My fiancé stayed home on Inauguration Day to watch the political coverage. This was no surprise because he had stayed home for Election Day and the debates, and he's pretty much Obama's biggest fan; we both are. A few days before that Tuesday, Aaron told me that he had some errands to run downtown after the television coverage and asked me to pick him up on my way home after work that afternoon. Since it was Inauguration Day, it was an emotional and inspiring day. I teach second grade, and our entire elementary school had stopped to watch the inauguration together. I felt so filled with joy and as I drove to meet Aaron, I felt something different.
Aaron had been throwing me off of the engagement trail for several weeks, and I thought he would propose twice when he didn't. As I drove to pick him up, I worked very hard to convince myself that despite how wonderful it would be, Aaron was definitely not going to propose that day. I didn't even think he had a ring! I was in the car when Aaron called and said he had finished his errands and was sitting in the coffee shop of the San Francisco MOMA. My heart did a little flutter because the MOMA was the museum Aaron and I were at when he first told me he liked me. He told me to park in the garage nearby and that he would meet me in the park between the museum and the garage.
As I walked to the park, I couldn't help but think about the engagement. However, I thought that Aaron hadn't even started the process of getting a ring and that it was probably a couple of months away at least. But when I turned the corner and saw him, I could tell something was about to happen. As I walked up to him, standing in the middle of a big green field with the biggest smile I'd ever seen on his face, Aaron said, "It's a pretty exciting day, huh? It's the beginning of a new day. " In my head, I was threatening him that if he was talking about Obama, I was going to explode. Aaron said, "It's the beginning of a new day, and I want to spend the rest of my days with you. I got you something; do you want to see it? "
With tears blurring my eyes and no ability to speak, I nodded. Aaron pulled out the most beautiful ring I'd ever seen and asked if I wanted him to get down on one knee. I have no memory of what really happened because it was such an out-of-body experience. Aaron got down on one knee and put the ring on my finger. All of the sudden, cheers and applause broke out from the glen nearby. In my haze, I hadn't realized that there was a group of strangers hanging out in the park, watching our engagement unfold. We left the park and went home to get ready for dinner at one of our favorite restaurants, where Aaron had made reservations weeks ago. When we got there, we were shown to our seats and opened our menus. I was sure the surprises were over, but once again, he proved me wrong. I opened my menu and in it was written, "January 20, 2009. Congratulations Ana, Aaron and Barack! " In so many ways, it was a magical and historic day for the nation as well as for us.