The Best Laid Plans of Raccoons and Ben Go Happily Awry

Ring from Paper Sparrow, Flowers from Poppy Red Flowers

My good friends Ben and The Dr. got engaged a couple of weekends ago. He had it all planned out. The proposal was to be a private event with just the two of them and afterwards, a celebratory party with friends at their favorite restaurant with food and drink aplenty.

They both have an shared “history” with raccoons so in honor of it, everything was raccoon themed.  We got a cool Brat & Suzie raccoon shirt from ModCloth as a gift for her and commissioned a raccoon cake from our friend Joe of Demi-Pêche. The restaurant also fit the bill. Homeroom Racing Cafe is a Thai joint that serves up a side of whimsical kitsch to go with their kickass stir frys and curries. Walk in the door and you get hit with vivid reminders of a child’s wishlist from Christmases past. My Little Pony and Nemo hang from the ceiling and GI Joe scales down the wall over by the door. Here and there, randomly placed ceramic raccoons peer out from along the doors and windows. Perfect.

The details were worked out weeks in advance. The menu was planned. The guest list was created and friends were sworn to secrecy and forced to lie to spouses. Weak links were vetted and silenced mercilessly. Mui and Boris of were to fly back from France under cover of night and disabled Facebook walls posts. He was going to propose and suggest a casual dinner at Homeroom Racing where he would relish the look of of surprise on her face when she saw her friends lying in wait.  There was to be no mystery in store for him. Or so he thought.

Who knew that the enthusiastic chef/owner of Homeroom Racing was such a hopeless romantic? She would have to make a banner for their party along with a silk flower arch. Even more than that, just with just a week to go, she insisted that Ben do a repeat proposal at the restaurant underneath the silk flowers and of course, “you’ll need to bring another ring and I’m going to take her away for twenty or thirty minutes and speak to her. It doesn’t matter, you don’t need to know why.”

Mui and Boris waiting for the party to start

There was no arguing with the person who was going to be preparing your food and so Ben gamely threw fate to her capable hands went out in search of another ring that with a cool factor that would not overshadow the real engagement. After much net surfing, we found the perfect ring from Andrea of PaperSparrow on Etsy and placed plea for speedy shipment along with the order. On the day of, the cook whisked The Dr. away as she and Ben arrived post engagement and had her daughters dress up the confused woman in a diaphanous dress from Benetton that would have been indecent (not planned) had it not been for the prudent use of a chair cover and barrettes as strategic underpinnings.

He proposed again and she said yes again to everyone’s delight and we feasted on delicious curries and thai burgers washed down with Prosecco and Wreek wine.  Dessert was decadent cakes from Joe, coconut buttermilk cake with coconut buttercream and peach upside down cake. Each was topped with a sculpted fondant raccoon. It didn’t exactly go as planned but few could argue that the event could have been better than it was!

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