I don’t recall the exact moment I realized I was going to marry Fallon. But I’ve known for a long long time.
Since I can’t recall any specific instance – let’s post a photo of her here holding a Macho Nacho Helmet from Rexall Place.
See? Wouldn’t you marry the shit out of this woman?
All that said, I knew where we were going to get engaged since January of 2016. Walt Disney World. Shocker, right?
But how? There’s plenty of grand gesture opportunities. But none of them really seemed very us. While getting a rose and champagne with the ring at it at Be Our Guest does seem nifty, I can see how that would go.
Me: Nice night huh. How about that Grey Stuff? Delicious, right?
Fallon: Why are you so jittery and physically attractive tonight?
Me: You know. That’s how I do. You Know How I Do was a Taking Back Sunday song I think. Let’s get champagne!
Fallon: We never drink champagne. What’s going on.
Me: Explodes into a puddle of pure sweat on the floor
So on the Sunday of WDW Marathon Weekend, January of 2016, it all came together.
I’d just finished the 10k race 2 days prior. And we happened to head to Epcot on Marathon race day Sunday. I’ve been a runner on and off since 2012 and did a half marathon in 2013. But I’d never been THAT close to an actual finish line. The 10k had been far and away the best race I’ve ever run. Everything was so seamless and organized and exactly as you’d expect from that Disney brand of service. I shouldn’t have been surprised the full marathon seemed the same. The way the runners who were 42km deep by the time they hit Spaceship Earth were snaking through the open park. The way we as park goers moved through with minimal interruption was so cool. And the way when we were stopped we got to see how gruelling the run had been on the runners. How inspiring it was to see thousands upon thousands of people accomplishing a goal that they’d set out to achieve. How much I’d admired their ability to do all this while dressed like Chewbacca or Ursula the Sea Witch etc. It was all so amazing I was moved to tears. I can recall like 3 other times that happened to me as an adult. Once was a U2 show at Commonwealth Stadium when they went from one to With or Without You (this was an odd one since U2 are firmly in the like but not love column for me) in 2011, another was just a few weeks back when Frank Turner played The Way I Tend To Be and another time when I had a pretty good sandwich.
I knew 3 things that day. 1) I wanted to run this marathon. 2) I needed to run this marathon 3) I want and need to propose to Fallon HERE.
I think Fallon was feeling inspiration joy overdose with me that day. When I explained how I thought I could do it, but it’d take 2 years she was all in. Of course she was. She’s amazing. I should marry her. *ding* thing 3.
Truth be told I’d been certain I needed to propose to her for some time. But we’d just moved into our house that year and planning a wedding wasn’t practical. Ah, love. Such a practical thing, no?
It was such a great day. And we’d had such a great time in Florida, I knew this was the place to get engaged when the time was right.
So… where to start?
Buttons. That’s where.
Fallon had got one of those Happy Birthday buttons on this trip and wore it like 4 or 5 days. She made me get one too because I have a January birthday as well (Yup, loaded with greatness this guy is) and it wasn’t my thing. But she revelled in that extra pixie dust that accompanies wearing such a bauble. So why not those Just Engaged buttons? Other than they’re more or less discontinued 😐
I found that out via Reddit. They’re not in circulation anymore hey? Well to hell with that. This is 2016. I have eBay and a major credit card. I’mma gonna get me some of these.
So I ordered Just Engaged buttons off the internet and had them shipped to my work. Where they were hid in my desk drawer between some sauce packets and butterfly clips. Now – on to stage 2 of Operation Propose to Fallon the Hottie.
What was phase 2?
I dunno was the plan from March 2016-November 2016 or so.
I wasn’t completely void of an idea. I figured it’s best to get it done in front of a PhotoPass photographer. I mean – there’s literally people with DSLRs all over the place ready to capture moments galore. But… where?
Not the castle. That’s for damned sure. That’s as cliched as the stupid husband trope of tv shows and commercials that’s funny af you guys.
If not the castle… where?
Splash Mountain? But that’s for Hulkamania poses.
Spaceship Earth? But that’s for Hulkamania poses.
Get help from a face character? Anna would be game. But Elsa would be all “See sis! These 2 have known each other for YEARS! That’s how you get engaged!” and then I’d feel awkward cause I’m way more Team Anna. #finisheachotherssandwiches
Then it came to me. Why not Animal Kingdom? It’s her favourite park. Work up the courage with a Dole Whip + coconut rum or three then we’re all set.
I knew the spot.
The ring was easy. Or was it?
Fallon has this diamond ring she’d gotten from her grandmother. She’d said many times before that this is what she wanted to wear because it means so much to her. I’m pretty sure she’d often thought I wasn’t listening despite the not-so-subtle hints. But through all the phone-looking-at I had retained that knowledge.
Fortunately she’d taken it off around Halloween when we were gutting some pumpkins. Yes – they were Disney themed.
I was concerned she’d remember she took it off and put it back on before we headed back to the World. I’d had a Plan B where I took a photo – sent it to Lisa and had her obtain some fugazi costume jewellery version of it. Plus a Plan where I bought a ring from somewhere on property. As well as a Plan D where we used the Fuel Rod (these mammajammas are a frickin’ lifesaver and a half).
She didn’t put it back on from Halloween through New year’s Day though. On the morning we left for Florida this past January I hurried where the ring was hidden downstairs, attached it to a Winnipeg Jets lanyard (for easy transport and handy backpack access) and stowed it in my carry on. Along with the Just Engaged Buttons. And the Just Married ones because the eBay guy sold those together.
The initial plan was to propose on our first Animal Kingdom day. AK was a zoo. I mean… it is a zoo too. But that day. Woof. The busiest park day of the entire trip. The PhotoPass photographers in front of the tree of life were swamped. That’s fine. That wasn’t the spot anyhow.
We’d planned for 2 days at AK. With FP+ on day 1 for Everest, Dinosaur, and Festival of the Lion King. Plus a 10:45 at Tusker House. Tusker House BTW – best character meal hands down. The point of this paragraph is there wasn’t a plan to head to the Kilimanjaro Safaris and the spot was between Asia and Africa.
No matter what I tried to do that day we didn’t make our way to the spot. “Let’s go see the naked mole rats” “Wanna see the Gorillas?” “Hey, how about we go to this specific out of the way PhotoPass spot that gets the backside of the Tree of Life in the background for no apparent immediate reason?”
It just didn’t happen. I considered saying Eff it! and proposing at the photographer with Everest in the background. But it didn’t feel right. And there were so. many. people.
It wasn’t right. I wanted it to be and we had a great day. Fallon got to FaceTime her grandmother with Mickey Mouse at Tusker House, we had awesome seats for Festival of the Lion King, we got a better perspective on how it’s tough to be a bug. Solid day on the whole. But Tuesday. Tuesday I was gonna get it done. Three cheers to procrastination!!!
So Tuesday was kind of a blur. We entered the park through the Rainforest cafe because we know WTF is up. Then headed to the safaris because we were a little later arriving and had a fastpass. I remember being nervous, checking my pocket for the Jets lanyard several times. I remember being relieved to see a PhotoPass photographer approaching the spot just as we were getting there. He seemed grumpy but c’est la vie. So we get some shots all normal like and I reach into the pouch of my hoodie for the Just Engaged button. Time to piss or get off the porta-potty. I said something along the line of “How about we get some photos with these? I showed it to Fallon and could tell she was processing what was happening slower than she should have. She had no idea somehow. I say this because while my fiancee is a wonderful woman, she’s not much of an actress. She was shocked.
It’s funny how some of the most important moments of your life go by almost in fast-forward. I truly can’t remember what I said. I’m the emotional one in this duo who’s prone to babbling. But Fallon – waterworks. Like Igu…Igudal…The Falls from Soarin’. I just remember getting down on one knee and never being so sure of anything in my life.
We had some time before heading over to the safari. So we started sending the appropriate texts, making phone calls and changing the ol’ relationship status. Engagement Day is like winning the Facebook lottery. Holy cow. Who knew so many people were paying attention? FYI – once you have more than 200 likes – you can trade them for a medium pizza.
And that’s the story as I remember it right now. I’m the luckiest man I know.
Oh this is Luke by the way. Fallon’s blog. Featuring me right here right now. I love her. She’s the best there is, the best there was, and the best there ever will be. And now she’s an enemy of Bret the Hitman Hart. But she’s engaged too. To me. Muahahahahahaha!!!