NH Magazine BRIDE announces engagement story winner – April 2006

Kim and I had been dating long distance for the last year. She lives in Boston and I live in Iowa (how we met is another story), so my proposal begins with finding a plane flight to surprise her. Because of living so far apart, the cost of airfare had been adding up during the year, so wondered how I would pay for the flight. To my surprise, I found a way to get a free flight, though. Wendy’s and AirTran Airlines were offering free plane flights if a person collected 64 Wendy’s cups. So I decided to dig through the dumpster of my local Wendy’s to get enough cups for a free flight to propose to Kim!! I few weeks later, I had a free flight to Boston, and plans were set in motion for a memorable engagement.

I wanted to make our engagement memorable and a surprise, so I got a couple of her friends in on the fun. Her roommate was going to keep her occupied at a coffee shop for part of the evening until my flight landed and I could get things set up at her apartment. I had another friend of Kim’s meet them at the coffee shop with a short video I had made and a pair of roses (red and white). The video was set up as a Mission Impossible assignment, just like in the movie. The theme song was on it, along with my voice describing her mission, “should she choose to accept it.” The message didn’t self-destruct in 5 seconds, though! Her mission was to help me because something valuable had been stolen from me. The video then sent her on a hunt for clues back to her apartment. On the way out of the coffee shop she encountered 2 other people with clues and 2 pairs of red and white roses. One clue was a “secret number” and the other was a crossword puzzle with clues (she really likes to do crossword puzzles).

The next step was for her to get back to her apartment where she had a package waiting in her mailbox, which I had mailed to her. In the package was a CD with the song “867-5309” for her to listen to. It was another clue with the question, “What is the difference between the secret number and this song?” The answer was my home telephone number in Iowa. She had to hold on to the number until prompted to call it.

The next things she was led to were several more roses hidden around her apartment (all pairs of red and white roses), and the last pair of roses had a DVD for her to watch. I had made a DVD with a picture slide show of the history of our relationship.

The slideshow was set to several classic ’80s love songs! The last picture was a shot of us dancing together, with the caption, “I want you to be my dancing partner for life.” At the end of the video (during which she cried a lot), she was told that the mission was almost complete. What had been stolen was my heart, and she was the thief! She was then instructed in the video to call the phone number she received earlier.

So she called the number (which was my home number in Iowa), and I picked up, which confused her, because, by now, she thought that I was definitely in Boston. But I wanted to keep her guessing. At this point she thought I was going to propose over the phone, but I had my calls to my home number forwarded to my cell phone. I was actually waiting upstairs in her neighbor’s apartment until she called. When she called I told her she had one more clue. I said, “Knock, Knock,” and then I hung up and zipped down the stairs and knocked on her door. She opened the door very surprised to find me waiting to
propose to her with a dozen pink roses in my hand. I got down on one knee and asked Kim to marry me. She cried some more and said yes. Then we slow danced for the next 30 minutes to a CD of more ’80s love songs I had made (we both enjoy 80s music). Oh yeah, the roses were symbolic too. She had received pairs red and white roses, which stood for each of us separately, and then I gave her the pink roses which stood for us being joined together as one (if you mix red and white you get pink).

Chris Swanson