My Second 15 Minutes of Fame and a Proposal

bya Gabrielle at 2:08 PM

You are lucky if you get to experience one 15 minute of fame moment in your life.  If you get two, then the gods must be shinning down on you.  And if you get three, well, then you must be famous and it comes with the territory.  I guess the gods were shinning down on us in Linyi, because we were asked to participate in a second promotional commercial.  I am sure it helped that we made friends with my boss’s buddy, The General.  He liked us and thought we would do a good job showing off a new apartment complex in town.  I did find it interesting that he didn’t want us to tell my boss that he asked us to do it.  Since we couldn’t communicate very well, it was hard to figure out why exactly he didn’t want us to talk about it, but we think he was trying to say that if our boss knew then we wouldn’t get paid as much because our boss would take a cut.  This made me wonder what sort of cut my boss took when we volunteered for the hotel commercial.  We weren’t paid at all for that day, but we were paid in food and a free night at the hotel – which is just as good if you ask me.  Since our boss didn’t know about our second 15 minute of fame, we were both paid 500 yuan.  We only worked 4 hours, and it wasn’t hard work.  We just had to smile a lot and pretend we were a married couple checking out the apartment complex like we wanted to live there.  I think 500 yuan was very fair.

The day we filmed the commercial is a very special day for me because it is the day that Phil proposed. Some back story is needed.

Because our initial shoot at the hotel wasn’t perfect, we were asked to come back and do a few of the scenes over again.  It wasn’t because we didn’t do a good job.  Apparently, they didn’t like the fake flowers they used in one scene, how they served Phil first in another,  and finally, the way we were greeted at the entrance of the hotel or the lack thereof.  Since we had to go back and work another day, they offered another night at the hotel.  My birthday was coming up, so they said they would throw in a cake for me, too.  We asked for our stay at the hotel be on a different day than our shoot, so we wouldn’t have to get up early like last time and go to work.  We weren’t able to enjoy much of our last time at the hotel because we worked all day, I had a headache, and we didn’t make it to bed until well  after midnight.  We had to be awake and downstairs by 8 in order to get back to the University on time.

Well, anyway, it was at this make-up shoot that we were invited to participate in the second promotional commercial.  When they first pitched the idea to us, we were a bit skeptical because they weren’t doing a very good job explaining it to us.  We didn’t even know that it was another commercial like thing until we showed up for it.  We thought we were going to have to pretend we were French, again, and get trashed on red wine.  That’s another story all together.  They told us it would only take a few hours the next day(after our make-up shoot), and then we could come back to the hotel and rest.

After our make-up shoot, we came home and I took a shower.  I took off my fake engagement ring like I always do, and laid it on the bedside table.  When I came out, I put all my rings and watch on, or so I thought, and hopped into bed.  The next morning we got up, hurriedly got dressed, and ran downstairs to meet our driver.

As we were walking out, Phil says to me, “Did I do something to make you mad?”

“No,” I said.  “Why?”

“Where is you ring?”

I looked down, expecting to see my ring where I always have it, but like Phil said, it wasn’t there.  I started to freak out.  We had a few minutes to spare, so I ran back into the room and started searching for it.  I looked everywhere.  I even had Phil look for it.  I was definitely freaking out at this point. I hate it when I lose things, even fake engagement rings.

“Did you take it?”  I asked.

“No,” Phil said.  “Don’t worry, we’ll find it later.”  Looking back on it, Phil seemed a little too okay with the fact that my ring just vanished out of no where.  I even at one point thought that in my sleep I took it off and threw it across the room or something.  It wouldn’t be the first time I did something like that.  Running out of time, I just had to deal with the fact that I would have to wait to find it.  All day I touched my hand and worried about it.

I think they did a better job with my makeup this time.

While we were at the apartment complex and waiting to film our next scene, my dad calls to say hi.  It seemed normal.  I told him how things were going and then we went back to smiling and pretending we were shopping for a place to live.

Four hours later, we had a great lunch, and then we were taken back to our place so we could get ready and go to the hotel.  I looked again for my ring, but I wasn’t able to find it.  At this point, I was pretty sure it was gone.  I told Phil that he would just have to buy me a new one, and this time a real one, and then we left for the hotel.

We got to the hotel and settled in.  While Phil ran down to try and find a store that sold some snacks, I enjoyed a wonderful bath.  The water wasn’t exactly clear, but it felt good.  When Phil got back, we flipped on The Social Network and watched it for awhile until we started getting hungry.  At this point we noticed that our room was slowly getting warmer.  We had the AC on, but every few minutes the illuminated number would go up by one.  Phil said I should call room service, but I didn’t want to.  I jokingly said I would call room service when he put a ring on my finger.  We eyed the room service menu for some good food, but decided to go down to the Italian restaurant that we had been meaning to eat at for a long time.

Right before we left there was a knock at door.  Like promised, my birthday cake was delivered.  We shoved it in the tiny in-room refrigerator, and then took off for yummy Italian food.

I’m not usually a big fan of Chinese cake, but this one was pretty good.

With the unexpected 1000 yuan lining our pockets, we decided to splurge a little bit.  Phil got a few shots of Tequila.  We picked out a few more things off the menu than we normally would to start us off, and then completed our meal with one awesome pizza.    As we were eating the pizza, our waiter, the same guy who brought my birthday cake to the room, brought over a complimentary Tiramisu with Happy Birthday written in chocolate on the plate.  I thought it was very nice.

The people at the hotel were so nice.  The staff was truly awesome in every way.

Before I could take a bite, Phil says to me, “I talked to the front desk about your ring.”

I perked up.  The reason he said this is because Phil told me that maybe I lost it at the hotel the day before and I just didn’t notice it.  But I swore that I took it off before my shower the night before, and that was the last time I remembered it.

“Did they find it?”

“No.”  I sunk in my chair.  “But they did find something.”  My mind went through all the possible things that they could have found that belonged to me, but I couldn’t think of what it could be.  I watched as Phil reached into his jacket pocked and pulled out a little red box.  “They found my heart,” he said, and dropped to one knee.  “Gabrielle, will you marry me?”

I don’t know how long I stared at him, my mouth hanging open.  My eyes teared up a little.  After waiting 8 years, I never thought this day would come.  I remember thinking at the time that I better say yes quick, or Phil might think I was going to say no.  I finally go my mouth to work.   “Of course, I will!”

I stared at my hand for nearly a week straight.  It shines so bright, even in a dim room.

Phil probably won’t admit to this, but he got a little teary eyed, too.

The few people that were in the restaurant, mainly just the staff, all started clapping, and Phil and I hugged.  I sat back down, my hands shaking a little and said, “I don’t think I can eat anymore.”  I was too happy to eat anything.

Phil then told me the story of my fake engagement ring.   When I was in the shower, he took it and pocketed it.  He was a little amazed that I didn’t notice it was missing when I put all my other rings and watch on.  I guess I just thought I put it on because that is what I always do after a shower.  If it had been my watch, I think I would have noticed.  Or maybe not.  I don’t know. The reason my dad called was to see if Phil had asked yet.  I was glad to find out that Phil did the proper thing and asked permission.  And as it turned out, I had to call room service to see if they could fix the AC problem.

So in the video below, I am not pretending to be married, I was just practicing.  :)  Enjoy!

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