Odd things seem to happen on a regular basis, to the point of where weird is normal and normal is weird. Nowadays I can often get a ”hunch” when something is about to go down, to which I brace myself for impact. Needless to say the thought of proposing, and with it all the things that could go wrong, left me somewhat nervous.
And I was about to get a whole lot nervous..er…
I started that day by going to Zurich to share a lunch with my gal, to platonically seduce her boss and workmates over a real dank pizza. It was quite enjoyable but did not leave me very much time for the actual planning. So then I passive aggressively made my way home, trying to coordinate everything through a free WiFi that most likely struggled with low self esteem. (A conclusion I arrived at due to its inability to remain visible and live up to its full potential)
Luckily my girlfriend’s mother and a really good friend of mine had my back. And so, the premarital Justice League was assembled. Our first and only mission being ”Not to mess this up more than necessary”. But oh, it was about to get messed up.
We prepared all the different gifts and I verbally induced labor to produce rhymes for all the clues that went along with them. I then rushed home so that i could have ”The talk” with her parents while my friend took off to place the clues, followed shortly by me picking up the unsuspecting victim that was my girlfriend.
To give you more perspective of our situation, we had earlier planned to go on a double date with some friends that evening. A looming disaster to wreck my fragile schemes, which was only prevented due to my awkward approach of said friend, saying something along the lines of ”Yeah, if you could like, not show up, that’d be great”.
Well, I pick her up, casually mentioning that we should go get a dinner, just the two of us. She quickly voices her approval and off we go. Only problem is that I’ve forgotten the name of the restaurant. It’s in Swiss German, which results in my inability to neither remember nor pronounce it. It could have been ”Chuchichäschtli” or ”Füdlibürger” for all I knew. So in half panic mode I start frantically scrolling through my old chats for the name. While driving. (Proposals are not for everyone – Consult your doctor before use).
Eventually I found the name and shared it with Audrey, to which she kind of frowns and says that ”It’s kinda out in the middle of nowhere, but yeah there’s a restaurant there” so off we go!
Turns out that when she said that it was in the middle of nowhere, she literally meant in the middle of nowhere. It was getting really dark, so driving on a gravel road with no streetlights and surrounded by old nasty barns didn’t really have the desired romantic effect. More like the ”Hey I just might abduct you and harvest your organs” kind of feel.
But lo and behold, we actually get to the place without any kidnappings.
The place didn’t look very nice as we stepped out on the shady parking lot, just one of those large Germanic looking barns made out of wood and stone. Yet as we step inside we are hit with this wave of warmth. The place was gorgeous, tons of lights everywhere and a really cozy interior. It was packed with people, and the waitress smiled welcoming as we stepped up to declare our reservations which my friend had fixed for me. Only to see that welcoming smile gently slide off that gentle face.
“I’m sorry, we don’t have anything booked under your name”
She must have felt bad due to my pitiful expression, as they very quickly and with soothing expressions escorted us to a table for two. Finally things start to go my way as I order some nice reindeer meat.
Merry Christmas folks
We had a lovely dinner and a very pleasant talk. I’ve always liked the way she makes me feel at ease, even during something so stressful as this. Yet as our dinner drew to a close, I was about to make my first move. I needed the waitress to slip the first clue to Audrey as she hands me the receipt. So naturally I swiftly stood up and put on my jacket, to which she stands up herself.
I’m like ”Huh I really didn’t think this one through” as I power-walked over to the register in the room next by, leaving Audrey to eat my dust as dessert.
I start to explain my situation to the waitress, that I was about to propose to my girlfriend this evening and that I was wondering if she could hand her this note.
Only to find out she doesn’t speak a lick of English. Glancing around the corner to see my girl closing in with a confused expression on her face, I experience pure horror as I once again turn to the waitress. With choppy and just a tad aggressive moments I gesture: ME. PROPOSE. HER. as I hand her the note, to which the realization hit her like a ton of bricks. She exclaimed ”Aaaaaah” while nodding enthusiastically and giving me the thumbs up.
I then turn around to see Audrey arriving, looking at me as if I just peed on the floor (which I am pretty sure that I did not). I think fast and say something like ”ERR SHE WANTS US TO SIT DOWN!”.
Smooth. Real smooth.
But as we sit down, the waitress does a 10/10 performance, sliding the note over like a pro. Now, what makes this really good, is that apparently her brother and I have identical handwriting (It’s not very pretty, sorry mate). Needless to say she was quite surprised when she exclaimed that her brother must had all of this set up. To which I reply with a straight face ”Oh boi your brother sure sounds like a swell guy”.
What then followed was several inside jokes, which are not fun at all when I try to explain them, but I’ll try with one so at least you’ll have a reference.
The treasure hunt
The first clue had a rhyme written on it, hinting of the place she used to go to as a child to wait for santa. It was the old cathedral, where their Swiss Santa gave children bags filled with nuts and chocolate.
So awaiting us at the stairs of the church was a bag filled with nuts, chocolate and mozzarella cheese, which she is absolutely obsessed with and we joke about on a regular basis.
That clue led to another, resulting in similar inside jokes, familiar places and cringy rhymes.
Oh, my favorite was hands down the statue. There is a famous sculpture of a swoll man wearing nothing but a bag infront of his Pinocchio, tossing seeds to the wind. Only that it straight up looks like he has his junk in a sack. Quite the piece of art.
So remember how I mentioned that my friends placed the clues without me knowing where? Well unbeknownst of their location we walked face-first into the quite literally chiseled buttcheeks of said statue. With the clue taped across his glorious moneymakers.
Clue. Taped. Across. Buttcheeks.
The thing is like 3 meters up in the air. Freak, there’s people walking around, I have no idea how they did it.
So now Audrey has to climb this freaking thing as I absolutely lose my crap laughing. It was probably one of the best top 5 moments of my life so far.
What is the #1 you might ask? Well then little Timmy, let me tell you
After several other clues, presents and inside jokes, we are arriving at our final destination:
This is the Coup de grâce, the big Kahuna, 6 FEET UNDER, SLEEPING WITH THE FISHES YOU TALKING TO ME FORGET ABOUT IT
*Boston accent intensifies*
Now or never
So as we follow the last clue, I realize that we are driving to the exact same place as the restaurant. I had mixed up the names.
By now Audrey had most definitely figured out that this miiiight not be the adventure of a lifetime sponsored by her sweet brother and/or Coldplay.
She was onto me.
The restaurant was situated at the base of an impressive hill, quite steep and with a really nice watchtower at the very top. Providing a most lovely view.
It was perfect.
So as we parked the car and started our ascension, I had looked forward to a romantic walk among the trees, clad in soft moonlight as we walked with my arm around her.
What I got was a authentic witch-hunt atmosphere while stalking through the dark woods, clutching hands as I led the way with a crappy cellphone light.
As we draw closer to the top, we can see multiple flashlights and start to hear people shouting to each other. I knew that friends and family were setting up everything, and realize now that the preparation was not done, I had not seen their “Don’t come over yet we are not done wearenotdonewearenotdone” messages spammed over and over.
Not knowing what to do, since I could hardly just stop in the middle of this horror movie and say “You know, let’s just chill for a while ok? Seems nice”, I raised my booming voice (while having a normal conversation) to alert them if our presence.
Surprisingly, it worked. However, as a result, the lights were all turned off and the woods got quiet. Now making it feel like we were alone in a forest filled with serial killers/rapists/jay-walkers.
But onward we went, as Audrey was starting to freak out (I wasn’t feeling that saucy either), reaching the bottom of the tower and starting our climb. As we are climbing up we start to hear voices from the very top.
They were stuck up there.
I’m pretty much numb by now as we reach the top. Only to find that all the romantic lights had been blown out by a strong gust of wind. Making it look like some abandoned ritual site used to slaughter innocent goats.
Also, her neighbors are just randomly squatting in the corner. I mean why the freak not right?
As the neighbors wave goodbye and her crouching siblings slither down the stairs to follow their example, I walk up to the ledge with my arm around Audrey.
Contemplating whether I should just toss her over the edge.
But alas, things are never that simple. So after trying to scrape together the last of my dignity for a minute or two, I fall down to one knee.
And here, all ye brave souls who have endured thus far, comes the last plot twist.
When we just started dating, she had a dream about us. She dreamt that I proposed to her with a mood ring shaped like a cat, to which she happily accepted.
So what did I do?
I proposed to her with a cat mood ring. Laughs and kisses followed. She said yes. The prophecy was true.
We headed down, where smiling faces, fireworks and bubbles awaited us.
An end to a new beginning.