Wednesday, May 20, 2009

History of ACs - Our Engagement - Behind the Scenes

This is the second installment of the History of the ACs. Three years ago today, Allison and I were engaged. Most of you have heard our engagement story, but this is a behind the scenes look of what I went through leading up to and immediately after the engagement.

I knew for a while that I wanted to marry Allison. I just didn't know when the right time to ask was. I knew no matter how I proposed, we would remember it forever, but I wanted it to be in a special place or around a special event. Something that would really knock her socks off.

So while I was trying to figure that out, I decided to focus on the ring. I went to Gems of the Jungle in Downtown Orlando. They custom made a hell of a ring for me. I sold some stock to pay for it and waited for them to finish the ring.

I finally got the call that the ring was ready. I gave Allison some excuse for why I needed to go to work early so I could get out of carpooling with her and then it was time to get the cash and pick up the ring. I had to leave work early, get to the bank before it closed and stash the cash before Allison got home. Sounds easy right?

Got to the bank. No problem. Cashed the check and was ready to go home. Then Allison called with a list of things for me to pick up from Publix. For those of you who don't know me well, I can be a little paranoid at times. I always think someone is going to steal my wallet or take Allison's purse. Maybe it's from growing up in NY, who knows. Anyway, now I am in Publix, with a few thousand dollars in cash in my pockets. It looked like Mission Impossible picking out the groceries. I'm looking at the cans, trying to find the right type of tomato sauce, puree and paste. An old lady comes down the aisle, is she eyeballing my pockets? Did she just see me at the bank? Keep it moving grandma. Nothing to see here.

I checked out of the store safe and now I'm heading towards the car. There are some girls asking for money for their softball team. I could but the whole team, put my picture on their shirts. Nah, better not. Driving home, checking the rear view, making sure I'm not being followed. Got home. No sign of funny business. I went inside, stashed the cash and waited for Allison to come home. The next morning, I waited for Allison to get in the shower, locked the doors behind me and transferred the cash to the laptop bag.

I took Steven with me and we went over to the jeweler. Checked the ring, loved it and brought it back. I gave it to Steven to carry just in case Allison saw us. We worked for the same company, but in different buildings, but there was an odd chance that we could bump into each other. It was safe, so I took the ring back. Didn't see Allison, but Juan from HR saw us and said "What's in the bag? Engagement ring?" I had to play that off really quick. It's a small, close knit company, I would have been pissed if someone spilled the beans. So I came up with a quick lie. Who knows if he bought it or not, but the surprise was still intact.

Got home stashed the ring and got back to the planning of the engagement. My original plan was to buy tickets to Disney for Steven & Stephanie and have them take pix of me proposing to Allison in front of Cinderella's Castle. I though that was a good idea. I called Disney and made a few dinner reservations to make sure I had a table. Then I called Disney to get a reserved spot during Wishes. They said "We don't do that" but they did have alternative options. I went with dinner and a glass slipper inside the Castle.

My birthday is June 3rd, we got engaged on May 20th. I had my mother send me a birthday card with an insert saying something like "enjoy dinner on us at Cinderella's castle" It didn't make much sense since I am a grown man and not a little girl, but I sold it well enough to Allison and she bought it.

Today's the day. May 20th. I secured the ring. Let me tell you how I secured it. I put the ring in a ziplock bag. I put bubble wrap around that. I wrapped a handkerchief around the whole thing and taped it to the inside of my pocket. I did say I secured the ring.

We're in the park. I make sure not to go on Space Mountain or any other dangerous rides, even though that ring was not going anywhere. We headed over to the restaurant. Now remember those multiple reservations I mentioned earlier, here is where they come into play.
Me: Anthony 2.
Disney: Sorry, don't see it.
Me: check again, I know its there.
Disney: Oh here you are, table for 3, on Wednesday.
Me to Allison: (slightly panicking) Go in that store over there, I'll figure this out.
Me to Disney: Dude, I'm getting engaged tonight. I have a reservation for 2 at the center table. Get someone and figure this out.
Disney: Oh sir. We'll work this out for you. Have a magical day.
Me to myself: Magical day my ass...get me a table
Me to Disney: Thanks.
Disney Manager: OK, we have a table for you, but your glass slipper isn't here. It's across the park and it has the wrong date. Don't worry. We sent someone for it. Come back in 30 minutes Everything will be ready.
Me to self: Holy Sh*t

We killed some time. Went on Philharmagic and came back. The manager told me to leave the table after I ordered and meet her to exchange the ring. Allison wouldn't suspect anything because I often leave the table, or used to when my stomach was really bad. When I took the ring out of my pocket, I swear the manager laughed at me. I tried to explain my hanky, bubble wrap contraption, but she was too far gone. She was laughing and wished me luck.

We ate dinner and I was kinda freaking out the whole time. In the weeks leading up to this night, I had told Allison a fib about a special birthday dessert. The normal Anthony would not have stopped talking about this dessert all day. So I forced myself to talk about this fictional delight. They cleared our dinner plates and about 30 seconds later they brought the ring out in a covered platter, put it in front of Allison and revealed the ring. I was on.

I got on my knee and started talking. I don't really remember what I said. I thought about it a few days before, I was going to jot down some notes, but I thought that would be cheesy. I knew when I was there in the moment, I'd come up with something good. She said yes, so I must have said something right. While I was proposing, I tried to get Allison's hand away from her face. She was covering her mouth in shock and her hand seemed like it was crazy glued to her mouth. In stead of getting mad and forcing it away, I decided to try the other hand.

It all went well, she said yes and the rest is history. I knew I did I great job, but got assurance from a redneck man in a Nascar t-shirt. "Classy man, really classy" Well thank you Mr. Nascar fan. If anyone knows class, it's a redneck in a Nascar t-shirt. I don't mean to bash him, I did appreciate the compliment, but I thought it was pretty funny.

We finished the night by watching Disney Wishes and buying some Disney wedding stuff from the shops. Our parents both knew I was proposing and were probably flipping out, because we didn't call them until the next morning to share the news. Baby C, little buddy, when you decide to us, send us a txt, or do whatever fancy new type of communication is out 20-30 years from now, but let us know how it went!

Hope you enjoyed the story & Happy Engagement Anniversary to you Allison.


Audrey said...

Awwwwwww... adorable. :-) I know the feeling, too. Jonathan proposed to me at the Palace of Fine Arts in San Fran (since we don't exactly live next door to Disney the way you guys must!), but the second we were finished with the proposing/accepting thing (in synopsis: a picnic blanket, a Go board, a Tiffany ring box, me in tears, laughter, kissing, asking passing strangers who'd begun clapping to take our picture), Jon surprised me by taking me straight to Oakland airport for a quick flight to Disneyland. Disney fans are so romantic! Well done, Anthony.

Jenn Corbett said...

What a great story!! I can't wait to read the baby's birth story - if it's anything like the bubble wrapped ringbox it's bound to be a good one. =)

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