How They Asked
I got engaged on a Thursday afternoon. Earlier that week, my friend and I planned to bring lunch to another friend’s apartment after school, just to catch up. We are both teachers who work part-time, so this is not the first time we had done something like this. After my school day ended, I walked home, changed, and got picked up by my friend. We drove the ten-minute drive to my other friend’s apartment and had a great time eating lunch together, Nothing was unusual. My phone buzzed and I saw that my mother was calling. My mom calls me a lot so this was not out of the ordinary. I almost didn’t answer the call because I figured she would text me if it was urgent, and that I’d just call her after I left my friends. My friend pointed out that my phone was ringing, so I picked it up. I heard my mom say, “Renee I need you to go to the house right now. I’m in the city with Diana (my sister) and I got a call that the fire alarm rang and now the trucks are on the way. I need you to go see what’s going on.” My mom claims I laughed, but I just think I really didn’t think anything of it.
These things happen often. Someone leaves the toaster on a bit too long, the kitchen smokes up, the alarm rings, and no one picks up the landline to assure the fire department that everything is ok. I saw the whole thing as a probable accident and felt bad that the fire department would be wasting its resources on an unnecessary trip to my house. Because I really didn’t see the urgency of the matter, I asked if someone else could go. My mom said she tried to phone my other sister and she didn’t answer (not surprising) and when I suggested if my grandmother could go check on the house, my mom said she didn’t want to make her anxious. Although I really didn’t want to leave my friend’s apartment, it seemed I had no choice. I asked my friend to drive me back home and we planned to drive back to the apartment once I saw that everything was fine.
We drove to my house and I really didn’t think anything of it. I had even texted my fiancé that I was annoyed that I was the one who had to run this errand! When we pulled up to my block I saw a fire truck in front of my house. I still wasn’t panicking, because I figured it was all a fuss over nothing- the fire department was simply following protocol for alarms that ring (whether accidentally or not). I got out of the car and calmly approached the firefighter outside my house to see what was going on and to apologize for the misunderstanding. He did not let me past. Suddenly, I was bombarded with questions. “What is your name? Are you an occupant? Is there anyone else in the house? Were you cooking anything? Are there any pets in the home?” I heard the urgency in his voice and started to get nervous. I managed to keep my cool, but since it seemed more serious than I imagined, I yelled to my friend (who was waiting for me in the car), to phone my mother. Then I saw smoke coming out of the windows. At that moment, I really started to panic. Another firefighter walked out of my home dressed from head to toe in firefighter gear, gas mask, helmet, and all.
He was carrying a large box. The firefighter I was already speaking with said, “Ma’am, we have some valuables that we managed to save.” At that point, I didn’t even know what to think. I was freaking out in my head- …I can’t believe we had a fire. My parents are going to be devastated. This is sooo not what we need right now…- I waited for the firefighter to bring the box toward me. He put it down on the floor and began to open it. At that point, I turned my head to tell my friend again- “CALL MY MOTHER NOW!” and I totally missed the part where the firefighter took off his helmet and gas mask. My eyes were fixated on the street floor and I watched as he finished lifting the lid off the large box. There it was. My eyes adjusted, and I saw a bed of white roses, with an open black box in the center. The box held a shiny, beautiful engagement ring. When I realized what I was looking at, I instantly looked up and saw that the firefighter kneeling before me was my boyfriend!!! My auto-response was to hit him. After that, all I could manage to say was, “OMG are you freaking kidding me??????” I was truly shocked!!!! He asked me to marry him, and when my shock subsided seconds later, I SAID YES.
When I learned the details of the perfectly executed proposal, I realized just how much thought went into it. Turns out, my fiancé planned this lunch date with my friends. He made sure I wasn’t able to drive there myself so that I wouldn’t panic and potentially get into an accident on the way to the so-called “fire.” He hired Fire Captain Jack, who typically does kid’s birthday parties, to come by with his truck and his equipment. He bought smoke machines from Amazon and used them to cover my entire house in a thick layer of smoke. My mom phoned me from her bedroom while everyone waited in the den for the scene to unfold. My fiancé cracked open the windows just enough so that I would see the smoke come through from the outside…
Everyone seemed to be in on this meticulously planned event and it really all came together as the craziest proposal ever! Check out this short clip on Instagram.