Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Music for Two - A Proposal at the Aud

 By Brendan H.

On Friday March 9th, 2012, Susan and I were going to celebrate our 7th anniversary.  No, not our wedding anniversary.  We had actually dated for seven years without taking that step.  I could tell she was becoming impatient in the days leading up to it; I asked her to pick a movie out for us to watch one night and she chose The Seven Year Itch.  Fortunately, by that point, I had spent the last 3.5 months crafting a proposal worthy enough for such a wait.  It was all inspired by Susan’s love of music and our roots in Chicago.

On Thursday afternoon, I scrambled around our apartment trying to get everything ready to go.  We had recently relocated to New York City from Chicago, so in order to get her back for the proposal I planned on surprising her after work with a trip to Chicago for our anniversary.  I packed some clothes for both of us to wear that weekend, and then headed downtown to pick her up.  I told her that we were going to dinner that night, and that the rest of the weekend would be spent with my sister (all part of my elaborate plan to make sure she had no idea what was going on).  I met her outside her building and told her, “I have good news and bad news.  I wasn’t able to make reservations for the dinner I promised you, and my sister had to cancel her plans to come down here.  The good news: there’s a driver waiting around the corner with our bags.  We’re going to Chicago right now to celebrate our anniversary!”  She was shocked, but after I convinced her it was actually happening, we got in the car and headed to the airport.

Fast forward to the next day.  I told her we were going to dinner and a show that night, but I wouldn’t tell her any other details.  Everything went just as planned at dinner.  We finished up and headed over to the Auditorium Theatre for the performance.  When we walked in, there was no one else there besides a single “usher” (the usher was actually Katie Brown, my co-conspirator who was instrumental in pulling this off).  She greeted us with a smile and assured Susan we were right on time.  As we walked closer and closer to the stage, Katie handed us a few programs that I had a friend drop off earlier in the day.  They read, “Susan Yao: One Night Only at the Auditorium Theatre,” but she didn’t look because she was too amazed by the actual theatre.  As we started to walk up the stairs to the stage, she assumed we had arrived early and were getting a tour.  When she finally asked who was playing, I told her to take a look at the program.  She was a bit overcome with emotion, but after a few minutes she sat down at the grand piano I had rented for the night, I picked up the guitar I had a friend drop off with the programs, and we started to play together.  The view from the stage was absolutely awe inspiring.  I’ll never forget it.

We continued to play for a few hours, and as we finished up, I beckoned Susan to the front of the stage.  We talked for a few minutes and when I gave her a hug, she asked why my heart was beating so fast.  Immediately after, I dropped to one knee and asked her to be my wife.  As we left the theatre, I thanked Katie again for all her help.  I told Susan we were meeting my brother for drinks at the Halsted Harp (our favorite bar).  What I didn’t tell her, was that 60 of our closest friends and family were waiting there to celebrate with us.  It was the perfect cap to the best night of our lives, so far.


Anonymous said...

Brendan.... you made me cry just reading that! That my dear boy was truly romantic! You are a wonderful man and Susan is such a beautiful woman. You are both lucky to have each other. Your life together will be amazing an very blessed, I'm sure.
Love and much luck to you both!
Aunt Col

Kelly Tav said...

Love this Brendan!!!!

Caitlin said...

That's so lovely. Thank you for sharing it!!

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