It was the 23rd September 2016. I was sitting in the office at my desk, heels on, oh by the way this is not Sahmani HQ, this is pre working on Sahmani full time (or Lonam as it was called before I rebranded). Ok back to the story. I’m in the office, in Canary Wharf, in London, it’s an open plan office and my Director is sitting to my right. I’m wearing black heels and a Reiss dress (it’s a corporate environment), it’s the headquarters of a bank...the one with a blue bird in its logo. I’m a project lead in the Development team. Oh wait, I’m not wearing a Reiss dress. It’s Friday. Friday is dress down day (I’m still wearing heels because that‘s just me...I don’t feel like I’m in the zone without heels on).
My mobile rings, it’s on silent on my desk, I glance at the flashing screen. ”Dad”. My Director says, “your dad’s calling“. It’s the middle of the day on a Friday. Maybe he thinks I’m working from home? ”I’ll call him later” I say to her. She leaves early on a Friday to make sure she can collect her daughter from school, I wanted to make sure we’d finished up before she needed to rush out. We finish our chat (well the worky bit) and started talking about weekend plans. My desk phone rings.
Looks like an international number. A Ghanaian one. She gestures to answer, waves gets ready to leave. I answer “Good afternoon, Aisha speaking...”
“Heeeeeyyyyy Miss ASA-mar-neeeee!” Its my dad. “How are body, soul and spirit this fine afternoon?” (Yes this really is how he greets me on the phone. For real.) “I‘m good, how’s you?” I say using my “office voice“. “Very very very exceptionally well, are you working from home?” (he’s called my desk line). “No, in the office today but going home soon. Ish”. “Good good good” he says. “I just called to wish you a massive congratulations!!!”
I imagine my face looks something like this...
You know that moment when someone says something with so much conviction and you haven‘t the absolute foggiest what they’re talking about but because they’re so confident, you start searching your brain archives for receipts, memories, overheard conversations, anything to make sense of what they’re saying. This is me right now. Did I say something to my sister that she told to my aunt who told my dad and 17 degrees of Ghanaian whispers later it’s a whole different story? Is he being sarcastic? It’s Friday. Maybe he’s congratulating me for being almost ready to start the weekend?
”I just spoke to Jules...” he says, “and he told me the GREAT news about your impending nuptials”. “Errrrrr”....I say.
“What, you didn’t know?” he asks. “Errrrrm, huh?” I say. “Where are you?” I ask, because I’m just so confused. I see he’s calling from a Ghanaian number but he’s in Ghana and Jules is in England so how can they have spoken? Jules and my dad don’t speak. Not on the phone. Weird. More likely my dad has flown into London and is pranking me. Yup. That makes way more sense.
“He called and asked for my permission and I said yes yes yes yes yes yes!” He said excitedly. “Oh” I mustered. “Anyway, have a good day and speak to you soon.”
He walked in effed ish up and walked out. Well you know, over the phone.
So now what? I think I just sat looking around a bit confused for a while. Needless to say there was no further work that occurred this day.
I called Jules. I remember him answering the phone in a very chilled, normal Jules kind of way. Nothing like someone who has just asked his girlfriend’s dad for his daughter’s hand in marriage. I mean, what does that sound like? I don’t know, but not chill.
So I recount the story quickly and calmly to him and he just laughed. Then he told me a slightly longer version of the story my dad told me with the addition of the fact that my dad didn’t even let him fully get his question out before he responded ”yes“, well more like “YESS!” a lot of times.
Poor Jules hadn’t quite had a chance to buy a ring. He thought he’d have a little more time to find out my ring size and, you know, plan a proposal, before I officially found out but hey...
The next morning we went ring shopping for a temporary ring. I don’t know if people still give promise rings but under the circumstances, Jules just really wanted me to have a physical symbol of his intentions. We chose a very traditional round cut white sapphire solitaire set in a white gold half eternity band.
I really wanted a yellow cushion cut sapphire so tried on these options
We started the planning process, and by we and mean I (remember I said I was a Project Lead?) and in November 2016 whilst on holiday in San Francisco Jules got down on one knee and proposed.
Jules wasn’t buying the whole non white engagement ring idea. He also wasn‘t into my idea of a delicate understated ring...
(I fell in love with this simple style at 77 Diamonds
so we went ahead and put diamonds on almost every surface. Compromise. One the foundations for a good relationship. In this case, I really didn’t mind.
I still wear my “temp“ ring...just on my right hand. I love it. It comes with such a good story. My friends have fun choosing which one they prefer. Which do you prefer?