So, we left off with me mulling around the idea in my head of proposing. To be honest, there wasn’t really a whole lot of mulling going on. I knew she was the one for me. I knew it for the first time ever, with certainty, that this was really the woman I wanted to spend the rest of my life with. You get one chance at love like this, and I wasn’t letting it slip away!
That’s that part figured out I say to myself. Now the hard part. I dunno why the Opera proposal sprang to mind. Probably subconsciously it was triggered when I seen the surtitle display when we went to see Macbeth. But it was all I had. Both of us love Romeo & Juliet. Big fans of the movie and the whole tragic love story in general. So I figured what could be more romantic than proposing at the ultimate love story? I mention it to “the bud” in work and her reaction to it lets me know that that is the way to go! Excellent I think, that’s it sorted now. But nooooooooooo….
Next there’s the ring. Hours of research on engagement rings follows. Diamonds, the “4 c’s”. Colour, clarity, cut and carat. It’s painful research. But it’s all in the name of love. So I’m looking into all that stuff. When more research turns up people talking of “the couple are supposed to pick the ring together”. How the feck can you do that and it be a suprise? So can’t do that. Then other people say that you buy a “token ring”, which is a cheaper ring that you use to propose with and then both go and pick a ring together. At this point my head is spinning with it all. What the feck am I supposed to do?! So non-chalantly and in a joking manner I start fishing for hints off Roísín. Get a great answer “I want the ring you buy for me, definitely not into the token ring thing”. So that’s that one sorted. Now all I have to worry about is picking a ring that she likes!!!
So the weeks start to roll by and I dunno if Ro cops it but more and more frequently I’m probing (not like that pervs!) her to see if she really does love me as much as she says she does. That she’s certain she wants to spend the rest of her life with me as she’s said on numerous occasions. She repeatedly says she does. “Phew” I think. So we joke about me proposing, all the while I’m knowing that I’m going to…soon! I ask would she say yes if I proposed to her. She says if she said yeah that would take the surprise out of it all for me but that “if ye got me on the right day, when I was in the right mood, ah yeah sher I might like…depends”. She’s a cagey one that Mc Donagh one!
I go on the ring hunt with gusto now. But because Ro’s fingers are so tiny (J) I find out thanks to the very helpful jeweller that I have to bare that in mind when picking the ring. I kinda see something I like but I’m not sure. He then tells me that he can make something to my specification if I want. Excellent! So this is what I have him sort out for me, diamonds, set in white gold:
So the days are ticking away and myself & Jennifer from Opera Ireland are in more and more contact. Making final preparations, scheming away. She rings one day and asks, what actual message do I want to put up on the display…I dunno I have a think about it and ring her back the next day.
Night of proposal is drawing near. Getting a little bit nervous. Not because I don’t think she’ll say yes, although of course, there is always that chance that she could say no. But I’m more worried about trying to make it a completely memorable night. So champagne, flowers and hotel has to be sorted. East peasy ye reckon? Well try and sort all that out when you live with someone. If we’re going to be staying in a hotel, a change of clothes needs to be sorted. How do you pack clothes that someone won’t miss while not leaving a packed bag lying around the place? Well, this is how I did it…
I tell Ro that my mother rang and her washing machine is broken and she asked if I have a spare bag to put clothes in. While Ro is in the shower then I sneak clothes out of her side of the wardrobe and carefully choose a bra that I know she wouldn’t wear out for a night like that. My plan goes well and I smuggle the clothes out in the bag. Dump the bag in “d’mudders” and we’re all set. Bottle of champers and flowers left over there. Tell the mother to ring me the next day, for what she asks, doesn’t matter says I, just ring and I’ll take care of the rest.
Now it’s Monday, D-Day or P(roposal)-Day I suppose.What was planning on being a great day, turns out to best day ever as Ro get’s a full time job back where she was covering maternity leave! Woo hoo! Loving it, loving it! I tell Nicky today’s the day, while he still doesn’t know how I’m going to propose. I tell no one, so it’s more special for me and Ro. “See ye later” says he, “don’t wish me luck anyway” says I, “sher ye don’t need it, she’ll say yeah” says he. Off home to get ready. I arrive home and Ro’s mid getting ready and has a bit of a pissed off head on her. I ask her what’s wrong and what is it?! She can’t find the feckin’ bra that I packed for the hotel stay! I can’t believe it!!! The one feckin’ bra she pulls the place looking for and I’m thining to myself “you have got to be kidding me”. My stomach is already doing cart wheels with all the preparation. The phone call that the mother doesn’t know what it’s about comes. I pretend to be pissed off because she wants me to do some washing (remember the broken washing machine bit?) and wants me to pick the bag up on my to Dublin. I know…sneaky sneaky right? Pick up the bags, with clothes, champers and flowers and we’re on the road… We talk about her getting the job that day and I say “jeez, it’s a pity I didn’t have a ring, today would be the perfect to propose, if you were ever going to say yes, it would be today”.
Hit Dublin and head for a meal. Mid meal, I pretend I get a text message. Tell Ro I’ve got a voice mail. Pretend to dial and now the acting skills come in. My “face drops” as Ro says after. I get off the phone well pissed off and tell her there’s been a mix up and that our seats have been double booked for the opera! I grumble through dinner and tell her we have to get up there early to sort it out.
“This is a special announcement”
I nudge Ro.
“For the attention of Roísín Mc Donagh. I love you more than anything in the world. I hope today is the “right” day. Will you marry me. All my love, forever & ever, Allan.”
As Ro’s reading I’m dropping to my knee with the ring. She’s stunned! Just looking at me and says “is this for real!”. I motion to how I am down on my knee with a ring and say “well…eh…yeah…it kinda is”. No response! So I have to ask her “so, will you marry me”. “OF COURSE I WILL!”
WOO HOO! All the while there’s some photographer snapping away, during the whole lot! At this point the emotion hits Ro and she’s crying…a lot! Then Jennifer brings us in champagne and congratulates us. Then there’s a journo from The Indo. Then another photographer filters and asks us to pose, this becomes this shot
So we make it through the night with even more than usual, loved up heads on us! It’s such a fantastic experience. We stroll around Dublin City afterward and it’s lovely. We head back to the car to head home. I pull the bags out of the boot and tell her “you really didn’t think we were going to go home on the night we got engaged did you?” We chat until the early hours about our future, as we do regularly. We get feck all sleep because the noise outside the hotel is horrendous! I’m woke the next morning at 8 by my phone ringing. And it’s Siobhan from the Ray D’Arcy show saying she’d seen us in the Indo. We head around to the studio, which is literally around the corner. And it’s a great experience. The whole crew is SO nice. They offer us champagne in the studio and give us a bottle of Gold Cuvee to take home, along with a much sought after Bobble Head Ray!
Here’s the interview:
A few hours later I’m doing an interview with Tom Dunne via phone for Newstalk. Then a phone call from the Herald for another interview. They then send a photographer around to the house later that day. That piece appears in The Herald on Saturday.
So that was it. That’s that part of our story. I know it’s long. But the fact is I write these things as a reminder to myself so I apologise if you got mad bored 2 hours ago but it’s been said now.
Just one last thing, I would like to thank EVERYONE who offered their genuine best wishes. We really appreciate it all. Like you wouldn’t believe. And that’s not just saying it, that is from my heart and I know Ro’s too. So THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU!
And last but not least I should say thank you to Roísín…for not having enough sense to say no You said yes baby and by doing so, made me feel as I always do when I’m with you…the luckiest man on the planet! I love you more than anything in the world, always have…
Transformers, with my new sidekick…roll out!