While we were dating, we kept things low-budget, like going out for Chinese food at a little shopping center near our grad school. But the proposal was going to be first-class, all the way.
I invited Blanche to pack her suitcase but wouldn’t tell her our destination. Between us we’d visited almost all of the U.S. landmarks you can name, except one: Las Vegas! Unfortunately, I could not convince the flight attendant to keep our destination secret, so, Blanche did find out where were heading once we got into the airplane and settled in our seats.
In Vegas we did all the touristy sightseeing: the little Eiffel Tower at the Paris Las Vegas, gondola rides at the Venetian, Egyptian artifacts at the Luxor, and the fountain-light-music show at the Bellagio. I kept it casual, but parts of that “impromptu” agenda were carefully orchestrated, like I had already made reservations at the Bellagio’s Jasmine months in advance for a romantic, award-winning dinner experience where I would pop the question and offer her an engagement ring. So she wouldn’t guess what was coming, I casually took a look at the restaurant’s menu as we walked through the casino and asked, “What do you think about having dinner here tonight?”
Maybe 99 out of 100 people would have said, “Yes,” but instead she looked at the menu and turned it down—nothing vegetarian on the menu! I felt like an idiot. The rest of the day, I scrambled to find a fancy restaurant that could take us on short notice—and had vegetarian food—without letting Blanche know. We were staying at the Mirage, and our best option was right downstairs, the Moongate—yes, Chinese food, again!
We placed our orders and I was preparing to propose when three large men with Texas drawls started laughing and talking so loudly nobody could ignore them. They were going to ruin our moment!
Luckily, they quieted down while they were eating. Our food had just arrived, and Blanche was in the process of picking out her mushrooms and offering them to me when I dropped to one knee and made my own offer, with the ring. She said yes and people clapped and whistled, including the Texans.
Vadim and Blanche K.