The Proposal

Ed. note: Numerous people have asked for “the story” of me proposing to K, so I thought I’d write it down. It feels a little odd to write a blog post about such a moment, but we here at are all about giving the people what they want. ๐Ÿ™‚ Also, this post allows me to explain why we have unexpected pictures of the proposal itself.

Updates 2/16/12:

I’ve been thinking about asking Kimberly to marry me for a while now & I told myself that if I felt like asking her 5 times or so, I should just do it. In the end, it ended up happening half by intent and half by serendipity, like many of the best things in our relationship.

IMG 1978Unexpected Proposal-Cam! (courtesy of Hannah Tries)


I originally thought to fly her somewhere romantic (Paris? the National Parks in Utah?), but didn’t want to add more to our carbon footprint after our big trip to China, so that was out. Then I thought maybe I’d drive her somewhere here in CA over the holiday (Yosemite? Big Basin? Muir Woods?), but we decided to not go anywhere for the vacation, because we both wanted downtime. By then I had already almost asked her twice.1

As it became clearer that I was really going to do this, it dawned on me that I should ask her family first, so I managed to pull Dad, brother, and sister each aside during their family Christmas Day gathering, and call Mom while she was vacationing abroad. Thankfully, they were all excited (thanks Conleys & Haydens!) Once I had asked them, I knew there was no turning back (fire in the hole!) & that I’d be asking her soon. Besides, by that point I had already had a few more near-asks.1

The week after Christmas was warm and gorgeous and Kimberly decided that we’d go on a long walk from the Mission to the Golden Gate Bridge (on Friday.) Given that, “Ask Her On The Bridge!” became The Plan of Record.

But then, Friday turned unexpectedly grey & foggy and we decided to go on a less scenic walk to a restaurant on the far west side of the City, and I decided to not ask her yet (though I almost did anyway.)1

Frustrated, that night, I asked her if she wanted to go on a late night walk, and figured the view in Dolores Park would be perfect. But she said no. ๐Ÿ™‚

The next good candidate seemed to be the next night, Saturday, on New Year’s Eve. I decided to ask her on our big New Year’s Eve bike party/ride. The only concern was that our roving street party is big, loud, and *VERY* public which is much more my speed than hers. Nonetheless, I thought I’d try to just pull her aside quietly right after midnight, in the middle of the rambunctionating. New Plan of Record + Slight Misgivings.

I woke up Saturday, realizing everything was set & all I needed to do was wait. The day was stunningly beautiful & we found ourselves at the Embarcadero Farmer’s Market after a nice walk and a lovely lunch with friends. As we were buying fruit, I suddenly realized that now was the time: the day couldn’t be more perfect, we were near one of my favorite spots (Pier 7)2, and it would just be the two of us, which she might like better than the big party planned for later.

The only problem was that we were running late for a scheduled delivery at our house & any suggestion that we become even later might result in a remarkably inopportune argument (she’s really good at staying on schedule & is often frustrated that I’m not.)

Nonetheless, I asked her if we could walk to the pier since it was so beautiful & braced myself for the worst. Fortunately, she was game & so we headed over. As we made our way to the end, I noticed a couple sitting nearby chatting away happily and some folks fishing a little ways away, but it was private enough & lovely.

After talking for a few minutes, Kimberly turned away to look out over the water, so I stepped back & got down on one knee & waited for her to turn around. She didn’t for a little bit & so I continued to wait. I decided that the nearby couple might be wondering if anything was wrong, so I turned and flashed them a smile & a thumbs up.

After another few seconds, Kimberly turned half way around to see where I was & finding me down below her, looked at me quizzically. I motioned for her to turn around fully. “Kimberly Hayden Conley, will you marry me?” At least that is what I planned to say. She says I did. I was a good bit more nervous than I realized, so I don’t actually recall. I think she said “Of course I will.” ๐Ÿ™‚

Amusingly enough, the nearby couple realized what was going on when I flashed them the thumbs up & took a few pictures for us during the moment ๐Ÿ™‚ How lucky (& kind) is that! Thanks Hannah!

IMG 1978 IMG 1979 IMG 1980 IMG 1981 courtesy of Hannah Tries
1. Some of the Near Misses:

  • a bike ride through Golden Gate Park and the Dahlia Garden
  • cuddled up watching movies on a snuggly night at home
  • a beautiful sunset on Bernal Hill
  • a few really awkward moments (Eeek! Rings!) in jewelry stores while randomly window-shopping.
  • on our Friday walk through the Inner Sunset as we were geeking out about the Sunset Reservoir (we’d never seen it). (Luckily, good sense prevailed & I decided that the locale wasn’t “us” enough, even though it was awesome that I could geek out about urban infrastructure with a hot girl.)รขโ€ ยฉ

2.Google & Facebook say it is Pier 5, but my iPhone says it is Pier 3. I think Apple is wrong. [Also note that some of the pix on the linked Google page are of the wrong pier. Grr.] รขโ€ ยฉ UPDATE (2/16/12) : IT IS ACTUALLY PIER 7. Way to be wrong Google, Facebook, and Apple!


20 thoughts on “The Proposal

  1. I am waiting for Deep and Kimberly to adopt me. Thanks for sharing the details of the proposal. But there’s a minor detail that I need to know. Is that other canvas bag Deep’s Bike to Work Day bag? If not, I think it should be photoshopped into these photos because that bag seems to go everywhere with Deep.

  2. Yay for waiting for the perfect moment!

    Lyle definitely asked me if she thought you two were forever during the Hayden family Christmas Day hike. To which I replied: “Yes, definitely.” In so many words.

    Good to know that I know forever when I see it.

  3. I love the fact that you were both conscious and spontaneous and that combination worked really well for you. Nicely done sir I salute you.

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