We don’t like to conform, but we’re going to get hitched anyway. And in true nonconformist form, my girlfriend, Cindy, told me she didn’t want a diamond ring for our engagement. I had to think of something else. But what? I found just the right thing, it wasn’t a ring, and it had been staring me in the face the whole time. Ribbit.
I thought it was a novel idea. (novel: “of a new kind; different from anything seen or known before”) so I went with it. It certainly wasn’t the traditional approach (tradition: “a long-established or inherited way of thinking or acting.”) But then, aside from Christmas and Halloween, I’ve never been much for tradition anyway. I’ll get to the novel idea in a minute…
What’s this about a frog? It goes like this:
One day, my girlfriend, Cindy, and I were unpacking some things during our move into a new house. Each of our lives had been upturned for a time, and starting a new life together was refreshing, although challenging.
That day she found a rubber tree frog in a box of stuff she had forgotten about. A blueish colored frog, cute. It was a gift from a friend of hers, given during a time when Cindy was starting to believe that she would be alone for the rest of her life. The note attached to the frog read something to the effect of “don’t worry, you’ll find your prince.”
Cindy laughed when she found it, and told me the whole story with a huge smile on her face. I liked the sentiment, and the frog. It was a reminder to Cindy that something will happen, and things will be okay. And at that moment the frog took on a meaning for me as well. It became something that represented a bond between us. It became special.
I took the frog and informed her that we’d be keeping it because it had meaning for us. I don’t consider myself a prince by any stretch of the imagination, but neither of us were alone anymore, and the frog was a symbol of that. It was staying.
The frog became a little game, and began appearing in the most unexpected places. One morning I opened the medicine cabinet to grab my toothbrush and there it sat staring at me. So I cleverly stowed it someplace where I knew Cindy would stumble upon it. Later that week it would be waiting for me again somewhere else, and the game went on, and continues to this day.
So, what’s this novel idea I had?
After about three years of dating Cindy and I began to discuss plans for marriage. We were apprehensive, especially since we’d both been burned by previous relationships. We also don’t feel that marriage is a necessity, it’s just something people are expected to do. It seems that long term, committed relationships are not taken seriously unless the couple is wed.
In any case, we decided that we would like to get married — in the legal sense, not the religious sense — as a way to officially establish our bond of love. There is also this ridiculous feeling that getting married might somehow cheapen or jinx the true love we do feel for each other. Sort of like, “we’re happy now, why get married and ruin it?” It’s a good thing we’re not superstitious.
Now for the details, and the novel idea. If we we’re to get married, we need to be engaged first. That means we need a ring or something. Well, Cindy didn’t want a ring so I had to think of something else to serve as a symbol of our union. Here comes my novel idea.
I decided to get her a necklace, but, what kind of necklace? Of course… A FROG necklace!
I shopped around for a sterling silver frog pendant and found the perfect one. A little tree frog that looked very similar to our rubber frog mascot. I kept it hidden so Cindy wouldn’t find it, and waited for the right moment to pop the question.
It was actually kind of fun. We had plans to visit my family in North Carolina, so I decided I would ask her during that trip. Initially I was going to ask her on the beach, but decided to wait until the moment was just right.
So one beautiful day in North Carolina, on the dock of a little place called The Provision Company, located in South Port, on the Intracoastal Waterway near the mouth of the Cape Fear River, I asked Cindy to marry me. I opened the box and showed her the necklace. She loved it, and beamed with happiness as I placed the little silver frog around her neck. It was nice, and special, just as I had hoped. And you know something? It felt right. It felt real.
I know that many people will think it’s odd that I bought her a necklace instead of a diamond ring, but I don’t really care. All that matters to me is our happiness together. Isn’t it nice to do things your own way once in awhile, and thwart tradition?