I had just moved to Athens to serve as the rabbi of Congregation Children of Israel. A congregant and friend invited me to his retirement party. As I entered, I wondered if there would be any cute graduate students at the party. I noticed a cute blonde woman enter, and I asked my congregant's wife if she knew her. She responded, She's Jewish and single. You're meeting her.
Within a few months, she became the love of my life. Within ten months, she became my fiancée.
Emily and I became more "serious" just before the Jewish High Holidays of Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. After the High Holidays, we went to Mexico for a vacation. At the resort, a mariachi duo entertained us with a song, Cancion Del Mariachi, a song made popular in the movie Desperado.
I'd sing that song around the house, in the shower and in the car, even though the only verse I knew was the chorus which had a lot of la la la la. (Note - the song is completely in Spanish.)
Needless to say, Emily was familiar with the song.
For the proposal, Emily thought that I had a meeting at Temple on Monday evening. A friend of hers invited her to a local coffee shop to celebrate her friend's early birthday.
I'm in a klezmer band, and we normally practice on Mondays. They were at the coffee shop (a place we play at fairly regularly,) and when they saw Emily, they commented that I couldn't make practice because of some kind of Temple meeting. I even drove to Temple and called Emily from there to make the story that much more believable. Method acting, people.
Anyyyyways, the band started at 7:00 pm and mentioned that one of their band-mates (me) couldn't be there tonight, but his girlfriend is here, and they would like to dedicate the next song to her. They started (brilliantly) playing our mariachi song.
About 15 seconds later, I approached her (there was a lot of subterfuge and scheming to ensure that she would be sitting in an optimal spot for the "surprise" factor) and gave her two dozen roses. I got down on one knee, asked her to marry me, and showed her the ring. She said, It's beautiful! My response: I hope that's a yes?
After she confirmed that yes, she will indeed marry me, we kissed (awwww) and I mentioned that "some" people wanted to celebrate with us. I had invited about 20 of our friends to come celebrate with us. I also sent them about 41 emails about how they had to get there after 6:45 but before 7:00 to ensure that Emily would not see them, etc ... Yes, all of Emily's friends and family knew that she was getting engaged before she was.
I had dropped off bottles of champagne the day before, and friends helped give everyone a glass (ok, paper cup). I made a toast that went something along the lines of, 10 months ago I knew I was moving to a warm, welcoming community and synagogue. I did not know, however, that I would meet the love of my life. After that, I finally stopped sweating profusely, I drank a lot of water, and then kissed Emily some more.
It's now been about 24 hours, and I can not get tired of calling her my fiancé. I am so excited for our future together, and can't wait for our two families to merge.
I love you, Emily Mouilso.