Shed hunting, or the act of combing the forest for deer antlers, is not my idea of a good time.
When Brett and I first started dating, he’d ask me to go shed hunting with him and I’d say something along the lines of, “Go hiking? Yea, sure!”
Once we were out in the woods, Brett had, “Kelly, keep your eyes down! You can’t find any deer antlers when you’re looking up,” on repeat. I would laugh and mutter some form of ‘mmhmm, yea sure.’
After an incident with a cow herd and one too many times saying, “Kelly, look down!” I think he finally gave up and decided it was best to venture out on his own.
Fast forward to May 4, 2016. It’s a Friday night and we’re just about to go to bed. Brett nonchalantly asks if I want to go out for dinner the next night to the Saint Paul Grill.
After the conversation, two things stuck out to me as odd: 1) Brett initiated dinner plans to a fancy restaurant. In the four years I’d known him, I could count on one hand how many times that happened. 2) He wanted to drive into the city…on his day off.
The next afternoon as I’m putting on my makeup, Brett says to me, “I don’t really like that shirt. Do you have anything else?” After picking my jaw up off the floor, I turn around to see him digging through my closet.
What the hell?!
We had lived in the house for an entire year and I had NEVER seen him even open my closet door, let alone physically pick something out for me to wear.
Then he started commenting on my jewelry and how I didn’t have any nice necklaces that weren’t the size of my face.
What the hell?!
The final straw was when he told me I shouldn’t wear heels because we were going to take a long walk…along the river. He suggested a nice pair of flats.
Clearly, hell hath frozen over.
After trying on fifty different outfits and debating about JEWELRY with my boyfriend, we headed over to my parent’s house to drop off the dogs and have a quick drink.
As soon as we got there, Brett disappeared into the garage with my dad and brother and I sought solace with the girls on the front deck.
After about 20 minutes, Brett came over and sat down next to me. He calmly asks, “Want to go for a walk on the path and look for sheds?”
Why yes, of course that’s what I want to do before we head to dinner.
“Absolutely not.” I reply.
“Kell, come on. Just a quick walk. Let’s go.”
“No. Why in the hell would I want to go walking right now? I’m dressed up and wearing my nice shoes. I didn’t come to hike.”
This back and forth goes on for about five minutes.
Finally my mom interjects, “Kelly, go show him the new picket fence I bought.”
“Fine. Let’s go shed hunting right before we go to dinner,” I say sarcastically.
So, we walk around the house and head out on the path. He then has the audacity to tell me, “Kelly, look down. You’re not going to find anything looking up.”
To say I lost it would be an understatement.
“Are you [expletive…use your imagination] kidding me, Brett? I’m wearing flats and dressed up for dinner. Why in God’s name are we out here HIKING?!”
After I finally shut my mouth I look at Brett. He’s uncharacteristicly calm and maybe even slightly smug.
“Kelly, just keep your eyes on the ground,” he says.
I throw my head down and all of a sudden, WHAP. I’m smoked in the face with a tree branch.
If I had any sort of composure left, it was quickly out the door followed by another string of expletives.
“BRETT! If I wasn’t so busy keeping my head down I wouldn’t have just gotten nailed in the head with a tree branch. WHAT THE HELL?”
We continue walking for another five or so minutes, along with the bitching and not-so-subtle glares in Brett’s direction.
He notices and says one more time, “KELLY, LOOK DOWN!”
I throw another quick glare his way and my eyes find the grass.
There in the open field is a deer antler, sitting just so perfectly.
I turn around and face him.
“Are you kidding me?! You’re trying to TRAIN me to shed hunt so you PLANTED ONE?!”
“Kelly… just go look at……….”
And his voice trails off because as I walk closer to the antler, I see the most beautiful ring hanging from one of the tines.
Speechless for the first time that evening, I turn around to see Brett right behind me. He picks up the ring and gets down on one knee…
Maybe this whole shed hunting thing isn’t so bad after all 🙂
p.s. the flowers are freshly cut from my own (!!) garden as a test run for our centerpieces and bridal bouquets, and they’re ready for their time in the spot light.
All our best,