Kasia needed a co-conspirator for an undercover caper, and I readily volunteered. Our goal: to snap photos of a surprise engagement. Our location: the rose garden of Arlington’s Bon Air park. Our success? Well, you judge.
Our first task was to locate the special tennis ball placed by Kasia’s friend Diane under a rose bush near the tennis courts. Diane, you see, would hit a ball over the fence and ask her girlfriend Paige to retrieve it. Once there, Paige would squeeze the sliced ball open, extract a note saying “turn around,” and find Diane presenting an engagement ring. Kasia and I would leap from behind the bushes to record the moment. What could go wrong?
Kasia and I arrived 45 minutes early and spread a picnic blanket out of sight near the roses and tennis courts. We then went searching for the tennis ball. Kasia had a photo of its location. We finally found it nearby, tucked deep amid the thorns. Not very bare-leg friendly. I extracted it, squeezed it and found no slice and no note. This was not THE ball. Uh oh. (Good thing Diane rejected the idea of placing the ring itself there.)
We looked and looked. Finally, Kasia spied it in the grass near the creek: someone had found it, attempted to use it and then flung it away in disgust when it wouldn’t bounce.
So we placed it back where it was supposed to be and walked away. Seconds later, I saw an eight-year old boy reach down and pick it up. I scampered back and explained the trick. He affably agreed to trade his ball for the one I had just found.
Kasia and I planted the ball a third time under the rose bush and determined to keep careful watch. Basically, that meant me popping my head over the rose bushes every few minutes to eye our prize. And we would listen for Diane and Paige to start playing tennis. Once they volleyed a bit, we would slip into paparazzi position. We just needed to keep that ball in place.
Time passed. No tennis. I popped up again for my periodic check, and I gasped: the ball was gone again. Was that Diane and Paige embracing? And a tree blocking my camera angle?
So, with barefoot Kasia close behind, I rounded the rose bushes and barreled down the path toward them, snapping photos as I went. (And Kasia acquired a classic photo of my rump, which I decline to share.) Laughter and photos ensued.
Happy Engagement, Diane and Paige!
Ok, if you’re still reading, you get the photo: