Love & Paris

It’s that time of year again, New Year’s Day!!! Reflections on last year, resolutions for the next year, leaving certain people in your past, and hoping the right person comes in the future. Then there comes everybody’s favorite part, the engagement posts on social media. This is the story of how I proposed to my (now) wife in Paris, France. Enjoy.

It all begins around 2008-2010, when I made it up in my mind that this woman would be the one that I would marry one day. I am often asked by other men on the brink of making the same decision, “when did I know that she was the one?” And my answer is the same every time, “when you know, you know”. And that’s how it went with us, I knew that I wanted to marry her and I am sure she felt she was ready as well. We were in two different stages in life, she was a college graduate with a career going and I was a college dropout still trying to figure it all out. After the arrival of our son in 2010, I made a promise to her and myself that I would wait until I graduated college before I get involved in marriage. However, if you read my post about my college journey (FIN) you would know that I did not “finish” until 2014. That’s a long time to string someone along with hopes that she doesn’t get tired of waiting or finding love elsewhere. But as you will see it was all worth the wait, well almost….

After “fake graduating” in Dec. 2014, I left Statesboro and headed back home to Atlanta with no idea of what I wanted to do in life. The only thing I knew for sure was the promise I made to her about proposing after college and what better time to do it than on New Year’s Eve that was approaching. It honestly didn’t take long to come up with the idea of how I would do it. At that time, I was working for the company I told you I “hated” and had access to the entire world. I knew I wasn’t gonna do a “boring” proposal at some restaurant in Atlanta, I had to go BIG. After all, she put up with me for about 7 years AND had my son. It was between Vegas, Paris, Montgomery, AL or Italy. (you decide which one doesn’t belong lol). While doing research on ideas, I saw that Paris is known as the “City of Love” so it was a no-brainer. “BOOM!!”, I said to myself, “we finna go to Paris and I’ma propose under the Eiffel Tower and if she say no I’ma leave her ass there”. I spent most of the days leading up to it trying to see how she would agree to taking the trip without giving up the purpose of it. We left on the night of Dec. 30th from Atlanta and I purposely picked the flight we left on because I knew we’d get first class on it. When we checked in for the flight, I checked my carry-on bag (which I NEVER USUALLY DO) thinking it would be less hassle. BOY WAS I WRoNG!!!!

QUICK LESSON: Here’s how it goes… when you fly as an employee, or non-revenue passenger, you’re not guaranteed a seat on the plane, it’s solely based on availability. When you check a bag for the flight, they aren’t supposed to put it on until you get a seat assigned. International laws for ALL passengers are that if you don’t scan onto the plane then they won’t load your bag on the plane either.

Now that we’re all on the same page, this is how it all went left before we even left Atlanta. I know you’re probably thinking, “I know he ain’t leave the ring in that luggage” and to that I would say no. I left the next most important thing in the bag which would be everything else. My nice clothes, shoes, and the whole nine. The only thing I had in my book bag with me was my traveling hat and the ring. The gate agent working the flight did not assign us our first class seats until about 10-15 minutes before departure even though I KNEW we should have gotten them 45 minutes prior. So what happens with that is since it was so close to departure time, my bag did not make the flight because I was not assigned a seat before they closed up the luggage door. So now we’re on the flight headed to Paris but unbeknownst to me, all of my clothes were chillin on a bag cart in Hartsfield Atlanta Airport….

We landed in Paris on Dec. 31st about 6 am their time. I’ma little tired from not sleeping much on the flight but it’s no biggie. We checked the luggage carousel and no luggage. We waited for the carousel to move again and no movement. We went to the gate agents and nothing. I was bummed out. I made the following post on Facebook to show my disappointment and luckily a former co-worker saw it and commented.

So here comes in the problem, by the time I got the message that my bag would be in Paris, we had already left the airport to go site seeing and check into the hotel. It was my understanding that the airport would deliver the bags within a couple days to our hotel room but since we were only staying for 2 days there was no point in waiting. Oh yea, I forgot to mention they don’t even deliver luggage for non-revenue passengers. So that means I HAD to go back to the airport and retrieve it. We were on a budget and working on limited time so travel to and from the airport to the city needed to be very calculated and worth it. We spent the whole day sight seeing while I brainstormed my next move…

My original plan was to bring in the New Year by proposing at the Eiffel Tower. We were gonna dress up, head down to the tower, pop some champagne, and at midnight I was gonna get on one knee and let it all out. In some shape or form, that is what exactly how it happened. We went down the tower around 10 p.m. on NYE. Got settled in to a spot with a good view and bought some champagne. I told her allllllll about how I felt about her. I mean I leaned into it, I was on my “Mack Daddy Denzel mode” with the words. I buttered her up to the point that she had to know I expect that I was about to propose. In the back of my mind though, I knew I wasn’t going to do it. I had on the same clothes I’d been wearing since the day before. I probably smelled like I had been outside all day in those clothes. As romantic as the scene was, I just didn’t feel right so I told myself I’d do it the next day UNDER the tower which was guaranteed to be more romantic. Sounds like a fool-proof plan right??? Only problem was, we stayed out til 2 a.m. and I had to wake up the next morning at 5 a.m. to go back to the airport……

The next day I woke up and I was TIRED!!!. Like TIRED TIRED. I was already burning the candle on both ends by not getting sleep on the flight over, hanging out all day, then staying up til after midnight on Paris time. That’s jet-lag on top of jet-lag on top of jet-lag. I barely made it to the train station and fell asleep as soon as I sat down. I woke up at the airport and retrieved my bag. I wasn’t able to sleep on the train ride back to the hotel because I didn’t miss my stop so I was delirious as it gets. Finally made it back to the room, took a shower and got dressed to go out and do the damn thing.

Here’s what you came for…

I was so tired while I was getting dressed that I forgot I had the bare ring in my pocket (because the box woulda been too noticeable). While checking to see if I had everything I needed, I rubbed my hand across the ring in my pocket and said under my breath “what is this?”. Not only did I say that out loud but I pulled the ring out of my pocket because I truly did not know what it was. Before I could even realize the mistake she turned around to see what I was talking about and saw the ring in my hand. I tried to shove it back in my pocket but it was too late. All I could do was stand there with this dumb look on my face and ask her “You saw that???”.

She tried to play along and say “no” but I knew she was lying. And THAT is where it happened!! I made it alllll the way to Paris and had to propose in a hotel room because I was too sleepy to focus on the mission for another hour when we would be under the Eiffel Tower. If you are disappointed, imagine how I felt. (if you are laughing, kick rocks lol) I can’t remember exactly what I said in that hotel room but I know it was all off the top of my head and probably sounded crazy. I managed to get through it all and she said yes. Then we made our way to the Eiffel Tower where I asked her AGAIN under the tower like I originally planned to two plans ago…

The rest of our time in Paris was beautiful, we had a nice dinner as newly minted fiancé’s. The next morning we left for home with some exciting news and a story will live on for years to come.


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