By: Heather Somaini
Christmas was upon us and the time was getting very close – to propose! I was all set – I had my puzzle pieces all divided up in Ziploc bags, the ring, the poem – everything. My friend Jill would visit with us when we got to New York, take all of the items from me and then make sure they made it to the right locations the next day. Everything was perfect…and about to fall apart.
Tere knew that I had something up my sleeve. She knew she was about to go on an adventure. She knew she was getting what she wanted – a commitment. What she didn’t know was that I wasn’t going to make it that easy for her.
Christmas morning came and we had an amazing day with my family. 3:00pm arrived and the “Heather Proposal Plan” was in full swing. We left for the airport on time, dropped off the rental car and headed to the terminal. We got to the gate, Tere realized we were going to New York and that’s when it started. A snowstorm had hit the northeast and our plane was delayed. I figured it wouldn’t be too long so we should wait and see what happened. Yep, no silly snowstorm was changing my plan.
Tick, tock, tick, tock…time passed. I wouldn’t give up. The customer service people kept giving me the slightest hope that they were going to let a plane go that night. I passed on the opportunity to get our bags back and a free hotel room. We ended up sleeping at the airport with those little blue airplane blankets. My fingernails turned blue. I kept waiting and was determined to make it to NY. It didn’t happen.
Around 3:00am, I finally gave up and agreed to go to a hotel room and get on the first flight in the morning. We had no clothes, no toothbrush, and my plan was crumbling. We got a few hours’ sleep and got back to the airport to get on a 9am flight. But then it turned into an 11am flight. Everything was a mess. I was tired and depressed. Tere knew my plan was ruined and tried to make me feel better. The 11am flight turned into a 1pm flight. The earliest we would get into New York was about 5 or 6pm, basically enough time to shower and go to dinner. No carriage ride in Central Park, no ice skating in Rockefeller Center, no Rainbow Room, no Richart Chocolates – nothing.
I decided to make the most of it. I gave Tere the first clue that she was supposed to get at breakfast in our fancy hotel. She was confused. I gave her the first set of puzzle pieces; she was more confused. It took awhile but she put the pieces together on a chair in between us. People around us started watching. I explained we were supposed to be on a scavenger hunt in New York and told her in great detail what we would have been doing right then. She got the next clue and the next section of the puzzle. We kept going like this – her putting the pieces together and me walking her through what we “would” be doing. She loved it and encouraged me to keep going. More people started watching. Everyone was quite curious. Kids started coming over to help with the puzzle.
There was a good bit of anticipation as Tere completed the entire puzzle. I think everyone thought what she was thinking, that I would pop the question right there. But as you know, I didn’t.
She got the wooden puzzle box – and it completely stumped her. I felt badly; she was getting upset. A woman sitting next to her asked if she could help and they ultimately got it open. And that’s when we finally got on the plane for New York – almost 24 hours late – and Tere was convinced she knew what was up. Luckily, I still had a couple tricks up my sleeve and was determined to salvage something of my magnificent plan.