I woke up yesterday with an unusual amount of energy. Typically it takes a lot of drive for me to actually drag my lazy butt out of bed but when I woke up yesterday, I woke up.
I knew it was a pretty special day when I opened my eyes. Leanne did too–but she thought it was special for different reasons. I had a job interview at 2 o’clock, and after that we were going to take some photos down by the Grand River (along Victoria St towards Guelph, right across from the BMW dealership).
I got dressed and, with a few hours before my interview, Leanne and I went out to grab a slice of pizza together. The whole time we were sitting at the picnic table eating our pizza, I couldn’t escape the thought of how lucky I was just to be spending another hour with my best friend! Little did she know what I had in mind for later that day.
After my interview (which went excellently, I got the job! Praise God!), we gathered up our camera stuff and went out in search of a picnic basket (which is much harder to find than you’d think!). With no luck, we decided to cut our losses, grab a quick snack (a pop and fries from McDonalds), and head out to our location to take some photos.
The entire time we were doing our running around, I had Leanne’s ring in my pocket (there was no place in our camera bag I could have hidden the massive box the ring came in), so I was constantly reaching into my pocket to make sure it hadn’t fallen our or anything wild like that. What a disaster that would have been! “Uh, Leanne… I was going to propose to you today, but somewhere between here and the last store we were at, your ring fell out of my pocket… we should probably go back and search for it… oh yeah, surprise!…” hahaha I wouldn’t let that be me!
Anyways, we came up to our spot along the Grand River, gathered all of our stuff, and began walking. I was really, really calm considering the fact that I was about to ask my best friend to the rest of her life. I don’t know–something about her that regardless of what I’m about to go through, I feel a little more calm knowing she’s supporting me.
Off of the path, through a little bit of forest, we found where we would take photos together. All I could think was “I’m about to propose to you right here and you have no idea!” haha. That was a cool feeling!
After about 20-30 minutes of trying different poses and camera positions, we weren’t satisfied with any of the photos we were getting. They felt kinda unnatural and the wind was messing things up a little. I could tell Leanne was starting to feel defeated. Uh oh!
We ended up moving our blanket and stuff to a different location just down the river a little more, around a small bend, and there was a much nicer clearing where we could set our stuff up, and it had a massive sun beam shining down on it. I started to feel like this was the spot!
Still, Leanne was starting to get down because our photos were kinda turning out goofy. We needed to change things up or do something different. We took a short break and I started acting silly and cracking jokes and Leanne lit up and I could tell she was feeling more optimistic about our photos. Good!
After a few more, I decided to pause the photo taking and show Leanne “something I found online” (this was total bogus, I wrote it all up earlier).
In the TV show Friends, there’s an episode (season 8, episode 20) where Joey is about to become the host of a fictitious TV show called Bamboozled! and he’s having trouble understanding the rules. He enlists the help of Chandler and Ross to understand the rules, and what ensues is a 25 minute hilarious episode that has the viewer in stitches. You realize very quickly that the game of Bamboozled! is very random and unstructured. This obviously made for fantastic television, but the idea had sparked a thought with me.
For anyone that knows Leanne personally, you’ll find very quickly she loves people. And even more than that, Leanne loves when people play games together; board games, card games, and even video games. The idea of playing Bamboozled! with her was something I thought would be fun because it was already something that was so fun and hilarious, also because Leanne loves games, and even more so for the fact that Leanne and I have seen every episode of Friends together, so it meant a lot to us.
I had developed my version of Bamboozled! to be rigged from the very beginning so that after a string of random trivia questions and laughter, Leanne would seemingly be “Bamboozled!” and lose the game… unless she could properly answer the Question of Fate!
This whole time that Leanne and I were playing the game, I felt like she was pretty oblivious to what was coming next. She tells me that she had started to clue in “Wow, Aidan must have taken some time on this!” but really wasn’t prepared for a proposal so soon. She had even told her roommate Erica earlier this week that it wouldn’t be for a number of days or weeks yet!
Nonetheless, when we got to the end and I loudly and proudly announced to Leanne “YOU’VE BEEN BAMBOOZLED!” she gave me the reaction I wanted so desperately. “WHAT?! NO WAY!!!”
“UNLESS!” I said, “You can properly answer the Question of Fate!”
“Okay,” she said, a little confused. “What’s the Question of Fate?”
“Stand up,” I asked of her, as I too got to my feet.
It was at this point that I started to get into the typical mushiness that is associated with the literal seconds before a proposal. I pulled her in real close and asked “Leanne, do you know why I made up that game?” to which she kinda said, “Uh… no?” and I started saying “I didn’t find it online, you know. I made that whole thing up myself.”
“Leanne, do you know that I love you with my whole heart?”
“Yes…?” she says with a confused, bewildered smile, starting to realize what’s going on.
“Do you know that I want to spend the rest of my life with you?”
“No way!” she says, the look in her eyes letting me know that she definitely knows what’s up right now. But still she asks, “Are you kidding me right now?! Is this just a joke or is this really happening right now?!”
I looked her in the eye with a big smile and said, “Nope, this is for real.”
“Oh my goodness!” she starts saying, her eyes beginning to water and face turning red. “YOU WERE SO RIGHT! I AM CRYING!!!!”
We both were laughing as I started to fish the ring out of my pocket. I pulled it out and showed it to her and if the tears weren’t flowing before that, they sure were now! “No way!” she told me. “The one day this week I don’t wear my waterproof mascara!”
I grabbed the remote for the camera off of the blanket as I dropped down to one knee with Leanne’s hand in my own and I snapped a quick photo before asking the inevitable, “Leanne, will you marry me?”
It took her a second to pull herself together and be able to respond to me haha. She shook her head and said “Yes!” just before I slipped that small size 4.5 ring onto her tiny finger.
And the rest is history! We looked at the photo we got and were really happy that it turned out so well. We snapped a few more photos with the new ring and then packed up our stuff before making some phone calls and going out for dinner to celebrate!
Altogether it was a pretty special day and I know I really caught Leanne by surprise! She knew that it may be happening sometime at the very end of the month or possibly even sometime in June. I knew I had to figure something out quick if I wanted it to surprise her, which she insures me it did!
We just want to also say thank you again to everyone who has flooded us with congratulations and love as we couldn’t be more excited to beginning this new stage in our lives! You are all so dear to us and we thank God for the blessing you are.