March 6, 2010

The Paisley Engagement

Posted in Engagement tagged at 7:05 pm by Elizabeth Nixon

Mr. Paisley and I met during my senior year of college, where he was a lecturer in Spanish (ooo, illicit student-teacher affair! Haha, not quite–I wasn’t in his class.)

Our old college gang. From L to R: Miss P., Kim, Mr. P, Bridesmaid Jackie and Pierre

But after graduation, I pursued a job that took me 500 miles away from him. Our love was strong, and we endured an entire year of long distance, both taking turns flying or driving to see each other every month. Finally, after we’d saved our pennies, we were able to reunite in SoCal together. Just four months after that, Professor Paisley decided to make me an honest woman and put a ring on it! Mr. P asked my mom for my great-great-grandmother’s gorgeous engagement ring he knew I stood to inherit.

Miss Paisley's engagement ring

One Friday in Sept. (Sept. 2008) after returning from work, I found he’d packed our bags for a surprise trip (gotta love a man who can pick out a weekend’s worth of cute outfits and fold them nicely in a suitcase for you).

Loving surprises, I agreed to let him drive without revealing the destination, although I peppered him with questions the whole way.

When we pulled up at the harbor in Dana Point, I guessed the destination–Catalina Island! He knew I’d always wanted to visit. Who wouldn’t? Catalina boasts a thriving art community, nightlife, flying fish, and large herds of bison and golf carts!

But don’t let me get ahead of myself. First, the boat ride. Oh man, did I EVER have fun on that ferry ride. I made some good friends on that trip, actually. I spent nearly the whole time clinging to dear life to the railings on the front deck with two other young women. We couldn’t get enough of the ocean spray and amusement-park-like THUMPS as the bow of the high-speed boat crashed upon wave after wave.

Intermittently, I’d step inside to cuddle with Mr. P, where we shot some pictures, much to the amusement of the dude sitting behind us:

And there he is again!

We lost the camera-lurker and made our way to dry land, eventually winding up at an Italian restaurant on Avalon’s shore. After a devastatingly romantic and delicious dinner, we went for a stroll. SCUBA divers’ underwater lights danced in the water, setting up an even more impossibly romantic mood. We were so in love we felt drunk off it. The beauty, the moon, the freakin’ violin playing in the background from the Italian restaurant. “Um, should I pinch myself?” Were the exact words I thought. Right between the the Avalon Casino and the water, we sat on a rock wall and watched a school of dolphins swimming by.

Avalon Casino


… and the boisterous gang of SCUBA divers in their enthusiastic quest for abalone. At this point, I practically expected the divers and the dolphins to burst forth to the surface singing in unison, “Sha-la-la-la-la, don’t be scared! You got the mood prepared, go on and kiss the girl!”

Then, he got down on one knee.

Of course I told him yes, and he slipped the glittering ring on my finger. We celebrated long into the night at a local bar where someone stole my Vespa and car keys (who steals keys on an island?) And we sang karaoke together (Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believing”)…

Miss P. for the first, and only time, she had to convince Mr. P to sing karaoke, and not the other way around!

…and I made friends with a Finnish rock band whose members’ gender I had trouble determining:

Miss P. with the Finnish rock band members

It was a memorable night to say the least.

My frog had turned into a prince!

Engagement day, kissing her frog-prince.

Did your prince charming sweep you from land to sea or some other fun locale in order to get down on one knee? Please share your engagement story with me, I’d love to hear it!