The Best 25th Birthday a Girl Could Ask For

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Nicole and I met in what I call a “round-about” way. I was an actor at a theater in Tucson, AZ and she worked in the box office. I, of course noticed her beautiful face every time I went into the box office for anything but I never did anything more than take notice. The timing was not right for us as I had a girlfriend and she had a boyfriend so we just exchanged niceties, as any other co-workers would do. This went on for almost 3 years and I just chalked it up to she would always be the girl I would admire from afar.

Nicole and her sister (who also worked at the theater) threw a Christmas party and had invited all of the employees and cast. It was at the Christmas party that we actually had a conversation (after I had consumed a bit of liquid courage of course) and we found ourselves to be mutually single. What came as a bigger surprise, was the admiration from afar was mutual as well.

Flash forward two years, we are now both living in Los Angeles and Nicole’s birthday is coming up on January 25th. Also, that’s 5 days after our two-year anniversary. I tell Nicole that I think we should go to San Francisco for her birthday. It has always been a very special city for us because it is where we went on our first date and it is the city where we fell in love and it is where I intend to propose.

Nicole almost tossed a wrench into my whole plan of proposing in San Francisco when she invited her Dad and younger sister, both of whom live in Sacramento, to drive to San Francisco to celebrate her birthday dinner with us. But what she didn’t know was that I had made arrangements for them to come for a dinner following the proposal. Thanks to some quick thinking on her Dad’s part, he claimed work wouldn’t let him get away but maybe they could come up the following day.

The grand plan was her Dad, his fiancé and her son and Nicole’s younger sister were all going to drive up from Sacramento for dinner. My Mom and her husband were going to fly from Tucson, AZ and my Dad and his wife were going to fly in from Maui, HI. They were all coming to San Francisco from these different places at different times but all coming for the same HOPEFULLY celebratory dinner. Nicole didn’t have a clue. She thought nobody could make it for her 25th birthday

The Proposal: It’s January 25th, Nicole’s 25th birthday and it’s sunset in Levi Plaza in San Francisco. Now, I’m a photographer when I’m not acting so it wasn’t weird that I had my big camera with me. I had told Nicole that I was tired of only having selfies of us when we travel so I was going to bring my tripod and get some nice pictures of us. It was her birthday after all! ;)

I set up the camera (which also takes high definition video) on my tripod and we started taking some cute couple pictures. That’s when I noticed this security guard had taken a particular interest in us. I thought to myself, “Don’t acknowledge him. Maybe he just wants to see what we’re doing. Maybe he’ll go away.” No such luck. He says, “Excuse me sir? How much longer you gonna be?” I replied, “Oh I don’t know…just a couple of tourists taking some pictures.”

He says, “Well that’s fine but you can’t use a tripod.” “Oh okay! No worries! Thank you sir!” is what I said; on the inside I was saying, “WHAT!? WHY!? THAT MAKES NO SENSE! HOW AM I SUPPOSED TO RECORD THE BIGGEST MOMENT OF OUR LIVES THUS FAR!?” But I just smiled and packed up my tripod.

So now, I had to improvise. And I had to do it fast too because I was loosing light. Luckily, I found a bench with a concrete sculpture that could act as my tripod. And then comes the moment. The biggest moment of our lives thus far…

Disclaimer: The text she is referring to in the beginning of the video is a text I sent to her just before the start of the video. It is a clip of me telling my Mom where I was going the day I asked Nicole’s Dad’s permission to marry her.

SHE SAID YES!!!!! She was so surprised and I was so happy!

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But yet there was one more surprise to come.

We make our way to the restaurant where we had our first date together in San Francisco; a beautiful Italian restaurant called Michelangelo’s. Waiting there for us were my parents and their spouses, her dad and sister and her Dad’s fiancé. She still had no idea. I even told her, why don’t we just go and have dinner by ourselves, enjoy this night and make our calls to our family after dinner. We were talking about who we were going to call first when we walked into the restaurant.

Having our family there to share in this amazing night was just as emotional for her as it was for me. Neither of us could stop smiling or keep from tearing up; and I even knew they were going to be there!

She tells me that I gave her the best birthday present ever. But what she doesn’t realize is that when she said “yes”, she was the one giving ME the best gift I could ever imagine.