I sincerely apologize for the lateness of this post!!! Now that we are finally all moved in and things have settled down at work (for now), I finally have some time to get back to the blog. As promised, here is the story of how I proposed…
The Scheming Phase
It all started a few months ago when I was figuring out what I wanted to do with my life. We were gearing up to move to a new city because Selma was starting medical school so I was in the process of interviewing for new jobs, searching for a new place for us to live, and planning our well-needed vacation to Jamaica! But on top of it all, I decided that I wanted to propose before we left Boston. Looking back on it now, I realize this was a tall order. I essentially needed everything to fall into place perfectly for this plan to work, especially the whole job and living situation part.
A lot of people have asked me why I chose to do it in Boston right before we moved so I’ll try to explain. Boston has been our home for the last 6 years (8 years for me!) and collectively, we’ve shared a bunch of amazing memories here. From all the friends we’ve made to the restaurant where I took Selma on our first date, Boston has been like a second home for the both of us. Sure, I could have done it anywhere else (even Jamaica like she suspected) but it just wouldn’t have been the same.
By the grace of God, everything in the months leading up to the big day slowly fell in to place. I found the perfect job, an awesome new apartment for us, and finalized our trip to Jamaica. The only thing left was the proposal. There were 3 main parts to the proposal that I knew I nail down: the location, the ring, and then everything on the big day.
While there were a bunch of meaningful places in Boston that I was considering, I knew that I wanted to do it at Walden Pond because it’s one of Selma’s favorite spots. It also means a lot to her because she had read Henry David Thoreau’s book Walden and appreciated the significance and beauty of the pond. I had always joked with Selma that I thought it was just a crappy little pond (she didn’t like that). But regardless, I knew it meant a lot to her so I wanted to propose there so that Walden would mean a lot to me as well.
This was probably the most stressful part of the entire planning process. To start, Selma doesn’t wear any rings. Ever. But somehow I needed to get her ring size and settle on a design, all without her knowing. I tried bringing up engagement rings in casual conversation and even went as far as to take her to Tiffany’s to see if I could get any clues (not a great move on my part by the way). Luckily, our friend Lily stepped in and saved the day with the ring size and I sort of figured out what Selma wanted based on my multiple nonchalant attempts at getting her to talk about wedding rings.
Now that I had the ring size and design in mind, this next step should have been the easiest part since my mom was a jeweler and knew the in’s and out’s of the ring buying business.
Long story short, I had to get two rings made. There was a minor miscommunication between my mom and the manufacturer that resulted in me getting the wrong ring two weeks before the big day. Luckily, the manufacturer happened to be in Boston that same weekend so I drove out to meet him and worked out the details. I ended up getting the ring two days before the proposal. Needless to say, I was cutting it really close. But at least I now have another ring in case she doesn’t like/loses the first one 😉
The Big Day
In the weeks leading up to the proposal, I worked like a mad man to put all the pieces together. I had asked her parents for their permission, invited friends and family from all over, reserved the restaurant and picked the menu for the after party, all without her knowing :). The surprise was going to be two fold:
1) Engagement surprise (obviously)
2) After-party surprise with friends and family
The weeks leading up to the big day were extremely stressful to say the least. But through all the planning and headache, I knew that the hard part was over.
The day started off with me heading to the airport in the pouring rain to pick up our good friends Samir and Ashley Wolf. I had told them to tell Selma that they were in town visiting other friends and needed a place to stay. Luckily, by the time we got back to the apartment, the rain had stopped and the sun was out! Wooo!
My plan was to take everyone blueberry picking at Carver Hill Orchards and then to Walden Pond for a picnic. I had planned to go to this specific farm because it was only a 10 min drive away from Walden Pond….sneaky I know :). Sadly, because of the rain, a picnic didn’t really seem like a good idea anymore so I just had to improvise as the day progressed.
The blueberry picking was pretty much a fail since it was still a bit too early in the season. But luckily we found a bunch of really good raspberries so it wasn’t a total loss!
Afterwards, I suggested that we head to Walden Pond just because we were in the area. Fortunately for me, it didn’t take much convincing since Selma loves Walden Pond. The plan was to walk around the pond and for Samir and Ashley to go ahead of us. Then once I started proposing, they would double back and take pictures.
I purposely parked in front of Henry Thoreau’s cabin because I knew she would be distracted by the historical significance of the place. As we were walking to cabin, I told her that I had to use to bathroom and quickly ran back to the car where I slipped the ring into my pocket. At this point, my heart was already racing with excitement. I wanted to give her the ring right then and there but I knew it would all be worth it soon.
It turns out you need two yeses…
There is a running joke between us about how you only need one yes. You see, the first time I asked Selma out she said no. It took some convincing but thanks to my boyish charm and my rugged good looks, I finally convinced her to go on a date with me. So on our anniversary, I posted this on Facebook…
So from that day on, we always joked that you only need one yes.
While we walked around the pond, I purposely walked slower so that our friends Samir and Ashley could get ahead of us. I have no idea what we talked about up to that point since I was nervously looking around for the perfect spot. After what seemed like forever, we walked around a corner and there it was. In that moment, there was the perfect clearing in a peaceful little cove, completely free of people or distractions. I gestured her to stop and started to say what I had spent months preparing in my mind.
I had rehearsed this scene in my mind a thousand times. As cliché as it sounds, time honestly seemed to stand still in that moment. My heart was beating a mile a minute I barely noticed anything or anyone else around us. All I could focus on was Selma and how blessed I was to have her in my life.
As expected, nothing came out as I had prepared. I fumbled my words the entire time but none of that mattered anymore. The only thing I cared about was knowing that we would be spending the rest of our lives together. So after a few minutes of helplessly trying to say what was on my mind, I finally pulled myself together, got down on one knee and said to her that “I know I said before that you only need one yes, but as it turns out, you need two” 🙂
Spoiler alert: she said yes!
After taking pictures and sending out the customary Snapchats and Instagram pics, we headed back into Boston for what Selma thought would be an intimate dinner. Little did she know, I had another surprise in store for her!
While we were out getting engaged, her family and some of our closest friends were busy helping us set up for the perfect surprise party for Selma complete with tons of pizza, drinks and Georgetown Cupcakes!!! Needless to say, she was surprised…again. Success!
Selma and I had talked about getting everyone together one last time before we moved so this was the perfect opportunity to do so. Everything went off without a hitch and I honestly couldn’t have asked for anything more. Thank you again to those who helped make this day possible. You guys and gals will always mean the world to us!
There are certain days that people consider to be in their Top 10 days or all time. For me, this will always rank as one them.
So again, I will leave you with this quote from Thoreau that I believe summarizes everything quite nicely…
“I learned this, at least, by my experiment: that if one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours.”
― Henry David Thoreau
Also, stay tuned for Selma’s version of the story!