This is a personal post because today is our 8th wedding anniversary! Though mikekim.tv has become a platform for my consulting business, my work is in no way separated from my personal life. I wouldn’t be able to do what I do without the strength of my wife and the foundation of our marriage. So I thought it might be fun to share how I popped the question. It at least brings an element of humanity to all the other stuff I normally write about!
A Proposal of Lies.
Our situation was unique because Iris’ parents live in Korea. I actually had not met her father before, so this was all a pretty big deal. We knew we were getting married and setup an engagement dinner where her parents would fly over to the U.S. Problem is I hadn’t proposed yet. Because of the timing, my in-laws were flying over just a few days later.
I had to figure out how to propose without making it obvious, even if it was almost a formality. Iris and I lived an hour apart, so even driving down to see her would have tipped her off. So what did I do? I lied like crazy.
The Chain of Events.
- I called on a Tuesday (her parents were arriving Friday!) to tell her I’m coming to hangout. This was way too obvious, but I needed to setup the chain of events.
- Later that afternoon I canceled, saying I had to go to a sudden work-related dinner with my boss and a potential book publisher. (Lie) She was bummed.
- I called back an hour later to tell her the business dinner was at a restaurant not too far from her house, and that she could come as long as she dressed up. I wanted to propose at a nice restaurant than say, Burger King. (Lie)
- Before picking her up, I went to the restaurant to leave flowers with the host for the knee-bending procedure. (Truth)
- I picked her up to go to the restaurant. On the way, I set my cell alarm to ring to pretend it was a call from my boss. I literally had a fake conversation on the phone while we were driving in the car. (Lie)
- We were seated at the restaurant. Major problem: the waiter walks over with a huge grin, smiles at us, and puts the flowers on our table. OMG, he’s just ruined everything. Idiot!
- Iris, pointing at the random flowers now on our table: “What’s that?” Me: “No idea.” (Lie).
- Iris goes to bathroom. I snatch the flowers, give it back to the host, tell him to keep it in the front ‘til I get the bouquet later when I’m ready to propose. I am panicking thanks to Mr. Grinning Waiter.
- Iris comes back to the table. I tell her my boss can’t find parking and I’ve got to step outside to show them where to park. This gives me an excuse to put my jacket back on, which I will use to cover the flowers. (Lie)
- I go outside, pretend I’m meeting my boss, get the flowers as I come back in, and put them under my suit jacket.
Now I’ve got the flowers! Yes! I re-enter, go to our table, and go to one knee.
Popping the Question(s).
Me: “Iris, there’s no dinner.”
Iris: “What? Is the restaurant closing?”
Me: “No, there’s no dinner. I brought you here to ask you something.”
Iris: “What are you talking about? Where are Mr. and Mrs. Ahn? Didn’t they follow you in?”
Me: “They’re not coming, there’s no dinner. But I wanted to ask you…will you marry me?”
Iris: “What? Why aren’t they coming? What about the dinner meeting?” (the proposal has gone unnoticed)
Me: “There is no dinner meeting. Will you marry me?”
Iris: “What do you mean there’s no dinner meeting? Did everyone cancel?” (she is basically doing a “WTF face”…maybe all these lies might not have been such a good idea)
Me: “The dinner meeting was a lie. I had to get you here somehow for me to ask you if you would marry me.”
Iris: “What are you talking about? I’ve been praying this whole time the meeting goes well.” (stern look, once again my proposal has gone unheeded)
Me: “Uh, will you marry me? No one else is coming.” (I am really thinking this isn’t going to work)
Iris: “So. There’s no dinner. No meeting. But the restaurant isn’t closed, right?”
Me: “WILL YOU MARRY ME?”
Iris: “…yes, I will marry you! [hugs, kisses] So you sure the restaurant isn’t closing…or is that a lie, too?”
So it’s been a little over 8 years since that day. I spun an elaborate series of lies and had to pop the question a few times before it was even heard, but hey–I managed to surprise her which was big considering the circumstances. Now that we’ve moved back to New Jersey, we’re going to that same restaurant tonight. This time I won’t need to lie through my teeth.
P.S. – If you’re getting married and want an amazing photographer, consider one of my former clients Nick Dantonio (www.nickdantonio.com). He didn’t ask me to plug him and I don’t get a commission for this, but after consulting for him for several months I can tell you firsthand that he’s a great guy, really cares for his clients, and will immortalize your wedding day in a potpourri of artistic and photographic bliss. Do yourself a favor and check out his blog.