Ken & Tiffany, continued
There was a threat of thunderstorms that morning, but we were planning to follow through, rain or shine. I purchased a new umbrella for us, and a purple one for the teddy bears.
My next step was to find a strategic place to plant these bears (somewhere in the botanical gardens). We found the Perennial Garden to be ideal.
Michael and I found a spot where a log in the shape of a rainbow had been strategically placed among a bed of flowers. (At this point, I was starting to get some jitters). It was under this log-formation that we set the bears. On the pink female bear's paw, with a ribbon, I tied the ring (the ring is actually the first ring that she had tried on when we went searching). Along with the bears, we placed a sign that read, "I LOVE YOU TIFFANY". With outstretched arms, with ring shining brightly, the cute pink female sat beside the bright blue male teddy bear under a rainbow-formed log, amongst a bed of flowers.
We were hoping to have a group of people to enjoy the day with, but nobody responded to the idea of going to the Fort Worth Botanical Gardens. The Byron Nelson and Blue Angels must have had a higher priority. So it was up to my two friends (David and Michael) and me to come up with a plan so that Tiffany would not be suspicious (no other girls were coming, and why guys would want to go to the gardens...?). Tiffany had no idea of who would be showing up.
Tiffany would be told that Michael was late, and that we would view the gardens a while until he shows up. Meanwhile, Michael would have the cameras in place, and would be sitting on the bench reading a newspaper waiting for the clue that we had arrived. He also had the ultimate responsibility of keeping watch of the bears so that nobody would take the ring!
The plan was that we were to meet David at the Rose Gardens. We would then walk around a bit, and head toward the Perennial Garden where we strategically placed the bears. David would signify via cell phone that we had arrived by calling to see why he was late and how much longer it would be before he would arrive. This would give Michael the clue to start rolling the camera.
I was supposed to pick up Tiffany at 1:45 to meet the group at the gardens between 2:00 and 2:15. However, she was late arriving at her home, which held us up at least 1/2 hour. Other plans were in place to meet a 3:30 appointment, so I was getting a little worried to say the least.
I pick her up at 2:20, and find that she hasn't eaten lunch, and that she's really hungry. So on the way, we stop to get some Burger King. This puts us closer to 2:30 before we even start heading to the gardens. (Meanwhile, I learned that Michael & David rather enjoyed this extra time in the gardens. All kinds of young ladies were coming around, detecting what was about to take place, and decided to stick around to check out this much-anticipated event).
I guess because of being a little upset about being late, I'm not getting that nervous. Or I should say, perhaps the nervousness is well-concealed. As we are arriving at the gardens, Tiffany starts getting excited about viewing the gardens, and doesn't seem to be anticipating anything out of the ordinary. We arrive about 2:45, and head toward where David will meet us. We meet up with David, and then ask where the group is. He states that nobody replied to the e-mails and that Michael will be late. I then ask him about Michael, and suggest that we call him to determine whether or not we should wait around any longer. David then calls Michael for the clue. Thinking that I might be sweaty, and a bit nervous, I check my state of emotion, check the state of my hands (not sweating, not shaky), and so decide to hold Tiffany's hand as we stroll around the gardens. Unsuspecting as she is, Tiffany takes her time to check out the flowers, touch, and to smell them. As we are inching our way toward the Perennial Garden, I start getting antsy. I start pulling her from one bush to the next, I guess out of nervousness and wanting to get this over with. Not wanting to rush, she takes her time to enjoy the beauty of the gardens.
We arrive at the Perennial Garden, and she takes notice of the person on the bench sitting with the newspaper open. She also takes notice of all the ladies standing around in big groups, but she still doesn't suspect anything. Meanwhile, I try to coax her to come and check out the pond nearby. She's wondering why I'm trying to check out this pond when there isn't anything too terribly interesting there to view. The flowers are much more exciting to her. But behind us sit the bears, and I don't want her to see them too early.
Well, I drag/pull her to the pond, talk a little about the scenery, and then nervously have her turn around to discover the bears. She sees them andthinks for a moment, "What are those bears doing in the gardens?". She sees the sign partially reading, "I LOVE YOU.". Then she thinks, what is going on here? In instinct mode, and not thinking, I grab her hands, and plop on one knee, and ask, "Will you marry me?" Nervous as I am, I forget to say her full name, as I wanted to. She says, in a very high pitched voice, "Yes". She is shocked, with jaw open wide. I stand back up and immediately go back down on one knee to say, "Tiffany Andrea Jennings, will you marry me?" She says "Yes!" in a high pitched voice again, and I then get up to give her a hug and a kiss. She is still dazed, standing there looking at me. (Tiffany recalls the girls nearby mentioning, "Look at her; her jaw is dropped"). She feels like crying, but quickly holds the tears back with the presence of the crowd. Meanwhile, I grab the pink female bear with the ring, and try to easily take the ring off to then put it on her hand. It just will not come off. All around, these people are watching as I struggle and wrestle with this bear to get the ring off. Finally it comes off!
Camera rolling on, and people watching everywhere, I slip the engagement ring on her finger. Phew! I feel a relief! I knew she would say yes, but I didn't know what kind of response I would get. The crowd responds with clapping and shouts of congratulations.
We walk over to the camera and proceed to explain how the day went, and our thoughts and feelings about the whole situation. The crowd slowly dissipates as we continue to share our experiences on camera. Well, we still have about 1/2 hour before the next surprise will occur, so we slowly stroll around the gardens toward our next destination. We joke and goof around, taking notice of several weddings that are taking place around the gardens.
After about 1/2 hour of strolling, we meander into the main entrance building for a drink of water and rest. We mention to Tiffany that there is still more out front, so we head that direction. There sits the white horse and carriage decked out with flowers, waiting for us to take a ride around the gardens. Tiffany notices it right away, thinking that it is probably for one of the weddings that are taking place at that time. I mention that it is probably for one of the weddings and proceed to head that direction.
I ask the driver about the horse, and introduce myself. I ask Tiffany if she would like to take a ride; she responds by stating, "We can't do that, it's not ours. It's for somebody's wedding". I then say, "It's for us".
She puts on a big grin, pauses, says "Cool!" and happily jumps onto the carriage. Camera rolling on, we ride off on horse & carriage through the cool Fort Worth Botanical Gardens. We are getting all kinds of stares, and lots of congratulations (one "booo!", too!). Tiffany absolutely loves it.
Back to past tense...
We rode around the gardens for about 1/2 hour before being dropped off near the Japanese gardens where we continued to stroll and discover all the cool plants, flowers, and fish in the gardens. Afterward, we headed home to prepare for our evening meal.
I was thinking of all kinds of places like The Mansion on Turtle Creek, Antares, Old San Francisco Steak House, Baby Doe's Matchless Mine, Avanti's, Del Frisco's, etc. These are places that don't really appeal to Tiffany. So instead, we went to Medieval Times and had a wonderful time! She loved the food, the horse dancing, the rowdy crowds, and all that Medieval Times had to offer.
I wanted to give Tiffany a story that she would be excited about telling, one that she would be telling for the rest of her life. She was in her glory that day, and couldn't help but start telling it that night.
Our wedding will most likely be held in the Fort Worth Botanical Gardens.