opinions on various ring designs (such as the merits of a cathedral band versus a Tiffany-style pointed band) and whether sidestones were necessary or not, and the ethical quality of the diamond itself desiring a completely conflict-free diamond. He snuck out of work early to go ring shopping on his own. He worked, despite Amy’s impatience leading to a few arguments and tears here and there, until finally, the week before August 22nd, he confessed to mutual friends before brunch, that he was planning on buying the ring that week.

This set the stage for him to suggest that they go retirement home shopping the following weekend when Amy was going to be in Vancouver visiting, and though this idea was /really strange/ to Amy, she went along with it, because there was a quirky sort of cuteness to it.

On the day of their second venture to Deep Cove that summer, Derrick couldn’t sleep, so woke up at a shockingly early 7AM (for him), and went out onto the patio and noticed huge clouds hanging over Vancouver, but the skies being clear over North Vancouver. This expedited his plan a bit, because he didn’t know which way those clouds would go, and instead of an afternoon trip, they decided to go in the morning.

Much to Amy’s amusement (and a little annoyance), Derrick put together a packed lunch for the two consisting of packets of peanut butter, some slices of bread, and water. Amy, on the other hand, was planning on getting a maple doughnut at one of the coffee shops.

They arrived just as the sun was cresting above the clouds and started walking around the neighborhoods surrounding the main street area, noting which houses were cute and joking about how they should walk up and knock to see if the owners would be willing to sell them their home in about forty years. (They didn’t do that. Promise.) And as they came up to the east side of town, they started down back along the main street, where Amy did get her maple doughnut and a London Fog to accompany it.

With their (her) breakfast in hand, they found a bench to sit on and watch a big ship swallow up a smaller ship out in the cove (long story). There was a rather opinionated couple sitting on the bench by them, and Derrick kept waiting for them to leave. And waited. And waited. Until they finally drifted off and he and Amy were nominally alone in their section of the dock area.

“Do you think we’ll really retire here?” he asked Amy, oh so casually.

Amy paused to consider and responded with a lift of her left hand and, “It depends.”

“We have to be married to retire here?”

“You really think we’ll be long distance dating that far into the future? Crossing the border every weekend?”


In silence, they watched the bigger boat continue to sink, until that slightly awkward silence was broken by, “What would you do if I proposed now?”

“I’d be surprised.”


“Yeah.” Pause. “But you won’t propose now, cause you just told me you were going to propose now so now I know you won’t.”


Derrick then leaned forward to rummage through his back, presumably to get his peanut butter sandwich, but then suddenly was on his knee in front Amy with a dark box in his hand.

They’re sure a proposal happened, that some words were said, and that Amy must’ve said yes, but all Derrick remembers is Amy reaching out for the ring and putting it on her finger and all Amy remembers after that point is bursting into tears.

But even if there were no words, they must be engaged, right?

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