Friday, September 28, 2007

Happy Anniversary, mi angelita!

Hey, baby! Remember how I told you I always wanted to write down all of the romantic things I’ve done for you? Well, I finally did—or, at least I wrote down as many as I could remember—and I wanted to present it to you in a way that could last as foreseeably forever as possible. So, I decided to create a special site detailing these surprises, and add on to it as I remember more, and as I do more of them. I have no doubt the Internet will endure beyond our generation, even our children’s, so the memories of those quixotic experiences can never be forgotten so long as we live.

Each story will describe how each romantic surprise might have been imagined, how it really played out, how I got the idea, anecdotes, or anything else relevant. I know this isn’t a very tangible anniversary gift, but because this anniversary is especially special for several unrelated reasons, I wanted to make sure I could give you a gift that could never expire, never die, never fade, never disappear, never stop reminding you how deeply, truly, passionately, and overwhelmingly much I love you.

-tu diablito


Happy Birthday

This was the troublemaker that started it all, the point when our stars aligned in skies across the universe. One evening at Publix, I was snooping for something to buy for you. I didn’t want the ordinary, like just giving you flowers. I wanted something different. I passed by some balloons and a small spark of interest halted me in my tracks. I looked them over, searching for the perfect phrase that could capture how I felt (which rarely happens, anyway). When I brushed over the birthday balloons, it struck me as a joke to get those for you since your birthday was months away, but soon the thought developed into a really romantic idea.

The next day I came to class with 3 Happy Birthday! balloons and a small box wrapped in Happy Birthday! paper. I handed everything to you and exclaimed, “Happy Birthday!”

Bewildered, you quickly replied, “It’s not my birthday!”

“I know, but I got you these, take them.”

“But it’s not my birthday!”

Oh, no! I thought. Everything’s backfired. Eventually you took the items and quit protesting after I insisted some more, but I had a single caveat: “You can’t open that gift until you get home. You have to walk around with this stuff all day and if I see that you’ve opened my gift, I’m going to take it back.” It sounded kind of harsh, and I’m sorry, baby, you found out why I said that by the end of the day.

I didn’t get to talk to you again until we got home from school when I called you to see if you had opened your gift, and you said you did and you loved it. I asked if everyone was wishing you a happy birthday all day, and in a half-annoyed, half-giddy way you said that they were. You thanked me and told me you loved the stuffed animal I had placed in the box, and most especially the note I glued to the bottom which read, Even though it wasn’t your birthday, didn’t you feel special for a day? That’s how you make me feel every day. Happy Birthday, every day, mi angelita!

Bunny Bonanza

I always wanted a girl that would appreciate romantic surprises, a girl who appreciated a guy that took an exhaustive amount of time, creativity, and energy to woo her in a positive way. When I new you were that girl, I had to put together a surprise that I had long fantasized about. I always wanted to, while still in high school, plant gifts in each class for a girl just before she arrived there. I was so glad that you were the one I ended up doing it for.

You said you liked bunnies, so I went to Toys-R-Us and bought 4 different color, stuffed bunny dolls (the colors were very specific, researched the day before). I also bought 4 Hallmark® cards and 4 flowers that each matched a color of one of the bunnies.

The next day at school, I successfully eluded you as I dashed to each of your classes to drop the bunnies off on your desks throughout the day. I don’t remember which order I did them, but there was a purple bunny with a card and flower tied to it, another that was white, and another that was yellow. Each card described the meaning of its particular color, and in some eloquently poetic way relayed that to the meaning and purpose of our relationship. The final bunny I do, however, remember; it was pink, because that was your favorite color, and online [at] I had read that pink represented “romance, love, and friendship”. They were then, and still are, the 3 basic reasons why we were together, and why we always will be.

The Writing’s On The Wall

For one of our anniversaries, I bought that special chalk that can write on windows and surprised you one morning with messages on your sliding glass door like, “I love you, angelita!” and “Happy Anniversary!” I wanted to write it on the window of your room, but it looked dangerous to have to climb up there. Plus, I didn’t want a police officer to see me and think I was trying to break in! But I know you loved it, and it started what made for a perfect day.

Poetry at Dillard

The library at school was hosting poetry sessions, and I knew we were going to be there at the same time, so I got the idea to surprise you—and everybody else—with a short poem about you. I had to look it up an old rhyme book, where I saw that I wrote it on April 1, 2004, just 3 days after we started officially going out, and long after I was already so deep in love I was lost in it.

I dream in Columbian visages

on these I reflect, in which I see my reflection in spectacles

des lunettes

all I dream is to be with her

and when I am, I never wake up

for that I wish to always be exhaustedly lost in dreams with lots of sleep

because to be awake is to be trapped in a nightmare

where I can’t find her, and I can’t find myself

a person to bind myself

maybe that’s why the bed is such intimate scening

because that’s where I do most of my dreaming

Pop Me, Call Me

This is an idea that fizzled out in the end, but was still great fun in the meantime. After work, I stopped by your house, snuck up to the door, left a balloon floating there, knocked on the door, and ran away. I got to my car and drove off, awaiting your call.

Back at your house, you open the door to see a balloon I left you that reads Pop me. Of course, you comply, take it in, and poke it. Hundreds of pieces of confetti flutter out, but one larger chunk in particular sticks out. It’s a note instructing you to call my cell phone.

On the drive back home, I wait for your call. When it comes, I immediately ignore it and send you to my voicemail. I thought you would have waited to leave me a message, where you would have heard the special voicemail I left for you, talking about how much I love you and what you mean to me. However, I couldn’t predict that you would have just hung up as the voice response lady began giving you a million options for your message. All was corrected when I called you back and learned of this, then had you call me back to hear your special message.

Mirror, Mirror, On The Wall, Who’s The Most Gorgeous of All?

Another instance where William was unbelievably gracious enough to assist me with one of my crazy ideas: I purchased that special chalk that writes on windows again and wrote an encrypted, short love note in French for you. One morning you woke up, dragged your feet to the bathroom, and were met with a glowing letter only you could understand. It defined in the most extraordinary terms I could muster that what you saw in the reflection was the most gorgeous girl I’ve ever seen, the love of my life.

Remember Balloons?

I always loved to play with and reinvent how I present traditional romantic gifts like flowers or chocolate, so one night at Joe’s I got the idea to do something with balloons. It was a simple idea with a familiar premise, but humbly charming: I left 5 or 6 plain balloons tied to the fence that borders your porch, each with a word or two written on it. The words were meant to incite certain memories and feelings, like the balloon that had “The Island” written on it, or the one that said “Prom,” or “Happy Birthday”. I love doing things that continue to remind you of how I’ve always showed you how much I love you in the past, how I still do so, and will continue to do so forever.

4th month anniversary poem

my relationship is in great shape, it's a heart

n every day i feel like i've fallen deeper in love
but everday i feel like i've fallen in love
for the first time
words rhyme to maintain the rhythm
the heart beats on my eardrums, so my heart speaks
n it tells me about an angel on my shoulder
it tells me to hold her
but doesn't say WHY
though it doesn't matter cuz when i grab her, after i've grasped her
my body says, "do it again"
my heart pumps n my tongue jumps n it starts up with some instructions
kiss her kiss her kiss her i grab her, lean, imprint her
lips for sealed secrets shared, n i tell the secret if i dare
n my heart is dancing from romancing telling me to tell her fancily--
whoops--that's the secret! i tell the secret if i dare
but the heart is scared, he ALMOST DARES
to expose himself bare even though he could easily tear
so he instructs the mouth, the mouth rejects
devout respect to the heart who could die if he reached out with this
n the secret still stirs between them
mixing, bubbles, burns, then scalds
the burning secret he withholds
though the mouth is smart, he still gambles with the heart
the secret he scrambles at the start, as if he can't handle the mandible
but the angel knows the scrambled code
the secret is shared, the cat's out the bag
the heart dives to the feet to seek retreat
but there's no defeat, it's not met, at least not yet
the heart jumps on projects without thought process
n can regret it upon reflection
but the heavenly entity, seemingly readily ready with the remedy
read the instructions from her heart
i guess another idiot that works quicker than the brain
hasty and foolish
but maybe these two fools with their two foolish blood tubes
mirror actions AND sentiments, too
cuz hers told HER to say, "I love you, too"

Te Amo

Always thinking of the next big surprise, I asked you one day at random what your favorite song was. I didn’t have any surprise in mind at the time, but I knew I wanted to do something involving whatever that song was. You said your all-time favorite was Te Amo by Franco De Vita, so I kept that tucked away in my memory and moved on.

A few weeks later, I was talking to one of the driver’s at work about you. He was so impressed with how infatuated I was, and what beautiful things I had to say of you. He was a romantic at heart like me, and he always told me that he played guitar and could sing very well. This came to mind when I was speaking about you—as I often do—and an idea struck me to have him come sing for you. I humbly asked him, immediately assuring him that I would compensate him for it, but he refused to accept any form of remittance and eagerly agreed to help me surprise you.

On the big day, 8/28/04, 5th month anniversary, an “unexpected guest” showed up at your door while we were watching TV. I made you close your eyes as I attended to my friend, who came in and sat on a chair behind the couch, and started playing Te Amo, by Franco De Vita. You uncovered your eyes, which bolted open as you quickly realized what song he was singing. You clenched my hand and leaned on me as teardrops swelled out of your beautiful, brown eyes. When the song was finished, I asked him to keep looping the main chords as I pulled out my rhyme book and read the poem to you from the previous post.

I concluded the poem, my friend stopped playing, and I got a nice big, wet kiss! I was so delighted to see how happy this surprise made you, and how perfectly the events unfolded. I’ve been the happiest my whole life since I’ve been with you, and the need to pay you back tenfold for such bliss is moderately fed when you have such strong reaction to my romantic surprises. I plan to spend my life paying you back.

The Island

6th month anniversary. Monumental. Out in the lake in my old neighborhood stood that lighthouse, on an island only as large as a single acre, and since dating you I always looked at it and said, “You know, I really want to take Taty out there one day.” Nearing our 6th month anniversary, I was entertaining the idea of taking you there more and more. After all, it was still early in our relationship and we had merit to break up for any ridiculous reason at that point.

One day at work I was daydreaming about us being on the island, and I suddenly imagined exotic island food, a blanket, Tiki torches, rose pedals, and you. It would have a Polynesian theme, after islands generally thought of as paradise, so the island would be our own little paradise. I naturally continued in thinking, And being with you is like being in paradise.

When the time came, I hopped in the boat with Olayo to set up all my supplies on the island, just as I had imagined them at work. Meanwhile, Craig was instructed to take my car and pick you up; in the car, he presented you with a lei and popped open the glove compartment to reveal a card. The card was romantic, and hinted at the events to come.

I remembered when you arrived how beautiful you looked. I also had lei on of a different color, and I took you by the hand to escort you to the paddle boat. I was afraid you may resist getting on it but was surprised to see that you were actually eager to see what I was up to. When we reached the island, I helped you off and showed you the private paradise I created for us, then told you, “Because being with you is like being in paradise.”

Stuffed Animal Parachutes

I know you hated if I disrupted your workplace too much to do these surprises, so this time I sent Craig in. I met him at The Rag Shop where I bought five stuffed animals and tied a balloon to each one. He took the dolls and balloons to Charlotte Russe and dispersed them throughout the store, ninja style! Unfortunately for this one, I wasn’t there to see it for myself, but Craig informed me that you smiled and blushed when you realized what was happening. That was all I needed to hear to know you got the message: “I love you!”

I’m Sowwy

This surprise is notorious, though it does have a happy ending. Unfortunately, the stupidity of this idea overshadows its intention and resolution, but it does make us laugh every time it comes up.

I’ll brush through this one so I don’t humiliate myself too badly:

Before you get to work at Charlotte Russe early one morning, I tie balloons to the protective mesh that say “I’m sorry!” and “Please take me back!” (I learn later that you just shrugged this off, kind of confused.)

A few hours later, a friend of mine drops by to tell you I said I was sorry, and to please take me back. You question him but he just leaves immediately.

You call me, undoubtedly concerned about what I’m might or might not have done, but I ignore your call. I have to wait until everything transpires before I talk to you about it.

Fewer hours later, a man shows up at the store with a flower delivery addressed to you. The card in it confesses my remorse and begs you to take me back.

I get another call from you and again I ignore it, but this time you leave a message. I battle with myself over whether I should check it, only to call my voicemail in the end anyway. The message is panicked and borderline tearful, frantic over what I’ve done to keep sending these apologies. I thought you would just shrug it off! Bad miscalculation.

I don’t even finish the message before I’m calling the store. I get you on the phone and tell you it’s just another surprise, all will be explained in an e-mail I already sent you. You made me swear several times that everything was okay and I didn’t do anything bad before we hung up.

You later forgave me when you read the e-mail; basically, I pointed out that since I’d do so much to keep you when I have no risk of losing you, there’s no limit to what I’d do to win you back if I ever lost you.


One night while you were sleeping, I creepily snuck over to your house and taped roses upside down to the ceiling to look as if they were growing out of it. I fixed them to border around a big, green poster that I imagine you breaking your neck to look up and read, Every day, I look up at heaven and thank God for sending me such an angel!!! See the pictures above.

Indecent Proposal

I bought 24 Hallmark® cards at my school’s bookstore for our 2 year (24 month) anniversary. I printed out 24 pictures of you and me and cut out our heads. I pasted the heads on stick figures which I drew in each card, depicting different scenes of things we’ve done, past surprises, and funny memories. I put the cards in their respective envelopes, taped a rose to each one, and numbered them 1-24. I put a single word on each card to collectively spell out a phrase, and gave them to your brother, to whom I’m grateful for having spread these envelopes around your house while you slept.

You woke up the next morning and set off on a scavenger hunt and collected all the cards I left with William, which only amounted to 23. You called and wondered why one was missing since the phrase they spell out obviously doesn’t end, but I pretend like I don’t know. I was very excited, though, to hear that you opened all the cards and loved all the pictures I drew.

Later that night, we go out to Chili’s and I behave as if it’s a normal date, nothing special. Predictably, you go to the bathroom shortly after we sit down, which is when I stealthily slide card #24 into your menu. When you return, no time is spared before you open your menu and see a card there with a number 24 on it, and the last word in the question all 24 cards spelled out. I urged you to open the card, and after you had a moment to see what scene was depicted, I recreated it right there in the restaurant by getting on one knee.

Les Photos

Before we started dating, we went to a French competition located at some elementary school where we made out for a long time… But that’s not what this is all about! It was also memorable because it was the first time I asked you out, even though you denied me. LOL!

I brought you back to the school after a few years had passed, leaving you understandably confused. What on earth were we doing there? Well, I whipped out a disposable camera and we began taking impromptu pictures of funny faces, jumping in the air, and posing.

Now, I had originally planned on going to the movies while we waited for the pictures to develop, then to look over them while we ate at a restaurant. Instead, we just got something to eat while they developed and then looked at them in the car. It was actually more special, just because it wasn’t planned, and the pictures came out great. We cracked up as we looked through them, and you can see how much genuine fun we’re having together. And you know I still keep that picture of your butt in my visor to this day!

Caution: Angels @ Work

I still know you hate when I do surprises at your job, but when you started working with me at AmEx, I had to do one. I mean, I had a clean slate! So, since I didn’t have to keep it low-key because any surprise would be unprecedented anyway, I went for something slightly flashy.

It’s mindless work explaining how I prepared, so I’ll dive right into what you walked in on one random morning at work: a pink poster on your desk decreeing, “This seat reserved for angels, ONLY!”, and hanging from the ceiling by 3 fishing wires directly over your chair, a golden halo.

Romance and Food

I like to do things outside of romantic surprises, and transpose the romance to a different situation where you still get the same feeling. For instance, this site, while I hope is not at all a stretch for a romantic surprise, is outside the normal realm of surprises. It’s not tangible, but it catches you off guard and is laden with love.

A similar situation arises as I reminisce over a few romantic dinners in particular. The first was another one I had long imagined doing for you: the roof. There was a building nearby my old house that was situated right next to a hill, providing the perfect bridge to the roof. I brought you there one night with candles lit, delicious food, a blanket laid out, and a romantic allure of the stars above us and the ambience of distant city noise.

My family had just moved into a new house, but I still had the keys to the old one, and 1 week before the people who bought it moved in. It was too coincidental that these elements were at hand the same time our anniversary was passing, so I had to take you there one night. The set up was the usual: blanket, music, candles—but this time, I had to add a little extra. It was a turbulent time in your life and you needed something more substantial than solace. I hoped this anniversary surprise alone would elevate your spirits, but just to be sure I bought you a slew of gifts, like Barbie dolls and a Franco De Vita CD. We listened to his beautiful music as we ate the food I prepared, and your smiles told me you had completely forgotten all about your troubles.

In previous discussions I remembered you saying how you always wanted to do a romantic dinner in your own home, with candles and flowers everywhere. Of course, one night I eventually surprised you at the apartment with flower pedals covering the floor, the table set, candles lit at every conceivable corner, and I cooked a delectable meal for us.

Yet another one for the history book of my surprises’ shortcomings, and to balance out this collection of flawless romantic dinners thus far, is the night I decorated the porch. I planned on cooking a meal I’ve never made before, a dish with shrimp, lemon juice, and guacamole. I decorated the patio with Tiki cups and candles on the table, large cutouts of sea animals and palm trees taped to the walls, flowers scattered across the floor, and sheets hung up to conceal us. It was to be a nice dinner with an underwater ocean theme, something to switch things up, but the whole thing was ruined because the avocados were not at all ready to be cooked, so we ended up ordering delivery. I still enjoyed it and you really liked the atmosphere I had created (and you know the food we ordered was gooooooood!).