Seeing as this is my first post about my journey into the married world, I figured it was most appropriate to write about how this all came to be. I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed experiencing it! (and please share your story too! I love reading them!)
About a month before my birthday Christopher would wake up in the morning and smile to himself. “What are you thinking about?” I would ask. “Nothing… OK, maybe your birthday gift,” he would respond, giggling all the while.
As the days drew closer and closer to my birthday surprise my curiosity perked and I began asking questions. Is it pretty? Will I like it? Who have you told? Sometimes I would even try to trick him. Hey, Christopher – What did you get Dolly for her birthday? Nothing worked. I couldn’t get a thing out of him. Finally I decided to settle on a blue balloon. Why a blue balloon? Well, simply because it’s fun to say especially if it is pronounced “bloo-bloooon”.
Everyday I would countdown. “3 more days ‘til my bloo bloon”. “2 more days ‘til my bloo bloon” “ONE more day ‘til my blooo blooooooon!”
IT WAS HERE! The day of the birthday surprise had arrived and I did just as I was told. I went to work at noon, came home at three and was ready to leave our apartment by 5 o’clock. I wore Christopher’s favorite, white dress of mine and pretty, high heels. My hair and makeup was perfect…I was ready!
To start, Christopher drove me all the way around Stanley Park almost twice. Where the heck are we going? Soon I learned this was a decoy….we were going over the Lion’s Gate Bridge into West Vancouver. What we were going to do is West Van was beyond me, but I let Christopher lead.
We pulled up to Mongia E Bevi, my favorite restaurant! (Seriously, they have the BEST carpaccio.) We walked inside where the owner greeted us, and sat us in a little room. We ordered champagne and, of course, the carpaccio to start. As they were bringing out our appetizers I heard playing over the restaurant speakers And I Love You So by Perry Como, one of “our” songs. I looked over and said, “Oh my goodness! I love this song! I can’t believe they’re playing it!” Christopher smiled and said, “Well, I might have played a part in the music selection this evening.” He had gone the day before, given the owner MP3s of all our favorite songs, and asked that they play the songs during dinner. I was touched! (Those were the first tears of the night)
Next we ordered the main course, a fusili with a white wine cream sauce, roasted duck, bacon and cranberries. DELICIOUS! Our favorite songs kept playing. About half way through the dish we decided to stop eating because we really wanted dessert (a molten chocolate, cherry cake with vanilla gelato!). Our dessert came with two forks for us to share, and right behind our server followed the owner of the restaurant with a special platter. I looked up and gasped! It was the piggy bank I had been wanting for months and months and months!! This isn’t just any piggy bank…this is a piece of art. It is the size of an actual piglet, is chrome and is sculpted by artist Harry Allen. I hugged and kissed Christopher several times and laughed at all the excitement! This was the best birthday ever!
On the platter sat 2 glasses of ice wine, given to us by the owner, and a card. Christopher asked me to read the card, so I reached over, opened it and this is what it said:
You are the love of my life, and on your 22nd birthday I want you to have an evening that you will remember forever. I hope you like the pig! We can put it in our new apartment in Toronto! As you know, this pig is also a piggy bank. Why don’t you reach inside by removing the cork from the bottom. Something special awaits…
Happy 22nd Birthday, my love!!
I pulled out the cork and reached two fingers into the piggy bank and pulled out….A BLUE BALOON! I died laughing! I couldn’t believe he actually thought to put that in there. I hugged and kissed him about a million times when he said, “Well, that’s not all…keep looking!”
I reached in a second time and this time pulled out a folded piece of beige tissue paper wrapped with a blue ribbon. What is in here? I untied the ribbon, unwrapped the paper and couldn’t believe my eyes! I stared a minute, then looked over at Christopher. He was waiting on one knee and said “Dolly, you are the love of my life and I will love you ‘til the day I die. Will you marry me?”
“YES! Of course!” More crying, more hugging, more kissing… and then more crying. I asked Christopher to put the ring on my finger. The ring is perfection. It suits my hand better than any other piece of jewelry I have ever owned, and even today I can not stop looking at it. It is proud, and elegant, and classy. Christopher had the ring made by Chris Cavelti (the son of Toni Cavelti who has fashioned jewelry for The Queen).
After we composed ourselves, the table across the room sent over two more glasses of champagne for the two of us. Then Christopher said, “Don’t worry about telling your father right away…I asked him for permission last week.” I cried and cried and cried. I have no idea what I did to deserve a man like this. I feel so blessed. No words could ever show him how much I appreciated everything he did for the evening or how in love with him I am, so I just hugged him around his neck and cried.
We left the dinner and headed to Bard on the Beach (a series of Shakespeare’s best work performed in tents on the beach) where Christopher had one more surprise. He introduced me to the artistic director and founder of Bard of the Beach, Christopher Gaze. He is a very well known artist in Vancouver. He gave a toast to us that touched my heart.
Then we went home and fell asleep in each others arms…