• Michelle Gardner

A Perfectly Imperfect Proposal: Love is Simple, But Nobody Said It'd Be Easy

Updated: Sep 9, 2019

I was never the girl dreaming about finding her prince charming one day. Didn't have my perfect wedding planned since I was 5 years old. Honestly, I hadn't even really see myself "settling down" with anyone ...until I had met Travis.


We met on June 2, 2017. That's a crazy story in itself (for another time).


We became official on February 7, 2018.


He proposed December 27, 2018. And it was perfectly imperfect.


Love is a crazy thing, you know? So simple yet not always easy. I've done more self-reflection and growth since June of 2017 than I had ever thought possible.

Having another person love you so deeply and vice versa is an incredible feeling. It makes you want to be a better person. It makes you want to help that person be their best too.


It makes you appreciate all of the people and things that came before which lead you to this place. But it also makes you wonder why you wasted so much time on things that were so superficial. And most of all it makes you wonder how in the world you ever lived without that person.


Both of us had barely even thought about marriage before each other. Just figured "maybe it's not for me". But now we had been talking about it ...even planning for it. A lot.


So for Christmas and New Year, we decided to visit his family in Arizona. It was a big trip. I was traveling to an unfamiliar place and staying with people that I barely knew. He was introducing a woman to his family hoping that we'd all get along.


We were taking this whole trip day by day to say the least.

A little re-enactment photo for fun

Then the night came where Travis would take me out in his dad's jeep up the mountain. We would have sparkling cider in our new champagne glasses (courtesy of his brother) and watch the beautiful Arizona sunset together. It was all perfectly mapped out in his head.


You want to know how the proposal actually went?


Well, we wanted to leave by 5pm, but his grandparents came over around 4:30pm, so we were running late from start.


It was raining that night. The weather was almost down to freezing (a big storm came through the day after we got there).


Oh and did I mention that his dad's jeep was completely open on the sides? Well, it was. No protection from the cold and no heater.


His family bundled me all up and we started our journey to the top of the mountain. But about a mile down the road, the jeep stalled out. He was able to get it started again.


Then as we were crossing a highway, it stalls out again. A car almost hit us and honked his horn in anger. We got it across the road and can you guess what happened next? It stalled out again, but this time he couldn't get it to start back up.


So his dad and brother came out to help. His dad said that he had never seen anything like that happen before ...something fell off and got stuck (I'm not good with mechanics so I have no idea). But his dad fixed it and we started journeying up the hill again.


That's not even the last of it though. About 30 feet up, the jeep stalls out AGAIN. I'm sure it was like living in a bad dream for him.


As the sun is setting right where we can't see, it starts raining harder. He stops the jeep on the side of the road and says that he doesn't want to take us all the way to the top of the mountain and risk getting stuck. Smart play.


So he pops the question right there. "Will you marry me?"


His perfectly laid out plans falling apart all around us. The proposal was nothing even close to what either of us had envisioned. And all I could think was that I can't wait to spend the rest of my life with this man.


Because if we can come through this night and still want nothing more than to marry each other ...I know that our love will be able to overcome whatever life will throw our way.



We stalled out three times on the way home. Pouring down rain. I was happy crying the whole time over in the passenger seat. His dad and brother ended up having to come out and tow us back.


But it was a perfectly imperfect proposal and I wouldn't change a thing.


We just have to remember that life and the people around us will never be perfect and even though love can be simple ...that doesn't make it easy!

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