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Jason Holliston
Friday, July 30, 2004  
The Big News

I've been holding off writing about this for a few days, as I had to visit and call some close friends and family. Not to mention lack of time, which I complained about earlier. It's Friday night, though, and I'm ready to make the announcement publicly: I'm engaged to be married to my long-time girlfriend, Danica.

This was my ulterior motive for going to Las Vegas, and I've been planning it for a couple months now. The secret was kept pretty well, which surprises me in hindsight: I wanted to tell all my friends and family, but didn't. I told two friends, another friend at work, and my dental hygienist (don't ask). The two friends that had the opportunity to spread it around didn't, to their eternal credit. I enlisted the help of my friend Hilary early in this adventure to help navigate the winding roads of buying a ring (the four C's? Huh?). I eventually settled upon a nice platinum ring with a round brilliant cut. I booked the trip, and reserved a table for dinner at the Eiffel Tower Restaurant at the Paris Las Vegas hotel. Everything was set.

Getting the ring to Las Vegas was more difficult than I imagined. Where do I put it for the trip? Not the suitcase: I haven't had luggage lost by an airline for 20 years, but I could see them pick the worse possible time. Not my pocket: a platinum ring in a metal case would definitely set off the detectors. So, the carry-on bag, in a side pocket. It was slightly dangerous. She could stumble upon it at any time, or the TSA folks could get curious as to what was in the box. Everything turned out OK, though, and I made it to Las Vegas without the ring being detected.

We arrived at our hotel with four hours to kill, so we decided to go to New York New York to visit Nine Fine Irishmen for some fish and chips and Guinness. We topped that side trip off with large frozen alcohol-laced drinks, so by the time we taxied back to the hotel, I was feeling full of liquid courage. Believe me, I needed it.

We got dressed in our finest, and took the elevator up to the restaurant. We had arrived 30 minutes early, with my intention being to propose in the small side bar, with the view of the Strip in the background. No such luck -- the maitre'd promptly sat us at our table. When is the right time? What's the right moment? Most importantly, when will I work up the courage? I decided that it was to be after we ordered the wine, so more nerve-soothing liquid would be coming.

My hands started shaking a bit, surprisingly. I wasn't prepared for that, but it wasn't too bad. I said some words that frankly I can't remember (I believe "love", "beautiful", and "too long" were in there somewhere), stood up, got down on one knee, opened the ring case, and proposed. My heart was racing.

After a long moment of shock, she said, "Absolutely." I put the ring on her finger, and sat down, for fear of my legs giving out. It took 10 minutes for my hands to stop shaking, but I couldn't stop smiling. I'm happy to say that she was completely surprised, and completely happy. The rest of the trip was kind of a mini-honeymoon, giving it a chance to sink in that we had committed to something huge and life-changing. We had a great dinner, lost a little money gambling, and saw Tony and Tina's Wedding Monday night (where we learned the importance of the Chicken Dance at wedding receptions).

We flew back into town Tuesday afternoon, and immediately drove to White Salmon to spend a few hours with both our respective families. We had called them Sunday night, but these kinds of events deserve dinner.

I have no regrets. The whole thing went off without a hitch, and I hope I can say the same for our wedding two years from now. I'm very happy, and as I'm told over and over again, so is she.

10:11 PM 1 comments

Congratulations! You planned a wonderfully romantic event for the proposal and look charming in your finest dress-up duds! Best wishes to you both!
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