Wanda and Laurent

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How He Asked

September 24th 2016 has by far been the best day of my life by thus far! My now fiancé Laurent somehow got my closest girl friends to convince me to think a group of us were going on a couples date night to a movie (one of our favorite spots with the reclining chairs where we had our first date) and dinner after. The date started with him arriving late (per usual) except this time it was part of this plan I know nothing about. So I was instantly annoyed because I didn’t want to be the inconsiderate late ones. We picked up my friend and her husband and headed out. Upon my arrival amongst my other friends we wait out side pressed for Time because the movie was due to start at any moment and my friend who’s make believe friend had our reserved tickets (she was late too, I was so annoyed with everyone) We finally went inside and were escorted to our assigned seats in the extremely dark theater. As we all sat down and I mentioned to my babe that i wanted some popcorn. I attempted to get up he immediately grabbed me by the arm and said “ I got it babe!”.

I insisted on going as everyone secretly convinced me to sit down and let him get it. He left and I continued to talk amongst my girls as the trailers played. One of my friends “shushhhed” me and I laughed saying ” it’s loud in here, those people up there can’t hear me” ( those people were secretly my friends ,family and loved ones tucked in their seats of this theater which was completely shut down for Me! Moments later another “trailer” began and before I could get a word out on how the guy on the screen had the same SUPERMAN ( babe’s nickname I use) exclusive cufflinks a picture of myself appeared on this HUGE movie screen. I couldn’t believe my eyes as my heart races and the only words to come our were words I can’t say here (wtf?) My friend grabbed my hand as I sat in amazement wondering when, where, what and How!

I am not an easy woman to surprise yet I’m sitting there completely clueless For the first time. As I slowly realized the man on the screen was the love of my life tears of joy continuously flowed. My personal “trailer” shut off and now enters my love dressed as sharp and handsome as he could be. It was then that I notices the theater was filled with people whom I love and care for. I was an emotional wreck and just as I thought it couldn’t get any more emotional I spotted my dad front and center to witness this moment despite him having been battling serious health issues and being released from the hospital less than 2 days prior.

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I jumped up to hug him and he pointed me in the direction of the love of my life. What happens next I will never forget. He asked me to be his wife and I said OF COURSE!

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I’m a man of many blessing sent from God. On Saturday September 24 th 2016 I was able to execute a very special event for the most amazing woman in my life. I wanted to give her nothing but the best. Let me explain HOW. It was approximately a year ago I decided that I wanted to propose to the love of my life, Wanda. One day I was in Boston for best friend’s wife’s birthday party and this idea popped into my head about a Surprise proposal to Wanda using a movie theater. I would get down on one knee and propose after a slideshow. I wasn’t sure if that was possible, so the first thing I did was call the movie theater that we went to on our very first date.

When I called, I immediately asked to speak to a manager when they picked up. When I asked the manager if it was possible that I can do such a thing he simply said “oh yes, we can definitely do that for you ”. I was ecstatic. Some time went by and I was trying to figure out exactly how I would do it. She used to always send me pictures of these royal/cobalt blue (what she calls “Superman blue”) suits with heart eyed emojis , and telling me how good I would look in them, so I figured then that I would be proposing to her in her favorite colored suit. After all “Superman” is her nickname for me. Sadly we would privately go through some ups and downs and a minor breakup during this time. We then decided to go to couples therapy to overcome our circumstances and strengthen our relationship. During these sessions I learned so much more about her and things about myself that I didn’t realize. After making therapy our regular thing I KNEW for a fact that this woman was made for me. We would go whether we were happy or not. Our therapist took his time with us and helped mold our relationship for the better.

I began to listen to motivational speeches and they taught me to seek the moment and focus on things I want to accomplish and it will be accomplished greater than I could ever imagined, and I believed it. At this point I knew the idea that I had would work beyond my imagination as long as stuck to and it and did things how I wanted to do them. I went on a manhunt for approximately 8 months for the most perfect “Superman” blue suit I could find. I search high and low and just could not find that suit. Then one day I was doing a March of Dimes walk alone in Manhattan, which I dedicated to my premature little cousin AJ. After the march was over, I decided to walk around some shopping areas to see I could find that suit.

I walked into Zara first and there and behold, THE SUPERMAN BLUE SUIT!. It was like a sign from GOD but it was only the blazer they had in my size. So I walked to a bunch of stores for miles and miles and couldn’t find another suit like it. So I decided to go back to Zara and get the jacket and hope that I can order the pants online. When I went back I grabbed the blazer, turned around and saw the matching pants just tossed on a rack it didn’t belong on. I went to check the size and BAM My size! It was like another sign from GOD. A few days later Wanda and

I went to Jamaica for 6 days to attend her best friend’s wedding that she was a part of, and for about the first 4 days I could barely walk on my feet because I suffered from heel spurs that I got from speed walking around Manhattan looking for that suit. It was extremely painful, but I knew it was all worth it. Wanda had NO idea. About a month later the search for the perfect video was in progress. I decided to go with a video instead of a slide show because I thought it would be extremely cool if dedicate a video to her that shows me getting dressed in her favorite colored suit while thinking about her as if I was getting ready to go out on a romantic date. I started looking for videographers everywhere. Most weren’t interested in calling me back. After months of looking, I finally got a reply from a friend of a friend who is in Film/Photography school. He was very open to the idea, very professional, made me sign a contract for a really affordable price.

On August 6th 2016, I met up with him and shot the video. I told him exactly how I wanted it shot and the specific details I was looking for in the shots, plus details about her that I wanted to add to the video. He then sent me his edited version of the video and it was not what I wanted at all. He had all the footage I wanted but he edited it in a very impersonal way. He had Scenes from popular music videos and low quality photos that just didn’t do it for me. So I was honest with him and told him that I didn’t like it and asked if he could do it over. He agreed and sent me another version in less than an hour.

I watched it and told him not to worry about sending me an edited version and to just send me all of the raw footage and I’ll edit it myself. That was the best decision I could have made about this entire thing. It gave me the opportunity to have complete creative control over it. I used the vision I had in my head to bring it to life. I appeared from different angles, zooming in on some distinct features of mine without completely unveiling myself, placed photos of Wanda in the video I took of her when I decided to pursue my photography career over a year ago and also some footage of her doing what she loves most, dancing!

Pretty much all the simplistic details that only she would know. For example the “Superman” Cuff links that she brought me (because that’s her nickname for me), my watch, my eyes up close, my hands, the soundtrack “I’m falling for you” by an independent artist (Chester See) and of course my smile up close. I took my time with this video and would watch it over and over again to make sure things were perfect. I told her 3 best friends that I wanted to propose to her and how I wanted to do it, they got so overjoyed and emotional it was crazy. So they came up with an even better way to help surprise her. They convinced her that since they haven’t hung out in a long time, they should go out on a couple’s date to the movies In Fresh Meadows, they had free tickets and told her to invite me LOL. That idea was beyond genius. Now that the video was done it was time to save it on a flash drive and bring it to the Theater. Due to the fact the video was a large file done on a Mac Book, I was having a lot of problems with it. First the sound was cutting in and out while video would play smoothly. After some research I found out that I had to buy a faster flash drive, so I went go to the stores after working over 16 hours at my job (Where we have overwhelming mandatory overtime). I saved the file on the 2 different types of flash drives just to be safe. On one of my off days I went to the theater for a test run, and I wasn’t able to stay there and see if it would work in person.

So I left it there and the manager called me the next day and said the file was not compatible and that I would have to buy a flash drive compatible for windows in order for the video to play. This was only less than 1 week before the planned proposal. So there I am again in front of an electronic store sleeping in my car while waiting for the store to open because I just finished working 2 shifts (3pm-8am)!! When the store opened, I brought the flash that compatible for windows, opened it up in the store, transferred the file right there from my Mac Book (which she had recently brought me for my birthday) and then checked if it would work on the windows laptops they had on display. Sadly it didn’t work on any of them. But I didn’t want to give up right there.

So I asked them for their wifi password and stayed in the store and did some research on what the issue might be (exhausted and all). After researching for about thirty minutes I realized that the problem was that the movie was done in “MOV” format and needed to be in “MP4” format. So I downloaded a program that would allow me to convert the file from MOV to MP4. The store WIFI connection was really slow, but I knew I have to have patience. After almost 40 minutes, the program was installed on my MacBook, and when I tested on their laptops …Walah! It worked! I was sooooo happy. I drove home, got in the shower, went to bed for about 2 hours and back up for work to work another 17hr shift. I was ok with that because I knew it would all be worth it. The next day I met up with the manager at AMC FRESH MEADOWS THEATER in Queens. I slept in my car until they opened at 10am, because I had gotten out of work around 8am. That was the only way I could test it out and see for myself if it’s was going to work. I didn’t want to drop it off and and call later, so I did what I had to do. The manager and I met up shortly after 10am. I gave him the flash drive and sat down in the empty theater awaiting the results while he set everything up. Out of nowhere, my video was playing in the big screen crisp, clear, and Beautifully. I was so happy words couldn’t describe the feeling. Everything I went through felt like nothing after witnessing that. Just a couple of days later. It was the big day, September 24th 2016. I woke up around 9am, told my girlfriend that I had to take my aunt to one of her friends house who she hadn’t seen in years. It was a lie, I was actually driving to the movie theater to drop off the suit from the video, which I’d be switching into for the proposal while we are on our so called “couple’s night out”. I dropped the suit off and did a walk thorough with the managers on how everything would go, then I headed back home. I was able to execute a very special event for the most amazing woman in my life.

I rented a movie theater and fooled her into thinking we were on couple’s date. Upon our arrival we all sat down in our assigned seats & I excused myself to get “popcorn” . A few trailers played and then our very own special video played all while I was hiding out and changing into that same suit. When the video finished I walked back in to a crowd of close family and friends that she thought was just strangers in the theater watching a movie (which made this event even greater). Her father was hospitalized for days and came out just in time to experience this moment with her. God was definitely steering this day! Nervous and all I got down on one knee and asked my Queen and now Fiancé to marry me. She did not say yes, she said OF COURSE!!!

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