The Proposal

Sylvia is clever. Really clever. I knew there was no real likelyhood that I’d be able to totally surprise her with the actual proposal, even though I knew she’d be surprised by the ring box itself. I also knew that she was going to be expecting a proposal, but I didn’t know if she was expecting it while I was in England (she wasn’t when I arrived) or soon after we got home. I assumed that if she didn’t know my intentions before I arrived, she’d probably start piecing things together by the time we were headed to the Eye. I landed in London on September 4th not even knowing which day exactly the proposal was going to happen. Apparently disorganization is a skill that I’m recently trying to master.

An additional wrinkle to the whole affair was that Sylvia and I have our anniversary on September 11th, a Sunday this year, and I was absolutely certain that proposing on or before the anniversary was a bad idea. So, with the entire first week and only weekend out of the running, I had to narrow down to dates during my second (and last (but not really)) week in London. The 14th, a Wednesday ended up being the day that worked the best not just for the two of us, but Sylvia’s best friend Chitra as well. I knew the two of them are close and what better way to propose than to incorporate a super close friend? It also worked on a second layer too because it’s less suspicious that something ultimately romantic is going on if it isn’t just the two of you. Additionally, I was hoping that my nervousness about proposing would be masked by my nervousness of heights when we were at the top of the Eye.

When I looked into booking the tickets, it became apparent to me that there wouldn’t be any particular way to control the number of people in the pod we were going to be on and that it was likely going to be crowded. I looked at getting a private pod, but that would have not only been suspicious, but prohibitively expensive as well. Then I noticed that for just a few pounds more, we could partake in the Champagne Experience, where you’re served a glass during your 30 minute trip. This seemed perfect not only because it’d be more romantic, but because that it’d nearly guarantee that there were fewer people in the pod as normal tourists are not interested in that kind of experience. I booked the tickets and waited for the 14th.

Sylvia spent the night of the 13th with friends of hers so when I saw her on the 14th, I was a bit shocked.

Wait, straightened hair?

I had never seen Sylvia with straight hair before so I had no idea what was going on. Apparently one of the girls from the sleepover from the night before decided that she wanted to straighten Sylvia’s hair, so they did just that. I found out later that there was some girly discussion of the possibility of a proposal happening on the 14th, so I guess you straighten your hair? Anyway, I changed into jeans and t-shirt to throw off any suspicion, which apparently worked as Sylvia asked if that’s how I was going to dress for the London Eye. I said that’s what I was thinking of and asked her if she’d wanted to get dressed up for it to which she responded that she did. I found out later that I nearly fooled her with that tactic. We put on some nicer clothes and were off!

I'm 443 feet tall! Rar!

Once we got down there and checked in, we got a chance to see who else we were going up with since you’re segregated from the rest of the lines. I was quite thankful that Sylvia insisted on looking nice as everyone with us looked pretty sophisticated. Also, we only had about 10-12 other people in our pod, which left plenty of room for all of us to wander around during the ride. Our champagne guy introduced himself shortly before we got on and then we were off!

Are you terrified yet mom?

There was really little to do for the first half of the ride other than enjoy ourselves and take lots of photos of each other and the city itself.

Partners in crime

Lean on me

I know what you're up to!

Hello down there!

Almost there!

Once we got closer to the top, the really nice guy who was in charge of the champagne started serving. Chitra said I had to try a Buck’s fizz (I thought it was called a box fizz) which ended up essentially being what we Americans call a mimosa.

It's time!

Now that we had our drinks and we were near the top, it was time to make my proposal that I’d been planning on and working toward for the last 4 months. Originally I really liked the idea of writing out a small piece to read to Sylvia as part of the act, but I eventually decided that I wanted to be more in the moment about it. I didn’t want to seem rehearsed so I didn’t rehearse anything. The downside to this is that with nothing prepared, the likelihood of saying something totally uncool and unromantic goes through the roof, which is basically what happened. When I decided it was time, I went to Sylvia, held her in my arms and said, “So. Here we are. I love you so much and I have something I want to ask you. You know what I’m doing don’t you?” to which she nodded with a grin filled with both excitement and apprehension. At that point, I stepped over to my bag, pulled out the box and asked her if she’d marry me.

Will you?

Her first reaction is laughter on the sight of the box which turned to surprise when she saw the ring and noticed that it was the exact same one she’d pointed out to me so long ago. While this is going on, Chitra is trying to get her camera ready to take some video as I had requested her to do and it goes about as smoothly as someone with a new camera and a nearly empty battery can.

Eventually in all our discombobulation, I ask Sylvia again if she’ll marry me and she says yes.


I’m elated that she said yes and not, ‘try again’ as well as all too excited that everything came together in such a wonderfully disjointed and fantastic way. That and not having to keep a secret from her anymore helps me relax all of a sudden in a way that I cannot describe. Amusingly, nobody else in the pod realized what was going on till at least a minute or two later. When they did, they were all excited and happy for us, which was a nice touch I didn’t count on.

Mozel tov!

They even started toasting us till everyone had congratulated and toasted us. The champagne host even offered me the cork from one of the bottles that he opened. It was really awesome and something that I wouldn’t have ever expected.


Once we were back on sweet, sweet terra firma, we started the process of calling family to let them know what’s happened. The two questions we got asked were, “how did he do it?”, which I’m hoping this will adequately answer and “have you set a date yet?” The answer to that is we’re looking at the Fall for 2012, just before the Mayan apocalypse. Hopefully we’ll be able to narrow that down soon as I’m still currently in London due to my trip being extended by a week while Sylvia did fly home on Saturday. Yes, we’ve been engaged just over a week and we’ve only been together 2 days. Haha.


Tags: ,

One Response to “The Proposal”

  1. ENRG Says:

    HOORAY! Congrats! The next year is going to be a blast!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: