Anyone who knows my engagement story will know that it’s pretty difficult to surprise me – I’m a pretty observant and empathetic soul, so when people (especially Christopher) are trying to hide stuff, I usually recognize pretty quickly that something’s up. However, after six years of unsuccessful attempts to pull the wool over my eyes, Chris FINALLY succeeded. October 25, 2012 – a day that may forever live in infamy (at least as far as the two of us are concerned).
The story starts six weeks ago. Chris and I were engaged in our usual mealtime banter, and somehow the subject of attempted surprises came up. I, in my arrogance, stated that he’d NEVER be able to surprise me. He took my challenge head on, and told me that not only would he surprise me, but that it would take place on a specific day – October 24 of this year. “No way,” I thought to myself, “Especially not now that he’s given me the day to look out for. It will never happen.”
In hindsight, I guess you could say we were both right, but more on that later.
A week after the challenge had been issued, I was asked to travel to Boston on the 23rd/24th in order to cover an event for a client. Unbeknownst to me, Chris had already ordered flowers to be delivered to the office on that day, and quietly rescheduled to have them sent to me on the 25th.
Innocent enough right? But the plot thickens…
October is easily my busiest month – between Spooktacular and twenty-six Making Strides Against Breast Cancer events across the state, it’s fair to say that I end up feeling pretty worn thin toward the end of the month. Throw in an unexpected trip to Nashville and Atlanta, and lets just say my overfull cup has officially runneth over.
Flash forward to this week. My Boston trip was cancelled, and we made arrangements to cover the event remotely. One of my coworkers, Devon (aka “the Food Bitch“), got a shipment of flowers from her beau who’s currently overseas, a fact which made it’s way into my dinner conversation with Chris.
That night, we were enjoying an easy meal at TacoLu – reveling in the fact that neither of us would be responsible for dish duty at the conclusion of our dinner. (Hey – it’s the simple things sometimes!) As soon as I mentioned the flowers, I realized I’d said something wrong. (The storm cloud churning behind my husband’s gray-green eyes is always a dead giveaway.)
“What is it?” I ask. He shook his head, crossed his arms and turned his entire body away from me. “Uh oh.” I thought to myself. “What did I say?”
He turns ever so slightly, just enough to look at me and say, “Can we just let this one go?” He realizes his mistake too late, as evasive responses are a surefire way to stoke my stubborn streak into a raging, unquenchable thirst for details. He tries halfheartedly to change the subject, but he knows it’s too late, so with a sigh, he turns back to me and asks, “Do you know what day it is?”
“Ummm…October 24th?” I haven’t got a clue. The hectic pace of the month has wiped our conversation six-weeks ago from my mind. He looks truly annoyed for a moment, but then proceeds to tell me that immediately following our conversation all those weeks ago, he arranged to have flowers sent to me at the office, but then I came home with the bombshell that I’d be traveling. He called the florist and asked them to reschedule the flowers to be sent to me on the 25th.
I laugh. I can’t help myself. I’m both delighted to learn that I’d be getting flowers, (Honestly, what girl doesn’t love flowers?) and tickled that yet another surprise had been foiled by an ironic twist of fate.
“This is so US.” I tell him, to which he makes a face and responds, “I know.”
But wait, you say. Why is October 25th a day that will live in infamy then? You knew you were going to get flowers.
Good for you. You’ve obviously been paying attention.
The morning of October 25th dawns bright, but as I’m not a morning person, I pull the covers over my head and try to ignore my alarm, which is blaring “Gangnam Style” in attempt to lure me from my slumber. My first order of the day is an off-site meeting, followed by a frenzy of activity the moment I step foot in the office, working at a feverish pace to get things done before a lunch meeting I scheduled earlier this week with a girlfriend.
Part of me is wondering how irritated she would be with me if I cancelled at this late a date, when I get a call from our receptionist. I’m only half listening to her because I’m also involved in an intense stream of emails about a project that’s been shortlisted, when my phone rings again – this time with a call from Chris.
“I don’t have time to talk right now. Can I call you back later? I’m trying to get one or two things wrapped up here before I head to lunch. I’m meeting with Margo – you do remember, right?” I can’t keep the irritation at being interrupted out of my voice.
“No you don’t.” he replies.
“What? Yes I do. She and I have had this planned since the beginning of the week.”
“No, you don’t,” he says again. “I’m upstairs waiting for you.”
It takes a moment for his response to sink in.
“You’re what?” I ask, stunned. “I’ll be right there.”
I wrap up writing the emails I’d been working on, and go upstairs to find Chris waiting for me, with a poster tube in hand.
We head to lunch at Indochine (one of my favorite restaurants downtown), I open my present which turns out to be a poster from Doctor Who (one of my favorite shows of all time) and he asks me if I’ve received my flowers yet. I haven’t, but am still in shock by everything that’s occurred in the last forty-five minutes that it doesn’t really matter. All too soon we head back to the office, and I feel like my feverishly paced day is suddenly more manageable than it was before. Shortly after my return to work, I get a call from the receptionist letting me know I have a package at the front desk. True to his word, Chris has sent me a bouquet of flowers, which of course included sunflowers – once again, my favorite.
At seven-thirty, I finally finish up the projects that have been clamoring to get out the door and make my way home. As I unlock the door, being careful not to let the dogs out, I notice six helium filled heart balloons floating in our foyer, and Chris, dressed to the nines and looking ready for a night on the town. Dinner & dessert at Melting Pot close out the end of a surprise-filled, wonderful day.
Something tells me, I’m into something good.