Last week Friday, I engaged Reina! That beautiful day – May 5th 2017 – will forever be an astonishingly splendid memory in our lives. It was a culmination of 75 days of planning it, Amigos. And I had fun.
Every relationship gets to a place where it has to move to the next level. It’s growth. You realize that your current state is becoming too familiar. But really, what is any relationship without growth? And so, after dating Reina for a year and a half, I knew, engaging her was the next step for us.
Now let me get to the details of the engagement because probably, you’re interested to know how it all came together. I must say, putting 75 days of planning in 1,500 words is a tall order, but I’ll try.
There’s this time Reina and I were walking in town and out of nowhere she asked me, ‘Babe, by the way, why do you introduce me to your friends as your fiancée and you haven’t engaged me yet?’
She meant well actually. Thing is, I had developed that tendency to introduce her as my fiancée, but had never quite engaged her. (Guess you also noted that in the writing?) I felt, and rightfully so as most men would, that, there was no way we were just boyfriend and girlfriend. We were more than that. It’s about that growth I was alluding to earlier. But that question also examined my initiative in the relationship. Like, ‘Boss, kwani umelalia masikio?’
(Sorry gentlemen, I’m not trying to take the wind off your sails. Just a happy engaged man telling his tale).
But I quickly forgot that question and the emotions it brought about. Weeks later, Reina and I got into a brawl. One weekend we fought over some issue and we didn’t talk much to each other. You know how fights are, right? They make you question the person you’re dating and whether you’re really in it for the long haul. I was in my crib, arranging a pile of books that had long been abandoned when the question she asked me came running to me in my thoughts.
‘Babe, by the way, why do you introduce me to your friends as your fiancée and you haven’t engaged me yet?’
At that very moment I knew without a doubt, that I needed to engage Reina soon. This may sound far-fetched, but, just track with me. I felt that, engaging Reina was me telling her how much I love her, that I am stuck on her and even when we fight, she’s still the woman I want to spend the rest of my life with. Grow old and wrinkled together – stuff like that. It would be my undisputed commitment to her and to our love.
Then there was the bit of me feeling scared of losing her. I know, I know, I sound like an insecure freak right now. Though it’s true. When you spend beautiful moments with someone and can even dream a future together, the last thing you want to do is loose them. Especially because you never got to show your commitment by proposing marriage or showing them your heart with their name fine printed all over. It may sound like a wrong motivation to engage Reina but I look at is as love. Beating fear with love, the commitment.
And obviously, really, what was I waiting for? I took my phone, opened a word document and jotted notes of a 30 day count down to the engagement. Initially, I wanted to propose to Reina within a month’s time but things didn’t go my way and we capped it at 75 days.
The engagement plan?
First, I know Reina loves small and intimate things. I decided I’d only invite a few of her close knit friends to surprise her and celebrate with us on the big day. Did I know for certain she’d say yes? Who’s ever sure anyway?
Fellas, you’ll immediately remember those probability classes you paid little attention to in high school. Shit turns you into a mathematician. You’ll weigh her emotions, what she last said to you or didn’t say, that long unresolved argument she considers a deal breaker and nerves with flood your anatomy. Don’t worry, you’ll get through it. I did.
Secondly, and this should have come first, you need a budget. Especially for the ring. I got Reina a ring she loves. It’s small and intimate, with love and an ‘entire’ paycheck glaring all over it, hehe. Figure out her ring size. I asked her best friend, Zarita, to do some investigative measurements without tipping her off. She did a splendid job.
I bought Reina’s ring at some old folk jewelry sellers with old folk running the business. My goodness, that old man at the counter had no tolerance for my indecisiveness. He kept pushing and pushing until we were down to three options within my budget, and I couldn’t choose one. I asked to take a coffee break, went to an ice cream shop and bought a few scoops, sat down to feed my butterflies in the stomach. Then went back and bought the best ring for her – my judgement.
So now we have close friends, a budget for the ring and other expenses, we need a venue and an airtight decoy story.
My decoy story; I used ‘The Muindis At‘ to curve her in. It got her to dress up for a lunch date at Kigwa Hotel (a favourite spot of hers). Told her that a hotelier friend of mine, Joe Kiriga, read a few posts about our restaurant reviews and wanted to grant us a complimentary to review one of the hotels he has ties to. (Mr. Joe Kiriga, I think we could use that complementary now).
Kigwa Hotel, led by Jimmy were excellent comrades for the job. They played along the plot like they were born for stuff like this. When we got there, we found a set table for us, Jimmy acting like we’ve never met before, ushered us where to sit. We sat on one side of the hotel, away from the view of the room where our pals, the surprise band, were slowly trickling in unnoticed.
Speaking of surprises.
Gilad Millo. Super Awesome Guy, was my chemical X to the whole plan. For long, Reina has jammed to his music and fondly speaks of him. I knew I wanted him to be part of the whole affair. I reached out on Instagram, he asked me to send an email, then a phone call and a meet up ensued and we came to an agreement. He promised to show up and quite frankly, he kept time beyond being super awesome in the reveal as I went down on one knee.
After getting Reina to calm down from all the awe, I looked into her cute eyes. That moment for me, was similar to Simba been raised to the kingdom, been crowned King. There’s something revering about that moment. I felt nerves yes, but I also felt right, peaceful, proud of myself and even more proud of Reina for she was going to be mine, forever. I popped the question.
…WILL YOU MARRY ME?….
Reina said YES!!!!!
I was kidding with her about that part in the song where Gilad says, “tafadhali” was becoming a bit too real because she took a few heartbeats longer to say yes.
Our pals made the entrance surprising her even more. Isaac – the maestro with the camera – capturing that blissful moment.
I’ve never been happy like that in my life. That night, I couldn’t fall asleep. Neither could she. We both shed tears of joy! (Imagine that, King Muindi shedding tears!)
I can’t wait to wife her. My Love.
I’ve obviously missed out on more finer details, but the blog post word count beacons. Tell you what, I’m thinking of two things;
- I’m contemplating the idea of writing a book about the whole experience of engaging Reina. Even if it never makes it as a best seller, the best thing will be that our sons and daughters will read it and know how Papa proposed. Is there any greater reward than that? Well, I’ll also read it again and again and you too can get a copy. Let’s see how that goes.
- There could be a fellow man out there planning an engagement soon. How about we meet up for coffee and talk a bit more about it? Holla at – firstname.lastname@example.org – I have loads to share.
To My Queen,
I’m the happiest man and I’m grateful to God that you said yes to me. Thank you for loving me. You. Rock. My. World.
I love you, always.
Credits: A big thank you to:
My surprise band: Alecki, Vee & Sammy, Gloria, Zarita, Grace, Morgan (and Njeri), Sammy Thande, Braden Kimanzi, Wangui Kimanzi, MC Prince, Evans (and Shiru), Anna Montez,
Gilad Millo. You’re that Super Awesome Guy, my friend. Gracias Amigo!
Photographer: Isaac Kaigi, Zuraj Studios. Check out the photos here.
Decor Team: Wambui & Joyce, Ariella Events. You guys nailed it!
Cake by: Terry