The stepkidlet got engaged tonight!

Her fiancé kept us in the loop since the summer, when he took the opportunity of the stepkidlet’s being away in Spain to come talk to us and get Mr. W’s blessings. Since then, we’ve secretly been talking ring styles, sizes, etc. And then mid-week, he said he found “the” ring, and texted me a photo, saying he was going to propose in a few days. On Friday (today), shortly before he left to visit family in Germany for a week and a half, he and the stepkidlet spent what she thought was an intimate early Christmas celebration at his place on their own. She had assembled a collection of thoughtful gifts for him, and for her, he’d packaged a mere $40 Target giftcard in a box with paper towels in lieu of gift box tissue paper. She was offended but tried to be graceful about it, biting her tongue. It wasn’t the value of the gift as much as the lack of thought and personal touch behind it that annoyed her.

And then they went to go look at Christmas lights in a neighborhood. He’d actually scoped out the place ahead of time and discovered a small grassy park with a wooden gazebo that had electrical outlets. So he’d bought colorful Christmas lights and decorated the inside of the gazebo, then had friends hide out there. Apparently the stepkidlet was uncooperative and a bit grouchy, and had to be convinced, tricked, dragged out to that area. She wondered why the gazebo in the middle of nowhere was so beautifully lit up. And then her then-boyfriend stood her in the center of it, pulled out a letter, and started reading to her what she meant to him, how he’d never thought a girl like her could be interested in a guy like him when they’d first met, how he’d used to nervously text witty and funny things to her when they first started talking and then stare at his cell phone every 20 seconds until he got a response (I remember that time; I had just had Allie and the stepkidlet was dancing around laughing at all the witty and funny things her new friend was texting her), and how he wants to spend the rest of his life with her having kids and growing old. Then he proposed. Friends took photos and videos and then they all went out to have a little surprise dinner celebration. I got the call later that night (I felt special). Apparently I was the only family she’d gotten a hold of, because her mom didn’t pick up and didn’t call back, she didn’t bother with her dad knowing he’d be sleeping and not pick up, and she imagined how unenthused her brothers would’ve been, so she called me next. I’d been expecting it to happen, and had looked at my watch here and there that night, wondering if it’d happened, yet.

I really like this guy. Best one she’d brought home, yet. Mature, down-to-earth, modest, loyal, makes her happy and keeps her balanced (unlike all the other guys before who caused so much emotional drama), funny, respectful, responsible. Heck of a talented musician, too. I can’t say enough good things about him. He’s definitely one of “the good guys” and I’m glad he’s not finishing last. And Allie’s known him her whole life.

Jayne had this conversation with Allie recently…
Jayne: [Stepkidlet] and [her fiancé] are getting married!
Allie: Yeah!
Jayne: Do you know what it means to be married?
Allie: Yeah!
Jayne: What does it mean when people get married?
Allie: It mean…mmm…it mean…people getting old.

I don’t know where she gets this stuff.