Yes, we have done it! The ultimate in “Things to do in your twenties”… or in life. I am engaged! But let me first say, that if you plan on getting engaged in your twenties – have your man call mine and get pointers on how to do it. THIS – is how to do it…
On the weekend of January 26th, I headed up to the DC area to help throw a baby shower for my beautiful friend Lisa Nguyen. Tom and I had discussed whether or not he needed to come because it was more of a “girl’s event” so we ultimately decided he didn’t need to go as he had a lot of work and it was expensive. I flew in to Richmond and spent Friday night with Kelsey – drinking champagne and “crazy juice” and preparing for the baby shower. I tried to call Tom a bunch of times because I could not find the recipe for the sipping chocolate I had brought from GA for Kels to try. I knew it was at home so I figured he could just read it to me. He did not pick up. He later called to say he had fallen asleep on his phone and it had died. This did not seem weird because it wouldn’t be the first time.
Kelsey and I woke up early and drove to Vienna for the shower. It was lovely. About 35-40 ladies, delicious food and pint sized everything (food and baby stuff). I was supposed to have an early dinner with Mimi’s parents after the shower so once we were picked up I called Mimi to meet her. She told me that we were going to have dinner at the Kennedy Center as her parents were going to be seeing a show afterwards.
Only one thing seemed weird about this – Mimi’s dad likes good food. The Kennedy Center restaurant is not good food. I let it go.
Kelsey said she would take me to meet Mimi on the way to her sister’s place in DC. There was traffic on 66 so I mentioned that it would be good to go straight to the Kennedy Center. Kelsey immediately got on her cell phone and was texting a bunch – I figured it was to let her sister know. We drove into the city and I tried to direct her to the Center but I had her in the wrong lane so we had to circle back around Georgetown and approach the city again – oops.
Only one thing seemed weird about this – Kelsey was unnaturally upset by the wrong turn – it seemed to make her really nervous and she never gets nervous about that stuff. I let it go.
We met up with Mimi in front of the building and Mimi and I re-parked and went inside. We went up to the roof terrace level and Mimi started walking the opposite direction of the restaurant – *nothing seemed weird about this because Mimi has an interesting sense of direction. She said her dad was taking photos on the roof of the monuments and wanted to take our photo too. So we walked outside and 2 things are immediately clear…
1.) There is only 1 person on the roof.
2.) It is not Mimi’s dad.
Not so immediately, 2 other things became clear…
1.) Mimi had not gotten all of the snow off of her heels or was crazy because she was stomping on the ground in a ridiculous manner.
2.) Whoever the guy was that was on the roof, he was oddly fixated on us.
I said “Mimi, that is not your dad,” and turned to leave. She replied with, “but who is that?” I thought to myself – ok, does it really matter because he’s just some sketchy creeper in the dark shadows over there and we should probably go. Then she said, “No wait who IS that?” At that point, sketchy man stepped into the light and 1 thing became abundantly clear…
Sketchy Man was Tom.
He was standing there with flowers and motioning for me to come that way. I immediately started crying – like you do – and walked over to him. I kept saying “why are you here? what are you doing here?” – I knew why he was there, c’mon. He brought me to the side of the terrace where you can see all of the gorgeous monuments lit up and he gave a lovely speech about our lives together and what he wanted for us. He got down on one knee and almost forgot to actually ask the question but finally did. I replied “YEAH! … I mean yes” (because my Mama taught me that “yeah” sounds informal and you should always say “yes” instead).
Here is a photo of the ring he designed – nice job Tom.
I have to be honest when I say that I don’t remember everything that was said. When you know what is about to go down – it all becomes a blur. We had a glass of champagne on the roof to toast and promptly returned the glasses to the bartender inside the restaurant. I wanted to keep them but Tom was a nice guy and promised to return them – boo. We went downstairs and the next surprise was a limo waiting for us.
Before I continue. let me just say, I love limos. I have always loved limos. They make me happy.
Inside the limo was more champagne and chocolate covered bananas from Edible Arrangements (Tom still makes fun of me that this part is included in every re-telling of the story but, much like limos, I love chocolate covered bananas). We went to the W Hotel in downtown DC for a delicious steak dinner at J and G. I kept asking if I could call my mom but he kept saying – you’ll see her tomorrow morning – just wait a little bit. The manager gave us a free dessert and champagne (do you see a constant here?) and then we got up to leave. I assumed we were headed back to Arlington to meet up with my friends (whom I know got together for dinner a la Kelsey) but instead we got in the elevator.
We went up to the POV on the roof and as I rounded the corner I saw Tom’s mother first. His parents, my parents and my brother were all sitting there at a booth with a bottle of champagne. I started to cry again. His parents had flown in from New York and mine had driven up from Virginia to celebrate. It felt amazing. In fact, this is what it looked like…
We toasted with them, took photos, cried and got into the limo – all of us – to head to Arlington. When we got to Arlington Rooftop Bar (where we had our 2nd date) – I went in first because my friends had no idea what had just gone down – save Mimi and Kelsey. When I walked in and saw Mimi, I didn’t know what to lie and say I had been doing because I was SUPPOSED to have been with her. So when someone asked “how’d it go?” and I didn’t know how to respond – I simply said “Boom!” and flashed the ring. It took a while to register on all of their faces but I’m pretty sure Lisa understood first, by the squealing and clapping.
Most of our friends were together at the bar. Tom’s fraternity brothers and DC friends came as well as his friends from NYC and his best friend Matt. We had a huge blowout until about 2am. I stopped counting champagne but my head was definitely not thanking me the next morning. Our parents got along great and Mom and Dad definitely had a smashing time with the friends.
The next morning we went to brunch at Evening Star Cafe (where we had our first date) with the parents and brother and Matt Noble. It was the ultimate celebration of engagement.
Tom knew exactly what to do. It is such a testament to how well he knows me that he picked a perfect spot, made it personal, brought out the families and added the friends later. He knew I would want to be surrounded by the people that mean the most and he was right.
Guys out there who have yet to propose – you have big shoes to fill.
When you are in your twenties, you should try getting engaged to the love of your life – I highly recommend this experience.