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How I got my perfect proposal


I'm not one to beg. But when, one afternoon in 2008, I stopped by the movie studio my then-boyfriend, John, helps run and saw "Sex and the City movie shoot - fashion show scene" written in his calendar, I made an exception. At 26, I had seen every episode of every season--twice--and the idea that I wouldn't be cast as an extra seemed impossible. It took some convincing, but John agreed to arrange it.

A smile hijacked my face from my (first) morning coffee on the day of the shoot. Designers had transformed the space into an elaborate Bryant Park tent showcasing a Vivienne Westwood fashion show during Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week. Five rows of matching white stadium seating lined the runway, which ran down the center of the large room. A huge stage held ground to my left.

Sarah Jessica Parker, sitting pretty in a fluffy silver dress, huddled with a fur-coated Kim Cattrall a row in front of me. Cynthia Nixon and Kristin Davis flanked them, both draped in dark hues. I squinted at the bright pin lighting as we awaited instruction. John took the microphone just as shooting was to begin, and I settled in for a "thanks for being here" kind of speech.

"Thanks to everyone for coming today," John said, and I smiled. "Today is a special day for me because my girlfriend, Rachel, is in the audience. It was Rachel's dream to be an extra in Sex and the City, and now I hope she makes my dream come true"--he was down on one knee at this point, an open Tiffany box in his hand--"by marrying me." Sure wish I'd known about this before I had decided to call in sick to work that morning.

I don't remember saying yes. I meant to, of course, and I must have, because within seconds all I could see were 300 extras, actors, and crew members on their feet, their clapping and stomping deafening my thoughts. Sarah Jessica Parker rushed over to examine my new bling. I stopped worrying about calling in sick to work. 

Our fifteen minutes of fame--which the assistant director, in her effort to keep the production on time and on budget, whittled down to eight--ended fast. A 16-hour shoot day followed, filled with takes, re-takes, and bribes to get Lil' Kim, who made a deleted cameo, out of her dressing room. I went home exhausted but content.

Though John and I had never had an actual, filled-with-words conversation about marriage, we had been together for almost three years and had discussed where we might live long-term, our career goals, and future children's names. I had shied from ever broaching the subject because I hadn't wanted John to confuse a conversation for a suggestion, or a suggestion for an ultimatum, or an ultimatum for a reason to leave. I had seen so many friends jeopardize relationships with deadlines and demands. One had even left a printed itinerary of how she envisioned a proposal in her boyfriend's briefcase. And while such behavior is effective for certain couples at certain times, it wasn't us. I wanted John to propose--but I wanted him to do it when and how he felt was right.
"Sex and the City" was when. "Sex and the City" was how. And if it took a little begging on my part to get us there, well, I could live with that.
*Originally appeared on
Rachel Eddey ( is a freelance writer in New York. Her first book, a humorous memoir entitled Running of the Bride: My Frenzied Quest to Tie the Knot, Tear Up the Dance Floor, and Figure Out Why My 15 Minutes of Fame Included Commercial Breaks, is now available. Join her on TwitterFacebook, or at any dive bar in New York City.

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