Another Valentine’s Day has arrived and I am once again reminded, as I will be for the rest of my life, of how my own personal love story began. On this very day, thirteen years ago, I proposed to my wife, Elena Damy. Of course, if you know me, you know I am a strategic planner. How I would propose to Elena was the ultimate experience in planning! I thought I was so smart, coordinating everything down to the last detail! But I knew I could not do it alone and so I enlisted Elena’s mother to assist me.
Thinking I was leaving her alone on the most romantic weekend of the year on yet another last-minute business trip, I had Elena’s mother take her to Los Angeles for a girl’s weekend. Knowing Elena is a long-time fan of Disneyland, I knew she would jump at the chance to spend the day at the amusement park. Once there, the plan was to get Elena to Mickey’s Toon Town where the Disneyland staff would be waiting to execute the plan! Of course, as many wedding planners know, even with carefully made plans things go awry.
The scheduled time came and went. The hours ticked by. I was getting worried to say the least. Where are they? When Elena and her mother finally arrived they were five hours late according to the plan we developed. Elena’s mother also forgot to bring her cellphone and when I couldn’t reach her at all to make sure everything was okay, well, you can imagine my worry! My mother-in-law also forgot to wear the white hat she was supposed to wear to identify her for the Disney staff. Thankfully, as I was determined to make Elena mine that day no matter what!, I was able to adjust the plan.
The moment Elena walked into Toon Town and noticed her beloved Mickey Mouse was standing there, holding Minnie Mouse Bridal Ears, she knew “something” was happening. Once Mickey Mouse himself graciously helped Elena put on her Minnie Mouse Bridal Ears, she turned and saw me. There I was, wearing a Sorcerer Mickey Hat, down on one bent knee, holding the engagement ring she had always dreamed of! I popped the question (very eloquently, of course) and, thankfully, Elena said “yes” and the entire crowd of Disneyland staff and guests cheered! It was a magical moment for us both.
Our Valentine’s Day wedding proposal was an amazing, shocking, unexpected, and romantic experience that I hope other couples can relate to on this sentimental holiday. And now, our love story just continues to bloom and grow with our beautiful children…
Happy Valentine’s Day!