As most of you know by now, me and Leen are officially engaged. I know, I know… its about damn time. I’ve been asked roughly a million times over the past six years when I was going to pop the question. Well, I finally did and this is how it all went down.
It all began six years ago. It was Courtney’s birthday party at Finnegan’s Wake in Philly. (January 12, 2014). Shortly after Court’s party, I asked Leen out on a date to Dave & Buster’s and that’s where this story begins.
I was driving home with Brett, one day towards the end of 2019 (September or October-ish) and we started talking about proposals. I happened to notice January 24, 2020 fell on a Friday. The wheels started spinning. Proposing on the same day, six years later, at the same spot as our first date. Seemed like the perfect idea. Too perfect.
Let’s flashback one more time to when I was going to school at Camden County College. It was here I met mi amigo, David. I say, “amigo” because we met in Spanish class. The way we became friends was pretty funny. We had a midterm where we had to partner up and have a conversation in Spanish in front of the class. The order to which we went was randomly picked by the professor. Someone picked a number and he associated the number with a student. Shocker! David was the number that got picked so we had to go first. We crushed it. That wasn’t it though… we had the same test for our final and the same random drawing to see who would go first. Someone picked a number again and can you believe it!? I was the number this time, so we had to go first… again. Unreal! To this day we still swear the professor had it out for us. I mean really, what’re the chances.
David worked and still works for Kay Jewelers so I knew whenever the time came I would reach out to him. In fact, I had talked to him prior to this conversation with Brett to see if he still worked for Kay, but once I had the actual date in mind I contacted David again with my plan. I had a few pieces of jewelry I wanted to show him to see if there was a way to incorporate them into Leen’s ring.
(From left to right: my mom’s engagement ring, a ring I found in Ocean City, NJ when I was about twelve, & a charm I found near my work a couple years ago)
We scheduled a weekend when I would go down to the Tanger Outlets in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware to start creating the ring.
Queue in my dad. His biggest and proudest hobby is metal detecting. He has his own website/brand, the Metal Detecting Man. It’s truly amazing. People contact him about lost jewelry (usually rings) and he goes to find them, free of charge! My dad’s favorite part is seeing the person’s reaction when he actually finds the lost item. You can read all the stories on his website.
This would be our guise to get down to Delaware without Leen questioning it. Our excuse was my dad was contacted by someone to find their ring on a giant field near Rehoboth Beach and he “wanted help” covering more ground. It worked. Leen didn’t even bat an eye. In fact, I question if she was even listening to me.
This is the ring Leen always said she wanted. David did a wonderful job helping me create it. Although we tweaked it a bit. On the left and right side of the marquise diamond, we added two diamonds from my mom’s engagement ring to make it even more sentimental. I owe him big time and I will certainly be recommending him to all of my friends when they need help with rings!
David told me it would be ready by the end of December or early January. This gave me plenty of time to prepare for the 24th. Now the question was, how would I get Leen to Dave & Buster’s without her suspecting anything. We always go once a year around that time, but I needed an idea that she wouldn’t think twice about.
I was sitting in the Philadelphia airport waiting for my plane to Salt Lake City to board. Side note, I was going there with Ian to meet up with our friend we met on Xbox… yes, I know. We’re nuts. My next post will be all about that story. Anyway, while we were waiting for our plane to board it hit me. I had the perfect idea!
A little copy and paste action and viola! I “won” $100 game credit. Definitely one of my best creations. It looks legit and I mean, to be honest, I do win a lot of random things which made it even more believable.
To be sure that it looked real, I sent the picture to my mom, dad, and sister to see what their reaction was. They thought I actually won. They weren’t shocked at all. I now knew it would work. When I sent the picture to Leen, I knew if she bought it, she would want to go on the 24th. She had a conference scheduled for the 25th and neither of us would want to go on a Sunday.
Hook, line, and sinker. Now to start planning. I talked to Mr. Stamato at the Mummer’s parade this year. I told him I had a plan for 2020, but I would let him know as it got closer (he’s bad with secrets).
As the day came closer, I reached out to Leen’s friends Court and Emily. It wasn’t a necessity, but I wanted to try to have her nails done beforehand.
Shout out to Court! Again, Leen didn’t suspect a thing.
My dilemma now was, when would I start telling people. I always wanted to propose when we were by ourselves because I wanted it to be more personable and Leen always wanted her family and friends there for it. She had told me this from the beginning. I decided I would make both happen. When we were only a few days away, I started to text/call everyone.
Some of the reactions I got when I told people the plan were priceless.
Here goes nothing! The day had come. Me and Leen were on our way to Dave & Busters. On the way there, a song came on XTU (the country radio station in South Jersey). It’s a song called, “I Wish Grandpas Never Died” by Riley Green.
Not going to lie. I literally had to fight back some tears so Leen wouldn’t get suspicious. Pop-Pop Bowe passed away about two years ago (you can read my post about him, here). This was the first time in two years I actually felt his presence. It’s something I’ll never forget. I played a pretty good prank on him back in the day (you can also read about that in the post I mentioned) and he always told me he was going to get me back on my wedding day. I truly think this was him saying he was with us that night. Love and miss ya, jerk off!
As we were getting close to Dave & Busters, Leen said her stomach didn’t feel well (she gets carsick pretty easily). I knew this meant she was going to want to run right inside. I quickly told here there was a geocache outside Dave & Busters and I needed to get it before we went in, otherwise I would forget. She was annoyed, but reluctantly obliged.
When we got over to the bridge I took a few pictures. As I finished taking the pictures I said, “Oh wow, check this out. A notification just popped up on my phone. It says that six years ago today was our first date here!”
She said, “Aww, that’s perfect.”
I followed with, “Too perfect!”
Then dropped down to one knee and asked Leen to marry me. She said, “Shut the fuck up!” and I’m sure somewhere in the next few minutes she said yes, but I think I blacked out. All I know, is her reaction was priceless. She paced back and forth for probably ten minutes saying, “Is this a dream? I’ve dreamed this before. Is this real?”
We took one more picture. Then I told her I wanted to go inside and have a drink to celebrate before we started calling everyone to tell them the great news.
Leen’s reaction when we got inside was even better. Complete and utter shock (as you can see in the picture above). It was absolutely perfect. Like, it honestly could not have gone any better. I certainly had my doubts throughout the whole thing that it would go so well. I thought for sure she would either suspect something was up or accidentally find out. She didn’t.
Special shout out to everyone that was there with us. One, for not blowing the surprise and two, for being there. It meant the world to us both.
Of course I couldn’t let this opportunity slip to try and mess with my buddy, Stags. He is getting married on October 10, 2020 so I sent him this:
Now the only thing left to do is plan the most epic wedding ever! Leen and I said we wouldn’t start planning anything for at least a month, buttttttt she’s already started. Shocker.
Keep your eyes peeled for the real save the date… #Finally!