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2nd March 2005

Ruben had a conference in Atlantic City and it was my yearly buying trip to New York. He suggested that we fly out a few days earlier to celebrate my 30th birthday in LA and then go our separate ways and meet back in NY before flying home. I have to admit, I arrived in LA feeling a little excited; we had talked about marriage for quite some time now and this trip seemed a little coincidental to me. However, I know Ruben well enough to know if I ever expected something, it was most likely not going to happen.

In LA, Ruben had planned a surprise dinner. I remember feeling a little nervous,

but decided to ignore the feeling and just get dressed. I did wear Ruben’s favorite dress though. After dinner, Ruben suggested we head back and watch a movie in our room. It was raining and we were still a little jet lagged. When I got back to the hotel, I took my time to remove my makeup and get dressed for bed…I waited and waited…BUT NOTHING!!!!!

The next day we took the red eye out to New York. The red eye is exactly what it sounds like. We both arrived in JFK airport completely exhausted. We headed back to the hotel and crashed. When we woke up, it was something out of a Disney movie; it was snowing while we were asleep. Ruben woke me up and told me to go onto the balcony to look outside. It was just breathtaking. He also told me to get ready as we had dinner reservations. We had pre-dinner drinks at the MO bar, looking down onto a snow-covered Central Park. It was so romantic, the whole evening made my knees weak. Dinner was amazing; the company was of course perfection. After dinner, we took the first taxi back to the hotel. It was just too cold to go anywhere. Alas…no proposal!!

The next night, we went for yet another amazing dinner. The dinner was once again exquisite, if Ruben wasn’t proposing; he was definitely fattening me up. After dinner we went to the Stone Rose bar to wait for Lana to pick us up.

We were meeting up with some friends in the Meat Packing District for drinks. I realized that he was not going to propose that night or during this trip, I was secretly disappointed but at the same time I knew how lucky I was to have such an amazing man. The disappointment passed…

Off we went to Caine and partied the night away. The next day Ruben left for Atlantic City and Rekha flew in from London. It was time to work work work!!

There was a snow blizzard in NY for the next few days, so getting to work and back took all the energy we had. I was also feeling "under the weather" and spent most nights in the hotel. It was a hectic 3 days, but finally we bought all our Fall 2005 collections for the store. Rekha and I decided to sleep in the next day and get our nails done at the W spa. Ruben was not due back in NY till the next day and I just wanted to relax. I was still feeling a little ill. Mimi and Ian were also coming in late Thursday night to spend the weekend with us in NY. So I knew we had a hectic weekend to look forward to.

Surprisingly, Rekha wakes up bright and early Wednesday morning 3rd March. So unlike my bestfriend!!! She wakes me up and hurries me to shower and get ready for our nail appointment; once again a strange phenomenon because she is usually such a grump in the morning.

She also insisted I go along with her to have lunch with her cousin. On the way to lunch, Rekha convinced me that we should go to Central Park to view the Gates exhibition. So we took a taxi from the hotel and got off near one of the park entrances The whole time we were in the park she was on her phone with her ‘cousin’ who was giving us directions to the ‘best spot’. I wasn’t really paying attention to her, it was freezing, and after a few minutes taking in the view and sight of the ‘Gates’, I was ready to leave.

Then we bumped into Puva (one of Ruben’s bestfriends who was supposed to be with him in Atlantic City for the conference). I asked him what he was doing here so early; since they weren’t supposed to be back till the next day, he replied that he came to see the ‘Gates’. Then I realized he was carrying two laptop bags, one was definitely Ruben’s. I was getting a little confused. Rekha at this point is looking a little strange too. Puva then directs me up a little path and tells me to stop when I see something I like.

As I walk up this path, my heart is pounding so hard and finally I see Ruben in the middle of the park, knee deep in snow. He signals me to come over to where he is. When I get to him, he sits me down on a rock, which he had wiped the snow off. He gets on his good knee, (I am crying uncontrollably at this point) and he asks me to marry him. He had to ask me twice, because I couldn’t stop crying. Finally I threw my arms around his neck and screamed, ‘Yes!’

Later the 4 of us took a horse carriage to Tavern on the Green where we celebrated our engagement and I called all our friends and family.

It was truly the most romantic moment of my life, which I will treasure forever. After 3 decoy dinners! A ring that was smuggled into the US by Puva! Stealth work by Rekha, Shaline and my baby during the picking and purchase of the ring. The bridal dress appointments made by Mimi on the day I was proposed to! I couldn't have asked for more. I was right about my
future husband there will always be an element of surprise in my life. But Rekha, you could have told me to wear something nicer!!!!

Sweetie, I love you so much thank you for choosing me.