Yes, it was 10 years ago on the night before Thanksgiving that I dropped down and asked Maria to marry me... in the center of the ice rink at Pershing Square. In hindsite, a cheesy move. (My original plan was to find a historic theatre on Broadway and see about putting my proposal on the marquee. But hey, I was young!)
A few notes: No, despite my media whorish-ness, I didn't call the news media. I planned it out with the Pershing Square "Downtown on Ice" rink, and they called around -- managing to get both KNBC and KTLA out there! (I assume both stations were looking for quick, simple feel good news kickers the night before Thanksgiving, when things are pretty quiet.)
And also: I go to experience the laziness of local TV journalism first hand. No one ever came up to me to get any sort of information, so they just made things up. KTLA said Maria and I met at the rink -- not true. KNBC went a step further and called me an "L.A. Kings fan." Whaa? Because we were ice skating?
It didn't go off without a hitch. I had given the rink a CD of two songs to play. But when the rink cleared at 9, I waited for my musical cue. Nothing. I wrote about out engagement back in 2003:
Then it hit 9 p.m.--time for the rink to close for the evening. As they told everyone to clear the ice, I asked Maria if we could get our photo taken on the ice. So I gave my camera to one of the workers, and we went to the middle of the ice. And I waited for the music.
The guy kept taking our picture and radioing to his bosses, "What's going on? Where's the music?"
He told us to go ahead and skate a few laps. I knew something was wrong, but Maria was just confused.
I made up something on the spot: "Oh, he probably just feels bad that all of those little kids were giving us trouble on the ice all night, and wanted you to skate a few rounds when no one was around." Whew, she bought it.
Finally, though, I couldn't wait for the music any longer. The cameras were on us. I took her back to the middle of the rink and dropped to one knee, while pulling out the ring.
The ring, sadly, is no longer with us. But that's a depressing story for another day.