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London Day 5: She said yes

Putting a ring on it!

I would have never called Pierce a romantic – hopeless or otherwise – until now.

He’s passionate for sure. Politics? Passionate. Capitalism? Passionately in favor. College football? Are you kidding? He’s off the charts.

But romance? Not so much.

When he met Ghazal, all that changed. Romance bloomed. Like in full blossom. No – it’s more like those weeks in March and April in the Southeast where everything turns yellow from the pollen. His heart was full to the point of exploding.

So when he decided to propose, he went all out.

He quickly decided on the location - The Savoy. The Savoy, as you probably know, is one of the swankiest hotels in London. He had taken Ghazal there for a drink at the Beaufort Bar shortly after they started dating. They both love it. It’s a classy joint.

Instead of me explaining the plan, here’s the whole thing in detail from a WhatsApp message from Pierce:

“Hi parents, so I stopped by the Savoy yesterday and got everything planned out. DO NOT TELL GHAZAL ABOUT THIS. She obviously knows it’s coming but the where and the when are still a surprise.

“Here’s the plan. I need y’all to arrive at the Beaufort Bar at the Savoy right at 5pm. They will seat you in a corner. Ghazal and I will arrive between 5:15 and 5:30. She thinks we’re getting there before you to have a private drink.

“Make sure she doesn’t see your faces when we walk in. We’ll be taken to a booth in the far corner. I’ll get down on one knee almost immediately.

“So Dad, as soon as we’re at the booth, I need you to sneak around to take photos. After she gives me the answer, we’ll all sit together with something to celebrate, hopefully. Questions?”

And amazingly, it went almost exactly to plan. The only change is where Grainne and I hid out with Ghazal’s parents and brother. Grainne spotted that there was a curtain up by the bar. We were able to hide behind the curtain.

The entire staff was in on it. They gave me the thumbs up when Pierce and Ghazal were seated, and I came around the curtain and started snapping pictures with the good old Nikon. Ghazal was completely enraptured in the moment while Pierce was proposing and somehow was completely unaware that I was taking a dozen photos of them with the flash lighting up the whole bar area.

When Pierce slipped the ring on her finger, the entire bar burst into applause. Something got in my eyes at that moment and cause them to water up.

All the parents rushed up, hugged and kissed Pierce and Ghazal and each other. A champagne cork popped and a toast was offered by Pierce:

“To Ghazal, my one true love.”

Pierce. A romantic. Who would have ever thought?


The family!

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