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8/9/2006 Joy and Jeff, England

Yesterday was my anniversary with Joy.

Yesterday was my anniversary with Joy. So last night, I finally proposed... and she said YES! Here's how it went down. First off, trademark flowers at Artworks... a bouquet of gerberas and nerines. We wined and dined at Il Portico and then headed to Shakespeare in the Park. I concocted a plan to propose on stage at the end of the show. I enlisted the aid of the Artistic Director of Shakespeare in the Park. He was so gracious and accommodating and together, we schemed. He organized a raffle at the beginning of the night. Everyone including us entered. The winner of a dinner for two at Chianti's was announced at intermission. Then after an amazing and wonderful production of ""The Taming of the Shrew"", one of the Free Will players, Petruchio himself, announced there was one more presentation in store. He asked, ""Is there a Jeff in the audience?"" I pretended to be shocked and clueless, and what's funny is, Joy was pushing me to go up because she thought I won another door prize. Then John, dressed as a Mountie, mic'd me up with a wireless headset... I confessed and came clean to Joy and the audience, both obviously confused, that there was no prize and this was all a scheme to get me up on stage. I told everyone that today was a special day because it marked my 9 year anniversary with my girlfriend, Joy. Then I said it was actually our 8 year anniversary because for one year, ""we were on a break."" Everyone laughed. I told people that on June 28, 1997, I asked Joy to dance with me to a special song and afterwards asked her to go steady. And that we have been together ever since, except when ""we were on a break."" Again, laughter. I asked her up on stage to dance. I quoted Shakespeare's Twelfth Night, ""If music be the food of love, play on..."" That was the cue for the techs to play the joyfully intimate song, ""Marry Me"" by Amanda Marshall. We slow danced and when the line ""Marry me"" came at the end of the verse, the audience gasped and Joy was shocked. She whispered to me, ""Is this really happening?"" I looked to the front row, and my wing-man, David, threw up a black velvet box. I had dropped off the ring at his dental clinic earlier in the day and told him to sneak into the amphitheatre after the intermission. I recited, ""Shorty, I love thee, I love but thee with a love that shall not die till the sun grows cold and the stars grow old."" I then got down on bended knee and asked those four famous words. She said ""Yes!"" and the audience cheered and gave us a standing ovation. We both want to thank all of our friends and family for their support and love over the years. We will keep you guys updated with our plans. Take care, peace and love,

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