BOTW: Liezl Querubin

Liezl Querubin

Thousands of pink rose petals, carefully scattered through the hallways of our building, creating a path from the elevator to the front door of our apartment. The classic sounds of Abbey Road emanating from the turntable in the corner of the room. A romantic, home-cooked dinner on the kitchen table, complete with place settings and dinner napkins. A nice bottle of wine, set out to breathe in the decantur, and ready to be enjoyed along side some chocolate covered strawberries for dessert. According to Richie, this was exactly how his proposal plan was supposed to unfold. But several missed connections with the FedEx truck, a last minute trip to Europe, and a few mishaps all conspired together to derail his meticulous plans. The events leading up to our proposal did not follow a page out of the typical “fairy tale” romance playbook. In fact, our story reads more like a modern day screenplay collaboration between the creators of Seinfeld and Peter Sellers’ Pink Panther: a farcical comedy of errors, complete with work deadlines, uncannily bad timing, and the all too familiar headache of shipping delays from ordering online. It was stressful. It was a bit of a mess. It was not at all what he intended it to be. And it was absolutely perfect. Richie’s plans for our proposal couldn’t have veered any further from their intended course. The whole process was delayed several times, and simultaneously, it was put under a severe, last-minute time crunch.  His original plan was to propose to me on my birthday, May 4th. This would have been both meaningful and timely, as it would allow me to show off my engagement ring to my coworkers at my school’s annual end of the year party. So, unbeknownst to me, he had designed and ordered my ring online almost 2 months before my birthday, which should be plenty of time for the ring to be crafted and delivered, right? Wrong. The ring was delayed, and delayed, and delayed again, and then delayed some more, until finally it was – no wait, it was delayed, again. My birthday came and went, almost 2 full months since he initially ordered the ring, and still the order was “in process”. Of course, I had no idea that this was all under way, but he, on the other hand, was silently having a conniption over this untimely delivery. At this point, a May 4th birthday proposal was out of the question. But my work function wasn’t until the last week of May, so there were still a few more weeks for the ring to be delivered, and for his plan to come to fruition. Then, enter my parents, who join the club of curveball-throwing proposal derailers. They’re leaving for Europe for a few weeks, and want to get lunch this coming weekend before they leave. Now the clock is ticking! The proposal needed to happen before the end of May initially, but now he really needed to get it done before my parents’ trip so that they can hear the good news before they leave the country. He had exactly 1 week to plan the proposal before the lunch with my parents, and still, the ring wasn’t here yet.The ring’s order status had been stuck in “Quality Control” for quite some time. Monday went by with no change to the status; T-minus 5 days until lunch with parents. As did Tuesday… 4 days out. And then the most magical email hit his inbox Wednesday night at 10:05 pm: “It’s on its way!!!”, it said, and was expected to be deliverd by 10 am the next day. Thank YOU, overnight delivery! The ring was to be delivered to his sister’s house, so that I wouldn’t accidentally see the package in the mailbox. So the plan was pretty simple now: he would go pickup the ring from his sister after work on Thursday evening, and he would leave work early on Friday to prepare the apartment for the romantic proposal. But not before disaster had time to strike, again! Because the delivery email was received so late at night, Richie waited until morning to text his sister about the impending ring delivery. Par for the course at this point, at 10:30 am, Richie’s sister called him: “Soooo, I missed the ring delivery from FedEx. The truck came to the door while I was in the shower!”. Of course that would happen! So Richie frantically tries to follow up with FedEx to see when they’ll attempt re-delivery. Their website says they won’t try again until the next day, so the only way to get the package that same day would be to go to their sorting facility across town. This was shaping up to be a long night…..By some dumb luck, the FedEx truck circles back to his sister’s house and attempts to deliver again, this time, while she was on her way back from running errands. She manages to corner the FedEx truck in front of her house with her vehicle, get out, and flag down the driver. She signs for the package, and tells Richie that the plan is back on! Richie made up an excuse that night, and drove across town to his sister’s house to pick up the ring.Friday morning, D-day: while at work, Richie texts me, “what do you want for dinner tonight?” to get some ideas for his big meal. –“No, don’t you remember?”, I replied, “We’re going out to eat for a work function, and we can’t miss it because I planned the outing!”. Seriously?? With all of the excitement and stress about the proposal, he forgot about this dinner with my colleagues. So now, on the big day, literally hours before show time- we’re back in square one.We finally get home Friday night after the dinner, and all bets are off for Richie. His mind starts racing with possible scenarios. Do I still go for the chocolate covered strawberry bit tonight? No, she just mentioned how full she was from dinner. Do I wait and bust out the proposal tomorrow at lunch, in front of her parents? No, that’s probably a little more than they bargained for, and let’s be honest; Red Lobster isn’t all that romantic. Is the universe trying to tell me something? Don’t even go there! Alright, Plan B: we’ll go on a walk around Hermann Park, which is kind of our ‘thing’ lately anyway, and I’ll pop the question when she least expects it. “Hey Lizl, let’s go for a walk around Hermann Park!!”. –“Not a chance. I’m tired”. “Are you sure? It might help you feel better?” –“Stop bugging me”. Oh boy…..

“Well, what do you want to do?”. –“I want to lay in bed and read my book, while you go run these errands”. Wow, I’m in the doghouse now. What did I do?? I need to do something nice….. “How about I give you a massage while you read your book?” Ding Ding Ding, now we’re talking. So I started reading, and he started rubbing my back. Little did I know that the next few minutes would change every thing. I asked him to massage a knot on my upper left shoulder. He asked me to turn my head to the right, and proceeded to work on the sore spot. After a few more minutes, if for no other reason than to even things out, he asked me to turn my head the other way so that he could massage my other shoulder. Yes please. Then I saw a little red box on the pillow next to me. I immediately sat up and opened the box. I was shocked. I proceeded to ask him a million questions: “Where did you get this?” “How long have you had it?” “Where have you been hiding it?” “Who knew about this?” “Is this real life?”.  It was real life. As I was asking my millions of questions, I had taken the ring out of the box, slipped it on my finger and was admiring it. When I finally took a breath, Richie laughed and said “I’m guessing since you put it on your finger, that means yes?” I was so busy questioning him that I forgot to say yes! Once I realized I hadn’t given him an answer, I screamed, “YES! Oh my goodness! Yes!!” He did make it official and asked, “Will you marry me?” It all happened so quickly, it was difficult to process the whole thing. We started to talk about all of the details leading up to that night, and he explained to me the crazy turn of events that had transpired to lead us to this moment. Hearing him explain the whole story right then made it all the more meaningful, it was so us! As I said earlier, our proposal was not a storybook, fairytale type of event. It was unorthodox. It was a race against a deadline, and required an audible or two (or three). It didn’t involve a scavenger hunt, or a trip to Europe (well, not really). It was unconventional, but it was real. It was a true reflection of how life goes sometimes. Despite all of the twists and turns, it happened just in time for us to share it with all of our family and friends.