I have been in court on emergency matters – which doesn’t happen to me very often. Sorry I had to “back burner” this. I really was looking forward to filling you in!
It couldn’t have gone better. We completely fooled her, because I don’t ever fake her out or “trick” her in our workaday life, she completely bought into the idea of the insurance appraisal, and just assumed that it would be going there next, and she had seen your email to that effect. I sort of acted like the whole thing was in a bit of a downer mode – just on the edge of being a bit grumpy about it (like the disappointed kid who had ordered a new baseball glove that wasn’t there when it was supposed to be.)
I was able to get her into the North Pointe’s (get the connection?) Different Pointe of View restaurant because we had sent a relative there on a gift certificate about a year ago, and at the time I vowed to take her there too some day. The Pointe acted like we had no reservations, which was my story to her, when we really had reserved one of only two booths available, all the way in the back, 180 degree view of the City, with complete privacy…where they just happened to take us, of course. We were dressed casual. I had the ring in my pocket in the small box.
After the wine had come, I said” sorry I’ve just got to do this.” and got up – I’m sure she thought I was visiting the rest room. But I suddenly veered off course and dropped to one knee in front of her and proposed, a bit of a little speech I had been working on – not too short, not too long – with the ring held out to her, lid open. The lighting was subdued, but coming from intense mini-spots, suspended from the ceiling – ideal for this cut of stone, and the ring just shone like it had an inner ember of its own somewhere inside it. I mean, it sounds a little over-materialistic, but the ring just took it from there. I thought of that moment in the movies when superman confronts Kryptonite.
She was affected and stunned and couldn’t speak for about 3-4 minutes. (Except to say “yes.”) That’s unlike C, and I was surprised by how moved I was at her reaction. She just kept collapsing on me and crying and holding on – we had total privacy in the middle of this giant facility, which had about 30-40 people in it at this time. The staff was perfectly correct and brought us each a complementary toast of champagne after things grew calmer. She looked at it, stared at it, turned it over and around and held it in different light – all weekend long and well into the next week. (She still does it.) She drove it to relatives, showed it off to friends and has become an expert “hand model,” specializing in the open-fingered, cocked-hand, ring pose. She is utterly convinced that it is the best ring in the world; she’s simply dead certain of it. If every ring you ever made for every customer you ever had, turned out like this, then your mission of making sure everyone gets their own unique, best ring in the world would be fulfilled as well as it was for C and I.
Just a footnote of explanation:
each of us has been married before, but neither of us did it this way, the traditional way, all out, with the beautiful ring and the surprise proposal on one knee. So there were plenty of “first times” here.
Thanks for all you did. We came to you on impulse, after we met you we each commented about how easy you made things and how we weren’t going to be getting this ring, or taking this tender experience to anyone else. In the course of all that, a task that I had dreaded became fun and engaging for me, and C just drenched herself in the process, immersed in every little decision. So we learned about diamonds, world politics and the diamond trade, as well as vintage ring designs from this. We rubbed our internet education up against your practical knowledge, patience and experience and the way ahead always grew more clear. You brought us the “grande cushion-cut diamond show” with nine wonderful alternatives to choose from. You seemed to always know that C would select the biggest and the brightest, and she did. We cooperated, practiced some joint decision-making and came away with something that neither of us could have imagined at the beginning, but that somehow looks better and means more to us now than either of us thought it would.
Now, who could ask for more? All the best to you, Joe, and thanks again!
F & C
Note from Joe: The “Trick” F talks about has to do with the idea that F and I came up with the story that the ring needed to be appraised before they could pick it up, hence “missing” a deadline we had set and bumming C out. This enabled F to completely surprise C with the finished piece at dinner that night!