We grabbed coffee in the morning just before I dropped him off at work. It was just another ordinary Friday, I thought.
He came home at 5:05 pm. As he walked in through the door, I was glued to my Macbook as the sound of rain pitter pattered outside on a cold winter day. I had no makeup on, hair was a frizzy mess and wearing my new barefoot dreams robe and the fuzzy pink heart pants that I both received for Christmas. He probably almost had a mild heart attack. He began in his sweet non persuasive voice, “Go get ready, Jane. Go get ready”. In my mind, I had already mapped out my look… straight hair & bright red lips. Simple, clean and mainly because it’ll take me the least time to get ready. It had been raining all day, it was cold and if I could’ve stayed in my robe even a minute longer I was going to. That robe makes me feel warm and fuzzy that’s all I can say.
I finished my hair and makeup and started my usual rant about not having a thing to wear. I finally settled on my BCBG bandage skirt and a Zara silk blouse. As soon as I got dressed, out the door we went. Just a regular night out with friends for a triple date night, I thought.
As we were driving, in the pouring rain and bumper to bumper traffic, a sudden sense of nauseousness came over me completely unaware of how the rest of the night would unfold. We were to meet his friend, Matt, who had been in town from Boston and was interviewing for jobs here in SF. We met Matt at Vesuvio, a little unassuming bar in North Beach. We parked about 5 blocks away, which to a socal native is equivalent to walking up Mt. Olympia. I was complaining from the moment we pulled into the parking garage, got out of the car, started walking and even up until we arrived at Vesuvio. It was raining. I was cold. I was in my Manolos slipping and sliding as we made the treacherous 4 block walk. We arrived drenched and overly dressed for a pe bar. I scanned the bar for Matt, who was sitting at the bar all by his lonesome enjoying an ice cold beer. I greeted Matt. Visnu greeted Matt, as if they hadn’t seen each other in years. We grabbed a table and chit chatted until it was time to leave for dinner. Visnu casually offered Matt to take his car to meet his colleagues over in the Presidio and head back to pick us up once he was done. As the clock inched closer to 7:00pm, the three of us got up to leave and headed towards the car. As we were walking, our path led us to Comstock Saloon,which holds a very dear place in my heart. Once San Francisco Brewing Company, this was where Visnu sat me down and asked me to go “steady”. Yes, he used the word “steady”. As Visnu pointed out the fact, Matt immediately offered to snap a shot of us in front of the place where it all began. I thought Matt was just going to whip out his iPhone but instead he had his Canon 5D Mark II readily available to capture what was about to happen next. The little model in me position myself on the left, my better side, and began striking a pose, I don’t know why I always do this but I do! Visnu, who for some reason started rummaging through his pockets as I was fixing my hair and perfecting my pose, arms on hip and a little side turn, kept asking me “how did I ask you” “what exactly did I say” ” I said I was going to take you off the market!”… a split second later, he really did. In his hand-held a beautiful, brilliant cut, 2 carat solitaire ring. I always knew, if and when, this was where Visnu would ask. He’s sentimental like that. Completely shocked and in sheer disbelief, I kept hitting him, in a good way totally not the abusive way, and failed to say yes immediately. It’s hard to answer if you didn’t hear the question! A sweet and simple proposal, I thought.
Then we were off to our triple date, which now included Matt, turned out he had been galavanting around town with Visnu earlier on in the day and actually had no plans of attending a dinner function w/ his colleagues. As we continued walking, I saw Jun, who happened to walk alongside us and strangely headed in the same direction. When I kept asking where he was going, he coyly dodged the question and just answered “I’m going to meet my friends” which made me wonder if he was joining us for dinner. It wouldn’t have been a total surprise since he is also good friends with Jenny, who we also would be meeting up with for our triple date.
We finally arrived to a packed Wayfare Tavern where we were to meet Jenny, Will, Kayla & Jimmy. We were greeted by Kyle, who I thought to be the host, and with a blank stare asked Visnu “name and reservation on the party?” Kyle said that restaurant was packed and that they needed to open up the 3rd floor, I didn’t even know they had a 3rd floor. He led us into a back door and up the escalator we went. We arrived on the 3rd floor which opens up to two rooms, the Bartlett room and the restroom, I just hoped he wouldn’t lead us to the latter. As he opened the door, I noticed several wine glasses lined up on a table next to the bar which made me think we were going to have just a couple more people than the 6 we originally had planned, plus Matt and Jun. As I walked in and turned to my left, I looked up into utter shock, overwhelmed and completely touched by all the faces looking back at me. I had been right. There were definitely more than the 8 of us but just how much more completely blew me away. Standing in front of me was a packed room of 60+ familiar faces, many whom I had been in contact with all week; Angie & Gladys, who earlier in the day I had a photo shoot with, lunch and talked about our plans for later that evening. Hazel & Marc, who I saw just the day before at Blu Bungalow where we caught up about my 3 week trip to Los Angeles. Monica from OC, who I had dinner with earlier that week in the OC. Ellen & Ryan from Newport Beach, who I reamed for never visiting me in San Francisco. Vero, who I had borrowed jewelry from just earlier in the week for my photo shoot with Gladys. Ammone, who I tried chatting with earlier that day but left me with a one word responses, so I left that conversation quick. Kayla & Jimmy, who I had been hanging out with all week and oddly wanted to go get manicures the day before and rest of our Bay Area friends. All these people gleaming with excitement, urging to congratulate us and just relieved to finally let the cat out of the bag. Saying I was dumbfounded and shocked would be a complete understatement. As I was still taking everything in, I looked over to Visnu and asked ”did you know they were all going to be here” as if it was a surprise for him too. Then a few moments later, my brother and very pregnant sister-in-law waltzes in after a 3 hour flight delay to make the moment that much more special.
As I looked around the room, I couldn’t help but feel blessed and fortunate being surrounded by our friends and family who were here to share in our momentous occasion. I was even more surprised to find out all these people were able to keep it a secret from me (ahem… angie, gladys, hazel, ammone, jenny (her kinda), kayla) some even having flown in from OC and driving up from South & East Bay in the dreary rain. What I thought was going to be a simple triple date turned out to be the most amazing night ever and all in the presence of our family and friends.
It didn’t register until way after everyone had left that this was a surprise engagement party for me. I NEVER thought I would have an engagement party, let alone a surprise one! Apparently everyone up and down the west coast knew was informed of this party to which I had no clue. I had been walking around town in the middle of a carefully orchestrated proposal to the surprise engagement party that followed immediately after.
So ladies and gents, my ordinary Friday night,on January 20th, 2012, turned out be extraordinary.
Headed out to triple date night! No clue!
He loved it so much, he put a ring on it!
Would my answer have been anything else?
The next morning, Visnu said “when I woke up yesterday morning, I knew that was the day I was going to ask you to marry me”. Swoon.
Jane (A fiancé)