While Tony was the mastermind behind the proposal, he employed my parents and their best friends (who own the gorgeous cabin where they generously let Tony propose) as his minions. They took their jobs seriously. VERY seriously.
Tony had secretly set out the flower petals, roses, champagne and cake (CAKE!!!) on the patio at the cabin, but he had charged my dad and his bestie with lighting the fire in the outdoor fireplace while he was proposing to me down at the beach. This is the email exchange that took place between them throughout the day, leading up to the main event. Keeping on theme, let’s call my dad’s friend Snowman, since that’s the secret agent name he selected for himself:
SNOWMAN: Falcon, this is Snowman. Has the eagle landed? Any update on when baby should light the fire?
DAD: Not sure about fire time… We had a very late walk with the dogs.
SNOWMAN: Affirmative. Cleopatra will rendezvous with Antony at zero light 30.
DAD: Roger that.
SNOWMAN: Snowman advises dousing with antifreeze before eagle lands.
DAD: They are leaving in a couple minutes.
SNOWMAN: Will administer prophylactic first dose to ensure steady lighter hand. Standing by for launch sequence.
Then, Tony received this text from Snowman’s wife:
She lied! There was no eagle on the beach! Just roses and champagne and cake and a diamond ring and happiness!
Back to Falcon and Snowman:
SNOWMAN: Cleopatra has just passed first check point.
DAD: Copy that.
The inspiration behind their spy names? A movie about a former altar boy and his drug dealer friend who sell information to the Soviet Union. So, I hope not. Or if I’m understanding their code correctly, that would kind of make me the Soviet Union in this scenario, right?
And then, while Tony was around the corner on the beach proposing to me, Falcon and Snowman proceeded to nearly burn down the turn-of-the-century cabin that has been in Snowman’s family for generations. Snowman and Falcon’s wives were pissed they were taking so long to light the damn fire, and so this exchange occurred:
SNOWMAN’S WIFE: Don’t let Tony see you!!!!!
SNOWMAN: We are trying not to burn down the house and hiding.
SNOWMAN: Fire kind of big.
SNOWMAN’S WIFE: OK. Watch for Tony.
SNOWMAN: We were watching for Annie. Will switch to Tony.
My forcing Tony to reenact the proposal (a few times) bought them enough time to handle the fire, and sneak away before we got back. Although it would have been an unexpected turn of events to have my dad hiding in the bushes while I got engaged. Or, to have him burn the house down.
I love that Tony, knowing how close I am to my family, found a way to get them involved in the proposal. And I’m not sure what my dad loved more – that his daughter got engaged to the love of her life, or that he had a legitimate excuse to play Secret Agent Man with his buddy, speak only in code, and indulge his inner pyromaniac fantasies…