This is the story of how I planned my marriage proposal.
It's the tale of how five of these guys helped me woo the greatest girl in the world.
You're probably wondering what the hell possessed me to do all this. Let me start by saying that both my partner and I share an affection for these floppy eared rapscallions that knows no bounds. I grew up with all the typical family pets: dog, cats, turtle, horses, and goats. We had two large Anglo-Nubians when I was growing up, and next to my dog they were my favorite pet. These guys had oodles of personality and were real fun.
My fiancée (I'll just call her "D") always looked forward to the herds that Menlo Park would hire to come mow their lawns in the summer. You see, goats are big business in California. There are several companies that rent their herds so that the goats can get a free meal, and the property owners get their weeds taken care of. Brushfires are a big concern during the dry summer months here.
We found out about our shared interest during the initial courtship. Here's an excerpt from one of our earliest email conversations:
Me: I made a goat cheese omelette tonight. I love anything goat related.
Her: Goats! Do you like actual goats? Do you know about the goats that travel around to eat the grass to lessen the fire danger? My friends think that I'm crazy because I tend to get obsessed with the goats' visit to Menlo Park each May. But they're very cute, and they do a great job! :)
Did you catch the excitement in her words? Just the mention of goats and she could barely contain herself. I knew she was something special. Knew it in my gut (of which goats have four).
So I knew that I needed to have goats play some part in the next big step of our relationship. But what farmer would be willing to lend me their herd? Even if I could pull that part off I was doubtful of my ability to wrangle them. They can be pretty unruly. So I needed pretty domesticated animals, not too big (my own goats were easily 200 lbs), not too violent (didn't want them head-butting my bride to be) and they better have transportation because my Corolla certainly can't fit them. That's a tall order!
Turned out that getting the goats was the easiest part!
I ran a web search for "goat rental" and the second one I found was City Grazing. They're based in San Francisco and provide the usual grazing services plus... wait for it... they have a big fat menu link titled "Parties, Promotions & Film". Yes, we had a winner. I got in contact with Genevieve, who said they loved the idea and had never heard of anything like it.
Yeah, that's how I roll. Keepin' it real and straight OG!
(the Original Goat, in this case.)
Putting It Together
The proposal was in September, but I actually put things into motion in June. I went the old fashioned route and asked her parents for permission (they said yes). Now I had two sets of parents as co-conspirators. It was good to have so many people I could turn to for advice, for they helped shoot down all the bad ideas I tossed out. At one point I was going to pretend to pass out and have D save me. In an expert parenting move, my mother informed me that this wasn't the greatest way to start things off.
Thanks, mom. My future marriage thanks you as well :)
It took me a few months to solidify my plans but I finally got my head around it. My checklist read like this:
I found the perfect costume accessories from Etsy seller Bowties for Rescue, who provided some nice but affordable felt bow ties for the goat collars. Genevieve said the goats sometimes wear dog collars so this seemed perfect. I also found this comically oversized fake diamond ring from Amazon.(Please check out the link and purchase through my Amazon link, your clicks help me fund the site and our wedding!)
My parents offered to pick up some red roses and set up the surprise together with some of our (really quite awesome!) friends. I would have to be with D the whole time, pretending nothing exciting was about to happen. So I needed these would-be goatherds to go ahead to a friend's house, where they would set things up and lie in wait. Six of my friends (plus parents) offered to help. My plan was coming along nicely...