Kate is a Gemini born on May 21, 1978 in Salt Lake City, Utah. She loves dancing, playing pool, and stimulating conversation. She has the largest blue eyes, and desperately weak ankles. She knows all of the lyrics to almost all the pop songs ever written, and don't play Movie Trivia with her. She's a ringer. She's also a student of all things related to Greek mythology (the apple don't fall far from the tree...), and has a profound interest in the study of tarot.
Kate's come through a difficult passage in life and finally found the joy she so richly deserves in the companionship of Barbara Woityra, her life partner. Barbara and I have had great fun this year planning her proposal. It went like this:
I invited my children to a lunch at a very nice restaurant at Lenox Square. At the end of desert, I phoned their sister in Utah so that she could participate, too. Envelopes were passed out to each (including one to my grandson so that he'd feel part of the game.) All of the kids' envelopes except Kate's included this message:
First, thank you very much for assisting Barbara and me in this little goose chase. If everything goes as planned, you can be assured that you will have helped make your sister a very happy woman.
(Nod your head knowingly.)
Under no circumstances show your letter to anyone at the table.
Here is what Barbara has arranged:
- Kate is being directed to proceed to the Ross store on Barrett Parkway where she is to use her enclosed gift card to purchase an elegant dress and, if there is enough left over, a pair of shoes. This should eat up a good chunk of time.
- While she is in the store, she will be approached between 4:30 and 5:00 p.m. (or paged) by a person who knows what she looks like. (Barbara gave her a photo of Kate.) She will be given another envelope with further instructions to proceed to the Georgian Hotel across the street from the Fox Theater. The envelope contains a room key to the Champagne Suite where Barbara will be waiting with a packed bag, a candlelit dinner, and two engagement rings that she has had crafted from family gold, rubies and garnets (their birth stones.)
- Following the popping of the "important question," they will enjoy a Celtic Woman concert at the Fox Theater — a very romantic night, indeed.
Now, hold up your gift card, but don't mention anything about what it is for or the amount. (Kate is instructed not to open hers either.) Please accept this small token of thanks for your participation. Proceed to your nearest Borders Bookstore and enjoy purchasing $30 of your heart's delight.
Barbara loves Kate. Kate loves Barbara. I love you, and thank you again for playing along.
Now, spend a few minutes talking to your sister, Meri, on my cell phone, and then you're off on your mock treasure hunt.
PS — Barbara thanks you, too.
We had one close call when my Mom called from California and, while talking to Kate asked, "Did you enjoy Barbara's surprise?" I was able to pull it out of the fire without a lie by explaining that Barbara had shown me some black diamond earrings that she presented as a couple's gift (Kate wears one, and Barbara wears the other) long before she gave it to Kate. Whew. It's not easy being sneaky, but it sure is fun.
Kate called me all teary-voiced from the hotel. "I'm engaged!"
She's found the love of a wonderful person in Barbara, and we're all very happy for her. They are starting new lives together in a household filled with dogs and love. They are both joyfully exploring the world of GPS Microcaching.