Joel on July 20th, 2011
On Thursday I took the afternoon off and drove down from Vancouver to Seattle to surprise my girlfriend, TGS Promotions Manager Lauren Thompson, at work. “What are you doing here?” she said, smiling with delight. I had come down a day early to see her. “I thought we could go on a picnic.” Lauren works in Mukilteo, a small port town with a ferry just west of Everett. I suggested we take the ferry over to Whidbey Island.
Lauren and I have dated for just under a year and have had several conversations about marriage, and even gone ring shopping, so she knew the potential of an engagement was imminent. So when I arrived unannounced to take her on a surprise date, she knew it was a serious possibility. When she used the washroom before we left, she looked at herself in the mirror and thought, Lauren, you might get engaged tonight.
The ring was in my car. And while Lauren was mentally preparing herself for a life-changing event, I was anxiously trying to keep my cool while I walked through the steps of a thoroughly planned event. While Lauren was in the washroom, I received a text from my co-conspirators: “We’re just getting on the 5:30 ferry!” This was at 5:10, and I definitely didn’t want to be on that same ferry. So I stalled, just a bit. We arrived at the terminal just as the 5:30 ferry was pulling away.
Once we made it to the island, we drove down to a little park on the southern tip. After some dreadful showers in the morning, the rain had ceased and the overcast day made the woods lush and green. It was beautiful. At the park, I led Lauren towards a little path in the woods. We entered the woods onto a path lined with candles. Lauren immediately began to cry, and then asked: “Wait, how did you do this?!”
“Lauren, let’s just enjoy this moment. I’ll explain it later.”
There were photos and little memorabilia pinned to half a dozen trees that led up to a table with flowers, chocolates and champagne. We kissed, I closed her eyes and proposed.
“Lauren, will you marry me?”
“Yes, of course.”