Saturday, June 11, 2005

A very long engagement

It all started Thursday night when matt returned home from a night out drinking. He was acting very strangely and when questioned was very cagy….

<>Checking the clock on the microwave I discovered it was already 10pm so I thought I ought to go to bed so I took out my mobile to set the alarm for work the next morning. It said it was 9pm. Strange. I checked the clock on the TV – 10pm, I asked Matt – 10pm. So I reset the time on my phone worrying that it was broken, knowing I couldn’t afford a new one right now. <>

So it’s Friday and the morning ritual begins…. <>

Matt gets up to make coffee, whilst I try and go back to sleep knowing I have no chance because like most other morning Matt’s made the coffee, put it on the window sill and gone out onto the landing. I brace myself. Matt RUNS into the bedroom and dives on top of me to bounce me awake forcing me out of bed. I turn on the radio and exclaim “this isn’t Terry Wogan, this is Sarah Kennedy! That Man is always off sick!”. How annoying. I love Terry Wogan. <>

Matt is looking shifty. He turns the radio off and forces me into the shower while he goes down stairs. Now here’s the thing the shower radio clock is an hour behind. It’s saying it’s 6:45am. Can’t be. I woke up at 7:30… It hits me… Mr SmedleyKins is up to something! Can I get anything out of him? NO. So I get ready. <>

I can smell cooking when I get downstairs at 8:30 and am greeted by the sight of what is going to be a full English breakfast. Ah-ha! THIS is what he’s been up to! I tell him it’s a lovely thought but I need to leave for work in 15 minutes at which point he presents me with a sneaky grin and exclaims “I changed the clocks - it’s 7:30!!” He expects me to be happy about this. <>

I’m getting excited as Matt sits me in the garden with my breakfast as he runs inside to get the coffee. I smile meekly as the men who have come to empty our bin stare at me like I’m crazy. Matt brings out the orange juice and pink (my favorite colour) cava so we can have bucks fizz. I LOVE bucks fizz. I’m feeling very spoilt and loved up right now… Even more spoilt when Matt tells me he’s walking me to work. <>

I get into work happy, if not a little tipsy and very, very confused and proceed to show off to everyone about how fantastic my boyfriend is. As per normal we’re emailing each other throughout the day and Matt tells me how much he enjoyed the breakfast this morning and “that it is turning out to be the best Easter ever!” Matt says strange things like that all the time so I don’t try to correct him anymore. <>

About 11:30 I call a call from the receptionist telling me there’s a packing waiting for me, “how exciting” I say thinking it’s the labels we ordered “it’s very exciting” is Sylvia’s reply. I tell my friend Boolie about the call and she smiles wide eyed and says I bet it’s flowers from Matt. Yeah right. But oh my gosh they’re the most exotic flowers I’ve ever seen and the card reads “Happy Easter”!

I feel fantastic throughout the day, and I’m getting more and more excited as our weekend trip to Liverpool is fast approaching.

<>I leave work for the train station far too early because I’m so excited and have to wait half hour before Matt appears. I can’t stop kissing him and he gets a bit embarrassed.

We get on the train and I’m like a five year old bouncing around, it’s been a perfect day and I REALLY can’t wait to get to Liverpool. Matt tries to calm me down by offering me a drink. He produces what is left of the bucks fizz and I get even more excited.

We arrive in Liverpool and get a taxi to the Albert Docks where we’re staying. I lean over to Matt and whisper (and I’m sure it’s the alcohol talking here because I’m normally a very rational person) I’m so excited I could cry… then I cry.

<>We check in at the hotel blah,blah,blah… then we’re in Est, Est, Est a restaurant we’ve both been eager to try. We are told the wait for the table is about 30-40mins so we get drinks and we wait. I’m hyper and Matt’s distracted but I take this opportunity to tell him that even if we do nothing else this weekend, if we have to go home right now before we’ve even had the meal I wouldn’t mind because this has been one of the best days of my life. He gives me an “aw bless aren’t you a simple child” look. <>

Once seated we choose what to eat and agree to share a bottle of wine .The waiter take FOREVER to serve us so I get really narked off when Matt doesn’t order the wine, we have a whispered conversation where I tell him he better order it now else we’ll be waiting another hour to get it. Matt retorts with “I thought you needed the toilet”? So I roll my eyes and go (I ALWAYS need the toilet, I think I have a slight bladder problem).

I get back from the toilet to find a white envelope on my side of the table, I ask what it is and Matt tells me it came this morning. Strange how I don’t think that it’s weird that it’s not addressed to anyone or that it doesn’t have a stamp on it. I open it and am blown away. My heart stops and I’m so in love with the man sat opposite me that all I can do is cry. Here’s why….

<>Many moons ago Matt introduced me to his two boyhood friends who grew up with him called Simon and Paul. They both Married ladies called Helen. I jokingly told Matt that he wouldn’t ask me to marry him he’d just advise me it was about time I changed my name to Helen. <>

So I looked at my new name on the completed Deed Poll form in front of me, no longer was I Sophie Billing but “Helen Smedley” instead. All it needed was my signature. <>

Not quite believing it I looked up and saw Matt half smiling half smirking, one eyebrow raised, hand outstretched offering me a ring. So I did what any self respecting girl would do in my position – I cried some more. Then panicked thinking Matt would get the wrong impression so I made a grab for the ring and shoved it on my finger quick as I could. Then the champagne arrives and it’s a perfect day complete. <>

So we got engaged without him having to ask and without me having to answer.


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