Do you ever have those moments when you expect to be surprised and then, because you are expecting it, you actually are surprised when it really happens? See, I was expecting beaches and twilight and white sand and crashing waves and warm ocean breezes...but I was wrong. So wrong.
I knew Keith was going to propose while in the Dominican Republic. It was pretty obvious. I mean, we did get the ring sized the day before we left, and I did eavesdrop on Keith's conversation with my dad, and we had only been talking about it for months, so, I knew it was going to happen.
We had spent the afternoon dune buggying around the farmlands of Punta Cana. I had never dune buggied before and Keith made me drive. We drove to a pretty beach, to a hut to learn how they make coffee and cocoa, then drove to a cave and back again. We were pretty hot and sweaty, not to mention muddy, by the time we got back to the resort, so taking a shower was the first and foremost thought in my head. I should have known that something was up when Keith, who was showered and dressed first, said he was going outside for a few minutes. However, I didn't think anything about it as I took my turn in the bathroom.
Once we were all dressed and cleaned, we headed down to our favorite restaurant for dinner, which was just out the door from our rooms. Sammy, our favorite waiter, instead of taking us to our usual table by the wall, lead our group of 5 to a table in the middle of the floor with a fantastic ocean view. Nothing seemed amiss until a few minutes later when I decided to order a drink.
"Sammy, do you have mango milk tonight?" They had been out of mangoes for lunch, so I was hoping they'd gotten the fruit in time for dinner.
Sammy said he would have to see what he could do. He came back about 10 minutes later, and very, very seriously said that he had only been able to find a very small mango and that he'd make the drink for me. I shook off his seriousness, but I got the impression that he had searched all of the other kitchens in the resort for the one tiny mango.
Eventually, Sammy brought me my drink and we continued on with dinner. We comfortably got through the salad and entree courses without incident, then moved on to dessert. I was fairly full so I almost didn't order dessert, but I did anyway because I can never say no. Once our orders were in, Keith's aunt, Jacquie, pulled out her camera saying that she wanted to take pictures of our desserts that night. I, again, didn't think anything about this oddity, as the food at this place was fancy and beautifully displayed.
When our dessert was brought to the table, Jacquie pointed her camera at me.
"What kind did you get, Jill? What's inside?"
Like I said, I wasn't very hungry, so I hadn't dug into my dessert right away. I looked at it and said, "I don't know."
"Well, you should start eating it and tell me what's inside."
"It looks like it has some fruit in it..."
"Tell me what's inside."
At this point, I was a little perturbed. Why did Jacquie care so much about my dessert? Keith's brother, James, had ordered the same thing, and he had already eaten half of it. Why couldn't Jacquie ask him?
"James got the same thing I did. Ask him what's in it."
"No, I want to know what's in yours."
I started dissecting my dessert, but I didn't get very far; for there, artfully hidden behind a piece of decorative chocolate was a swirl of whipped cream...and a diamond ring. I interrupted my description with a dramatic yet genuine gasp of surprise. While I was busy digging the ring out, Keith got down on his knee. He said a few words and asked me a question.
And then the entire restaurant broke out in applause.
The best part? Aunt Jacquie got the entire thing on film. If I wasn't already red-faced...