Here's how the Duggars do long distance: They don't. On the Tuesday, September 20, episode of Counting On, Jinger Duggar was still flying high from her recent trip to visit her love interest, Jeremy Vuolo, in Laredo, Texas. Two days had passed since Jinger and her parents had returned to Arkansas, but the former pro soccer player turned pastor was still pretty much the only thing she could think about.
Fortunately, he was already en route to see her again! Little did Jinger know that Jeremy had planned a trip to see her this soon after her return. Some people did know, however. Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar, along with Ben Seewald and Jessa, were all in on the surprise. Discussing Jeremy's future with her sister, Jessa reflected that she and Ben had courted for 11 months (which is a long time in the Duggar household), but Derick Dillard and Jill had only courted for three. Jessa predicted Jeremy and Jinger would follow in Jill and Derick's footsteps and be engaged soon.
"As I've gotten to know Jinger, it has become very clear to me that this is the woman that I want to marry," Jeremy said to the camera, though his specific intentions for this trip remained undefined.
Since Ben and Jeremy were good friends (as a refresher, they knew each other before Jinger and Jeremy met), Ben picked the Texan up at the airport — and headed straight for the jewelry store. Jeremy called Jim Bob on the way to White's Jewelers and invited him to join as well, explaining that he "didn't want to do anything behind [Jim Bob's] back" since Jinger is his daughter.
Before they even set foot inside the shop (which happened to be the same place Jim Bob and Ben had both gotten their engagement rings as well), Jeremy had a pretty good idea of what he wanted. He knew Jinger liked princess-cut diamonds, and he liked the look of a cathedral setting. Thanks to some prior detective work by Jessa, he also knew that Jinger's ring size was a 5½.
It didn't take long for Mr. White to present a ring that fit the bill perfectly, putting Jeremy in an awkward spot. On one hand, he had only intended to "browse" today. On the other hand, he knew this was the ring. After sending his mother a picture and gushing some more about how much his parents loved Jinger, he declared it was "the one" for his future bride. "I think I found the ring for Jinger," he said with a smile.
Mr. White took it back and said he would "get an appraisal" on it — indicating it did not yet have a price. (Though it's safe to say the price features a special TLC airtime discount.) It seemed that he left the store without the ring … for now.
At this point, Jinger still had no idea Jeremy was in town, and she, Jessa and baby Spurgeon headed to lunch at their go-to eatery, Tacos for Life. "It's only been two days, but I miss him so much," a lovesick Jinger reported to her sister. Then she gushed about how he was her best friend, and she was excited to learn "God's plan" for them. Jessa smiled and nodded, but probably wasn't really listening since: 1. She'd likely heard all this (many times!) before, and 2. Her real task was to keep Jinger distracted so she didn't suspect anything out of the ordinary was going on.
Jessa had arranged with the restaurant in advance to make sure Jinger was seated with her back to the kitchen — so she didn't see when Ben and Jeremy walked out carrying their taco order. Jeremy set the tray in front of Jinger, who did a double take before realizing it was actually her likely soon-to-be husband.
"It was the best thing ever!" she laughed before asking how he'd managed to fool her when they'd been video-chatting that very morning. She then said she felt like she was in a dream: "Just the thought of being a couple and going on a double date — it just is incredible."
After this, Jeremy joined some of the family for go-karting and bumper boats at a local family activity park. This seemed rather anticlimactic after the jewelry store visit, but Jinger mused, "I don't know if next time he visits, I'll have another surprise." Here's to hoping!
Flame and Crystal Visit From the City
Ben and Jessa have been friendly with Christian hip-hop artist Flame and his wife, Crystal, for some time now, and the duo came to visit. This too felt rather anticlimactic after the tease that Jeremy and Jinger might get engaged before the end of the episode. Still, Ben and Jessa were excited to show their city friends what life was like in the country.
Activities included grilling in the Seewalds' backyard, checking out a local musical instrument store, visiting Jana's vegetable garden, driving a tractor and forcing Jessa's siblings to play a few songs for their guests while Flame danced awkwardly in his chair. "Man, they could make their own album," Crystal said. Flame then got roped into showing off his skills on the cello, which were … umm … kind of rusty.
Jessa revealed she is afraid of bugs, and the show wrapped without Jeremy proposing to Jinger. Until next week …
Tell Us: Do you think it's too soon for Jeremy and Jinger to get engaged?
Counting On airs on TLC Tuesdays at 8 p.m. ET.
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