congrats, julie and victor!

Congrats, Julie and Victor, on your engagement over the weekend!

And well done, Victor. You approached the situation that truly captures the mentality of how Chiang men approach the world: start off with an awesome bit of trickery, watch it almost come apart, and then eat your way out of the situation. You make us all proud.

In his own words…

So, Julie loves the rosemary bread from Amy’s Bread, and we buy it basically every weekend and make breakfast together. I wanted to get a ring inside the bread, but Julie doesn’t know what kind of ring she wants, or if she even wants a ring (though given our trips to the jewelry store since Saturday morning, I don’t think this last phrase is true anymore). Last week, I went to the wholesale district right by my office to buy a cheap, symbolic ring. And actually, because of the $30 minimum purchase, I ended up having to buy three rings!

I called Amy’s Bread and talked to the manager and the head baker, and they got really excited when I asked them if they could bake a ring into the bread. When I dropped off the rings, the head baker asked me if I wanted the ring on top or inside. I wanted this to be a surprise, so I asked him if he could put it inside the bread—but we usually only use about a third of the loaf, so would it be possible to put the ring towards one end? He said that once you put the ring in, it’d be impossible to tell where it’ll end up due to the way bread rises. That was fine, and he had two back up rings in case something went wrong with the first loaf.

I came back on Friday night to pick up the bread, and the head baker gave me two loaves. On the first attempt, the ring actually rose all the way to the top, and was peeking out of the bread. He had to try it again, and the ring was completely hidden in the second loaf. He was really excited for us and gave us the bread as a gift.

I came home on Friday night, and Julie was already home, hanging out with our friend Marianna. I told Julie I got us rosemary bread for tomorrow morning, and Julie said, “Oh, I already went to Amy’s Bread and got us some bread for tomorrow! . . . actually, they told me I got the last rosemary loaf!” “Crap!” I thought, and I said “Oh, that’s weird, I don’t know why they would’ve said that to you.. they had one when I went..” Luckily, Julie didn’t think too much of it. (And at this point, we had three loaves of rosemary bread in our apartment because I had the first loaf with the ring peeking out, hidden in my backpack). When we were thinking of what to do for dinner, we decided to make sandwiches out of the loaf Julie bought. I had to make Marianna cut really thick slices to make sure we used the entire loaf, which we did—but both Julie and Marianna couldn’t finish their sandwiches, so I ended up having to eat the bread that they couldn’t finish. All night long, I had nightmares that Marianna was cutting the wrong bread and that she ended up finding the ring.

On Saturday morning, I got up before Julie and started making breakfast, and I made it a little nicer than what we usually have, and instead of leaving the bread in the bag, I put it on a clean dish towel. When Julie got up and saw me cooking and saw the bread displayed on the towel, she said everything looked so good that she wanted to take pictures! When we sat down to eat, I said that instead of cutting the bread, it looked so good and rustic that we should just put it in the middle of the table and tear pieces off as we ate. Surprisingly, Julie didn’t think this was too weird and just said, “ok!”

She tore off a big piece for me and a couple of small pieces for herself. She said that the middle of the bread was so good and gooey, and I said, “yeah, it is! Rip me off some more of that MIDDLE!” When she was halfway through her breakfast, she said she was already feeling full! I had to pretend like I was eating my whole breakfast but really, I was concentrating on shoveling rosemary bread into my mouth. “Aren’t you getting full??” she asked. “No, for some reason, I’m really hungry this morning!” She kept tearing pieces off, but she was getting mad that I kept wanting only the middle. “Victor, what about the top and the bottom of the bread! You’re wasting it! I want to save this for later, too!” “Ahh, who cares! We can always buy some more!” I kept on eating and eating, and I was STUFFED—but I had to pretend that I was still hungry in case I had to eat the whole damned loaf. FINALLY, she tore off a big piece of bread and gave it to me without looking, and I saw the ring! I quickly gave the chunk of bread back to her. She looked at it, and I saw her face go from grossed out (there’s something weird in the bread!!) to confused (is that what I think it is??) to shocked (IS THAT WHAT I THINK IT IS???) to happy and beaming!! By this time I was on the other side of the table, down on one knee…. and she said yes!