It was Boxing Day, 2007. It was absolutely freezing outside, but not quite cold enough to snow (something that I still have to stop myself from complaining about), and I was coming down with some kind of holiday-exhaustion-meets-plane-germs lurgy. Not one to rest while on holiday (I wouldn’t want to miss out on anything!), I was adamant that we were spending the day in Central Park. It was on the schedule, after all. I had spent at least six months agonising over every little detail, planning our trip with military precision – we were sticking to that bloody schedule.
We grabbed a map from the Visitor’s Centre (the Dairy), and made our way around the park. I will never forget how cold I was that day. Chilled-to-the-bone cold. I bought a hot coffee from a cart selling snacks and beverages by Wollman Rink, but it barely warmed my insides. I couldn’t understand how it could possibly be so cold, yet not snow. I was freezing – and there was only one thing that kept me going. Squirrels.
Much to Mr Posy’s dismay, I was more interested in chasing squirrels than I was in the beautiful park that surrounded us. I squealed with glee when one particularly bold squirrel came right up to my shoe, but with nothing to feed him, he quickly ran off.
We hiked around the park, taking in the sights, stopping occasionally to snap a photo when I would spot a squirrel. After a few hours of this (and a lunch break), I began to grow tired. I was sick, I was freezing, and my clothes were damp thanks to the mist and a light sprinkle of rain. I wanted to go back to the hotel room. I wanted a hot shower. I wanted to crawl into bed and sleep.
Mr Posy had other ideas. He wanted to find Strawberry Fields.
We were somewhere in the middle of Central Park, and I had no idea which way was up. I couldn’t work out where we were, or how to get to where Mr Posy wanted to be. I was tired and cold and starting to whinge. But still, Mr Posy was on a mission.
Occasionally I would spot a squirrel, and I’d perk up a little. For a few minutes. My feet were starting to hurt, and I was getting more tired by the minute. I didn’t think we were ever going to find where we needed to be. Or our way out of the park. Eventually we hit Fifth Avenue. Awesome. We were blocks and blocks away from Strawberry Fields. I begged to go back to the hotel. We could come back tomorrow. I just want to sleep. We have the ballet tonight. I don’t feel very well.
Mr Posy would not give in. I began to grow suspicious. And a wee bit nervous.
It took us two hours, but we found Strawberry Fields.
Stalling, I pointed out a vendor selling gloves. “Look! You’ve been saying all day you wanted gloves! These are like mine!” Mr Posy exchanged a few greenbacks for the gloves. He lingered around the Imagine tribute, taking a couple of snaps (I refused – people might think I was a tourist…), until the crowd thinned out a little.
“Miss Posy? Can you take a shot of us both by the tribute?”
I was a gun at taking self-portrait shots and he knew it. I knelt down beside him; my stomach had butterflies. He was on one knee. Was this it?
It was here that Mr Posy whispered into my ear, asking me if I could “imagine” spending the rest of my life with him. It was here that I giggled nervously, not really believing that he was asking, asking me, despite knowing that a ring had been in his luggage for over a week. It didn’t feel real.
It was here that I said “Yes”. I no longer felt cold.