David is a firefighter here in Alice Springs, and also works another job that requires him to work night shifts. Generally a firefighter works two days on, two nights on then four days off. During August of last year he had worked 12 night shifts in 14 days, and I was starting to think that he was trying to spend as much time away from me as he could.
So as it transpired I went to work on the Friday morning a little bit disgruntled, and barely give him a kiss goodbye as he came home from work and I left. As I got to work my boss informed me that we would have a bit of a different day planned. As I work in television advertising, she told me that we were going to go to a local day spa to check the place out for a shoot. As it was a Friday, she said, and they were a bit slow, they were going to treat us to a massage so we could get a feel for the ambiance of the place. Then she told me to go home and change into loose-fitting clothes.
I jumped in my car in a fit of excitement and screamed home. Bursting through our front door, I was too busy telling David about the strange turn of events to notice that he had candles burning, our favourite song playing, good clothes on and his hair done nicely. It didn’t even click.
“David! Guess what? I’m going to the day spa!” I was bouncing up and down, a marked contrast from how I had left the house earlier.
“No you’re not,” he said “we’re going to Melbourne.”
“What are you talking about? I’m going to the day spa..!”
“No, you’re not, you’re going to Melbourne, and you have to hurry because we have to be at the airport in half an hour so you have to quickly pack, but before you do, answer me this…”
And he got down on bended knee… you can guess what happened next. I always thought that if he asked me to marry him, I would serenely kiss him and say yes. Not so. I burst into hysterical tears, hugging him and kissing him. He was still trying to get the ring on my finger. “This isn’t the proper one, that’s why we are going to Melbourne- to find you a ring. Now quickly, call your mum and let her know.”
He got out his phone and called his own mum. I was still clinging to him like a koala. I grabbed the phone off him to talk to his mum, but only got a quick word in as he told me again to call my mum.
So I called my mum. Half laughing, half crying I started repeating the whole story that you see above. Seeing that I was taking a while retelling, David interrupted to tell me to go into the spare room and grab a bag to pack. Still talking to m mum, I opened the spare room to come face to face with her… and my sisters, cousins, best friends, auntie and grandma.
“SURPRISE!!!” They yelled and then next minute David had 10 blubbering ladies on his hands. Luckily, he knew well enough to have a few bottles of Moet on hand. While we drank a glass or two of champagne, I threw some clothes into my bag and we left for the airport. We flew business class to Melbourne and stayed at a 5-star hotel- the Sofitel on Collins street. The next day we went looking for a ring, and found it at Tiffany & Co. We then spent the next 5 days shopping, dining, going to see Chicago (the musical) and catching up with friends. It felt like a dream.
He put so much effort into organising
the engagement, every little thing was well thought out months in advance and executed perfectly. Amazingly, he managed to keep it a secret from me, although my boss and my family all knew. Which is a miracle in itself! - Monica Erlich