Thursday, April 8, 2010
Atop the veranda at the J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles, Matthew Olthoff asked me to marry him. And I'm not sure I said yes.
Three weeks ago I started snooping around and asking subtle questions about my birthday. As coyly and coquettishly as possible, I tried discovering the master plan for my birthday experience. After a few days of failed discoveries, I flat out asked what we were doing for my birthday in an exasperated tone. Oh, that's right, he dryly stated without lifting his eyes from his computer screen. Your birthday is coming up.
Without getting into reasons as to why I ignored him for the full hour of Project Runway, I will say I was internally cooling off and trying to love him in spite of his lack of care, waning love, and overwhelming apathy. But I was so angry.
It felt as if he didn't care. He didn't love me. He had taken for granted who I was in his life and I was now officially part of his office furniture. And, if I'm being totally honest with you, this made me question staying in our relationship. If he can't love me the way I need to be loved or the way I love him, I confessed to my mother, I'm not sure he is the one for me.
Tuesday, April 6th
Arriving to the Getty was like arriving to the Disneyland of nerds. And I felt at home. Matt and I sat on a bench with a pastry and hot beverage and talked about life, the blessings God has given me, and how special he made me feel. I still had no clue he was proposing.
After a few art collections had been viewed, he pulled out another present for me while we sat on the lawn of the Getty garden. It was a book I've wanted but couldn't find. Score! Under the golden California sun we read and laughed and chatted about things we loved. I still had no clue he was proposing.
He packed an amazing lunch with various cheeses, salads, drinks, and love. He insisted we move to a new location for lunch. Begrudgingly I complied, but did so while complaining about leaving the perfectly great spot by the tree.
Atop the veranda with the Hollywood hills, downtown LA, and the Pacific ocean as our backdrop, we ate lunch and spoke about what life in the future would entail while the wind blew lightly across our faces. As dishes were wiped off and food put away, Matt asked me what I wanted to do next. I said, Today has been perfect. But I would really love to go read some more!
In true movie script form he pulls out a book wrapped in clear cellophane and says, Well... I think you should read this. He created a book complied with old emails, pictures from the last year, prayers he wrote for me, personality traits we each possess, and through it all, I had no clue he was proposing.
As I turned each page of the book I realized how much he loved me, how well he knew me, and how much he cared. The entire month he belabored over insuring I would be surprised. The lack of care was a front. The apathy was a lie. The waning love was sheer acting talent. The last page had a trifold adhered to it, sealed with a sticker. Inside was the most beautiful letter he's ever written ending with the words, Bianca Juarez, will you marry me?
I'm not sure I even said yes. I think it was more along the sobbing lines of, I'mSoSorryIDoubtedYouILoveYouSoMuchAndI'mSorry. He kissed my forehead and slipped the ring on my finger as I cried like baby. I'm not even sure I said yes.
Matt, my answer is yes. A resounding yes! If I could marry you tomorrow and wake up next to you for the rest of my life, either in a hut or a mansion, I would. My life is better because of you and you constantly push me to discover who I am, who God is, and how I can change the world for better. I promise I will never leave you or abandon our new family and my commitment is for life... even when I want to give up and quit. Thank you for taking me back--twice. I love you more today than yesterday... but not as much as tomorrow.