I’m excited to share the full story of how Ben & I got engaged with anyone who is interested to know! Over the past couple years I have really tried to refrain from being too cheesy or obnoxious about our relationship. But I’m laying it all out here so look out!
Ben and I met right before we went on a BCM mission trip to New Orleans. We were placed in the same van to ride all the way there, and we actually became pretty fast friends. I remember enjoying conversation with him because he was easy to talk to. And I liked this Mumford & Sons band that he kept talking about. I definitely had a crush on him, but it didn’t last past the week in NOLA. When I think of my freshman self though, I’m quite thankful God decided that just wasn’t the right timing! 🙂
I was happy being friends with Ben Carter because his dry sense of humor was always fun to be around. The summer before my junior year, we started hanging out in groups a lot, passing the summer nights with group outings to movies like the Amazing Spiderman or Prometheus. (**DO NOT see Prometheus. Ever. No.**) We all watched the Summer Olympics and went star-gazing on South Milledge Avenue. Through all of this, my crush on Ben was re-developing, but I was trying to deny it. He was just hard to read. At the time, however, he was starting to get a crush on me as well! Our first date wasn’t until November. So, yeah, I wondered for quite a long time if he felt the same way. Our first date was after the Ole Miss football game, which we had to leave early to go see Argo in theaters. I truly remember nothing from that movie, other than Ben Affleck having a beard. I spent more time watching Ben Carter out of the corner of my eye, wondering if his hand was going to hold mine, trying to make my hand open for grabbing in case one of us got brave. He finally did, and it was quite magical!
Someday I can tell the rest, but for now, I’ll go back to the engagement story.
Ben moved to Auburn a little over a month ago to take a new job, so our visits are rare and precious! He was coming home to Madison for Labor Day weekend, aka Clemson weekend. The Sunday after the game, he had planned a “fancy date” where he wouldn’t tell me the location. Of course, this is where I started to get suspicious. I’m not good at surprises, and the honest truth is that I’d been waiting for this day to come. We’d been talking about marriage and had been what I like to call “pre-engaged” for a long time! But I tried my best not to question all of this too much, even when he commented on how nice my nails looked…what.
Fancy Date started with a stroll through North campus. At this point I’m getting pretty sweaty, and am really concerned about that. What if he really does propose and it won’t fit on my big fat finger???? I wondered. What if you’re out of your mind??? I also wondered. But thank goodness I actually WASN’T out of my mind. We sat down on a bench in front of a small fountain on campus that we’ve always loved. We sat for a while and then he started saying some sweet things. He told me he loved me and that I help him to be closer to the Lord. Some other nice stuff I can’t remember because I was too excited. He said he had asked my parents’ permission a few weeks earlier when they passed through Auburn. He got down on one knee and asked me to marry him! And I’m pretty sure I said yes. And guess what? That ring went on without any hang-ups on my sweaty finger. Also, I love the ring. And him. Especially him.
Then I saw Ethan creeping behind the bushes with his fancy camera in hand. That sight gave me joy. We went over and talked to him for a minute, when suddenly, we saw this happy family with a bulldog puppy. Eeek! They joked about how we should take a picture with him, but I took them seriously and went and asked the people. What I learned that day is that bulldogs are very top heavy, even as puppies. When I sat the dog back down, something just went wrong. His poor wrinkled face hit the ground before the rest of his body, which I felt pretty bad about. We left ASAP.
Dinner turned out to be at NONA, a New Orleansy restaurant in downtown Athens. That was very special because we consider New Orleans to be an important part of the beginning of our friendship! He surprised me by inviting our parents and my sister and her boyfriend all together to eat dinner. It felt like a dream, really. It was the first time that we were all eating together as a family.
After all of this, we celebrated the right way: Blizzards from Dairy Queen. And that’s why I must marry him.
I’m so excited to spend the rest of my life with a best friend that can tell it to me straight when I’m being unreasonable, but will support me with my dreams like the Etsy shop. I never felt okay with the fact that I’m such a crier until I met someone who would hold me even when I’m crying over the most pointless things. I like to think that our personalities balance each other out. We will for sure have hard times but I can’t even imagine giving up on him. I can’t believe God blessed me with him! I’m so thankful we both showed up at the same place.