Richard & Brian
The Engagement Story:
The day was April 13, 2008. It was the second day of Brian’s MS150 ride, and I was in charge of going to Austin to pick him up and bringing him home. The day started off terribly. I had woken up at the crack of 10:00 a.m., and was slowly looking at what was going to be involved in getting to Austin (like how long the trip was) and Brian called, and told me he expected to be at the finish line @ 2:00 p.m.! I completely freaked out threw on some clothes, and ran out the door. All I was thinking was “don’t be late!” because Brian has always been there for me at all my special moments. I couldn’t believe I could potentially miss one of Brian’s amazing moments. I mean biking from Houston to Austin is hard enough, especially to me since I can’t ride a bike, so I went into “best boyfriend” mode, and was out the door shortly.
I thanked my stars that I had decided what to wear a day early. I wanted to look cute for Brian’s race. UNFORTUNATELY….I’m directionally challenged. I couldn’t find Brian’s car, I couldn’t find Amanda’s car [which I needed to find because it had the bike rack we would use to get the bikes home], I couldn’t find anything in Katy [the suburb of Houston they left the cars in] that I needed to find prior to getting on the road to Austin. So what did I do? I called Brian/Amanda and yelled at them, because I didn’t understand their directions. To this day I consider it a miracle Brian felt like proposing to me at all that day, considering I yelled at him so much. In my defense, one of the reasons communication was so frustrating was because Brian had short-circuited his phone the night before. He apparently had it out while eating and it fell into a big bowl of Cajun Gumbo. So most of my calls where to Amanda who was having issues with her bike for a good portion of the race, so it is a miracle i found it at all.
I arrived in Austin, and was not too late. In fact Brian had overestimated his arrival time! So I was actually early! So I did homework, and sat in the sun. It was a wonderful little hour. Torts homework is best done in a park on a gorgeous day! Towards the end of the hour I fortunately saw Brian on his bike headed towards the finish line. I saw Amanda shortly after, and then made my way to the finish line. Again, since Brian had no phone, it was hard to find him in the middle of thousands of people! After the bike race was over…I was completely shocked. Both Brian and Amanda were not only still moving…but they were happy! I assumed Brian would be near death and grouchy, so I was very pleased to see Brian in such high spirits.
After we got them showered at Ting’s apartment [Ting's real name is Steven, but we all call him Ting. Ting fortunately lives in Austin, TX, and had volunteered his apartment as a place for the bikers to shower and change before going to the restaurant] Ting drove like a bat out of hell to get us back downtown where we were supposed to eat dinner. We ate dinner at a place called “Moonshine Patio Bar and Grill.” When we arrived we were taken outside to the patio. The patio was stunning, and fortunately the weather was great. I remember humming “Some Enchanted Evening” in my head as we made our way to the table. At our table, I see not only Isabel and her husband Dane there (Dane was a bike maniac! He also did the MS 150. Isabel works with Brian.) but Pam and Anna [friends of ours]. At this point I understand that most people might have considered this a clue that something big was going to occur, but my thought process was:
“We have the nicest friends! I knew tonight was such a big deal for Brian! I mean it’s the MS150! It’s awesome they came all this way! They rock!”
We sit down, and what do I see? Champagne!!! Again, my usual savy with clues was failed as my thought process was:
“We have the nicest friends! I wasn’t going to drink, but I guess one glass will be okay. This is such a classy celebration. Thank god I dressed decently.”
Our very funny waitress came by, and was almost killed by the champagne cork (the bottle decided to start the celebration without warning her!) Thankfully, the cork missed her face, and did not land in anyone’s food. After pouring….Brian began giving a toast. We raised our glass, and he says it’s going to be long so we should lower them. I remember being so shocked, because Brian doesn’t normally give toasts. I do. So I enjoyed that he was giving one. Well….it ended up being the best toast I’ve ever heard. He started by toasting the MS 150. He said it was hard, but whenever things got tough he knew all he had to do was think of my face and he had the strength to go on. He said that he thought of me, how my face was always smiling, which a friend of ours (Amanda) pointed out, and that was probably the reason I always get hit on in the grocery store, and that after realizing it’s probably because I’m always smiling, he feels a bit more secure. He said that he loved my voice, especially because my singing announces my arrival, so he always has a few minutes warning before I come in to stop anything he doesn’t want me to see (perhaps plans for this occasion), and that I meant so much to him, and that tonight was a celebration not only of the race, but of me, and although he could continue saying nice things about me, he should probably save that material for the wedding. He then presented me with box.
I didn’t cry. Why? Because I was in total shock. I was so shocked I could barely open the box (it had a ribbon around it, and a box inside the box, and another box inside that.) Thankfully, someone made a joke how it was like a Russian nesting doll, and I was able to laugh. I finally managed to open the last box, and there it was. My engagement ring. It is stunning. To this day I still look at in awe. I could not have asked for a better token of his love. It will be something I wear for the rest of my life and look at everyday, and think how lucky I am that Brian and I found each other. So I look at the ring, and before I can say anything. Brian asks me “Well…..” and I said “Yes! Of course I’ll marry you.” I then got up, ran around the table (we were sitting across the table from each other) and kissed him and hugged him (trying not to hurt his sunburn) and made him put the ring on me. I had to ask which hand (cause I always get it wrong).
After that moment, we took a million pictures, and talked about stuff. I mentioned how I was happy I could discuss our wedding, and then Brian and I made jokes about how ridiculous Star Wars Christmas themed wedding. Brian talked about how it’s hard to find rings, and we both talked about how looking up “gay wedding rings” on-line sends you to some rather trashy stuff. Most rings have rainbow flags! So we said it was great, because we didn’t have to follow any traditions, and could make up our own. I tried to be classy and not stare at the ring all night, but I only moderately succeeded. Brian told me a ton of stories about how I’d almost found out a ton of times, but had been oblivious to most of the hints. For the absolute record…..I did not know. I didn’t think it would happen till later. Either in Florida or New York. It was the best surprise of my life. Anyway….that’s most of the story. I love him. I am happy he chose me. I am happy it was a surprise.
Fast FactsFirst met: 09/14/2005
First date: 09/14/2005
Got engaged: 04/13/2008
Ceremony date: 08/26/2011
Ceremony location: Castel Grisch Winery in Watkins Glen, NY
In Case You Were WonderingWe're calling our celebration: Wedding
Who proposed to who: Brian proposed to Richard
Our last name will be: Pearson and Baskin respectively