In July 2015, Jeff proposed. I'd like to tell you the story, because I've realised that I'd never shared that online and I haven't written it down - not even in a journal. I was also so shocked on the night that I didn't take any photos.
Jeff and I had our first date on July 15, 2011 - so we kind of regard this to be our "anniversary". The week leading up to the 15th of July in 2015, I told Jeff that our anniversary was coming up and I asked him if he'd given it any thought. He said, "not really" and I got really stroppy with him! Whinging, I said, "Why am I the only one who thinks about this? I always have to be the one to book a restaurant. I'm not this time! You do it. It's your responsibility!" I distinctly remember this argument in our kitchen, haha. He agreed to do the organising this time, and we tossed around a few ideas and places that we liked.
He decided on a restaurant called The Jungle. We had been there once before and loved it. You can click on the link to the website to see some photos. It used to be an indoor driving range. Millions of dollars have been spent transforming it into a jungle-themed restaurant. It's very atmospheric and the Churrasco menu is delicious. Palms tower above you; huts and walkways are suspended among the treetops. There's even an adult slide and giant gorilla statue for a bit of fun. Tarzan plays on the big screen and the staff wear name badges labelled with random Hollywood stars. It's certainly not five-star dining, but the waiters bring you delicious juicy meat skewers to slice right onto your plate.
I remember having a really lazy Saturday. I was in my daggiest clothes, on the couch, painting my nails, watching movies and drinking cups of tea. I was looking forward to our anniversary dinner that night, but was totally vegging out during the day. Jeff said he had to go to Bunnings (hardware store) to get a few things. He had been gone a really long time, but I didn't think anything of it. Little did I know that while I was lazing around and clipping my toe nails, Jeff was asking my father permission to marry me and buying me a ring.
As evening approached, I showered and dressed up for our night out. We walked into the restaurant and they seated us in an area that was empty of patrons. We ordered our food and then Jeff excused himself, saying he'd left "something" in the car. While, he was gone, I perused Facebook and just enjoyed the atmosphere. As I was waiting, a party of about ten middle-aged men arrived and sat on the table next to us. It must have been someone's birthday. Looking back, I really feel for Jeff because when he came back with the ring and saw that he'd have an audience, he was so nervous!
I saw that he was holding a rather large blue Swarovski jewellery box. I felt surprise and pleasure spiral through me, as I thought he'd bought me a necklace or something. He's not one for big, romantic gestures, so he'd really caught me by surprise. Then suddenly he was on his knee. I honestly didn't comprehend what was happening and actually asked, "What are you doing down there?"
Because of our audience, he very quickly said, "Sophie, will you marry me?" Heads were turning to our direction in my side vision. My brain was still so scrambled and overwhelmed that I said, "What?"
A little more clearly this time, he said, "I'm asking you to be my wife!"
I said yes, and the table of guests next to us clapped and congratulated us. I think we barely said two words to each other the whole meal. I was just in shock! My sister had been in a relationship with her partner for longer than we had, and Jeff and I had always thought we'd wait until they got engaged before we even thought about it. I asked him why he decided against waiting.
The day before, he had $5000 of savings ready to spend on a car. The deal fell through, so he thought, might as well buy Sophie a ring instead and propose at dinner. He didn't even know he was going to do it until the day before! I had always told Jeff that I didn't want a big proposal in front of a crowd. Just something between the two of us. I stipulated that he would have to get down on one knee, otherwise I might think he was joking.
The ring actually didn't fit! So the following day, we went back to Swarovski and I was able to exchange it for one that fit. Then he took me to Michael Hill to choose the ring. I had no idea what I wanted, so I worked my way from one end of the shop to the other, trying on everything and coming up with a shortlist. I finally decided on this one.
When we left the restaurant that night, we drove to my parents' house where they had a bottle of bubbly ready to celebrate. Then we went home, watched Masterchef in bed and fell asleep!
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