Lisa and I had known of each other for around six years, but just never quite managed to be in the same place at the same time. We went to university only one year apart, had many mutual friends and worked as paramedics for the same company. I always thought she was nice and I knew she was gay and she’s stunning (so I knew who she was) but we didn’t meet properly until we went on a soccer trip together for the emergency services games in April 2014.
We were the only ambos on the police team so got paired up together when rooms were allocated. We started talking on the car ride from Adelaide to Melbourne and didn’t stop talking for seven days. We stayed up until 4 am each night chatting and wondering why we couldn’t sleep. I think it was day two that I realized that I actively needed to stop staring at her and by day six I realized I was in big trouble. We were both in relationships but that week showed me what kind of mental connection you could have with someone and settling for less wouldn’t be fair to yourself or your partner.
I had known that I wasn’t entirely straight for quite a while but had only ever dated guys. I left the trip thinking that I needed to make some big changes in my life and meet someone who I connected with as much as I had with Lisa. In an ideal world, it would be Lisa, but she was taken and I didn’t want to be tragically in love from afar. I got home and broke up with my boyfriend and was scheduled to go to Europe with my family the following week for a month. While I was away doing some much-needed soul searching, I found out that Lisa had broken up with her girlfriend. We started talking again when I got back and have pretty much been inseparable ever since.
Fast forward four years we have a house, a dog, a cat, and constant adventures. Life is pretty wonderful.
However, the proposal was a disaster.
I am an awkward person and an over-thinker. I also am not much of a big planner, schedules, etc. I went to a jeweler and started to design some rings after Lisa fell in love with a work colleagues ring design – I got Grace to send me some pictures after they were working together, so I had the basic idea. The jeweler and I spent weeks getting every detail of Lisa’s ring perfect and went back and forth with emails going over every detail. In that time I think I spent 5 minutes talking about what ring I liked – thinking we would have more time to nut out the details, but then the jeweler said that they were ready to be picked up! I was pretty shocked and but thought I would just roll with it.
We were about to fly out to Bali for a friends wedding and holiday on Saturday and the rings were ready on the Thursday – so I said it’s a sign – you are meant to get engaged in Bali.
We got to Bali and I was an absolute nervous wreck. I always thought she would say ‘yes,’ but didn’t have anything planned because it was so sudden. The ring boxes were huge and lit up when you opened them [a bit OTT but still cool so I didn’t want to take the rings out] and to top it all off we were sharing luggage, so I was sure she would find them. All in all, it was a pretty tough time.
Lisa and I are foodies, so I made excuses to search for an amazing restaurant that would be perfect. It was actually really hard to book for the occasion because we only had 2-3 days in each area. Lisa wanted to help find ever place to eat and booking in another language was difficult. I was also acutely aware of the cultural differences of being in a predominantly Muslim country where not only was homosexuality culturally uncommon but also illegal under Sharia law.
We settled on a nice restaurant for dinner the first night, and I thought I would work the proposal out later. We got there, and it was magical. Picture a restaurant floating in the jungle. It was raining so no one was able to sit out in the floating part which meant that when we finished dinner we could just go down the end and be surrounded by beautiful lights and jungle. It was just so lovely and intimate I thought once again that it was fate and so I proposed… even though I didn’t have the rings on me.
I don’t even remember what I said but remember saying it was beautiful and that it would be an awesome place to get engaged – because I am super corny.
As soon as I said it, in my head I was like; ‘what are you doing you don’t have the rings!!’ And, of course, Lisa thought I was joking. I said to her: ‘oh, by the way, I have some rings back in the room.’
We raced home to get them, getting completely lost along the way. We finally got back and sat out by the pool in our villa. She said yes.
It was a bit of a disaster, but definitely ‘me.’