The first thing I had to do was to talk to Anne Murray.
Monique loved the song Could I Have This Dance? and I planned to have it played right after the proposal, so I wanted to see if I could get an autographed picture from Anne Murray to go along with it. I found her website and sent a note, explaining what was going on. I got a response back pretty quickly from her assistant. Anne would be happy to send a photo. She was in Canada and she had run out of photos, but once the pictures came in she would sign one and send it to me. I told her the proposal date and my address.
My next step was to discuss this scheme with the dance instructors. This was a challenge. Monique was always with me at the club and their website was down so I had no way to write to them. Over time I snuck in some quick conversations with one of the instructors. One evening I drove Monique back to her car and told her I was going home, then drove back to the bar so I could discuss strategy.
By this point I realized I hadn't made my plan or my life nearly complicated enough. I decided to invite some of Monique's friends to be there as a surprise, so they could witness the event. I had no email addresses, phone numbers, very few names. Fortunately, I could see her friends on Facebook - all 400+ of them. Over lunch one day I nonchalantly asked Monique questions about her friends. I finally got the names of a few people I could invite. I also contacted her friend Debbie and Debbie was able to reach another friend, Sue, and her husband Carl. Debbie also coordinated with Monique's mother, Joyce.
I then contacted my friend Eleanor who happened to be dating Monique's brother Bill. (That's a whole other story I may have to put on this site.) El says she plans to be there (which is appropriate - El is the one who told me about the dance lessons in the first place). Bill is on the east coast by that point so we don't think he will be there.
Still not complicated enough - I'm managing to get a few hours of sleep each night so I need to add more challenges to my scheme. I order a couple stuffed bears from Vermont Teddy Bear Company - his and hers bears in country outfits. I start sourcing around for long stemmed roses. And of course, what's a party without a cake? I know an awesome cake place in Denton named Candy Haven, so I call them to discuss the cake for the event.
Now things are getting complicated enough to raise my blood pressure a few points. But it's all coming together beautifully. So of course, about this time Monique learns she has to travel to Poland right before the planned proposal.
That's right, the night I'm supposed to propose, Monique will be a half world away.
Copyright 2013 Jeff and Monique