He said, part two

Here's the background: a few months after we (spoiler alert!) got engaged, we each wrote up our own versions of our proposal story (wherein, let's be honest, I basically proposed to myself) for an autobiography assignment in a writing class. To catch up to the beginning of the saga,
you could start here with A Modest Proposal
and then go here to A Modest Proposal ii 
and then read G's side of the story starting here with He Said before reading this post. With any luck (and barring any paralyzing waves of self-conscious chagrin from over-sharing) we'll wrap it up tomorrow.

wedding breakfast.jpeg

The next morning I awaken to the knowledge that today is the day. I will once again tempt Fate. Annie and I had planned an afternoon picnic in the mountains and I think it would be the perfect place to ask The Question. How could she say no in that serene mountain setting? Easily, my brain responds. Like this: No.

On the way to the mountains, we stop in to visit Annie's grandparents at their cabin. Her grandfather is alone and invites us to drop by on the way back from our picnic. Oh, great. I'm not sure of the protocol. Should her grandparents be the first ones to hear about our engagement?

Arriving in the canyon, I take the ring and the duffel bag out of the car in hopes of finding the perfect moment. After the picnic we decide to go for a walk in the woods. This is it. I'll ask her to sit down next to the river and then go down on one knee and ask her. But then thoughts of failure attack my resolve and I decide to wait until after visiting her grandparents on our way back.

Meanwhile the ring waits patiently...

Later that evening I realize that the time to migrate home is approaching fast. My thoughts become garbled:
It's now or never!
I could just do it next weekend instead...
Just ask her, what's the worst she could do?
You love each other, what could go wrong?
That was the very thought that haunted me: what could go wrong?

The ring waits impatiently...

Annie's grandparents ask us to stop by their home to feed their cat. As we pull up to the house, I begin to formulate a new plan. I transfer the ring from my bag to my coat pocket as Annie gets out of the car. We walk around to the back door and fill the cat's dish with food. We sit and talk as the sun sets.

After a few minutes of anxious and distracted anticipation, I tell myself "Do it NOW." Out of the blue, with the assuredness of a church mouse, I blurt out "Annie, I have a ring in my pocket."

(Could I have possibly said anything more idiotic? After days of planning, all I find to say is I have a ring in my pocket?!) AAARGGHHHH.

"I know," she replies.

. . .

Next: the conclusion