Tuesday, May 05, 2009

My Proposal

9 years ago I started the first day of my college internship with the BWC. It was May 14th - the day I first Met Lovanna. While it would be sweet to say I remember the day because we fell in love right at that very moment - that's not the case. It was the day after my 20th birthday and I still had a headache from the night before.

I do remember the very first moment I saw her, as the elevator doors opened. Why do I remember it, you might wonder.. It was the first time in my life I had ever seen such an attractive asian girl. I was seeing someone else, so its not that I wanted to run up and ask her out - but she was cute. I looked forward to working with her all summer.

About an hour later we were in the middle of a sexual harassment orientation video when I fell dead asleep. The lights were off, the video was boring, and frankly - I was working for the State - who cares.

That very first day I must have made some impression, falling asleep at work, spilling chili all over myself, and really just not caring about the job. Somehow we clicked though - I spent close to 2 hours every day that summer laying down on her desk -- no, not that way. Literally just sprawled out bored with nothing to do.

Flash forward to December 6th, 2003. For years I had been Lov's fallback plan - she had a business function and didnt have a date - she called me. I never really understood what she got from this, but I got free food and all I could drink. You don't look a gift horse in the mouth.

About an hour into this christmas party things were different. Very different. Lov taking shots of whiskey different. Who kissed who is irrelevant, and no one believes me anyways.

Flash forward to april 2009.

I'm ready to propose, and no one knows it. I know that she is the only girl that would ever make me as happy as I had been for the past 5 years. She may drive me crazy here and there, but only someone you truly love can evoke that kind of frustration :-P

So I may not have always been the best boyfriend, and anyone who knows me knows that she has had to deal with all of my eccentricaties. For the most part she has loved me for who I am - and for that I am infinitely confounded and appreciative.

I knew she wanted to be surprised. I knew she would want a proposal to remember. I had the ring, I needed a plan. I am not creative, nor rich. Crap.

So after alot of thought about ideas like flying her to NYC to see her famous jewelry designer friend, cost and execution risk were just too high. I knew of a company that does custom wine bottle labels, but Lov isnt the biggest drinker; I could imagine the disaster of trying to get her to look at a wine bottle and her screaming at me that she didnt want any. Thats out.

Deadline approaching. Explanation: Last december the Internation Gem and Jewelry show was in town. Through the help of a friend, I secured what was to be her ring without her knowledge. I may have had to stretch the truth by giving her an explanation of putting down a deposit to hold a price; Not a lie if you consider my payment a 100% deposit that locked in the price forever as it was now in my possession.

So the next Gem Show will be may 9th. I may have dropped a hint or two that I couldn't make plans that weekend as I might want to go to the Gem Show. That left me with less than a month, and one of those would be while I was in Vegas on business.

So after a little searching I found out that Gallery Hop in the Short North was May 2nd. Perfect. A great excuse to get our friends out without arousing too many suspicions. I started looking into various businesses around the short north, not sure what I was looking for. Then I came across Paul Palnik's website. I had this crazy idea that he might be able to make something custom for me. I called him and proposed the idea, and you cannot imagine my shock when he said he was game. Apparently no one had ever thought of proposing in his gallery before.

So once I had that locked down it was time to put the plan into action. That night I met with her parents, and asked for their permission to marry their daughter. The real fear in that moment was that her mom was gonig to run out and tell Lovanna right then. Thankfully that didnt happen.

I clued Stella in on the plan, and told her that I would need her help planting the seed of wanting to go to Gallery Hop. She was on board from the start.

The following weekend was the retreat and it was a nice getaway; left that directly for the airport and a week in Vegas. I found myself unable to sleep all week there - a combination of nerves, red bull, and the hotel's enriched oxygen pumping through my veins.

Saturday morning I had lunch with Henry, then Lov and I did a little shopping. Not realizing how much I had deprived myself of sleep, I fell into a 2-3 hour nap. I woke up 15 minutes before we were to leave for Stella's bday dinner at Alanas. We, of course, were late.

At dinner I downed most of a bottle of red wine, trying to keep from breaking into an all out sweat. Thoughts of whether she knew kept running through my head. I convinced myself time and again there was no way she could know. One last prayer that the weather would stay nice...

After Jeff and Ian's spring concert, we all hopped into cars for the Gallery Hop. First stop was Gallery V (which has apparently been renamed), another one I cant even remember the name of, and then it was go time.

As stella lead the pack.. I hung back. John Wung had just shown up, and was planning on catching up with us later. I clued him in as to what was about to go down, and he quickly began preparing his camera.

As I turned the corner I saw Lov a few steps from the gallery door. DISASTER - what if she walked in and saw before everyone was there??? So I quickly grabbed her arm and told her we should wait for everyone. Stella quickly hopped into the store to figure out where exactly my piece was. As people slowly entered the door, I drifted away from Lovanna, assured with Stella directly between Lov and the piece. I then asked Elliot to have his camera ready, and let him know what was about to transpire.

The rest is history. Elliot and John's pictures captured the emotions of the moment better than my words ever could.

The picture story is below, but thanks are in order:
#1 - God : for everything you have done for Lovanna and I, but espeically for the great weather you gave us that night
#2 - stella - could not have done it without you
#3 - Paul Palnik (his art is really cool, and he made this all possible)
#4 - Supreme Gems Corp - lov loves the rings - you guys did a great job!

The point of no return,