Yesterday at noon, Hans whisked his girlfriend Angie away from work for a surprise trip.
Yesterday at 6:30, they took off for Prague.
BFD, you may think, particularly if you've gleaned any sense of Hans's travel habits over the last few years.†
This time, thought, he's taking his girlfriend on a trip and bringing home a fiancée.‡
He spent the last month planning, agonising over diamonds and settings, wondering how much his bonus would actually be, asking advice. He found an American photographer in Prague§ and hired him to take pictures of the proposal on the Charles Bridge.¶
At 4:30 yesterday, my boss and one of the other leads asked me if I'd heard from Hans.#
"No. I don't really expect to..." I trailed off as I saw the consternation mixed with disbelief in their eyes.
"I'll text him right now."
And we sat around, Craig Ferguson-style awkward pause in the air.
"Well..." I said, jingling my keys to indicate I really was on my way out the door.
"You'll tell us tomorrow morning."
About 6:15, Hans texted:
"She was shocked, it was awesome."
Keep in mind, that was just because he picked her up to go to the airport.
When I got in this morning, Avis% asked, "Did you hear from Hans?"
"He says she was shocked and it was awesome."
"Where are they now? What time is it in Prague? Has he asked her yet?"
I Googled to find out it was 5:45 in Prague.
"Right about now. He should be asking her any second now."
"Oh, I hope the weather is nice. Did you see what the weather was?"
"Just the time. Here, let me Google... it's raining. It's 39 degrees and it's raining."
"Oh, no! I hope it doesn't ruin their pictures!"
"Well, overcast skies are better for photography anyway..."††
From around the corner, Carla@ chimed in from her desk, "Look at you, looking on the bright side!"
People keep dropping in to find out what we know, speculate on what happened, wonder if Hans has Internet access so he can send us pictures RIGHT NOW.
Gail‡‡ came down a few minutes ago and we were chatting about it.
"I can't believe how excited I am about something that really has nothing to do with me," I said.
"It's like reality TV or something."§§
"It's like we're living in reality."
We both contemplated the sobering idea for a moment, then went on to daydream about wonderful, romantic, surprise proposals in exotic foreign lands.
Hey, maybe I can be Hans's best man...¶¶
†FOOTNOTE (crossed): Like how he went to Thailand when we were in crunch time for the Legacy sale... or how he went to Cancun when we were in crunch time for the Albrecht sale... or how he went to Austin when we were in crunch time for the Sequel sale... not that I'm bitter.
‡FOOTNOTE (double-crossed): Yep! He's trading Angie in on a new model! Haha! Just kidding!
§FOOTNOTE (swerved): Google.
¶FOOTNOTE (paragraphed): When he was about 20, he was stumbling around Prague in a drunken stupour with some of his college buddies - absinthe may have been involved - and he says that even in his drunken, juvenile state, he stopped on the St. Charles bridge and decided it was the most romantic place in the world and he wanted to come back to it when he wanted to propose to someone. I can hear you "Awwwwwww" from here.
#FOOTNOTE (pounded): This is a distinctly female trait. I'm, like, 70% guy, having been trained through many of my formative years by some of the guyest of the guys. It always takes me a little aback when someone asks something like, "Has Hans, who is not your boyfriend, relative or parole officer, taken time out of his very personal journey to one of the most important moments of his life to give you minute-by-minute updates, much like the newscrawl on CNN?"
%FOOTNOTE (percented): Avis is my boss, head of the Lease Records part of the Land Administration department, which consists of two branches - Lease Records and Division Orders - and is overseen by Sandy. You're welcome.
††FOOTNOTE (ddouble-ccrossed): I learned this in a real photography class. I wasn't just shooting platitudes to the masses to make the masses feel better.
@FOOTNOTE (atted): Carla is the another Lead in Lease Records and oversees the Gulf/Shreveport (basically Texas and Louisiana) region. I oversee the Rockies (Colorado, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota and Utah... but mostly North Dakota). Again, you're welcome.
‡‡FOOTNOTE (doubble-crossssed): Who fielded the girly questions from Hans (who knows I'm 70% guy and maybe not the best person to ask for how Ange would feel about something). She says he'd come in and say, "If you were packing for a surprise trip, how much time would you need?" "Hans," she'd say, "why don't you just ask the question you want to ask: how much time will Angie need to pack? I'm not packing. I'm not going anywhere. Two hours, but you better be packed and on call to pick up pantyhose or mascara or whatever last-minute thing she thinks she needs."
§§FOOTNOTE (my girly little head is just all a-swirl!): I've heard it's like that on reality TiVi. *ahem*
¶¶FOOTNOTE (reality knocks twice): *ZING!* That was the sound of reality going right out the window.