Monday, August 10, 2009

The Engagement Story (E Day, Phase 4: The Proposal)

Forgive me for leaving you hangin’ on the last post! We left the story in the back of the limousine on the romantic evening Jessi thought she had won. I assumed she had no clue that I might have had a hand in rigging the whole thing. The truth was about to come out.

We had spoken the day before about her uneasiness taking pictures while we were just dating. We talked through the issue then, but I could see it hadn’t been completely resolved. It didn’t help the matter when during one of our stops a young woman asked if we were taking engagement pictures. Yikes! I kind of chuckled given what was coming, but I knew Jessi wasn’t doing well. So I asked her to open up with me when we climbed back into the limo.

After finally relenting, she shared the hidden story from the past few days. Some of her friends had become suspicious of this romantic “giveaway”, so they took it upon themselves to give the matter a closer look. They examined the email I had sent Jessi along with the registration site. They even looked up the phone number of the Bisetti’s manager who had called to ensure she was from Colorado. The kicker is, after their investigation, they came to the conclusion that the prize was indeed legitimate! Their suggestion that I might try to pull of an engagement like this was flattering to me but hard for Jessi because she allowed herself to dream for a moment. But after getting her hopes up by the idea, she had to resign herself to an evening of pictures and dinner with no proposal (wink).

With my new knowledge of the situation, I decided to call an audible. I had planned to propose at dinner but now found it more advantageous to propose while taking pictures in the foothills. Better to celebrate the rest of the night than try to change her emotional state. After all, who could beat the beauty of the Rocky Mountains at sunset!

I carefully tipped off the photographer and limo driver of the change in plans. They searched for the perfect spot and waited for the sun to drop just below the mountains for the perfect lighting. At the next stop I brought along the little pink bag with the ring inside. Fortuitously, two weeks earlier I had purchased Jessi earrings that came in a little black box which I placed in the same little pink bag. We decided to exchange the black pearls for white, so she assumed the bag carried her new earrings. Of course, I had explained to her earlier that I would give her the earrings during her special night.

We walked toward the beautiful lake, and Jessi took her place on a big rock. But prior to receiving her earrings, I wanted to read a poem. I had written the first half of it after waking up in the middle of the night thinking about her, even before we started officially dating. The second half I had composed just prior to coming to Colorado.

As I neared the end of the poem, I pulled the little black box from the bag. She giggled with delight and said, “My earrings!” I smiled and replied, “Before you get your earrings, I have one more line to the poem.” At this point I struggled to keep my composure. Early on in our relationship we both agreed we would reserve the word “love” for a true commitment. I would never say it until I had a ring on her finger.

As I read those last three words, “I love you,” she struggled to figure out what was happening. By the time I had finished saying her full name, she was in tears. The game was up. I opened the box, took a knee, and asked her to spend the rest of her life with me. I’m sure she had no idea what exactly I asked, but through her tears, she exclaimed, “YES!!!”

Click her to view pictures of the moment.

View Phase 5.

Return to Phase 3, Phase 2, or Phase 1.

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