Miracle Man's Wedding Proposal
--by Pete, posted Oct 3, 2007
Three events, five hours. That was my Saturday evening schedule. It would've been nice to thoroughly enjoy one event, but how can you pick between a high school friend's first baby shower, cousin's i-am-turning-five birthday party, and a suprise proposal between two friends who met at your house?!?
So my wife and I zoomed in Fred's beamer, from Milpitas to Santa Clara to San Francisco, and the excitement was building as we landed at Buca di Bepo at 7PM. We had no idea what the evening would hold.
The plan was for Pete to propose to Linda, and bring her to a restaurant where Pete had gathered their closest friends, including Linda's four-grade classmate whom he had flown in from Salt Lake City! And it was executed perfectly.
Pete had taken Linda to the spot of their first date, struggled to find a private spot with his "binoculars", got down on his knees and asked Linda the big question (three times!) as tears of joy filled her eyes. As it turns out, Pete was even ready with a plan B -- "Will you marry me?" written inside Linda's favorite ginger candy wrapper. Following that monumental event, Linda had yet another surprise waiting for her with all her friends crowded on multiple Buca di Bepo tables.
Now, if you knew Pete, you just knew that he had to work *really* hard to pull this off. I mean, outside of this day, I can't remember Pete ever wearing a nicely tucked-in polo shirt, a real belt and even matching boat shoes! Maybe it was because this was the first time Pete and Linda's parents were meeting. :)
The evening proceeded smoothly. We ordered globs of Italian food, cracked jokes over the loud background noise, shared embarassing stories (or made them up!), took 101 pictures, and put in a good word to the parents of the soon-to-be couple. After Pete and Linda's sentimental speech (yes, it's true), we hugged them. Again and again. Marvin, Jeff and Ralph offered a neat gift on behalf of all of us -- a fancy photo album where you could record a unique audio message with each picture!
Time flies when you're celebrating. And this evening was about to end too. We fought over who pays, with Pete's brother winning in the end.
Just as it was time to leave, I had an idea. I huddled a couple folks and pitched my idea. "Nice idea, but sounds complicated." "It's too late to get flowers." "None of the stores will be open." It was all true, but I figured it's worth a shot anyways. I headed out.
I asked at the reception, "Is there a place where I can find some roses?" The hostess shook her head, "No, not at this time." And then a passerby tells me, "Well, you might try this store. Take a right at the first light and it should be on your left."
So I take off, all my hopes pinned on this one suggestion from a stranger. On the walk there, I'm thinking about how Pete came be known as the "Miracle Man", about his high school chess antics, his transcription efforts for a monk he didn't know, his "soft spot" for dogs, his incredible stories from his first marathon, about the lovable guy he truly is. I hustle into the store just as they're closing the door. I put my foot in and plead with the manager: "A couple just got engaged, I need to get something real quick!" "Is it going to be real quick," he asserts in the form of a question. "Yeah, just need some roses." He begrudingly gives me the eye-roll but lets me in.
I ran into the flowers section. My eyes landed on these beautiful red roses, labeled Ecuadorian something or another. I didn't know you could buy roses from Ecaudor. Vintage Whole Foods, I guess. I grabbed a dozen red ones, another dozen yellow ones, ran to the checkout and swiped my credit card for $32.49. I never knew roses can cost that much but even if it was a hundred bucks, there was no stopping me today. It was Miracle Man's big day, after all.
I snuck in the flowers to our restaurant table and huddled some nearby folks. "You got the roses? At this time? So quickly?" All excited, we quickly came up with a game plan.
Without skipping a beat, I took Pete and Linda in the backroom to talk to them about "something". Within two minutes, Mikey comes in and yells, "Hey, are you guys comin' or what?" We happily obliged, as Pete laughed boisterously. :) The tables, surprisingly, were all cleared up and no one was around. Scratching their heads, Pete and Linda headed for the stairs.
With faint murmurs in the background, lo and behold, we see the entire staircase lined up with people -- many random strangers -- each holding up a rose with a beautiful smile. As Pete and Linda walked down, everyone gave a rose, shared a blessing from their hearts, and enveloped the newly-engaged, awestruck couple in huge hug!
During his speech earlier, Pete squarely looked me in the eyes and sincerley said: "Thank you for teaching me the meaning of true compassion. Thank you." Fact of the matter is I'm thankful I get front row seats for the blooming of this flower.
Pete and Linda met in the spirit of service, when they spent their Saturday to share lunches with the homeless on the streets of SF. When I see Pete and Linda together, I smile in affirmation of this: it is in giving that we truly receive.
Thanks so much for sharing
Bless you all.