Jenni Mortimer: How I ruined my romantic Waiheke Island marriage proposal

Publish Date
Tuesday, 3 July 2018, 9:00AM
Photo / Getty

Photo / Getty

Your proposal story is supposed to be one of the sweetest, most romantic moments of your life.

After all, you've reached the pinnacle of your relationship and you could not love each other more than you do at this moment, right?

For me, my proposal story was a little different, through no one's fault but my own.

My wonderful now-husband worked his butt off to plan the perfect proposal for me and I managed to ruin it. But first, let me give you some backstory.

We'd only been together six months when my lovely partner tells me he wants to marry me one day.

First mistake.

Several months later we pass a jeweller and he encourages me to go in and try on a ring I liked. As we're leaving I overhear the jeweller whisper my ring size to my partner.

Second mistake.

Fast forward three years: I am ring-less, proposal-less and waiting patiently for my moment as I watch all of our friends get engaged, married and start their families.

Then, it happens. Or so I think. I'm at work one day when I get a message from my partner telling me to come outside. My boss assures me I should go.

I walk outside to find my charming man standing by the car holding the door open for me, bags packed, ready to go.

Within seconds I decide I've figured out what's about to happen. My emotions are running high.

Third mistake.

He whisks me away to Waiheke Island where I'm treated like a queen for the weekend: taken for long walks on Oneroa beach, lunch at Mudbrick and given thoughtful presents.

Anytime it begins to feel as if he's setting the scene for our magic moment, I tell myself: "He must be nervous; I should give him some space and look off into the distance so he can get everything ready."

I want to give him ample opportunity for his big proposal ... nothing happens.

On the final day of our getaway, he tells me we'll simply grab a quick pizza for dinner before taking the ferry back to Auckland.

"Oh sh** balls!" I've got it wrong. He's not proposing at all.

I realise I must retract the text I sent my best friend earlier: "He's totally going to propose. Like 100% it's happening."

But it's too late for that. My emotions had been set in motion. As far as they're concerned, I'm about to be proposed to and there's no going back.

I try to stay cheerful, really I do. But I'm disappointed. This is a ruse that started three years ago.

I declare in my snarkiest of tones that I'm going outside for a cup of tea. ALONE.

I know I'm being a brat but honestly, I can't stop.

When he decides the steam streaming from my ears has gone from thermonuclear to a more manageable temperature, he approaches, champagne in hand.

And then out of nowhere, before I can even stop the words coming out of my mouth I turn to him, burst into tears and shout: "You know, I really thought you were going to propose. You've missed a really good opportunity here, you know!"

He just looks me in the eye and laughs.

Oh but I'm not done there. I grab the champagne bottle by the neck, take a swig and declare: "I'm going to get drunk because you don't even love me!"

"Before you do ..." he says as he gets down on one knee and pulls a ring box out of his pocket.

Bottle still in mouth, onto my second swig of Piper-Heidsieck, I burst into tears again: "Oh god. I am the worst person in the world!"

He doesn't care. He finds my outburst hilarious and tells me he wouldn't have it any other way.

Later in the evening, curious, I ask him when he was originally planning on popping the question. How much longer was my wait intended to be?

"About 30 minutes after we got pizza," he says, amused.

Thirty f***ing minutes!?

Jenni Mortimer is a lifestyle writer for The New Zealand Herald.

This article was originally published on NZ Herald and is reproduced here with permission.