An unusual occurrence took place in my life yesterday. I've heard about it happening, as a lot of people do, yet no-one quite realises the significance until it's their turn, or someone close to them does it in front of them.
I knew it was coming, but I approached the evening with a sense of trepidation that I could not shake - perhaps I was nervous because I'd asked if I could give a speech. I'm good with words, but lack in the confidence to deliver them with aplomb. Why must this get me down so?
Andrea's birthday seems to be becoming a yearly event, where we do something a little special. We've been as a small group to see movies, grab a light bite to eat and so forth, but this year, all of the stops had been pulled out. A table for eleven, gradually reduced to nine, but we still made it special.
Suited and booted at the request of Andrea's mother and friend, I still felt underdressed, despite the effect of the white collar and cuffs, the cufflinks and my shoes being shined almost to a military standard. When Andrea walked around the door, I had to pick my jaw off the floor as her appearance in that little black dress made her look stunning. Her figure looked fantastic, with a plunging neckline that left little to the imagination and reminded me that Dave is a very lucky man.
Her hair done to a tee by her younger sister, Andrea broke into a massive smile, seeing the looks on both mine and Dave's faces. Recovering our composure, we headed out to the restaurant, stopping to pick up Bev in the process.
Some time later, when the rest of the guests had turned up, we all had a chance to have a drink and socialise. The meal came and went and the ladies among us consumed a variety of cocktails, which I had to abstain from, due to driving duties. I'd been asked to bring the camera, despite planning to do so anyway. Andrea doesn't like having her photo taken, so catching her in a place where she actively wants to be pictured is a no-brainer.
Then it happened. Andrea's sister clinked a glass, to get our attention and Dave stood up to deliver a speech about how much he was thankful for Andrea and how much he loved her. Then, he descended to one knee and produced a delightful little blue velvet box, trimmed with silver. Opening it, he showed Andrea her mother's engagement ring, complimented with a note as he could not get in touch with the jewellers in time. The real deal will replace it shortly, I am reliably informed.
As Dave was in the middle of the proposal, the waiter turned up and was swiftly shoed away, mortified that he had interrupted proceedings. Neither of the happy couple seemed to notice though and things progressed without a hitch. Andrea never needed to say anything, she just squeaked and threw her arms around the most deserving man in the world.
Dave thought that he had upset me, due to my more reserved attitude, when he had told me his plans. Nothing could be further from the truth, as I will always do my best to be as true a friend to them as possible to them - honest, caring and above all, accepting their decisions as their own. It all worked out well, didn't it?
So now I have two weddings to go to in 2013 - Pam and Warren / Bev and Marc. At some stage, Andrea and Dave will be getting married, but that's a little way off, so let us bask in the glow of their smiles, our collective happiness and offer them what support they need. Let's hope that they don't take as long as Natalie and James did (six years). I now have my four closest friends all committed to two relationships, with one pair married and the other now engaged. At the moment, I'd go so far as to say that Pride is not a sin in these circumstances. Saying that it's all down to me is an out-and-out lie, but I'd like to think that I've helped matters along at some stage.
In the meantime, I can turn my attention to getting my own happiness sorted out. It's not like the poor girl is going to fall out of the sky into my lap, though I can't help but hope.