How They Asked
Creeping around with someone else’s boyfriend was essentially how my week in Paris began. Chris told Gloria that an old friend of his would be in Paris the same week they’d be arriving there. “He’s super awkward around girls, so you can’t be there.” I’m paraphrasing, but this is what Chris told his girlfriend so he could sneak away to map out the perfect proposal for her. I first met Chris in a quiet area in the 3rd Arrondissement. We had video chatted the month before, but with me in Florida and Chris in Jersey there was only so much planning and guessing we could do when it came to finding a “crowdless spot” … in Paris… SPRINGTIME in Paris. (Yeah… like when the cherry blossom trees are in bloom, and tourists flock like storks.)
I did some super sleuthing the day before, fresh (not fresh) off the plane. With two hours till check-in and the fog of jet lag overpowered by giddy “I’m in Paris” feels. The following day Chris and I took a brisk walk just after sunrise to the spots I had scouted. We mapped out where I would wait the next morning. Then armed with some sunglasses, hooded jacket, and a prayer… we hoped that Gloria wouldn’t notice this stranger taking photos of them for an hour. (I documented this on my Instagram highlights.)
I took a real decent amount of decoy pigeon and rusty pipe shots. Just to throw her off. I walked in front of them, and as we arrived at THE spot I heard her say “wow!” Yessss we made the right choice on location.
Chris had told me he would be giving these photos to Gloria the day of their wedding, so after he proposed I should only come up to say “oh hey! I saw you got engaged and I took this ONE photo! I’ll text it to you.” Still in the guise of a tourist. The courtyard was empty (bar me, and one applauder in the corner.) Gloria jumped about 8 feet back. Genuine shock. Just witnessing it made my hairs stand on end.
I delivered my line, I exited the scene.
5 minutes later… “I caved, I told her about you. She wants to see you later.” A text from Chris lit up my phone.
Relief washed over, because I couldn’t just witness this and walk away into the belly of Paris with no one to share it with!
From there I was able to hear Gloria’s side and share all our planning stories with her, as she continued to recover from the shell shock of the proposal.
We spent the rest of the day perusing the tables of a thrift market in Paris, trying cheese and tasting wine. Without trying to intrude or interrupt their experiences that day.