My husband proposed to me on April Fools Day.
The year was 2000. He had just graduated from college in December and landed his first job in Dallas with a public relations agency. I left my first “real job” after college to move back in with my parents in Dallas so I could be closer to my beau. We had already dated for four years and felt pretty certain that we were moving in the direction of marriage so being in the same city was important.
Earlier that week, I got a call from my man saying that he had gotten an award at work and they were sending us to a fancy dinner at Morton’s Steakhouse as a way of saying “congratulations!” As new grads, we never really had the means to splurge on an extravagant dinner, so it was something we were both pretty giddy about. Turns out his giddiness was because he had something up his sleeve…my giddiness was just because I love a good steak that someone else is paying for!
Anyhoo, I worked that day, so I didn’t have a lot of time to fuss over my hair and make-up…not like I ever do…but I really didn’t that day. I raced home after work and managed to get changed right before he rang the doorbell. We jumped into his 1992 Ford Probe and took off for a night of celebrating his awesome start at his new job.
As we drove along, I thought it was a bit odd that he knew exactly how to get to the restaurant in downtown Dallas. These were the days before GPS, but he didn’t even have directions written down! It was like he’d been there before…but I just shrugged it off as luck and continued to dream about eating ourselves silly.
When we arrived, the maitre’d welcomed us to the restaurant by name. Now how in the world does he know our names? I thought. I blew it off, thinking, they probably know our names because we have a reservation and this seems like a “reservation only” kind of restaurant. He showed us to our table and rattled off the specials that night.
After a mouthwatering dinner, the waiter informed us that they would be bringing out dessert, special ordered by my boyfriend’s boss. About fifteen minutes later, we eyed the reward making it’s way around the restaurant. It was on a cart and had sparklers on it. They stopped in front of our table, picked up the plate and placed it in front of me. That is when I noticed the most perfect ring, a princess cut diamond set in platinum, sitting on top of the molten lava cake.
I’ve never been much of a squealer or a crier in joyous occasions. I remember smiling really big…looking at the ring and then looking at him. He looked at me, with a big grin, and said, “well?” I don’t remember if he put the ring on my finger or if I did? But in that unspoken moment, we both committed to spending the rest of our lives together.
People at the tables around us offered congratulations. The waiter stopped by to take our picture. And then we pulled out my calendar and picked a date…September 16th…one day before our fifth dating anniversary and just 4.5 short months away.
When we left the restaurant, we each made phone calls to our parents to share our big news…then we called our best friends and siblings. There were no Facebook posts or Instagram selfies to announce the occasion.
We spent the rest of the evening laughing about how the plan for the evening came together. My fiancé bought the ring at the beginning of that week during his morning work break. He later went to lunch with his boss and co-workers. While at lunch he showed the ring to a few of the girls, who shrieked with excitement and grilled him about his proposal plan, to which he admitted that he didn’t have one yet. They tattled on him to the boss who jumped at the chance to make it a company affair. He commissioned one of the girls to make all the arrangements at Morton’s, handed her his company credit card and the rest is history. This same boss also made dinner reservations for us in Sausalito during our honeymoon and handpicked our desserts for that night. I’d say my fiancé had made quite an impression during his first few months on the job!
We chuckle now about his decision to propose on April Fools Day. In hindsight, it was actually genius. If I said “no” than he could jokingly claim “April Fools!” But if I said “yes” than it would always be a story that amused everyone. To this day, it is still one of my favorite parts of our story.