A Squared: Engagement Flashback

Monday, August 20, 2012

Engagement Flashback

I can't believe it has been this long already, but today marks the two year anniversary of the day that Alex proposed to me.  In honor of this day, I'd like to take you on a little trip down memory lane and let you know how things transpired on the days leading up to that special evening...

In 2010 my birthday fell in the middle of the week, so when Alex started planning a big "surprise" for the weekend before my birthday I was feeling pretty confident that he was going to propose.  We had been together for a little over 3 years at that point and I had moved to Chicago for him-- it was about time!  He's also not one that is usually into elaborate plans and big surprises, so I knew that this had to be something special.  Also, I'm a bit Type A.  I hate being surprised and he knows that.  Little did I know I was in for a week full of them!

Alex making pasta sauce

I quizzed Alex endlessly about what we were doing and got nowhere-- except that I could dress casually.  We got on the Brown line on Saturday night and stop after stop I continued to guess: Dinner at Cafe Ba-Ba-Reeba?  No.  A Cubs game? No.  Blue Man Group Show? No.  Okay, the last two guesses would have really made me question whether Alex actually knew anything about me after 3+ years together, but the further north we went the more clueless I was about where we were going.  We finally ended up getting off the train at the Western stop.  Safe to say I had never been that far north on the train before!

We started walking through Lincoln Square and I saw a jewelry shop-- yay!  However, we kept walking right past it and into the Chopping Block where Alex had arranged a couple's Tuscan cooking class.  As you know, I love to cook and Italian food holds a special place in my heart so this really was a perfect gift for me (and it proved that-- sigh-- he really does know me!), but alas we made our food, we ate it, we headed home, and there was no engagement ring that night.

Me with my sisters Megan and Libby at Scoozi

My real birthday was a few days later and little did I know another surprise was planned.  At the time my dad was working in the Chicago suburbs a few days a week so we were having weekly dinners with him and my Uncle Greg (who also worked with him).  I knew that we'd be having dinner with them on my birthday evening.  That morning my sister Megan (above middle-- my twin, 11 years younger) accidentally spoiled surprise #2 by writing "Happy Birthday-- see you tonight! :)" on my Facebook wall.  Oops!  So that cat was out of the bag-- Mom, Megan, and my sister Libby had flown out to join us for a birthday dinner at Scoozi.  

Okay, my family is in town and it's my real birthday.  It seemed like this could be the night, right?  Alex is a bit of an introvert and isn't the kind of guy to make a scene in a restaurant like that though, so there was no ring that night and I assumed I'd be waiting until Christmas for my next potential engagement opportunity.

Kit, Michael, Alex, and me

By the following weekend, I had already shelved the hope for an engagement ring and was just trying to make plans with friends.  Alexis was totally avoiding making any plans with me for the weekend, which really annoyed me-- she's my best friend!  What gives?  Alex was equally annoying on Friday when we were texting at work and I was trying to make plans for dinner.  He just kept saying "let's just talk about it after work."  I'm a planner.  This doesn't work for me.  

Alex and me with Kerri and Scott

I got home to find a note from Alex on the kitchen counter.  He said he was taking me out for a nice birthday dinner and this time it would be just the two of us.  I got dressed up and again, quizzed him about where we were going.  He had made reservations at Coco Pazzo-- a nice Italian place that I had always wanted to try.  He was not himself at dinner-- preoccupied and in a huge rush.  He almost didn't let me get dessert.  Seriously?  Don't mess with my dessert.  This is MY birthday dinner, after all.  I also didn't realize it at the time, but the maitre d' was all over us the whole night-- really overly attentive.  Apparently he was tipped off by Alex's bosses that a proposal may happen that evening... everyone was in on it!

Morgan, me, Alexis (MoH), and Tara

We left the restaurant and walked back toward home when Alex stopped me on the Kinzie Street Bridge.  I've always said that I wanted to take my wedding pictures here since the bridge has such a great view of the Chicago skyline.  We were looking at the skyline when Alex pulled out a ring and (finally) popped the question.  It was perfect and I can honestly say that I was totally surprised.  He did an awesome job and the ring was exactly what I wanted-- a simple solitaire on a tapered band that was not yellow gold.  

Tony (groomsman), Kyle, Cheryl, Amy, me, Nate (groomsman), and Alex

After it sank in for a few minutes Alex said we should go to New Line Tavern to celebrate with a drink.  I contested.  I was tired and overwhelmed and I just wanted to go home and call my mom.  But he insisted, so we walked to New Line and I walked over to the bar, but heard cheering behind me and turned around to see our best Chicago friends in the back of the pub waiting for us.  Surprise #3!  Or was the ring #3 and the impromptu engagement party surprise #4?  I lost count, but it was a fantastic way to celebrate our big news. 

Alex and Ted

I also failed to mention that Alex took Alexis along to select my ring and she also helped him plan the whole surprise.  No wonder she was being so shifty!  We also came to realize that I have much fatter fingers than her and I was wearing my engagement ring around on my pinky finger that evening.

Reflection of my ring-- sized to fit!-- in the "bean"

We celebrated with all of our friends, I called my parents, and then I just wanted to go to sleep.  What an exhausting evening!  Of course I didn't sleep at all.  I just wanted to get up and go to the jeweler and get my ring resized.  The next morning we got up bright and early-- I think I had slept a total of 45 minutes. We went to the jeweler to get that done and on our way back Alex suggested that we stop and grab some lunch.  I suggested a place and he shot it down almost immediately.  Seriously?  Why was he being such a brat this weekend?  He suggested we go to Hannah's Bretzel for a sandwich.  We turned the corner to get to Hannah's and there was my final surprise for the weekend: Brad and Kristen-- two of our best friends from Boston (who now live in L.A.) were waiting outside the restaurant for us.  It was truly a huge surprise and such a fun/great/memorable way to end a weekend full of surprises.

Kristen and me with our favorite chocolate martinis

Kristin, Brad, and Alex at Jefferson Tap

And as much as I hate being surprised, I couldn't have dreamed up a better proposal story if you had asked me to.  Thank you, Alex for pulling out all of the stops.  You continue to surprise me every day.  In a good way.  :)  I love you!

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...