August 1, 2010: Best Valentine's Day EVER

Finally, it's arrived. The day that department stores have been ramming down our throats since approximately December 26th - Valentine's Day. As of tomorrow, the pink and red will be replaced with shades of green as the store promotions turn to St. Patrick's Day, but for today, let's indulge in love :) I figured today would be a good day for this post. As you may recall, I recently posted a story about the Proposal That Wasn't - but today, I'll share with you the Proposal That Was. It was exactly 1.5 years ago that Homieloverfriend put a ring on it, so in commemoration of our first married folks' V-Day, I'll fill you in on how things went down.

Keep in mind one important thing: I am obsessed with the old TV show Martin. I know every episode and can recite the script word for word. Martin is NOT a game to me. Just remember that. Ok - here we go:

It was August 1st, 2010. We had just jumped up in Caribana '10 the day before, and planned to spend that day (which was our 3rd anniversary for the 2nd time - another story for another day) relaxing with each other and winding down from the bacchanal of the parade. Being that it was our anniversary, HLF said he had something special planned, so I sat back and enjoyed the ride. We ran to the west end to HLF's bro-in-law's church, then ran back to the east for lunch. The day started off relatively normal, but this dude completely annoyed me by not putting his phone down for one minute while he drove, then confused me by stopping at gas stations for strange things. Add to the fact that he seemed to have no clue about where we were going and what we were doing - I was wondering if the Master Event Planner had lost his touch.

Next thing I know, we ended up at Miliken Park, the spot where we had our very first date back in the summer of 2002. The weather was perfect, the park was gorgeous, and I was looking forward to hanging around with HLF in the spot where this whole thing started.

As we walked towards an ice cream stand, I saw a photographer friend of ours. We ran over to say hello, and he asked if we'd mind posing for some pics while he tested light in the park. If you know ANYTHING about me, you'll know that I live for photos. I've been posing since I was a baby, so I wasn't about to turn down a free photo shoot! Mr. Photographer placed us by a tree and snapped a few quick shots of us before thanking us and heading off.

HLF and I quietly sat together for a while, watching two little girls play with boats in a water fountain. It was so serene, so peaceful - until I heard rustling in the bushes behind us.

I look back and see one of my best friends walking towards us with a bouquet of flowers. I was clearly stunned at the fact that she literally came out of the woodwork, but my questions of "What are you doing?" went unanswered. Her and HLF were having a bartering session, and next thing I know, he bought the flowers from her for $5 and handed them to me. Needless to say, I was confused.

While I was interrogating him about what was going on, I heard more rustling. I looked back into the bushes and saw one of HLF's homeboys roll out of the leaves. My man walks up to us with a bottle of champagne and a CD of love songs - the same bartering technique as before, which ended with Homie buying the goods for $5 and his friend walking off into the wilderness. It was then that I noticed two things. One was that Mr. Photographer was hiding behind ANOTHER bush not too far from us, and was peeking his camera lens out to take photos. Then, I noticed something that the champagne deliverer said...something along the lines of "I have for you here, a bottle of the finnest - uh, FINEST champagne. And yes, it is for sale." This sounded SO familiar to me, but in the midst of my confusion, I couldn't place it.

While HLF was talking to me about making the CD full of songs that meant something to the both of us, or that reminded him of me, it hit me. Our friends were reenacting the scene from Martin where Martin proposed to Gina (the real proposal, not that nonsense he did to keep her from moving to NYC). My homegirl was Pam with the flowers, our homeboy was Cole with the champagne - so that meant no-job-havin'-ass Tommy was coming with the ring??? That's when it happened.

Again, out of the bushes, another good homeboy came out and walked right over to us, ring box in hand. As him and HLF started reciting the lines from Martin word for word, I retreated into my own head. He's proposing. No he's not. There's a ring in that box. No there's not. Maybe it's a cupcake. Maybe it's keys to a new car. Maybe it's a dog tag for the puppy he got me. Maybe it's all a joke. Or is he really proposing? After their exchange, our friend walked back into the bushes, and HLF turned to face me. On one knee.

He said the most beautiful words. He asked me if I would marry him. And I said:

"I feel like I'm going to throw up."

I really did, y'all! Belly full of roti with all this excitement, what did you expect? But when I saw the look of confusion and disappointment on his face, I blurted out, "No! I mean Yes! I mean, no I'm not going to throw up - but yes I'll marry you!" He still looked confused and asked if I was sure, then when he was satisfied that I was serious, we kissed and he hugged me tighter than he ever had before.

We didn't get serenaded by a fake Brian McKnight, but our friends - the photographer, bootleg Pam, Cole, Tommy (check his blog, y'all!), and the "stage directors" - came out to celebrate, and all was well. Miliken Park was bursting with joy that day. Not only did I get engaged, but HLF chose to do it in such a personal way, a way that encompassed one of my favourite things. There is nothing, and I mean NOTHING like a partner who knows you, inside and out, quirks and all - and honours that when they get the chance.

For reference (if you aren't a Martin freak like me), here is a clip of the proposal scene:


So there you have it! Not really a Valentine's Day post, but a post about love all the same. Yes, V-Day is unnecessary and a money grab and a fake holiday created by Hallmark and the company that makes those red hot hearts - with the argument being that we should show love everyday. True - but most folks celebrate birthdays even though we should be happy to be alive everyday, right? Maybe I just like excuses to celebrate :) Who are you showing love to today? Your significant other? Your child? Your parents? Your closest friends? Above all, don't forget to show love to yourself! That's the most vital love to have.

No One's More Youer Than You: A Lesson In Self-Confidence

Remembrance: In Honour Of Whitney Houston