Friday, March 20, 2015

The Proposal

At some point in a woman’s life, she’d fantasise about the day a man gets down on his bended knee in front of her, in honour of their love.

Some women dream of it happening in exotic and unfamiliar landscapes, some imagine for family and friends to be present to share the joy, while others think along the lines of romantic and viral master plans.

We all love a good proposal, but to each his her own, and my idea of a perfect proposal is one without an audience. I believe in sharing of the moment between the only two people who really matter. It may seem selfish but a proposal, in its essence, is where one bears it all and that, to me, is sacred.

And as much as a man sets up a proposal for success, he ought to give his partner an equal opportunity to, very bluntly put, say 'no' because saying 'no' now does not equate to saying 'no' forever. One half may be less ready than the other at a point in their relationship, and I'm sure, would appreciate patience rather than pressure.

Regardless of what happens before the question, it all leads up to the man on his bended knee, presenting a symbol of promise to the woman he wants to spend the rest of his life with. It is not common that a man is put in a lowered position in relation to a woman, but this is one such moving instance.

No matter the time it takes for it to finally happen, the moment itself is so precious.

In that moment, he gives her respect, honour and love. He surrenders the fate of his dedication to her and she alone has the sole vote. Having had a ring put on me, I now spare more thought for men who have made many women’s dreams come true, and the many pains taken to make it happen.

So, here's my story.

Many months back, a set stylist contacted me.

For a few months, we were planning and ironing out details of a photo shoot, as well as coordinating schedules.

After much liaising, I was fortunate to have Samuel from @pixioo, Valerie from @tangyongmakeup and the amazing Jessica Cindy from @jessicacindy_official on board.

In our group chat, mood boards and ideas were constantly thrown around and nearing the actual  shoot date, we were all brainstorming on location together.

Soon, my sister came into the picture.

"We haven't done a video in a long while. Ask Shelley if she's free la," Y had so casually asked.

"She's so busy she won't have time, please," I assumed.

Ring. Ring.

"Yo, sis! I've this styled bridal photo shoot next Sunday. You wanna film us?"

"No. I have work."

Uh-huh! I told you so!

I barely see my sister. When I wake, she's long gone from home and she only crawls back home in the dead of the night. There was no way she was going to be available for hours, I had thought.

That changed a few days later when she texted me to say she was available after all.

It turned out that Shelley had already been part of the plan all along but she acted her usual busy self, just because.

Finding out about who had been in on what, and when, is all really exciting and here's my top 5:

1. Y first talked to Samuel about the proposal at Sadie's yacht party (last November)
2. Y and Shell discussed the proposal many times while we were all at my place
3. Y barely slept one night, doing up the book
4. Y had intended to propose at Alkaff Mansion after the photo shoot
5. The day Y collected the ring, I was extremely close to it when I carried his bag for him

On the day of the shoot, it was like every other photo shoot Yao and I had done with Samuel before, just that Shell and Spoon were around to film (like ninjas!) and I felt prettier than ever with Valerie fussing over my hair, makeup and dress.

When it was all a wrap, I changed into my dinner dress.

That was when Samuel called out, "Eh, take one more photo there, there..." while pointing at a clearing. Everyone else was packing up. Valerie and I had already hugged out our farewell. Spoon was packing up her huge helicam with Shell. Gloria, the set stylist, was walking back and forth,  metres away from where we were, gathering her one million and one props.

This was the photo we took:

While walking into the clearing, Yao was dragging one of the luggages with him.

"Why are you pulling this thing?"

I was kindly ignored.

Then Samuel broke out into a chortle and said, "Put it away first la!"

As if on cue, Yao lay the luggage on the ground, opened it up and presented me with a bouquet of flowers.

"For me?" I gasped in post-surprise, since the luggage had already given him away. "Why are there flowers? Who made them?" I asked sincerely, knowing full well that he would have asked one of my very many talented friends to prepare them.

"Annie made them."

"Yay. Thank you Annie."

Then, this huge hard cover book appeared.

On the first page, it reads,


Page after page, he told our story.

With every flip came the unending tears. Of course I don't remember all the things he said to me then. To be honest, I wasn't paying much attention. I was immensely overwhelmed with fatigue from the photo shoot and shocked at how unexpected things had taken a turn for.

Of course, I didn't leave him awkward, having a monologue with himself.

I made effort to converse and interact with him, pointing out pictures I particularly like and memories I especially love. I was even sharp enough to point out that one of our Copenhagen pictures had been wrongly placed with the Australia ones. Ha!

So because there were so many pages in our story, my heart had calmed down enough after the first realisation of what was going to happen before it finally happened. Nearing the last few pages, the flipping got much slower.

That was when my tears started to flow again.

"So this is me.
(Picture of him)

and this is you.
(Picture of me)

Time waits for no man.
(Picture of the quote I wrote on his pencil case years back)

So, I guess it's time..."

With that, he turned to the page that had 'Will you marry me?' positioned to perfection.

He shoved the book to me (so awkward!), got down on his knee and said the words.

I couldn't answer him immediately because I was sobbing to no end and could barely utter anything audible nor comprehendible. I had to eat my sobs, slow down my breathing and pace myself to say, "Yes, baby, I will," in between short gasps for air.

That took awhile.

He was looking at me expectantly for a long time, smiling.

I was looking at him and sort of, savouring every bit of the climax, knowing that the falling action would soon kick in and take away the best feeling of my life thus far.

I don't quite know how to describe what it feels like to be proposed to. But if I were to try, it'd be this: On the outside, I was rather paralysed with surprise and the waterworks just wouldn't stop. On the inside, my mind was in a state of delirium and ecstasy, while my heart was tender for having been so emotionally touched.

And because almost every part of me was feeling different towards the same situation, I was light-headed and completely vulnerable. This only happens once because I truly believe that you can only have one great love once in your life.

He is mine.

Photographed by
Samuel from Pixioo

I'll be writing about my wedding process from here on.
Exactly one year from this date, I will be saying my 'I do' amongst many other promises. It sure is going to be momentous and for now, here are my many musings I hope you'll enjoy.