The where and the how

How I proposedOf course, this is the part that most people will be interested in, and luckily enough it’s a good story. Jenny and I have talked about becoming engaged before, and the only thing she asked for was that it be a surprise. Easy enough, you would think…

Well firstly, there’s the matter of the ring. The current trend seems to be for the couple to go out and shop for the ring together. But nope, part of my mission would be to source the thing itself. You can read the details of how I went about it above, but in terms of trying to find out the right size, I have to admit that it was a bit of a miracle. Through some combination of techniques such as sneaking different rings onto her fingers while trinket shopping and then trying them on my own, I eventually discovered that her ring finger is a fraction smaller than my pinky finger on my right hand.

After that was settled came the matter of informing the parents. As if the task itself wasn’t daunting enough, there was also the language barriers and the fact that other people can’t be trusted to keep secrets. At first, when Jenny’s mum and step-dad were visiting from Belgium, I sneaked in a quick conversation with them, which they then promptly relayed to Jenny – much to her chagrin. Strike 1….

Next, I informed my parents of the good news that I was ready to propose to Jenny, and they reacted in a way that I was totally not prepared for. In the Chinese culture, it seems, there is no engagement period. When a couple are ready to marry, they throw a big engagement party – and my parents, having recently undergone medical treatment, were in no condition to travel, so they were immensely offended that I intended to have a party without them (as they thought we were going to do). That, and the fact that they haven’t met Jenny’s parents yet, which is another big cultural faux pas. This particular problem ended up being resolved with a long-distance teleconference between me, Jenny and my parents. Strike 2….

Lastly, I had to ask Jenny’s dad for her hand. Learning from previous experience, I specifically requested that they keep it a secret from Jenny. However, the next day, Jenny gets a call from her cousin congratulating her – they had heard the news from uncle (Jenny’s dad) that I had spoken with them. D’oh! Strike 3!!!

By now, Jenny’s expectations had been growing and growing, to the stage where she was beginning to feel immensely frustrated that all this stuff seemed to be happening, but no proposal was forthcoming.

I had to act. Having decided when I was going to do the deed, I chose to work from home on the day, allowing me some time to prepare. But wouldn’t you know it, Jenny caught Laryngitis, losing her voice, and spoiling the plans I made. Honestly!

Fast forward 2 weeks…

Finally, everything seemed to be lining up. It was a Saturday morning and Jenny was at college. I set everything up as you see in the picture. The album consisted of a few collages with pictures, photos, print outs, etc. of sentimental occasions that we shared. (I got all the photos printed out during a Harvey Norman special – 15c for up to 200 photos… I printed 189. Hahaha…)

Jenny finished up at college and came around to my place. She browsed through the album, while I hid, and at the end, I came out and popped the question. The conversation went a bit like this:

Caesar: <comes out of hiding>
Jenny: No way! You can’t be serious. Are you serious?
Jenny: You’re not serious? You are serious, aren’t you?
Caesar: Jenny…
Jenny: Oh my…
Caesar: Will you marry me?
Jenny: <grins> Nah!
Caesar: <flabbergasted> That’s your answer?
Jenny: No, of course not! I was joking!
Caesar: So?
Jenny: Oh, alright.

After about 2 hours of phoning various friends and family, we went out for dinner in Chatswood, where she finally said “a million times yes” to my original question. Then we went to Darling Harbour for a bit of a walk and some dessert.