Francesca and C

How We Met: We (apparently) met ten years ago at a bar in Sydney amongst mutual friends, though I still to do this day don’t remember it. He bought be a drink and I promptly took it and turned my back on him. So polite!

We shared a mutual best friend (Rick) over all those years and I was always hearing things about C but never got around to “meeting” him (not realising I already had.) I moved overseas for three years and it wasn’t until we both separated from our respective others that Rick FINALLY gave in to my fiance’s begging and began the difficult task of wrangling me in to attend at least one social event, which proved difficult as I was notoriously hard to track down/pry from the comfort of my home at that time. (People used to call me the Loch Ness monster.)

I was invited to an Australia Day party (our version of 4th of July- lots of fun, apparently) but true to form, I just wasn’t in the mood that day so I stayed home and ignored the “where are you?” texts. A few weeks later, C and I found ourselves in Hong Kong at the same time in the SAME HOTEL (thank you for alerting me to this, Facebook!) and after one dinner date, I was done. It was complete, all-consuming, head-over-heels obsessive love.

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How He Asked: Last month, we both put aside a week of free time to have a mini holiday before I started volunteering at a suicide hotline in Sydney. My fiancé had some business to attend to in Texas but at the last minute, said he was able to move the meeting to Los Angeles. The morning of his “work meeting” which was when he actually picked up the (PERFECT) ring from Jean Dousset, I was holed up in bed with jetlag and an awful headache as a result of us drinking three bottles of Opus One between us the night before. (In hindsight, this should’ve set off alarm bells as he was clearly already in celebration mode!) I had arranged for us to spend the day at one of my favourite architectural masterpieces, Sowden House, but my headache was really kicking my butt and all I wanted was to spend the day in bed at the hotel.

He (somehow) managed to get me out of bed and even packed me a bag of clothes and makeup which I thought was pretty excessive at the time considering we were just going to be hanging out and relaxing by the pool. The house truly is a spectacular work of art, and being there did make me feel a bit better, to be completely honest, but a few hours later my fiancé prompted me to get changed and (god forbid) brush my hair! Obviously, this pissed me off.

“I didn’t want to tell you this, and it was meant to be a surprise,” he said, “but I’ve arranged for us to see another Lloyd Wright house nearby and it might be nice to take some photos of us with the view.”

What?

I was still irritated but he looked so forlorn that I took my bottle of champagne and headed into the bathroom to fix my face. There’s nothing quite like some hair of the dog to cure what ails ya, but I have to say, if I could’ve done it all over again, I probably wouldn’t have done my hair and makeup for my ENGAGEMENT PHOTOS while tipsy/hungover/jetlagged. But that’s just me.

After I was properly done up, we settled in to have some snacks and my fiancé presented me with the most bizarre-looking prosciutto and cheese plate I’ve ever seen. He later confided he was so nervous he didn’t even remember making it: the prosciutto was ripped down the center, not length-wise, and the cheese looked like a kindergarten student had stabbed a block of Play-Doh. By this stage, I’d had a few more drinks and was feeling relaxed- UNTIL- his phone rings from “the home owner” telling us that because Sowden House had just been sold, a photographer needed to come by quickly and take some photos of the property.

Fantastic.

When she arrived, my fiancé asked if she’d mind taking a photo of us since she was there with a beautiful big Canon. She set up the camera and took a few photos of us by the pool but almost immediately, my fiancé got down on one knee and I barely had time to register what was happening. I was so shocked I didn’t even (verbally) say yes! All I could manage was a nod.

It was a perfect day. The pictures are so beautiful I don’t even care that I clearly didn’t brush my hair properly that day.

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