Details are a funny thing. They are always part of something larger, yet we always let them win out over the larger end goal. And then one day you wonder why you're letting the details take any kind of starring role in your life and you grab life by the you-know-whats and do what's right for you.
Linda and I have been together for almost two years. As a matter of fact, as I'm writing this it is 2 years since first we met. We've been living together for a while now. It's no secret that we are best friends. We do everything together and we're usually hysterical laughing in the process. One day I'll tell you about the time I crowned myself "King of the carpet section" in Home Depot.
Throughout the transition from military to civilian, pseudo-southerner to prodigal New Jerseyan, and unemployed to employed the concept of making an honest woman of Linda took a back seat to the details of the process to make that happen. Then I got asked a question by 2 very important people - "What's the hold up?" and I thought about it and I realized there wan't one. At least not a legitimate one. It was just one of those things that we planned to get to - and as long as it remained a vague thing in the distance, we'd never get any closer.
So it was time to pull the trigger. Linda just so happened to be out of town one weekend so I took a ride up to the family jeweler in Morris County, along with my mom, and for hour upon hour we pored over the endless rows of gleaming and sparkling rings. Finally, I began whittling down into a short list of potential winners. I found 2. One was too much of something and the other was too much of something else. Somewhere in the middle was the key and my buddy just happened to have one in stock. That was that. Then the real fun began.
The event was planned out. All I had to do was survive until the delivery date. No matter how sure we are of the answer, we still manage to make ourselves nervous wrecks. I'm sure every engaged or married guy can attest to this.
Linda has a thing for the Brooklyn Bridge. She takes pictures of it, she had a painting above her bed and she once told me (nearly 2 years ago) that she always wanted to be kissed on the Brooklyn Bridge. So I had to get her there. We also go on "food adventures." It's a thing we do where we travel near or far to some off the wall or famous or specific place to eat. For this one, I chose Eataly in Manhattan (a separate entry on that is coming). I was halfway there. As you know, I'm also big into photography and she is learning. "Let's take the cameras with us while we're out on our Eataly adventure on Saturday," which also gives me a place to hide the ring box.
To avoid raising suspicion I got lost in Manhattan with a couple of wrong turns that led us to a block from the Brooklyn Bridge. I haven't gotten lost in Manhattan since I was 6, but she bought the whole thing. Screw it. We're here. Let's walk up and get some shots. Right up to the middle we walked. I put down the backpack with camera gear and her ring as we surveyed the photographic angles. Well... she did that. I tried not to throw up over the side of the bridge from nerves. There are people all around us. We decide that we're better off getting some distance from the bridge, but we had to get at least one shot from the middle.
So... I took a knee, seemingly to retrieve the camera and lens while asking her "did you figure out what you want to a take a picture of?" I then grabbed the box, hoisted it up and followed up my original question with "or would you prefer to marry me?" She collapsed in a heap alongside me, screaming, smiling, shaking and crying all while unsuccessfully trying to answer the question. Finally she eked out a "yes" and tried to take the ring and put it on herself. I took it and slid it on her finger and there we sat, laughing, crying, smiling, hugging and kissing.
Once she calmed down I told her a very important story. On the day of our wedding, she will be the 4th Viglione to wear that stone. It was a diamond in a ring of my great-grandmother in the late 19-teens. She gave it to my grandfather who used it to ask my grandmother to marry him. She gave it to my father to give to my mom. My mom gave the stone to me to give to Linda, making her #4 to wear that 100 year old diamond you see below.
And so we walked off the bridge as Mr and Mrs to be and The Adventures of Jason and Linda started all over again.