Last Wednesday, I was replacing a coworker of mine since she needed the day off. I was getting ready for work when my boss calls me, saying he forgot to schedule a waiter to come in at 4 o’clock and asked if I could come in early. I said “No problem” and headed off to work.
As I get to the restaurant, I see that there is a table just being seated and since I know it will be mine, I change as quickly as possible.The day waitress has already taken their wine order and is explaining to me the specials of the day when I see another couple being seated two tables down. I’m excited, since I won’t just be waiting around for tables to come in.
I head over to the table, say a friendly hello and inform them of the specials and ask if they want anything to drink.
“Just water, thanks.” They both say.
I get them two glasses of water and give them time to look through the menu. As I head back towards the kitchen, I start a fresh pot of coffee and see the man from the second table get up and head towards the washrooms. I smile at him as he passes and he motions to follow him. What the hell? I think. I walk towards the hallway leading to the bathroom and ask “May I help you?”
He calls me further down the hallway without saying a word, and when we are out of sight of the rest of the restaurant he says:
“I need a really big favor from you.”
“Okaaaay…” I say hesitantly. He’s reaching around in his pocket for God knows what.
He pulls out a little, tiny plastic baggie and says:
“I’m proposing to my girlfriend and would really appreciate it if you could put it in the chocolate mousse and bring it to the table.”
At first I felt relieved to see a beautiful ring inside and then extremely happy. How cute! Then the nerves kicked in after he left the ring with my after I promised to do my part.
What if I lose it? What if I drop it? What if she says no?
All these thoughts were going through my head and I could not imaging what he was going through. I tried to act normal at the table as I took their order. He was drinking water like a fish (probably because of the nerves) so I made sure to refill it as much as possible, especially after he finished his meal.
She took 15 minutes after he was done eating to finish her meal. I could feel the nervers as he played nervously with his napkin and probably thinking “Hurry up and finish eating! I want to tell you I want to spend the rest of my life with you!”
Then I realized, as I picked up her plate (finally), that I never asked him if he wanted me to just bring the dessert or go one with the service as usual and he’ll ask me for it. What if he’s changed his mind at the last second? So, I went to get the dessert menu and told them I’d give them a few seconds to choose. When I went back to the table I asked her if she was having dessert. She said “Oh God, no. I’m way too full!” So I turned to him and asked if he’d saved any room. He ordered the chocolate mousse and I said “Excellent choice. It’s my favorite.”
So I went to prepare the dessert, place the ring on top of the mint leaves we use to dress-up the mousse, and started walking to the table. Don’t drop it, don’t drop it, I kept thinking. I decided to come from behind the woman so she wouldn’t see me approaching with it and so that he would see me from afar and prepare for whatever speech he was going to give. I placed it on the table, gave him a confident nod and walked away.
There was a gasp and a huge smile, but she never put the ring on and he never took it to put it on her finger. Did she say yes? So after 2 minutes I walked by the table without looking, turned around to the man and he gave me a thumbs up sign. Phew! She said yes! There were tears of joy, squeals of delight, kisses, hugs, and phone calls to family. I brought them a little bottle of champagne “On the house! Congratulations!” I said.
He paid for their meal and hand in hand they walked out of the restaurant.
I was a part of someone’s big day, helped a man propose to the woman of his dreams. It made my whole night. Thank goodness I didn’t screw it up.