Sunday, March 06, 2005

Chapter Seven

As I watched Nathalie sleep that Sunday morning, I becoming more certain that today would be the day I propose. I then tried to ignore that nagging concern reminding me that I had made no previous plans regarding how I was actually going to do it. You only get to do this once. I didn't want to just surprise her, I wanted to make it as perfect as possible.

We decided to go to Nick's on Carrollton for brunch. Being springtime with the weather being cooperative recently, we thought it would be nice to have brunch on their sidewalk patio, people watching as we ate. She also thought it would be nice to take an afternoon stroll through the Botanical Gardens at City Park afterwards.

I could not believe my dumb luck that Nathalie brought up the idea to go walk around a garden full of flowers. What a great place for a wedding proposal! But wait, did she suspect something? I studied her as we got ready to go to brunch. No, she was acting her usual self. She had no idea of what I had in mind for today.

I tried to act as normal as possible, hoping not to give away my intentions with any subtle signs of excitement. During brunch, I snuck a napkin in my pocket in preparation for possible tears later that afternoon. Nathalie remained oblivious.

When we arrived at City Park, we were dismayed to find that the flowers were not quite blooming yet (it was February afterall) and to add insult to injury, they charged a $5 admission fee per person to look at just shrubbery. Nathalie and I exchanged knowing looks, bid the lady at the ticket window thanks, and turned around.

Perhaps today wasn't the day to propose...

I looked up at the sky and noted that the sun no longer was showing. The air had taken a sudden chill as well. I asked Nathalie if she just wanted to go home, thinking perhaps I'll propose at a later date, and that today maybe wasn't the day. She waffled a bit, but then asked if we could go for a walk around Audubon Park. A great idea! Perhaps today was a day to propose...

When we arrived at Audubon park, the sun started playing hide-and-seek amongst the clouds, warming us intermittantly with its rays. As we leisurely walked around the park, I realized that I had yet to come up with something romantic to say. I needed something more than just those four words, but I didn't want to give a canned speech, or some cheesey rehearsed bit. So I simply reached deep within my heart and started telling Nathalie how I felt about her and us.

Nathalie didn't catch on that I was starting to propose. She thought I was just saying sweet, romantic things as I tend to do on occasion. As we rounded the corner of Audubon Park, we came upon an old stone bridge that Nathalie loves. I knew without a doubt in my mind that now was the moment. I then guided her off the paved path and to a dry grassy area, and got down on one knee.

The rest, as they say, is history.