The Master Plan…
A little background on Mara in regards to surprises: She is SO keen and usually on to my surprises. And she knows I don’t keep them very well anyway (I get too excited about them). So with everything at stake, I knew I had to keep my game face on and create a believable plan.
I always knew I would propose in San Francisco, as it’s filled with sentimental places and lots of happy memories. We met there, we had our first date there, and it’s just a romantic city anyways. As soon as we decided on a date to drive up, I knew it was on! I told Mara that it would be fun to go out with my buddy Ryan and his girlfriend on Friday night in SF since I haven’t seen him in a while. I had rehearsed this whole plan with him and told him to call me at exactly 6:20 pm to tell me that he was stuck in traffic and would be about 25-30 minutes late, but that he was still coming—just the thing to throw her off! I knew that if I had him call to cancel, she would automatically know something was up. I made sure that we were in the car by 6:20 en route, so I had the time I needed. Sure enough, at 6:20, he called. It was so believable—I was cool as a cucumber and assured him that it was no big deal and we’d meet there soon enough. A few minutes later, as we were arriving in the area, Mara was on the phone with her dad talking about how Ginger was doing (he was dogsitting for us). She didn’t catch on to the fact that I was only looking for parking on the street closest to Alta Park (which is about a block from the planned Fillmore destination). Alta park is a gorgeous park in Pac Heights, with great views—the perfect spot for pictures.
I said to Mara, “hey lets go take some pics while we wait”. We got to the top of this pyramid-style park and the view was absolutely lovely! As I took the photos, my life flashed before my eyes. I was a little boy dreaming of the day I would fall in love with the woman of my dreams, the woman i would ask to marry me. I was breathless. I remembered the first moment I saw Mara, back in March of 2008—when I was completely knocked off my feet—the only thought in my mind was “this is my future wife”!!! And now she was right there before my eyes, looking even more gorgeous than I could ever imagine!!! I tried hard not to lose it—I quasi teared up, but luckily I had my camera to put in front of my face. Plus, I had to keep my game face on!!
I then faked that my camera wasn’t working and asked her to come take a look at it. That’s when I held her hands and looked in her big brown eyes and began to tell her what I had so diligently rehearsed for months (with my heart pounding out of my chest!):
“Mara, I love you with all my heart and soul. I want to spend the rest of my life with you. Will you marry me?”
She started saying something like, “what, oh my gosh, oh my gosh, are you serious?!!”…I nodded yes and reached for my coat pocket, dropped down on one knee and opened the ring box. She said yes and I stood up, put the ring on her finger and gave her a kiss and a huge hug. It was SO surreal. It was happening and I was filled with so much emotion!!!! I asked a lady passing by to take a picture of us, telling her that we JUST got engaged, like right now! She said, “like right now?”, and I said, “Yes, right now!!!!”…
At that moment, Mara realized what was happening and she started crying, and then I started crying, and we both were crying and laughing and hugging!!! We stayed up there for a few minutes and she asked if we were really having a double date, and I said, “of course not!”. It was the most magical moment of my life and one I will never ever forget!!!!