The Chef is a planner, and he’d known how he wanted to propose since before we started dating. And it’s all due to a bet. Read on and I’ll explain.
We went to New York to spend Thanksgiving with the Chef’s family, his dad, stepmom, and sister. (Just to clarify, the Chef’s stepmom Sue we always call mom and his real mom Mother, just to help us tell them apart.) After spending Thanksgiving with mom’s big Italian family on Long Island, on Friday went into the city to do the tourist thing.
Our friends from Denver, Jim and Amanda, were also in New York spending time with Jim’s parents. Jim and the Chef grew up together, playing together as kids and taking Kung Fu together, later they both ended up moving to Colorado to college. So the two city boys took Amanda and I, cowgirls from the West, out to see the city.
Because of a bet the Chef and Jim made years and years ago, we were going on a Circle Line Cruise around the island of Manhattan. The bet was that whichever of the two got married first, would lose the bet and have to buy the other guy and his girlfriend tickets for a cruise around the City. And of course the Chef being who he is was determined to win, and waited two months after Jim and Amanda got married before he took me to New York.
During the three hour cruise around the city, I had a pretty good idea that the Chef was going to ask the BIG question, but as the boat chugged along nothing happened. He kept getting phone calls and leaving the room. The boat got closer and closer to the end of the trip, and we passed great views of the Statue of Liberty, SoHo, Yankee Stadium... still nothing. So I gave up on my idea that he would ask me. (After all I’d already had a dozen or so experiences where I was SURE that he was going to propose, and he didn’t, so I was used to it)
When the ship docked, I asked everyone if they wanted to go outside on the deck and take pictures right before we left the boat. I took pictures of Jim and Amanda, and then handed our camera to Jim so he could take pictures of the Chef and I. After a couple of shots, I was ready to go and started walking away. The Chef had other ideas, pulled me back and gave me a big hug, and said he had a question to ask me. Immediately I knew what he was going to say! He got down on one knee and took my hand and started telling me all of these sweet wonderful things.
My brain fizzled with excitement and I couldn’t really hear what he was saying, the only thing running through my mind was, “Yes! He’s proposing! I can’t believe it! This is so romantic! He’s got a ring box! … WAIT… he’s got the wrong hand!”
I couldn’t hear what he was telling me because I was sure he was going to put the ring on the wrong hand. He paused, and I thought he’d finished so I yelled, “Yes!”
According to the Chef, he never actually finished the question. He said something like, “Will you…?” And my exuberant answer cut him off. Oh well, I was excited!
He put the HUGE diamond on my finger, a family heirloom, and we kissed, dazzled by the moment.
But the surprises weren't over for me yet. As we departed the boat, I saw Vince and Heather, more dear friends of ours standing on the dock with a dozen red roses. The Chef had arranged them to fly in from Denver to surprise me and be with us on our big day. Originally they were supposed to be on the boat with us and watch the proposal, but they missed the boat by minutes and had to stay on the shore.
We celebrated by eating dinner in Chinatown, and later had dessert in Little Italy, before going to Rockefeller Center to watch the ice skaters and check out the tree (which was up but not yet lit). We window shopped, and had a blast enjoying the Christmas season in the City.
Still another surprise, the next day, my fiancé’s mom and dad threw a huge engagement party for us as the local Veteran's Hall. They decorated, made lasagna and Chinese food, and entertained us with performances by ballroom dancers. The engagement party was fancier than some weddings I’ve been too! We laughed, ate, and danced before enjoying an amazing cake. I felt so special and loved, it was incredible, and very overwhelming. I kept telling the Chef that I kept feeling like a minister was going to step out and marry us on the spot.