2) Extra! Extra!

Vicki and I had been dating for almost two years.
The topic of engagement and marriage had been raised casually before,
but after seeing her level of commitment to me over the past year
and a half, I knew it was time to get serious.

Once I made the decision to propose, however, I was left with a
predicament. Vicki had said from the beginning of our relationship,
"If we ever get engaged, a ring is nice but it?s not that important.
The most important thing to me is that the proposal be something
really special." I had some thinking to do.

I did all the internet research and flipped through the ’99 ways
to propose’ literature the jewelry manufacturers distribute, but
nothing really stuck out as ‘the way’ for Vicki. I began thinking
about things that are important to her. "She’s a volleyball
referee, so what about proposing to her in the middle of a game
on the court," I thought. Nah, too embarrassing. "She’s
involved with Scouting, so what about doing something on a camping
trip?" Nothing was scheduled that would work.

I was beginning to get discouraged when a co-worker mentioned Vicki’s
classroom. "That’s it! That’s perfect," I said. Vicki
had finally landed a full-time Kindergarten teaching job after more
than two years of searching, and the kids were the most important
people in the world to her. Wouldn’t it be cool to propose in front
of them?! But, how would I pull it off

I e-mailed Vicki’s principal a month beforehand and explained what
I wanted to do. She enthusiastically agreed to be my co-conspirator
and set about thinking of ways to make sure the students would be
in the room and ready for the big event. She eventually decided
on a story to tell Vicki: A guest speaker would be coming in to
do a presentation with the kids on health awareness, and Vicki would
need to make sure they were in the room sitting on the rug by 1:45.
"and oh yes, it might be a good idea to set up your video camera
to tape it, because this was always an excellent presentation!"

In the mean time, I set about getting the afternoon off work, buying
the perfect diamond, and arranging to have a dozen roses available
for pickup (THORNS REMOVED?you?ll see why later!), and rehearsing
my script. I also started trying to find out from Vicki if she suspected
anything by asking her if anything special was going on at school.
She had no clue, as she proceeded to tell me how annoyed she was
that this ‘health presentation’ was going to be taking up half of
her instructional time on the day in question. Everything was going

Then, a bump in the road. Vicki’s principal e-mailed me four days
before the big event to ask if I minded if they did "a little
publicity surrounding our big event." I quickly telephoned
her to ask for clarification, fully expecting she wanted the school
yearbook photographer to be in attendance. To the contrary, she
wanted to invite our local NBC affiliate and to contact the area’s
largest newspaper. "Wow," I said. "Do you really
think they’d be interested in our little proposal?"

"I can’t guarantee anything, but I’d like to try," was
her response. How could I refuse?

I arrived to meet the principal in the school’s main office on October
23 to a roomful of teachers. They were all there to watch! The news
reporters wanted to know "how’d you pick the idea?" and
"are you sure she’ll say yes?" As if I wasn’t already
nervous enough!

The principal walked down to Vicki’s classroom ahead of time to
make sure the kids were ready and to warn her that the media had
shown up unexpectedly. She waved them into the room to set up their
cameras while I hid around the corner down the hall from her classroom.

As I walked into the back of the room, Vicki and her students were
facing the front. I wanted her to hear my voice before she saw my
face, so I introduced myself with a booming, "Good afternoon,
boys and girls. My name is Mr. Grenier, and I am here to play a
very special game with you today." By the time I reached the
front of the room, Vicki understood the purpose of my visit and
was already in tears.

"The first thing I need in order for this game to work properly
is for Miss Borst to come up here and sit in this chair next to
me," I said. Vicki made her way to the front. "Now, can
anyone raise their hand and tell me what I have in my hands?"

"Roses," shouted Ryan.

"That’s right," I said, "and the way this game is
going to work is that I am going to ask you some very important
questions and each time you help me answer one of those questions,
you get to come up and hand one of these roses to Miss Borst,"
(hence the thorns removed).

I began asking questions like, "What does it mean to love someone,"
"Who can help me spell the word, ‘love,’" and "Who
can tell me the name of someone they love?" The kids were loving
it! Almost all of her fourteen students got to come up and give
Miss Borst a rose.

When there was one rose left, I said to the class, "It sounds
like all of you love some wonderful people. Now, I’d like to tell
you who I love the most in the whole world." By this point,
Vicki was sobbing. "The person I love the most in the whole
world is Miss Borst, and I love her so much that I came here today
to ask her to marry me," I continued.

"But, I need your help," I said. "I am going to count
to three, and on three, I want you all to shout ‘PLEASE’ as loud
as you can." We practiced once, and I got down on one knee
with the final rose in one hand and the ring in the other.

"Miss Borst," I said, my own eyes beginning to tear, "I
love you, and I want to spend the rest of my life with you. Will
you marry me? ONE? TWO? THREE?" She almost said "YES!"
before her students had a chance to scream, "PLEASE?"

With the kids watching, there was
time for a tiny kiss and some
applause from the teary-eyed teachers watching from the back of
the room before the principal ushered in another teacher to take
over the class while Vicki recovered and did a TV interview in the

We ended up making the evening news and the front page of the local

We haven’t set a date yet, but I’m guessing Summer or Fall of 2005.
Vicki is an unbelievable woman, and I am ecstatic to know that I
will spend the rest of my life with her!

Justin R. Grenier,

Laureldale, PA


The founder and president of Diamond Cutters International, is one of the worlds top diamond experts, as well as a three-time Guinness Book record holder in jewelry design.
Fred The Diamond Guy
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