The last weekend in January Pete and I flew up to D.C. to visit Drew and Caitlyn (Pete’s brother and his girlfriend) who just moved there, and a bunch of our other friends who live in and around the DC Metro area. We had a big group dinner on Friday when we got in, and had planned to go on a date to La Perla* Saturday night. (Clue 1)
*La Perla is a great, odd, little Italian restaurant in DC where Pete and I had our first date, among countless evenings there when we lived there. We had become friends with the chef/owner, an odd little Italian man who you will hear more about in a bit, and a lot of the waiters there. It was kind of our home away from home in DC.
Saturday we got all dressed up, Pete wore a suit (Clue 2) and went to an early dinner, and we had planned on meeting up with Pete’s brother afterwards. All throughout dinner we reminisced about our time in DC (Clue 3) and Petey was being super sweet and attentive. At the end of dinner I excused myself to the restroom, and when I returned the most diabolical looking creation (see picture 1) was sitting on the table. The chef was standing there looking extremely proud of himself (clue 4), and Pete looked sort of like he might die* (clue 5).
*Pete had gone to the restaurant earlier to plan the big moment, and had requested that Chef bring out a little “flair” after dinner to signal the moment. Chef had asked him if he had the ring, which Pete gave him, saying he had a great idea. When I went to the restroom Chef had brought out the aforementioned monstrosity and Pete had a minor panic attack. He had spent weeks scheming, designing the perfect ring, imagining this moment, and I guess he just hadn’t envisioned proposing in the shadow of the dinosaur egg. But it was perfect.
The chef instructed me to open it, which wasn’t that strange because the chef, as I mentioned, is a very odd man and has done stranger things before in our dining history with him. I unwrapped the hideous package to find an equally stunning giant chocolate egg with the top cut off. (See picture 2).
“Wow Chef, that is…beautiful…thanks!” “Look, you must look in it!” (Clue 557 at this point) So I began to dig through hundreds of lovely bar napkins chef had stuffed the egg full of, until I felt the ring box at the bottom.
Everyone has asked me when I knew what was happening, and I can honestly say I didn’t realize it until that moment. Not because I had no idea it was coming, if you know me you know I have been talking about mine and Pete’s hypothetical nuptials prettttyyy much since we met. Not because I hadn’t thought that DC would be a perfect place to get engaged since that is where we met. And not because I am oblivious to said clues, I am a huge snoop and normally any of those clues would have sent me into a complete tizzy. In fact, because I am such a huge snoop I had searched Pete’s bags every single time his back was turned allll weekend. Every time Pete would go to shower I would pretend to be napping and would completely ransack his luggage in search of the ring.
Apparently my husband-to-be knows me better than I had thought, because he knew I would do this and kept the ring on him the entire weekend. While I thought I was being all stealth, he could see my outline through the etched glass door of the bathroom frantically throwing his clothes across the room on my manic search. And he still wanted to marry me.
So despite all my snooping, all my speculating, all my planning, when I felt the ring at the bottom of that gross-now-beloved egg, I was really and truly surprised. I pulled out the box and Pete took it from me and got on one knee. “Bailey, will you marry me?”
*hysterical sobs*YES!!!!!!!!!*hysterical sobs*
(See third picture)
Pete then handed me a letter saying all the things he had wanted to tell me in that moment, but knew he would be too nervous to get out. Throughout our relationship we have written each other love letters, which I have saved in a book. I have the letter where he first told me loved me, and many others all leading up to this one promising a lifetime of happiness together.
After a flurry of phone calls to the fam, I started trying to get in touch with my friends in DC to celebrate! Maymay, straight to voicemail. KP, straight to voicemail. Pinkie, straight to voicemail. JHat, straight to voicemail. If I weren’t literally out of my mind with joy I might have known something was up, but everything was just so overwhelming I decided to just chill (very uncharacteristic, I know) and listen to Pete who suggested we go meet up with Drew at the Hay Adams Hotel Bar and meet up with my friends later.
When we walked into the crowded bar, chocolate egg in hand, everyone in the bar yelled “Congratulations!”. Not only had Pete planned with the Hotel to reserve a table for us replete with champagne and a cheese plate (I’m telling you, the guy knows me) but he had been conspiring with my friends for weeks. Not only were Drew, Caitlyn, MayMay, Pinkie, KP, and JHat all there waiting, but STINA (beloved college roommate who I see far, far too irregularly) had come in for the occasion as well!
As much as I had dreamed of Pete proposing, I never could have imagined how much joy it would bring. Not only to Pete and I, who have honestly reached a new level of happiness in our relationship since becoming engaged, but from our amazing friends and family, all of you, who have made our engagement so much more special with all of your best wishes! I am sorry we have not been able to tell our story to all of you in person, but I know we both can’t wait to celebrate with each and every one of you over the next year as we plan our wedding! Thank you all so much for supporting us over the years, we would not be where we are today without all of you and it means a lot to us that we get to share our happiness with such wonderful people!
We love you all!
Bailey & Pete (The future Mr. & Mrs. McCarthy!!!)