What an amazing day I had. It's when we deal well with problems that we can come out the other side so thrilled.
I'm glad I give myself plenty of time to get to my events. Because the small Park which my Client had chosen ~ hidden in a busy area of midtown Manhattan where they also had a lot of scaffolding ~ difficult to find. I walked in circles around several blocks, finally found the place.
Still plenty of time to Set Up my easel and...... Ooop ~ someone who worked at this public place told me that I could not set up an easel there. Not allowed. I showed him the pre-arranged Proposal picture, but he still wouldn't allow the easel. He agreed that I could sit at one of the little tables to draw....
and no sooner than I took down the easel, I saw a beautiful couple come by to take in the scene. If I was just looking for people who looked like the photos that my client had sent, I would not have thought that this was my couple. They didn't look anything like 'their photos'. But my client had told me that he would be wearing blue jeans and a gray top. And this man was wearing blue jeans and a gray top. Right here. At the exact spot beside me. At the exact time that my couple could have shown up.
I felt disappointed that they did not look like their picture, but what could I do? I introduced myself and asked if they would please model for me to draw their picture. As if I wasn't feeling shaken already ~ barely set up after handling a sticky situation and then seeing that they didn't look like the Studio picture I had drawn ~ the man who worked there came over and asked if they were the ones who were getting engaged. This is supposed to be a surprise! This never happened before. Now I know to recommend going elsewhere if another Client actually finds this hidden Park someday.
I hoped she didn't hear his question. I quickly said "I'm just an artist. Just drawing a picture." and I turned my attention to the couple.
I don't usually draw anything while officiating at a Proposal. I just pretend ~ while I choreograph their experience ~ Standing Up. With Energy. But this drawing board with these little tables ~ the couple could see what I was drawing. So I just started drawing. And I felt better. I'm always happy when I'm drawing.
Done. I unveiled the hidden Caricature that I had previously drawn in the Studio. But the woman said "That's not the picture you drew. I want the picture I just saw you drawing."
Egads ~ Apparently she doesn't even recognize them in the Proposal Caricature. Could she be turning him down??? This never happened before. This was really a first.
"They're both for you," I said. "Really." And I said "You're probably confused because I didn't finish this picture yet. I need your help." I handed a marker towards the lady, and I asked her to fill in the talk bubble. She refused to take it. She refused to draw on 'my picture'.
She was really turning him down. I couldn't believe it. The guy was so nice. He had planned this months ago. They came to me after going ice-skating and they were planning on going to the museum afterwards and he was even going to surprise her by having pre-arranged for their Parents to meet them at a restaurant afterwards. He was so easy to work with. He loved her and wanted to show her such good things.
It looked like he was about to take the ring out of his pocket, but then he moved it back into his pocket. They were going to leave ~ unengaged. She said that they had only gone out on a few dates so far.
Is this it? My Proposal had never been turned down before. I felt so bad for 'my client'. I gave them hugs as they left with their quickly drawn picture. I tried to slip the Proposal Caricature into the bag, but she refused to take it. Really.
After they left the park, I texted my client. I felt so bad for him. I focused completely on what to write. Such a loving man ~ I didn't want him to give up on Love. I texted and texted and texted. More.
After I clicked the Send button on my phone, I looked up and saw MY REAL COUPLE sitting at a table Right Next To Me. They looked Exactly like the people I had drawn in the Proposal Caricature. They looked exactly like their photos. And he was looking at his cellphone ~ just starting to read a message.....
"Oh. Oh. Hello," I said. "Oh, I feel so glad to see you. The perfect couple. Oh please let me draw you. I'm an Artist, and I would really feel a lift if I could draw you. In this beautiful spot."
Whew ~ talk about flustered. Now I was drawing at that little table again. Officiating at The Real Engagement when I was emotionally spent. I had just handled an engagement and been Turned Down. At least, that's what I Thought. And barely a breath before I was grabbing papers and drawing with extra chairs all around and between us and...
Okay. Okay. I'm telling myself "Just draw. You still have the ready made Proposal Caricature, and it's just Perfect. And I'M SO RELIEVED THAT THAT NICE WOMAN HADN'T WALKED OFF IT IT!!
The real lady that I was supposed to draw ~ She was delightful. She was happy, although sensing Something ~ what could it be ~ She was happy to be there. Together with her man. And when I showed her the Engagement Caricature ~ when her man enacted his Proposal ~ the tears, the joy, The Acceptance.
I've been smiling and laughing about my day ever since then. So if I'm so thrilled about how everything turned out, I can just imagine the intensity of the Joy that My Couple is feeling.
and I'm wondering about how this affected the extra couple ~ they're also probably laughing over the excitement of the day. And maybe I'll even get a call from Them some day ~ when they're ready to take their Fun Dates to the Next Level.
You can click on some pictures in this blog to see them larger.
To Hire Artist Alison Gelbman: