I suppose I should begin with the proposal, and all of it’s awesomeness. Since I feel at times that the wedding will have to live up to the epic level of the proposal, it’s good to know where you’re starting from.
For the last couple of years, Chis and I have thrown a party on Talk Like A Pirate Day here in Santa Cruz. It’s been pretty low key in the past, just an excuse to drink, watch Pirates of the Caribbean and listen to Bilgemunkey. While not terrible parties, we haven’t exactly put a lot of energy into them.
In 2011, Chris declared that he wanted TLAPD to be an Event, and began planning some time in advance for it. I agreed happily, without ever imagining how it would turn out. We bought decorations, planned a drink list, Chris made up games and activities to do during the course of the night. I helped him plan most of these things, with the exception of a scavenger hunt. He insisted that he wanted it to be a surprise for me as well, and that I should only be concerned with making sure people showed up in time to do the hunt while it was still light out.
Now, at this time, and perhaps at other points in the story, you may ask yourself how it was that I didn’t realize what was going on. Well, there are a few reasons.
1) This party was not at all out of character for Chris. This is the same man who organized all-night parties on Solstice, simply because he read a book in which they celebrate the Longest Night.
2) It’s also not out of character for him to go very far out of his way to surprise me with something. He knows I love surprises, and has gone to rather ridiculous lengths in the past to surprise me with simple gifts, visitations by friends and things of that nature.
3) I actually was pretty sure that he was going to propose to me soon. However, we had planned to go to Disneyland a few months after this party, and I was rather positive he was going to ask me then. He had made a few jokes about it, and I thought I was rather cleverly on to his scheme. :P
Back to the story! Time past and all the preparations were in place. Costumes were donned and the drinks prepared. We had invited most of our friends in the area, conned our friend Analisa into playing bar wench for us, and I had even re-written the articles of Black Bart, that we then made everyone sign before they were allowed to “board the ship”. Everyone was a really good sport about this, although Seamus pointing a replica of the era rifle at them might have had something to do with it.
Once everyone had arrived, it was time to start the treasure hunt. The hunt and the starting clue were given to us by our friend Josh, a high-school friend now living in New Jersey. He interacted with us via Skype, where he played a colonial governor promising us pirates an official pardon if we could bring back a bee that was kidnapped. Yes, a bee, as in an insect.
Meet Polly the Bee!
One of the many reasons why I love Chris so much is that he never fails to be original. Or ridiculous. We agreed to fetch back this bee, and the treasure he was stashed with, in exchange for a pardon and a commission.
The first clue led us to a physical location near our house that contained another clue, this one written out in Italian which Analisa translated for us. The clue led to another physical location, and so on. Each clue had some kind of prop with it, from a hanging noose to a skull to a flask of rum. As we progressed on our way, it is only at this point that I suspect some kind of mischief. But then we were “attacked” by a rival pirate crew, and I figured that the real surprise was that he had brought some unexpected guests into town.
The rival crew fired at us with cap guns and then took off after trading some pirate insults. We pressed on, certain that we were close to reaching our goal. Our last clue lead us to the beach, where we confronted the rival crew. It consisted of our friends Drew, Ivy and Brendan, all of whom originally told me they were unable to come to the party. Ivy and Brendan were a particular surprise because they live in LA. Chris and Drew, as Captains of their crews, had a pretty epic showdown that was convincing enough to cause a small child onlooker to start crying. Chris defeated Drew, and obtained the final clue to the location of the bee/treasure. He uncovered the buried treasure, and seemed to pull out a ring box from within. (Later he told he that he didn’t want to risk leaving it unattended so he hid it up his sleeve.)
He went down on one knee, and proposed. These are (mostly) the words he used.
“You’ve been an admirable first mate. If you’ve enjoyed the voyage thus far, I hope you’ll be willing to sign on for a somewhat longer tour. Jacqueline Victoria Dunn, would you do me the supreme honor of becoming my wife?”
I KNOW RIGHT.
The best part is that I honestly have no recollection of him saying anything. He knelt down, and I remember being intensely confused for a second. Then I thought, “Oh my god, he’s proposing!” followed by, “He’s proposing while I’m wearing an eye patch! I should probably take it off.” I took it off, feeling increasingly like I was dreaming, and then decided that I needed to wait until he was done before throwing myself at him in happiness. It was as if my brain could only process so much of what I was experiencing. He finished, I said yes, we kissed while everyone cheered. I felt like I was in a movie, or dreaming, or both. Because things only happen so perfectly in movies or dreams, right?
The ring is an heirloom from his grandmother.
Anyways, after all was done we headed home, continued to party and play various pirate games the rest of the night. The party itself was a lot of fun, though I must admit that I past through it in something of a daze.
So you see why I feel like I have a lot to live up to for the wedding.
The only thing I would change is to take more pictures of the night, as there are relatively few out there and none of them I took myself. I suppose I will have to let it be a lesson going forward.
Thanks for reading, I hope you enjoyed!
I also got most everyone who was there to sign the chest. ^^
Some Interesting Facts That I Found Out Later:
Chris had literally been planning this for months. And when I say planning, I mean that he had been sending out emails, getting aid from our friends, and putting this all together well before September. He managed to mobilize a group of people to help him with this, including creating the scavenger hunt, writing the clues in Italian and keeping me occupied while preparations were made.
This meant that pretty much everyone in our circle of friends knew what was going on except for me. This is the point at which I’m going to admit that it may be possible that I am oblivious to the world around me, but that would negate the effort Chris and his cohorts put into keeping the secret. So we’re just going to go with: they are awesome and I’m eternally grateful to them. A
nd suspect they are potentially plotting against me at any given moment.
He also asked both of my parents for permission. Both of my parents are very dear to me, and it makes me really happy that he asked both, especially since it’s not really traditional to ask the mother. My mother means a great deal, and I’m very glad that he included her.