In early December 2011 we went to Paris for a few days to celebrate my (Ian’s) 30th birthday. We’d spoken a few times about the possibility of marriage but I thought this would be the perfect place to pop the question. I didn’t know exactly where, when or how I’d do it but I knew I’d do it in Paris. I thought about proposing at the Eiffel Tower but it seemed such a cheesy idea I quickly decided against it. Until I came up with a plan the ring (which I’d bought a few days earlier) would be staying in my case, hidden inside one of my socks.
Paris itself was amazing. Neither of us had spent much time there and we weren’t expecting much from it but we soon fell in love with the place. We stayed in the St. Germain area near the Notre-Dame Cathedral. At check-in the staff on the front desk told us about their roof-top terrace which overlooked the city. As it was early December no-one was really going up there but we decided to go take a look. The view was stunning. Virtually every major Parisian landmark was visible from up there.
On our first full day in Paris we decided the best way to see the sights would be to walk around the city. It was great idea in the morning but our legs would come to regret in the afternoon. During that day we saw the Louvre Museum (home of the Mona Lisa), walked along the Champs-Élysées, visited Montmartre and saw the Basilica of the Sacré Cœur and went into almost every pâtisserie that we passed. We also bought a bottle of champagne to celebrate my birthday which we decided to drink up the Eiffel Tower. After another long walk through Paris we arrived at the tower just as the lights were switched on for the evening. We approached the queue only to learn that glass bottles weren’t allowed up the tower. By this point we we tired, freezing cold and decided to head back to the hotel and rest for a while. When Elaine said “Let’s just drink the champagne up on the roof terrace” my plan started to come together.
Back at the hotel we were getting ready to head back out to a posh restaurant so I opened my case, grabbed the ring out of my sock and put it in my pocket. We headed back up to the roof which, as usual, was deserted and took a seat at one of the tables. Everywhere was illuminated so the view at night was even better than during the day. We poured the champagne,started chatting and I managed to steer the conversation towards the topic of marriage.
“If we did get engaged” I began, “We’d have to come up with a great story for how it happened. Any ideas?”
“Nope” replied Elaine. “You?”
“How about this… We could say we were in Paris, drinking champagne on a rooftop-terrace when I got down on one knee” I said as I got down on one knee. “Then we’d say I reached into my pocket and pulled out a box” I said as I reached into my pocket and pulled out the box. “Then we’d tell people I asked ‘Will you marry me?’, to which you replied…..”
“What!?!?!?” came her shocked reply
“No. That’s not what we’ll tell everyone. I say ‘Will you marry me?’ and you say….?”
A few seconds later the Eiffel Tower in the distance started to do this….
The next morning I started my 30’s engaged to the most amazing woman in the world.