As the co-CEO and brains behind HashtagiDo, I’ve been asked by the lady who maintains my website to mark the anniversary of our wedding engagement by sharing the tale of how I pulled off the proposal.
First I should say I’m not a big fan of the loud, gaudy, rent-a-jet-and-write-it-in-the-sky or get-John-Legend-to-show-up-and-sing extravaganzas that have become standard wedding proposal plot points.
Way too much pressure.
Way too much attention.
Just way too much.
The Wife loves this stuff though. I mean…look at this f!*&ing website!!!
So, as with our lives in general, I’m constantly trying to strike a balance between Very Public Displays of Love and keeping the important moments understated and, ideally, private.
We’d been in New York City for about a week. It was the final night of our vacation.
NYC is great, but I wouldn’t call it romantic. It smells. People are rude. As a matter of fact, it smells rude. But that’s part of the charm. We had dinner reservations at a quiet steakhouse (Public. Understated. See what I did there?).
I’d started planning the proposal a couple of months earlier with the purchase of the ring, obviously. My research began with questions for an intern at work who used to sell diamonds (I’m not sure how you go from selling diamonds to interning at a TV station..but he was really helpful). I had the ring hidden at home for about three weeks before we left for New York.
The vacation lead-up to proposal night was great. We stayed at a friend’s apartment in Brooklyn, hit many of the usual tourist spots in NYC, checked out a few non-touristy places so as not to get frowned upon by the locals, had some great food, learned to navigate the subway system…yellow cab, gypsy cab, dollar cab.
The night before I was to propose, I realized I hadn’t really finalized plans with the restaurant to make sure they knew we might cause a scene during dinner and, honestly, to see if they wanted to offer any ideas to add a few touches to make my plan a little more romantic. I called but had to leave a message.
Didn’t get a call back that night.
Or the next morning.
That afternoon we went to see a Breaking Bad exhibit at a museum outside of the city. Sure enough, just hours before dinner, the restaurant called as we’re looking at Walter White’s underpants enclosed in a glass case or something ridiculous-but-cool if you loved the show like we did. I had to duck out of the museum for what felt like a suspicious amount of time to take the call, but the wife didn’t ask any questions so everything was a go.
The cab ride to the restaurant was the first time during the process where I got nervous. I thought Christine might hug me or whatever and notice the ring box I was hiding in my jacket pocket. I considered getting rid of the box, but wanted it to be part of the presentation for an added layer of “Wait a minute…is that…is this fool about to finally…..dufuuuuuuuuq!!”
After being seated at the resturant, I “went to the bathroom” but really went to hand off the ring to the hostess so they could bring it out…all dressed up…on a platter when we ordered “dessert”.
I do not remember a single thing we discussed at dinner. All I remember is trying to make eye contact with someone, anyone on the wait staff to know that things were ok and we were on schedule.
Our server came over after dinner to ask about dessert. We ordered, but it took a really long time for them to bring out “dessert”. I started to wonder if they dropped the ring in the trash disposal or something. After a few more minutes Christine needed to use the restroom. While was she gone a staffer came over to tell me “We’re almost ready. Just trying to make it look really nice!!”
(You involve other women in a proposal, they get really invested.)
Finally, Christine returns from the bathroom. A couple of minutes later the server arrives with “dessert”.
She lifts the lid on the platter.
Christine’s looking at the box.
I’m looking at Christine looking at the box.
Christine grabs her fork.
Turns out she really thought for a second that she was looking at a slice of cheesecake.
Dim lighting in the restaurant.
After a few seconds she realized the box isn’t edible, so she opens it. At that point I think legitimate shock set in because there still wasn’t much of a reaction. It had been six years of ups and an occasional down, so maybe she’d given up hope.
Good!!! It’s always fun to restore someone’s hope, right?
So I said my little speech. I DID NOT get down on one knee. Egregious, I know. I just spaced out. Still…she said yes, which was nice of her. We hugged a little, kissed a little…and I don’t think we interfered with dinner for the other guests seated around us.
Wouldn’t have had it any other way.
Happy Engagement Anniversary to us.