Apr 16, 2015 - Things to Do

My Charlotte engagement: 6 mistakes I made and 1 I didn’t



I got engaged in Charlotte. I’m sharing this so that you can learn from my mistakes and have a more romantic engagement, like the ones you see on The Bachelor (where real love occurs).

Mistake #1 – Talking with a JV jewelry sales person.

I honestly can’t remember what store I was in. It was either Morrison Smith, Karat Patch or Diamonds Direct. I walked in cold because I felt like it was a right of passage. Actually, I did surf BlueNile.com for 3 minutes before I started shopping. My outfit: Nike workout shorts, City Sports t-shirt, calf socks (my favorite) and white sneakers. I already had a diamond, so all I needed was a setting. Should be easy, right? Wrong.

Rep: “What can I do for you?”
Me: “I need an engagement ring setting.”
Rep: “What style do you prefer?”
Me: “Not sure that I know what styles there are.”
Rep: “Do you like baguettes?”
Me: “You mean like the French bread? Yeah, they taste okay.”

Thank goodness I found Howard at Karat Patch (now closed). He noticed that I was a deer in headlights and instead of showing me rings, he sat me down and said: “Tell me about the love of your life.” I’m a marketer, so I understood that this was a sales-based approach, but I loved it. You’re my dawg, Howard.

Mistake #2 – Thinking I have a perfect eye.

I had a simple setting picked out, but my gut felt funny about it. So, I asked Katie (my sister-in-law) to check it out with me at Karat Patch. She responded, “Do you think this is what Lindsey would like?” Let’s just say, I made a switch. Fast. Ended up with baguettes.

Mistake #3 – Hole in my blue J. Crew shirt

The ring was set quicker than I expected. I needed to make the drive to High Point to ask my girlfriend’s parents if I could marry their daughter. Stopped at a Bojangles’ off Business 85 on the way to splash my face. I arrived, they said “yes” and we ate spaghetti. I’m lucky, I love my in-laws.

I wore my favorite J. Crew shirt. Blue. Checked pattern. For some reason, I didn’t realize that it had a hole in the right shoulder. I think I snagged it on a nail at Angry Ale’s the previous weekend. They noticed, but they still love me. That said, I’ll never live that shirt down.


Mistake #4 – Choosing Freedom Park

Do people get engaged here? I thought it would be a romantic spot, but the more I think about it, the more I realize it’s a soccer practice area with an unreal amount of goose poop. I mean, that goose poop is out of control. If you got engaged here, hit me on up your thinking.

Mistake #5 – No backup plan

I had the area at Freedom Park mapped out. Go time. I drove past the park on the way home from work to get myself pumped up and almost had a heart attack. Festival in the Park. Yes, I forgot to check the schedule of events at the park. I was freaking out. What? Who are these art people? Why are they in my engagement area? Can I get a funnel cake?

engaged on street in charlotte

I had no backup plan. But, I had to do it. What other choice did I have? So, I pulled up to King William Apartments where my girlfriend lived. We planned to go for a cute “couples walk” and I had the ring in my pocket. My hands were sweaty. So, we literally walked about .4 miles down the road and I just dropped to a knee. Yes, random sidewalk. Someone ran past with their dog and a mom strolled her baby as I was crying on a knee.

Mistake #6 – Fig Tree reservation.

There’s fancy and then there’s Fig Tree fancy. I thought I was being so sneaky by sending my girlfriend (now wife) a casual electronic message on Thursday afternoon telling her that I just booked a reservation for us at Fig Tree on Friday evening. After we got engaged, as we were driving to Fig Tree, I asked, “You must have been surprised, right?!” She responded “The dinner reservation was a dead giveaway. Since when do you make plans at a fancy restaurant on a normal Friday evening?” I guess I need to get fancier with greater frequency.


Marrying Lindsey and living in Charlotte. Growing up, my mom put a large “22 Keys to Happiness” poster above our playroom toilet. It was eye level during tinkle time. The 1st key was “Marry the right person, it will determine 90% of your happiness in life.” I didn’t really understand that until now. Now that I’m an old, married dad, I think it’s more like 96%.


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