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ring in the new year!


I didn't think anything could top last year's "cinema-perfect" New Year's Eve story in Manhattan, but somehow it did.

It all started in the afternoon on New Year's Eve day. My mom had called me from her hotel room sounding completely exhausted by her third arrival in France in under seven days. Understandably, she wanted to skip the holiday dinner party that I had planned for her and a few of our friends that evening. Instead, she offered to take Aurelien and I out to a late lunch to wish us a happy new year and to give us the confetti and glitter tiaras she had picked up for us at Party City on Long Island. Had she not canceled coming to the dinner, the plan was to get her back to the hotel by 10 pm so she would have enough sleep for her early morning pick-up back to Charles de Gaulle airport. I didn't realize until that evening - once our party was in full swing - the amount of pressure that I would had been putting on myself to get her back safely and on time without interrupting the flow of dinner. The new plan to meet up earlier really did work out better for everyone, as I also suspected that my mother was invited to a dinner with other flight attendants down in the hotel's restaurant. Good for her!

One thing about my mother is that while she really is a simple woman, there's one thing she's major div about: she will only buy hosiery in Europe. In London, she goes to Harrod's and here it's Printemps, and with that she had us meet her at the Nation location for her bi-annual stock-up. My mother doesn't speak a word of French yet she caught on early that minceur is the French equivalent to our "control top". 

After sharing her thigh-sucking discoveries with us on the street that Aurelien politely feigned interest in, the three of us wandered the area looking for a decent place to eat. A lot of the smaller cafés off of the main drag were closed presumably for the holiday, leaving our options limited to large brasseries where you never really know what you're going to get. Is it going to be overpriced? Are the servers going to be rude? Is the meat going to be good? We just wanted a quick bite; nothing fancy but you know, nothing gross.

We finally picked a restaurant called Marco Polo because my mom liked the name and the menu had everything imaginable on it, making it close to impossible to not find something to eat. We nestled in a table snugly tucked between two others, ordered a pichet of red wine and a few plates for the table; six oysters, a salad, side of frites, and an omelet. 

As my mom was wrapping up a story about how the entire first class cabin was wasted on their trip over, Aurelien pulled something out of his pocket, which slipped out of his hands and rolled onto the floor. At the same exact time, my mom and I both went to pick it up and banged our heads together so hard that I saw black spots. Some call them stars, to me they're ugly ink blots. In our frenzy, I ended up kicking what felt like a hockey puck under my chair to the table behind us. Aurelien had gotten up to get it but was interrupted in his tracks as the server triumphantly arrived with our plates. My mom and I were rubbing our foreheads from our crash, the server was making comments about the state of chaos at our table, the guests behind me pushed their chairs back into mine which jolted me forward, and Aurelien looked like he was going to die. Also, my mom screaming "omg!" over and over, and splashing herself with finger sprinkles of water from her glass did very little to help the hullabaloo.

As I was looking for a tissue in my bag because my eyes were starting to tear up from the pain of bashing my head into my mother's, Aurelien returned from retrieving his mystery item from the table behind us where I could hear him offering his apologies to the patrons who probably just wanted a quiet lunch in Paris, but were, unfortunately, sat near us. Poor things. Irritatingly, my mother also had her hand in my bag looking for a tissue, because she figured two hands fishing through a deep bag was better than one? Once we finally finished bickering and I stopped whacking my mom's hand to go away with the little packet of tissues, hovering over the incredibly still steaming cheese omelet was Aurelien holding an open black box...with a ring in it.

He re-proposed, this time with a ring...and my mother. After this fiasco, is he sure he wants to marry into this? We're lunatics.



I know, I know. We're a little backward with this engagement. While House Hunter's took some liberties with our story (like how we met!), one detail that was accurately conveyed was that up until two months ago, we were living on a single salary so we had to watch our spending. Food, rent, and life temporarily trumped jewelry - diamonds to be exact. Mon dieu! What would Marilyn think? 

My mother let out her famous "Oh. My. God." followed by a "Hold on! Let me get my glasses!". After seeing it on my finger, she started crying...and then I followed. For the rest of the meal, every server that passed us was stopped by my mother who grabbed my hand, and in English (of course) she screeched, "Look!". Surely this was her tactic to pressure them into offering us three glasses of champagne on the house.

After saying our goodbyes to my mother who is just relishing in her newly appointed MOB role, our night was capped off with dinner and dancing with friends, and many bottles of champagne to celebrate the end of a great year and to hope for the best for the new one. I could not have asked for anything more this holiday season. I was with family, in my new home, in my new city. I'm truly grateful for the way things have unfolded. Let's see what happens in 2013...

How did you spend your New Year's Eve?

37 comments:

  1. ROFLMAO, sorry, poor Seb! Ah, to think, he probably imagined he would be doing this over dinner, then that got whipped from under him, then he thought over a nice quiet lunch and *that* got whipped from under him, I might have been rocking in a corner somewhere if I were him ;o) Great score on the champagne though, go MOB!

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    1. Yeah, the plan was to do it at midnight but that didn't happen, total chaos did! It is never a dull moment with my mom and I. We're insane! He loves it...thank goodness because he's marrying into it! Ha!

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  2. Oh my gosh, I am all teary-eyed! Wow. It is a beaut and such a fantastic perfectly unperfect moment. Beautifully told too.
    Very happy for you, very, very, very.
    And a Happy New Year too--but I don't even need to wish it as I know it will be wonderful.
    Bisous,
    H

    PS. We had the quietest NYE ever. Ever. As in we didn't even open the champagne until the next day. Am I getting oooold? :o

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    1. Thank you, Heather!! You're so right, it was perfectly unperfect. My mom added an essence of home to it with her loud comments and digging through my bag! It was entertaining to say the least.

      Your NYE may have been quiet but your New Year's Day sounded just fabulous! Lobster, champagne and your love....just perfect. : )

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  3. So pretty! And the craziness is so *you*, you wouldn't really want it to go down any other way right? Happy New Year!

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    1. Hahahaha "so me". Very true. I couldn't have asked for a better engagement story because our first one was a bit quiet, hence why I didn't share it. This one was just perfect.

      Thank you! I really love the ring! Pretty and simple and will blend perfectly with all of my crazy outfits. :)

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  4. HAHAHA what a great story to share with the kids one day! GORGEOUS ring! What an amazing way to end 2012:)

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    1. Thank you!!! Yes, this one IS for the kids...other people's kids that is. ; )

      Happy New Year!

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  5. I could NOT be happier for you!!!! What an amazing story, fumbling and all! That's what makes it so perfect! Much love, happiness & success to you and your new family in 2013!!!
    xoxoxoxoox

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    1. Thank you, Cara!!! Hahaha the story is SO Long Islanders invade Paris. Everyone was looking!

      Happy New Year to you too! Guess what tonight is? FRIDAY!!! And we both know what that means. ; )

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  6. well alrighty then!...now that's a great proposal story to tell your kids...gramma and I gave each other a concussion before Daddy gave me the ring..LOL....so happy for both of you.

    much love and happiness in 2013 kid.

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    1. Thank you Debs! We too got a kick out it, especially seeing the ring hovering over the cheese omelet! Happy New Year!

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  7. Congrats to you both! Love the ring, too! GM xx

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  8. Congrats again! Love the story! love all your stories...your blog is def the funniest one that I follow.

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    1. Thank you so much!! That really makes me happy to know that I keep you entertained out there. Thank you again. :)

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  9. Bonne Annee to you and Seb, too! I'm hoping 2013 goes as you would want....keep us informed.

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    1. Thank you Mem! You too! Of course I'll keep you posted! I have some fun projects coming up! :)

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  10. Of course, you guys had to do something goofy and chaotic during that romantic moment... of course;)
    Love it!:)

    Our last night in 2013 was not quite as romantic and eventful, but it was lovely all the same:) We went to the movies (A Royal Affair at the 7 Parnassiens), had a quiet dinner at the apartment, went on the pont de Grenelle to see the iron lady scintillate at midnight and polished off a bottle of kir royal when we got back to our temporary abode:) Simple and lovely, just like I wanted it:)

    Here's to years ending and starting with a bang!;)

    This is our last night in Paris (it sure went fast!). The week was everything I'd hoped for and more. Now I feel energized enough to tackle another year of complete madness:)

    But I have a feeling I'll be back before long:)

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    1. Of course! It wouldn't be any other way! My best friend asked me if he got down on one knee and while I know this is the "norm" in proposals, it's just not me. I would giggle if he did that and I LOVE that he knows that.

      Your NYE sounds just lovely and perfect. I'll take simple over bells, whistles and hoopla any day! As long as there is a little something to drink to make it feel festive. :)

      Safe travels (even though I know you're back already) and I hope you'll be around these parts in May. ; )

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  11. Hahahaha but of course! What a great story, I can picture the whole scene in my head...

    Many congratulations, the ring is gorgeous and how wonderful that he chose to give it to you while your mom was present...as a mom, it would make me feel very special that he wanted me to share this unique moment.

    Good way to end/start a year for sure!

    Sylvia S.

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    1. Hahahaha of course, indeed! You can take the ladies out of NY but you can't take the NY out of them. We tend to over react...to say the least! ; )

      I love that he gave it to me while she was there too. He knows she's part of the package and I love that.

      Happy New Year, Sylvia. I hope you are feeling better! : )

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  12. Yes what a proposal story! Congrats once again! It's def something to have the actual ring on your finger now! Wowzas! Happy New Year ma belle !

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    1. Thanks Dana!! The ring wasn't really that important to me and I actually never brought it up. I always considered Seb as being the real bijou here and looked beyond the "traditional engagement"...well this story killed any chances of that! HAHAHA! Never a dull moment with my mom, I tell ya. : )

      Happy New Year!!

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  13. This story is amazing! Congrats on a second proposal and having your mom there. The ring is gorgeous! I can't wait to see it on you. So exciting. Thank goodness Seb was able to find it. My mom lost her wedding band at Morandi once while we were at brunch. We also disturbed about 5 tables around us trying to find it - to no avail. My stepfather still has never noticed that it went missing. I'm so happy Seb didn't lose it before he could give it to you. Now go insure it girl! XXX

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    1. Thanks Kristen!! The ring didn't go too far, just under the chair of the woman behind me who was enjoying the entertainment and once she realized it was a proposal, she was all aflutter!

      WAIT - So you guys really never found the ring?!?! That's terrible! I hope no one stole it. : (



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  14. In the name of all that's snookie, will you look at that sparkly thing! I'm so very happy for you Ella! I'm verklempt! Talk amongst yourselves. xx.

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    1. Hahaha!! Thank you Sara Louise!! We we're all pretty verklempt as my mom sprinkled herself with water. She still throws her hot flashes in my face...even on Skype.

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  15. Aww! That's so sweet of Seb! And such a pretty ring! Congratulations to you both!

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    1. Thank you so much Shannon!! I hope you had a fantastically bubbly NYE!!

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  16. What a lovely story, and just LOOK at that ring! So happy for you. Sounds like 2013 is going to be wonderful!

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    1. Thank you Callie! I enjoyed living through the story the second time as I wrote it out. So ridiculous.

      I hope you had a lovely holiday! Now I'm going to jump over to your blog to see what you were up to. :)

      HAPPY NEW YEAR!

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  17. Congratulations (again) a lovely story and probably one of the things Seb loves about you is your quirkiness and madness. If you can laugh together that is a recipe for sucess.... and a man who gets on with your mother is worth his weight in gold. Makes life so much easier than conflict.

    Good luck for 2013. Hope all your dreams come true.

    BTW...we spent NYE lying in bed watching reruns of Bourne identity ( for the Paris views!) eating tuna sandwiches and drinking Orange juice. We fell asleep and were woken at midnight by the fireworks and texts wishing us happy new year. We loved it!

    Love Denise



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    1. Thank you so much for this comment Denise. I think you may be right. He's in love with my madness....finally someone gets it. My other boyfriends were always trying to contain it but it's just who I am. I mean really, look at my mom...it came from somewhere! Ha!

      It sounds like you spent a perfect NYE! NYE is ALL about relaxing, drinking, eating and getting in touch with the ones you love when the clock strikes midnight. It looks like you covered all the bases. : )

      Wishing you a very happy 2013!

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  18. Happy New Year, Ella! I've said it before and I'll say it again - Seb's a keeper!!! As the mother of a daughter of marriageable age, I think that it was so sweet of him to include your mom in his second proposal. And as Denise already said, I'm sure that it's your "madness" that Seb values, loves and wants to "put a ring on it"! And now I've got Burt Hummel's (Glee) performance of "Single Ladies" going through my mind. I'm off to YouTube to listen to it. Cheers and congratulations, Mlle (soon to be Mme) Coquine! 2013 is going to be a marvelous year!

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  19. UM WOW JUST WOW!
    I finally got around to reading this bookmarked post and am OVER THE MOON for you!

    Congratulations!! Seb is a legend and here's to an awesome 2013!

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  20. Now that's a moment! Congrats on even knowing what was going on after hitting your head like that... ouch! But that's so sweet that he decided to go for round two with your mom there... and can't go wrong with two stories to tell, right? Congrats again!

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