In case I piqued your interest yesterday, here's the story of the night Eric and I got engaged . .
Eric put a couple friends of ours, Ryan and Brian, up to the task of making me think I was helping them plan a surprise birthday for him (Eric). The whole time I thought I was the sneaky one, but I had no idea the masterminding that was at work!
Every Thursday night, as has been done for several years, our group of friends gets together to watch the reality show Survivor. On the night of October 7, 2004, we gathered in Eric's backyard to have our own version of the show, complete with team challenges like building a fire in the rain. At the end of the challenges, each of us "survivors" had to vote for one person to win a reward (as they often do on the show). Of course, it was rigged so that Eric would win, which all of our friends knew, but we all had to act surprised when Eric found out he was the big winner!
The prize was dinner for the two of us at the farm of close friends, a meal I thought I had secretly and strategically arranged. We had a lovely dinner with Dave and Jody, and then received the second part of the reward: a video of messages from our friends and family! (This happens nearly every season on the show since the survivors have been away from home for so long.)
Eric and I settled on to the porch swing (Dave and Jody stayed inside to 'clean up'), and Eric put my video in first. My friend Steph (who lived in Colorado at the time) was the first person on the screen, and I marveled that our buddy Ryan would have known how to contact her. But I was completely unsuspicious. Then my friend Mandi appeared on the video, followed by my dear sister Monica, then my parents, and then. . . Eric.
I was so confused as to why Eric would be on my "surprise" video, but I still didn't have a clue as to what was coming. Eric gave several analogies about how our relationship is like the show Survivor. And then he said, "With every show, there's a twist. (dramatic pause) Carrie, I knew tonight was supposed to be a surprise birthday party for me." My thoughts: "WHAT?!" (So articulate!) Eric: "What I want for my birthday is to form a permanent alliance with you."
Then he got down on his knee and asked me to marry him. I was so shocked that I didn't answer (!) for a couple minutes. I just couldn't wrap my head around the fact that this was not his surprise birthday party! Of course, I said yes, and Eric proceeded to reveal to me some of the many secrets leading up to the proposal. Pretty amazing stuff, and the surprise "birthday" party we returned to campus for ended up being our engagement party. So much fun--and very creative!