Happy New Year’s Eve! I hope everyone’s plans have come together for tonight, even if that means just sitting on the couch. We had zero plans this year. You see, we were a little preoccupied getting ENGAGED (more on that below) so our thoughts were not really on NYE! It looks like plans have come together last minute so I guess we’ll be partying it up anyway. The fact that I am going to marry my perfect person is pretty much all I can think about so this week’s “3 on Thursday” is all about how it happened.
Ok, so the first question is “were you surprised/shocked?” Short answer: yes. Long answer: I have a crazy talent for guessing engagements – it’s my superpower. I have predicted 3 friends’ proposals down to the weekend. My friend Rebekah always asked if I would be that good at figuring out my own. I didn’t think I would be, but out of nowhere my spidey senses started tingling around bedtime on Friday the 18th. When I woke up on the 19th, I said to myself “Don’t look disgusting, Tess; today might be the day you get engaged.” After all, my parents were visiting so it would be a good time to do it. But then all these things started happening that made me do a complete 180. First, there didn’t seem to be a good time to do it – we were out at brunch then looking at the Rockefeller tree and holiday windows. At all times there were crazy crowds, Albert’s personal version of hell, so I knew he would never do it in a situation like that. Then I realized it wouldn’t happen at dinner with our parents because I was the one who made that reservation – he wasn’t doing any sort of planning. After sightseeing, we headed back to the apartment for a drink before dinner – I figured it couldn’t happen there because we only happened to go back and could have very easily not been there at all. Then there was the fact that when my best friend started snooping for my ring size (with a Stella and Dot ploy), it was the week before my parents arrived. I guessed it was a cover, but I also thought that meant Albert was just starting to think about the ring and size was step 1 so if he was just now figuring that out, it would be months before he’d be ready to propose. So basically, after waking up with an inkling, I was convinced it was NOT happening and I had worn my contacts for nothing. But at least I got to see some great windows – pictured above is one from Bergdorf’s, who always has my favorite windows of the season. This year’s theme was “brilliant,” and they showcased couture fashion against a backdrop of millions of Swarovski crystals.
But I was wrong. Apparently the size is the last piece of the ring puzzle, not the first, so I was wrong there. And I guess Albert would have figured out some way to get us back to the apartment because he had been planning to do it there all along. When we got back to the apartment, Albert’s parents had gone across the street for some coffee to warm up. My parents started coming upstairs with us and then said, “you know what, we’ll get some coffee, too.” It seemed very spur of the moment and unplanned so I thought nothing of it. I also figured it wouldn’t happen at the apartment because we had been gone since 10 AM – Albert would not have been able to prepare anything. But he thought of that too. While we were out, Gaines had set the apartment up. I walked in and saw a vase of flowers. Now, I buy fresh flowers every other week because I think they make the apartment nice. The ones I bought were dying so I saw these and turned around to thank Albert for replacing the dead ones – a nice gesture since our parents would be coming over (his parents’ first time seeing the place) and he knew I wanted it to look good for them. Idiot. Then I saw another vase…and another…and another. Six vases. And champagne on ice. “So, I think you know what’s happening,” Albert said. He got down on one knee, asked, I said yes, we hugged and kissed. I didn’t even look at the ring – he had to remind me that was part of the deal. (Now I can’t STOP looking at it!) We called the parents and they came upstairs for lots of champagne.
But Albert wasn’t done. While it seemed like he hadn’t planned anything – like I said, I had made last minute dinner reservations – he had spent weeks organizing a group to celebrate. After dinner, when we walked into Stout by Grand Central to meet a friend for drinks, there were 60 – yes, 60 – of our family and friends there, including Liz who came from DC. I always want to celebrate happy things with the people who make me happiest so this was the best possible of all surprises.
FYI: I think my “Thoughts On…” piece about maiden names still holds true, but I guess we’ll get to find out!