Friday, April 06, 2007

Proposal - Part Two

21:50 GMT/16:50 EST

Actually, I expected being officially ‘engaged’ to be more earth-shattering.

Instead there’s just a warm glow of rightness and the world is a very contented place.

If you, the reader, have done this properly, you will already have read the post I composed back in January and published just before this one. If you haven’t, go back and read it now before I fill you in on what has happened since.

So, I booked a hotel not long after writing that; it was a bit of a fuss as there are so many hotels to choose from in New York and hence many variables in the decision. I decided not to splash ridiculous amounts of money on a fancy suite overlooking the park – we’re only there for a few days and most of that will probably be spent out and about. However the mid-priced, midtown hotel I picked does have a roof terrace with ‘fantastic view of the Empire State Building, one block away’ and is close to a number of Metro stations for getting around.

Since then, work has gotten a little crazy and I had to be prompted to invite people to dinner and then realised that I was fast running out of weekends when I was free to go ring shopping.

In the end I spent a Saturday along Old Bond Street with Ping. I think we walked the length of it at least twice, going into the various jewellers to check out their offerings. It’s amazing how many variations there are on ‘a simple, classic wedding band in platinum.’ In the end, when I got to see them in person, it turned out that I didn’t really like the designs of the Cartier rings and they had a fairly limited stock. It came down to a decision between almost identical rings by Asprey and Tiffany and in the end I plumped for the Tiffany one and came away with an incredibly camp looking little blue/green bag containing a gift-wrapped ring box.

The camp bag rapidly got disguised in a Boots carrier bag and shortly thereafter was secreted in my desk drawer at work, ready for retrieval last night.

Again because of work, it turned out that I gave very little thought to the actual proposal until the morning of the big day itself when it suddenly crystallised in my head that today was The Big Day and I should get something lined up that would bear repeating and not sound too much like a moron stumbling over expressing his feelings. In the end the fates were kind to me; Thursday afternoon was lovely, sunny and warm so, as I rode the train home from work, I determined I’d propose going up to the Common to enjoy the last of the sunshine and celebrate the start of the long weekend. Brett was not averse, having spent most of his day at the computer, so we headed out towards the village.

He did throw one fly into the ointment; he’d lined himself up with an informal interview for Friday at noon in the Liverpool Street area – exactly the time that the car was booked to collect us from Wimbledon. Nothing was going to stop the juggernaut of my best laid plans though so I hoped that, for an occasion such as this, a telephone interview might work or a rearrangement could be had.

Anyway, we strolled up the hill and picked up some fruit juice at Tesco’s. I spotted they had fresh strawberries too, so I grabbed them and popped some thick double-cream into the basket. We picked a spot on the Common not far from the pond, laid down on the jackets we’d brought (primarily because I had the ring in the pocket of mine!) and enjoyed the moment.

The strawberries were nice, but it turned out the fresh pineapple chunks that Brett had bought went better with the cream, so we worked our way through those until I found a suitable moment to say ‘I love you.’ I followed up with telling him why, and how I felt we fit so well together and ended up presenting him with the box and asking if he’d marry me. He said ‘yes’ and we kissed and then just lay there in the afternoon sun, eating pineapple and cream and feeling good.

We talked a bit about ceremonies and dates but didn’t come to any firm conclusions. It turned out that the proposal was not totally unexpected; Brett had felt some kind of marriage vibe from me when we were back at my parents’ place for Christmas – which is indeed when the whole proposal plan was coming together in my head.

We couldn’t spend too long lingering on the Common though as we’d invited people for dinner and needed to get ready.

The dinner was excellent; Lydon’s does do good food and they had champagne on ice for us when we arrived. After it had been poured but before we’d gotten around to toasting anything, I admitted that I had something else to do and handed Brett a plain envelope for him to open. It contained the confirmation of our tickets for ‘Company’. He didn’t spot the date though, so asked when we were going to New York and was quite blown away when I said, ‘tomorrow.’ It definitely had the desired effect.

The rest of the meal went well; both the food and wine were excellent and the company was congenial – although to be honest I have limited recollection of the over dinner conversation beyond occasionally wondering what Rod and Jess were making of some of the more explicit gay banter. (I didn’t get much chance to talk to them as they were sat across the (round) table from me, so I’ll have to organise something smaller when we get back.)

This morning started just right; not too early and not too late. We got up and breakfasted, did the usual morning routine of checking emails, reading the news then showering and dressing, then started packing. The timing was perfect and we were sorted just a little ahead of the car arriving.

Things went smoothly at the airport. Despite my fears to the contrary, Brett didn’t spot the fact that the boarding pass said ‘Club World’ rather than ‘World Traveller’ and accepted my explanation that I’d splashed a little extra cash to get us into the lounges (which was actually perfectly true.) We missed the complimentary facial at Molton Brown’s because we needed to reserve a time and didn’t go down to investigate until too late, but we still had the luxury of fast-tracking through security and a comfortable place to relax and enjoy refreshments before boarding.

Just as planned, Brett was gobsmacked again when we boarded the plane and got directed to the left rather than the right.

British Airways have recently started refitting their Club Class seating and, sitting in the central two seats, we are virtually in our own private cabin. We accepted the pre-flight champagne and toasted ourselves while settling into our little cocoon. In the end we were especially glad of our luxury, as the plane went technical before we pushed-back and we were delayed for three hours while they replaced an engine management unit on the number two engine. As we waited we helped ourselves to sandwiches from the Club Kitchen and the stewards served drinks while we enjoyed the new onboard entertainment system; a wide selection of video and audio on demand.

We were airborne exactly three hours after our scheduled departure time but I really don’t feel any the worse for it. I’ve watched a documentary on the Incas, they served us dinner as soon as we were up (oh, yes, fine cuisine it was too!), we’ve spent a while reading and now I’m blogging away as Brett reclines beside me.

Life is good, enveloped in that warm glow of ‘rightness’ and I am contented with the world as I hold my husband-to-be’s hand, 38,000 feet over the Atlantic Ocean.

1 comment:

TM said...