In the spring of 2010, Kaitlin and I were starting to have serious talks about marriage and whether or not we thought we were going to take the relationship to the next level. One day while out running errands we decided to stop by a jewelry store to look at the diamonds and to educate ourselves on the various characteristics as well as to see what she liked the best.
A couple of months later I moved to Gainesville, GA to work for the railroad. We were both nervous about long distance dating, but I promised her that this would only be temporary while she finished school and that we would be back together. While in Gainesville, I went several times to the jewelers to find a stone and setting much like the one that she had shown the most interest in back in Memphis. I knew the long distance dating would strain our relationship and I wanted to give her some peace of mind that I meant what I had promised. After about a two months of being gone I finally found the right stone and setting that I knew she would love. Throughout this entire time, our initial trip to the jewelers sparked a great deal of interest in her to keep shopping for rings (it was mentioned almost daily over the phone). Trying to keep everything low key, I told her I was way too busy with work to look for a ring now.
In August I found out that I was about to spend the next three months traveling throughout the Carolinas for training. With the ring in my possession, I knew that I had to follow through soon. I called Kaitlin’s father up on Thursday night and caught him just as he was sitting down for dinner with Trina and some family friends. I told him that I didn’t want to keep him from dinner but that I would like to talk to him soon about asking Kaitlin to marry me. Ken said that was worth interrupting dinner and left the restaurant to talk to me about our decision. After a short discussion about commitment and if I knew what I was getting myself into by taking on Kaitlin, Ken gave me his blessing.
The next morning I woke up and knew that I needed to get to Memphis after work and present Kaitlin with the ring before I started traveling. Later that afternoon I jumped in my car and called her up to let her know that I was coming to Memphis before I headed to South Carolina. I had no idea how I was going to pull off popping the question. While driving through Birmingham I called Harry’s Detour, one of her favorite downtown restaurants and a common date night location, to see if they could assist in my plans. I told the chef that the restaurant was an important part of our relationship but that I was clueless as to how I would pull all of this off. He said that he could write out the words “Will you marry me?” in chocolate on a dessert plate after our meal. I thought it sounded like a great idea but since we don’t usually get dessert I told him to let the waitress know that her cue to bring it out was when I asked for the check.
I got to Memphis just in time to pick her up for dinner and we headed to Harry’s Detour. While at dinner just in case Kaitlin might catch on to what was about to happen I mentioned that Saturday would be a great day to look at rings again (later I found out my comment worked). We had a great dinner and everything went perfectly as planned. The restaurant is small and has a very quiet and personal atmosphere. When the dessert came Kaitlin was completely shocked that at first the plate came out when neither one of us ordered anything. Then even more shocked when she actually found out what was written on the plate. After asking if I was serious about 50 times she finally said yes and we received an encore from all of the other tables.
Mac had been working in Atlanta for a few weeks and was coming to Memphis for the weekend. We had looked at engagement rings a few months earlier and were planning on going to look again that Saturday. I was very excited. On his way to Memphis, he called and asked if I wanted to go eat at Harry’s Detour. Harry’s is my favorite restaurant so of course I said yes. He and I eat there quite often, so this was a pretty normal Friday night for us.
My friend Linea and I were trying to set up a double date for Friday, but it wasn’t going to work out because she had plans in East Memphis and we had plans downtown. Once Mac got to my house, we had some time to spare so we were sitting on my couch and Linea called. I put her on speaker and we chatted for a minute. She said, “Hey, if it is ok, we are just going to go ahead and go to Harry’s with you guys.’ I said, “Sure! Sounds great!” Then Mac jumped in and said, “Oh no, Linea. Um y’all can’t come. I haven’t seen Kaitlin in a while and I want dinner to be just us. We will meet you somewhere after dinner.” I thought this was very rude of Mac. I hung up with Linea and Mac went to take a shower before we left for dinner.
I immediately called Linea back to apologize for Mac being so mean. I told her, “I have no idea what has gotten into him. I’m sorry! We will meet you after dinner for sure.” Linea said, “Do you think he is going to propose at Harry’s?” I said, “Are you crazy? Of course not. We haven’t even decided on a ring yet.”
When Mac was ready we headed to Harry’s. On the way, we stopped at The Corkscrew to grab a bottle of wine to have with dinner. I asked Mac to go in with me (and he was hesitant), but he finally agreed. Come to find out, this is when he wanted to put the ring in his pocket. We parked and headed into Harry’s and it was packed! This is pretty unusual for this little restaurant, but Mac had a table waiting for us.
As usual, we had a delicious meal. When we were finished I pulled out my phone to text Linea and see where she wanted to meet. Out of the corner of my eye, I see two desserts being delivered to our table. I immediately looked up because I knew that we did not order dessert. The waitress sat mine down in front of me and just kinda stood there. I looked and her and then I looked at Mac and they were both staring at me. I finally looked down to my dessert plate and I saw “Will you marry me?” written in chocolate on the plate. My mouth fell open and I am pretty sure I put my head down on the table at this point. I looked back up and Mac was holding the ring. I just kept saying ”Are you serious? Are you serious?” over and over and over.
By this time, everyone else in the restaurant has realized what has just happened. People are cheering and clapping and congratulating us. I just kept saying “Are you serious?” and was crying hysterically.