Justine and Carl
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Justine & Carl[dropcap color=”rosy”]C[/dropcap]arl & I have been dating since Matric. We were in the same large group of friends and had been aware of each others’ presence since about Grade 9 or 10, but only started becoming really good friends in grade 11 over a shared love of music, strange sense of humour and the fact that all my other friends dropped Afrikaans First language to go to second and the only person I knew in that class I sat next to – Carl. We started chatting and I realised this guy is such an amazing listener. We fast became very close and in April of our Matric year he asked me if I would be his date to the dance, to which I enthusiastically said YES (I had been hoping he’d ask or I would’ve asked him ;)… This led to us spending even more time together, and soon before the dance even came around we were inseparable. The Matric dance came around and was one of the most magical nights of my life, but what I won’t forget about that night was the look Carl gave as I stepped out of the room when he came to fetch me for the dance – he looked at me and audibly breathed in deeply and with a ‘wow’ still on his lips he placed a corsage on my wrist… That year sped by so fast and as we contemplated the future we were scared as to what it would entail – Carl was starting his LLB at UCT the next year, and I was taking a gap year to work and build up a portfolio in order to apply to art school…but we needn’t have worried, we helped each other get through the aches and pains of growing up (the law campus became my ‘escape’ from the craziness of the art world and I became Carls safe place to let go and laugh and be silly away from the seriousness of his degree), and together we grew from two high school kids smitten with each other to a young man and woman madly in love. Fast forward seven amazing years…
October 2012. It had been a long winter (or so it felt like) I had been longing to get out in the sun – I think I was suffering from a bit of post winter cabin fever. And I had just been to two weddings (which means two kitchen teas and two bachelorettes) in one month so I was basically busy every weekend. Earlier in the year Carl had started talking more and more about OUR marriage and wedding and future…but it just felt like nothing was happening…and I was SO longing to start a new phase in our relationship. (although I had been told he WOULD say no should I even try to ‘take the proposal away from him’ :D) We had known for a long time that we wanted to get married but we just hadn’t been in the right place in our lives – with studies and looking for jobs etc.
Now, seemingly frustrated that I was SO busy every weekend planning and being involved in wedding related festivities one for my cousin and another for a good friend; Carl “booked” me for the 27th because we hadn’t been getting any time to spend together. I came to know that he was thinking of doing a picnic, as the weather was finally starting to lighten up…I was enthusiastic as I love picnics and summer and I’m outdoors in the first hint of sun, so I thought it was just a lovely ‘finally summer’ picnic kinda thing.
We got up early on the Saturday morning, and ended up driving toward Franschoek where I had been longing to take a drive to. We got to our destination Mont Rochelle Wine Farm, just after 12, collected our (delicious!) gourmet picnic baskets Carl had preordered and set up picnic next to the lake under a large lovely oak tree. We had such a beautiful relaxing chilled day, just talking and relaxing and laughing and catching up…at one point toward the end of the afternoon I looked around at the picturesque scenery and said “I don’t think you’re ever are going to be able to top this…!” (how wrong I was). At around about 4pm it was getting chilly in the shade of the tree, so he asked me to come sit in the sun near a willow tree where we chatted (as he sat behind me with his arms around me), he was being all romantic and telling me how much I mean to him and how he could never see his life without me (i just thought it was because of the mood of the day). About 10minutes later he asked me to to stand up quickly (I didn’t think twice – just thought he had a cramp or there was a bug on me or something) so I stood up. Because I was facing away from him I turned around to look at him, and i saw him on one knee, an open ring box in his hand, with the biggest smile I’ve ever seen on his face, but tears running down his face…I immediately broke down crying! I managed to hear the words “Justine, will you marry me” while he slipped the ring on my finger, I couldn’t speak immediately but nodded my head eventually managed a yesyesyesyesyes! And as he stood up to hug me my knees literally went weak and he had to hold me up. Eventually i got a hold of myself and realising what we had both been longing for for SO long had just happened, I shouted and started hopping around – its a wonder he wasn’t like “I’m marrying a crazy lady!” haha. It was an amazing afternoon. A picnicer on the other side of the lake had heard the commotion I made and (upon realising I wasn’t being attacked) kindly snapped some photos of the precious moment and came to congratulate us. After popping some champagne (and a little more tears), it was time to leave. As we left he put in a special CD he had made that had all these songs that has meant something to us over the last 7yrs…Suffice to say the drive home was teary as well. Nearing Cape Town, he said we’d stop by his place first and then to mine to see the parents (as we live about 30km apart). As we near his suburb he puts on a really special song and tells me to close my eyes and take it in. I do this as he pulls up right in front of his house, and he guides me inside. As his mom opens the front door, I see that all my and his family is there, shouting surprise! (Cue more crying).
From a surprise engagement to a surprise engagement party too, it was a heavily emotional day -I ever thought I’d ‘ugly cry’ when I got engaged, but hey. Whatever. it was amazing. And I am now engaged to my best friend and love of my life and planning our February 2014 wedding… And I know – theres still SO much more excitement in the future! ♥
Thank you for allowing me to share our little story with you – Every love story is beautiful, but ours is my favourite ♥♥♥