Seeing as how Jenny and I have been together for so long, it had become a comical subject of conversation as to when I would finally propose. Because of this, Jenny always had the idea in the back of her mind which made it quite difficult to devise a plan that would surprise her.
Since we both have obvious ties to Auburn, I thought it would be a nice gesture to propose in the town where we started our relationship, and seeing as how we always go to the first football game, that gave me an opportunity to disguise my proposal. Next I needed to figure out the details in a way that wouldn’t tip her off to my plan. Since my birthday falls a couple of weeks shy of the first game, I thought it would be a good excuse to get Jenny downtown near Toomer’s corner so that I could propose at one of the most iconic places in Auburn.
When she asked me where I wanted to go eat for my birthday, I told her that I would rather have my birthday dinner in Auburn at a restaurant that I had never been (which happens to be a block from Toomer’s corner.) Assuming that Auburn won the game, I knew that the trees at Toomer’s would be nicely “decorated” and thought this would be a wonderful place to pop the question. Well as most of you know, it’s not good to assume because Auburn almost lost that game. As we were sitting in the stadium late in the game, I started to sweat because it looked as though the trees would not be rolled that night. I had a backup plan to propose in front of Samford Hall if Auburn were to lose, but I really hoped that wouldn’t happen.
So after some late-game heroics and an Auburn win, I exhaled in relief. Jenny and I went back to my sister’s house, happy with the win, and then, we got ready to go out for dinner. Using my birthday as the excuse allowed me to not only get Jenny near Toomer’s but also ensure that we would both be “dressed up.” So we proceeded to dinner at Hamilton’s with Jenny still in the dark about my plans.
We had a couple of friends that came to Auburn with us, and I had recruited them to “participate” in the proposal. Our dear friend Brian and his girlfriend Alyssa were going to wait for a phone call from me (when Jenny and I were getting ready to leave the restaurant) and hide in the bushes around Toomer’s so that they could take some pictures to capture the moment.
During dinner, we talked about how since the trees had been poisoned and we didn’t know how much longer they would be there, we should probably go see them. As Jenny and I prepared to get the check, I excused myself to the bathroom so that I could let Brian know we were wrapping up so he could get in position. Jenny and I had ordered dessert but took most of it to go, so that gave me an excuse to stop back by my car. We dropped off our left-overs, and I grabbed a roll of toilet paper out of my trunk.
Now as Jenny was getting ready to go out that night, I had taken that roll of toilet paper, unrolled it a bit and rigged it so that the ring was buried inside and then rolled it back up. So after we picked it up from the car, we walked over to Toomer’s corner. We walked around the trees and took in the beauty and walked a bit past them. I mentioned to Jenny that since she had never rolled the trees that she should do the honor. I unrolled the paper and tried to hand it to her, but she was looking up at the trees explaining that I should probably throw it because she didn’t think she could do it. I unrolled it again to reveal the diamond and with a slight elbow, told her that I thought she should do it. She looked down and saw the ring, probably a bit confused, but then I think it hit her. I dropped to my knee and mumbled something about how much I loved her (I was really nervous and stumbling over my words) and asked her to marry me.
After some tears, a yes and a hug, I told her I had another surprise. I motioned to Brian, and he and Alyssa came out of hiding with the camera and cooler that Brian has graciously stocked with champagne. My sister Chelsea and her boyfriend Chad were also near, so they came over and we all celebrated together with champagne and hugs. Afterward, we took a few more pictures around Samford Hall and the university sign just to capture the moment.