The Prom Proposal
I made the decision to find a stranger to read the note. I would give a sympathetic passenger the letter and he would walk up to my daughter, read it and surprise her. Then she could give Prince Charming her answer. I approached the only couple who looked like they were parents. So what if he appeared to have been the last dude out of Woodstock? He and his hippie wife would have to do.
A quick explanation and he was game. Five minutes later he walked up to my daughter and told her he had a message. He read the letter verbatim, forgetting to edit out the bits the pilot was supposed to say about strapping on seatbelts and preparing for takeoff. Her cheeks flushed bright red. She looked at me and broke into a huge grin. And then her fingers were off and flying, texting like a court stenographer.
But then, the unexpected. "Mom, you still have to have the pilot read this." What? Really? We had all totally miscalculated. She did want the attention. "I can't tell him we didn't do it," she said. "You have to get them to do it the way he wanted." Sigh.
When we finally boarded the plane I tried vainly to get one of the flight attendants to meet my eye as I stood in the aisle. I stammered out an explanation to the youngest flight attendant I could find, one who still might recall the excitement of her own first slow dance. After conferring with her team, she told me the pilot was not allowed to read something like this. "Could you read it?" I begged her. She would have to confer again. Five minutes later the flight attendant returned shaking her head. Non, no can do. They couldn't read it on the loud speaker -- but she could read it to my daughter in her seat.
Somehow a prom proposal read by an aging hippie and then by a flight attendant with a French accent was probably not what her date had in mind. But the key was we tried. And as my daughter settled back in her airplane seat with a look of satisfaction on her face, I knew it was well worth all the scheming I had gone through to make this proposal as perfect as possible.
Lee Woodruff is a contributor to CBS This Morning. A version of this essay first appeared on leewoodruff.com, her blog. It made us smile so much we had to pass it along.