A Very Dugi Proposal
Derek and I have been dating for 11 years. Yes... 11 years! So, it was pretty obvious a proposal was going to happen...at some point. The best part about our story is that I totally called everything! When you’ve known somebody for so long, you can definitely identify odd behavior no matter how cleverly masked it is.
There were numerous things that pinged my proposal radar. Other than the fact that we'd already been dating for a decade, I noticed Derek's complete avoidance of marriage-talk. A month or so leading up to his birthday, the conversation of marriage was slim to none. We would frequently and openly "touch base" on the topic, but as his 29th birthday started to creep up, I noticed that he'd avoid the conversation whenever "marriage" was ever even mentioned. Another dead giveaway was his sudden interest in his birthday. Derek isn’t one to give a flying eff about celebrating his birthday. So, when he asked me if we could "go to the park and have a nice picnic", I was literally like… “W..t...f? Something is up for sure".
All day on his birthday, I kept thinking, “I’m pretty sure he’s doing it today” which kind of prefaced the awkwardness from the get-go. When he finally got home, we packed a backpack with a bottle of our favorite wine (Muccigrosso Lyn Zin what what!) annnnnd champagne and headed out the door. On our way to the park, we stopped at the local Mexican restaurant to grab a couple beers and order take out... Which of course prolonged the anxiety... The uphill walk to the park felt like even longer. When we arrived, there were quite a few people around this neighborhood park (a lady walking her dog, some boys playing basketball, kids on the swings) so Derek walked over to the most "secluded" area and set the blanket down. He then asked me to pop the champagne.. and then changed his mind and asked me to get dinner out... because he was hungry (sidebar, his nickname is Prince Derek - for reasons such as this (Love you, D!)). I was sitting on the blanket and getting dinner ready and he was just standing, pacing back and forth...I was totally thinking “fuck… it’s def about to happen”. After a couple minutes he asked, “Can you stand up with me for a second”? Completely anxiety-ridden at this point, I was thinking “Fuck. Fuck. Fuck.” Derek had no fancy speech... just grabbed my hands and said (very swiftly I might add) “Allison Emi Sugahara...” got down on a knee, checked his pockets... then leaned over to rummage through his backpack...pulled out the box, "Ahem... Will you marry me?”
I don't totally remember my reaction, but I think I was looking away as we held hands and said something like "uh huh... uh huh....Okay... Yeah okay... Yep... Yaaah..." while nodding my head a bunch. WTF was that?! I think because I knew it was coming, all I could do was just be weird? Honestly, in these types of situations I am totally the queen of awkward and Derek is the king of awkward. Not to mention soon after the whole shebang, he explained that he picked up on the fact that I knew... So there we were the king and queen of awkward - just absorbing all of the awkwardness together. Soooo romantic... But I have to admit that it was very us - awkwardly, hilariously, so wonderfully "Dugi".
Sugi called me early on Derek's birthday to tell me she knew the proposal was going down. I kept telling her "Sug, you just never know!". Even though we totally knew!
When I received Sugi's FaceTime several hours later, I was grabbing happy hour with some friends. I knew it as soon as I saw them lying on a picnic blanket, both with these sly smirks on their faces. She said "GUESS WHAT!?" and I automatically knew, but said "WHAT?!" just to play along. And she flashed this AMAZINGLY GORGEOUS DIAMOND RING. I let out a scream.... a very loud scream, and fell to the floor with excitement. The whole bar turned to look at me, and I yelled - "MY BEST FRIEND IS ENGAGED!!!" There were a few claps, tons of smiles, and some people even said "congrats!". I cried a little, just because I was so incredibly happy and overwhelmed with joy that my best friend was marrying her soulmate, whom I absolutely adore! I seriously could not have been happier for these two sensational humans, who are not only the nicest, most genuine people - but also the most fun and coolest couple ever. The best part - we got to celebrate with them on a houseboat that following weekend!
Back to Sugi:
We celebrated the engagement (Oh, and Derek's birthday I guess ;)) the next very night with a surprise family dinner at my favorite restaurant and second home, The Pastaria & Market. To be honest, despite the comical ridiculousness, I don’t think anything else would have felt right. From me knowing about the proposal to pre beers to Mexican take out on a beach towel... all the way down to the awkward proposal and an incredibly meaningful celebration with our families - I could not have pictured a more perfect, Dugi proposal.