What struck me as funny was that no one doubted the sincerity of relsqui's post. ; )
But no, this was real. It's not even 4/1 anywhere on the globe right now. I promise! ; )
As I was driving to work at the beginning of March, I came to the conclusion that it would be wise for me to propose to relsqui. As some of you know, we plan on moving to Seattle later this year. It seemed like it'd be a good idea to get married and have a ceremony before we're even farther away from friends of ours in Los Angeles, Santa Cruz, and Berkeley. Additionally, I've always enjoyed that our 10-month mark was April Fools -- a holiday near and dear to my prankster heart.
So, at the beginning of March, I posted privately to beethatbumbles. beethatbumbles is a long-time friend of relsqui's and a fine craftswoman. On a number of occasions, relsqui has said that she'd very much like to commission her for wedding jewelry. These comments were not lost on me.
She got back to me later that day (right after a meeting at work, as I recall) and I told her my intentions over IM. It became clear relatively soon that while we both knew that relsqui likes green and beethatbumbles's jewelry. I had it in mind that a ring would be an annoyance in every day life, mostly because of my own experiences with things on my hands or wrists while typing. I wanted relsqui to have the option, if she so chose, of wearing it at any given time. A necklace seemed right.
So began the difficult task of trying to get relsqui's opinions on jewelry without actually letting her know that I was planning anything. Most of that was done with this post. Some more was done by mentioning to relsqui that I had no idea that beethatbumbles was so talented. She went for it like a cat to catnip and we spent a good portion of the evening sorting through a public directory on touchmyfez (psst! Thanks favneho!!!) where beethatbumbles puts most of her photos for posts.
Eventually, we concluded that Rosalind's chain would be perfect for relsqui. In fact, beethatbumbles even dreamt up a way to keep it from twisting with respect to the clasp. We eventually decided that green tsavorite beads would be great between portions of the chain, so she hunted some down on eBay. Green is her favorite color and tsavorites were suggested by beethatbumbles. I really don't have a head for jewelry, so I was heavily leaning on her expertise.
I called her father about a week beforehand and we had a short chat, mostly joking about the conventions surrounding calling one's girlfriend's dad before proposing. relsqui's mother was a bit tougher. At the beginning of the call, she mentioned that she'd been introducing me to her parents (that is relsqui's grandparents) as "the one". Her initial reaction was "What else is new?"
After we hung up the first time, she called back. It hit her emotionally right about then, so she mentioned that she really, really loves relsqui and the like. I apologized at one point for the way that relsqui and I began living together (Shortly after we met, one of the cats I grew up with (Pablo) and my maternal grandmother passed away which, long story short, necessitated being in LA for a while). We chatted for a while longer and that, as they say, was that.
At the end of the last week of March, beethatbumbles and I were both a bit pressed for time and things were getting a bit sketchy. The stones we got from eBay weren't going to arrive in time and my car's headlight switch went out (thus preventing me from using my headlights and making the problem of getting up to Berkeley to meet with beethatbumbles a bit more difficult. In the end, beethatbumbles put in some temporary stones and I ended up spending Friday morning at the mechanic with a hard-won headlight switch freighted in from Missouri. I still ahd to convince him that we didn't need the electrical connector as opposed to a couple of wires to do the trick. Eventually he relented -- in his words, I'd waited long enough to get that problem fixed.
So, I went to work and started seriously thinking about the biggest problem of this whole venture -- finding a way for reason for me to be somewhere else without relsqui. Her dad and I had a heck of a time trying to think that out and eventually came up with a workable plan -- but it turned out all for naught. beethatbumbles was heading out of town, so I had her drop the necklace off with relsqui's dad. So, relsqui came up to San Jose, snagged a take-and-bake pizza from Pizz'a Chicago, we went up to Berkeley, had dinner, and went to sleep.
I found an excuse to head downstairs in the middle of the night to use the bathroom. I caught relsqui's dad and asked where the necklace was. It was hidden on top of a row of books in the entryway's bookshelf, obscured by coats. I considered running the necklace down to the car that evening, but relsqui was no doubt expecting me back upstairs soon and the dogs almost certainly would have started barking had I run out then.
The next morning, I woke up earlier and tried to sneak out of bed without relsqui waking up. After totally failing, I hurried downstairs before her and ran the necklace out to the car along with my laptop. I placed the necklace in the driver's side door under some bubble wrap. We went out for breakfast at the Vault, tried to teach a bit of Linux to relsqui's dad, and headed out for the Firefly marathon at the Del Mar.
At this point, I was trying to think of when & where I was going to do it -- I had no idea. There had been some discussion with theotherchicago of meeting up for dinner and that was a real consideration. As luck would have it relsqui suggested going to Pizz'a Chicago returning to Santa Cruz. I could deal wih that! I formulated a plan in which I would have our waitress bring the necklace to the table with the check.
There were a few key bits of sneakiness to pull off. One was getting the necklace into the restaurant. Another was getting the necklace to our waitress. The third was doing all this without relsqui really getting an idea of what was going on. I'd feared earlier in the month that she might has suspected that I was thinking seriously of proposing.
Going to Pizz'a Chicago normally involves parking in a structure a few blocks away. When we got there, I got out of the car slowly and dropped the necklace into my left pants pocket. There was a minor bulge, but I figured it wouldn't be a problem. So we walked a few blocks over and into the restaurant. The take-home pizza we pulled the night before turned out to be invaluable for my plans. Since there's a deposit on the pan, we typically return it separately. I found an excuse to snag it from relsqui while she sat down at our table (in the front corner of the restaurant, one booth back). I was still in sight, so when I noticed she wasn't looking, I grabbed the necklace from my pocket and put it next to the pan on the counter, and explained things to the manager (at least, I assume she was the manager -- I'm never quite sure at that place ;) ). I asked for it to be brought to our table with the check and she enthusiastically agreed.
I had a big smile on my face when I got back to the table.
Our waitress (Sarah) did her part well. She brought it over to the table, hiding it behind her right leg as she approached, and put it on the table along with the check at the end of the meal. relsqui already began to suspect something at that point, so she grabbed the box. I looked at it and said "What? I don't get one? Why do you get a box and I don't?" I snagged it back and said "Ah well", stepped into the aisle, went down on a knee, and said "Fizz, will you marry me?"
She gave a noncommital affirmative. She said she wouldn't believe me for another 2 and a half hours (it was April Fools, after all). I gave a thumbs up to the people at the counter who were anxiously watching us. They took care of our check (in fact, Sarah only brought the check over because she'd have felt weird only carrying the box).
I called my parents afterwards and let them know. In my estimation, relsqui was the eighth person to know (after myself, beethatbumbles, thegoldengnome, relsqui's dad, mom, and grandparents).
I'm not exactly sure how I managed to fight the urge to tell somebody else/post anonymously about it for a month, but it's probably best I did. As relsqui's dad put it, this sort of news spreads faster than yelling "Fire!" in a crowded movie theatre.
So, we came back to Santa Cruz, saw the Firefly marathon, had a wedding a la "Our Mrs. Reynolds" in line (with theotherchicago and company as witnesses), met a couple of folks afterwards (which resulted in the handle breaking off of my giant soda mug), came home, and zonked.
It feels like we've been engaged two days now as a result of our schedules slipping around. 8) No word on a date or plans at this point.
And in non-April Fools day news, A city manager (who claims 22 years of computer expertise) misinterprets a default web page as CentOS hacking the city's page. Had I been in his shoes, I'd have been sorely tempted to stop responding after the third email out of sheer morbid curiousity.