Sunday, November 19, 2006

the proposal - from his (entertainment) perspective

so, here's my version of the story. i think that arts is going to post her version as well, so we'll see if we're on the same page ;)

on friday, november 17th, i convinced arts that she had to ditch 2 sets of her friend's getting together. eek. tough to get her to come out on our date early enough for me to have time for all my plans. fortunately, one group of friends cancelled their get-together, and arts was able to beg out of the other without knowing how important it was to do so.

the plan (that she knew) was just to have a really nice date, and replicate parts of our first big date. that meant dinner at our fave mexican place in boston - tu y yo (which means "you and i" in spanish - which even i know) followed by a concert featuring habib koite. on our first date almost 2 years ago, we saw habib with his band bamada. this year, habib was part of a tour called acoustic africa with south african vusi mahlasela and ivoirienne dobet gnahore).

but this year, there was a wrinkle. in between the two parts of the evening, there would be a certain proposal.

the plan in action
the evening started out perfect. arts came by my office and i was ready to go. all dressed up for the show, looking good, ring in a deep pocket of the boubou. and arts had a great day, so she was in a great mood. nice.
we walked down to the restaurant, and got seated at the same table as on our first date. great!

got our food order in, a nice little half carafe of white sangria, and had a lovely dinner. soup appetizer, main courses, and some oaxacan hot chocolate for dessert. yummy. we had arrived just in time as the spot filled up with folks and there was a line out the door. i used that as a pretext for hurrying us out of the restaurant so we could "walk around" a bit before the show.

once outside, we headed across the street to a little park that i'd never explored before. we walked around a bit, up a little rise, past a marker (for a pickle !? factory) and then to an overlook beneath some gorgeous tall trees. arts asked if i wanted to keep walking, and i said, no. um . ..
and let it flow. and hoped that i'd say all the right stuff about our love, our partnership and my hopes for this to continue forever.






i kept talking, and she held it in, and then she laughed some more.

and then i showed her the ring in the box.

and then she REALLY laughed! (she says it was just laughs of pure joy). to me, it seemed quite joyous cause her eyes were telling me what i wanted to hear, but nonetheless, it was a bit offputting. but also good, because it meant that i didn't have to be 100% super serious either. i could laugh and not completely be nervous.

anyway, she came out of it long enough to say yes, and give me a big hug and kiss. YES!! she got the ring on (a bit big), and she loved it! it's not a typical engagement ring with a huge rock, but that's perfect by me, and i'd hoped it would be good for her. and thankfully, she loves it.

we talked for a bit, and then headed down towards the theater.

arts then asked, "does anyone else know? does my father know?" and i told her, that yes, both her father and mother knew. that i'd gone down to have dinner with them about 2 weeks ago. it was then that arts almost fell into a squat, laughing so hard and crying as well. when she got up, she said - i'm going to faint!
which she didn't do, and we did manage to fly over to the theater in time to get our seats just as the lights got flicked to signal 5 minutes.

amazing show, great artists, wonderful concept, great to see all the groups mixing and matching personnel. we could hardly sit still in our cramped seats in the balcony. exchanging looks and kisses all show. holding hands and squeezing about every 10 milliseconds. that concert was probably one of the most amazing shows i've ever seen. ;)

by the encores, we'd made our way down to the floor and were dancing with some (recently married) friends. the show ended, and a couple friends of mine were coming up the aisle towards us. they greeted me, and one of them (who didn't know arts) asked, "e - is this your wife?" arts jumped in and said "no, but he just proposed!" and thrust her left hand towards them. the two ladies and our other friend all jumped back in unison and screamed. lol.

a bit later, we spotted another friend, who had brought habib to providence last year for a wonderful benefit show for AIDS work in mali (GAIA). when i told her what was going on that night, she turned to face the back of the house and shouted out "these guys are getting married! he proposed to her tonight!" and we got a nice round of applause. we had some fun re-connecting with habib and the guys in his band (see pictures) and meeting vusi and dobet. i, of course, got words of wisdom from all the guys once they found out (and figured out) that we were just engaged. i had trouble explaining to them about engagement, but they got it eventually.
then our friends S and L and arts and I went over to johnny d's for a celebratory drink. a fun band was playing there, and we got to hear a couple songs before the set ended. then S and L left, and then arts turned to me and presented me with my grandfather's wedding ring (which she'd highjacked earlier in the eve) and asked me to marry her. nice. turnabout is fair play. and equality is a great thing. although she knew what my answer was. ;)

yeah! so a wonderful wonderful evening. and we're still flying, and not looking for a landing spot yet . . .

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