We were still living at Mark's Dad's house. I was still working at the Disney Store. The Lion King was still the hot movie.
One of the many, many Lion King toys we had for sale at the Disney Store was a "plush puppet" of either Simba or Mufasa. These were large stuffed toys with a little pocket in the main where you could slip your finger and articulate the front legs and the mouth/head. I have very long fingers, so I was a grand champion at working these puppets, so I spent my entire shifts with one of these toys in my arms entertaining The Guests (as we were required to call our customers). I loved them. I made people love them. I sold the shit out of them. Which gave lonelydumptruck An Idea.
He got one of those plush puppets, his Mother's engagement ring and made reservations at The Fancy Restaurant in Anchorage on Valentine's Day. It was a perfect, flawless, romantic proposal plan. Except for one thing.
About 2am on February 14th, 1995, I woke up with a horrible both-ends flu.
Poor lonelydumptruck did all he could think of to do: he tucked me into bed with my plush puppet when he left for work (which I made wave goodbye to him) and he came back home with the same bug about 3:30. He managed to stop at the video store on the way home and we made The Great Trek upstairs to spend Valentine's Day together on the couch watching movies and dozing.
We felt better enough to go to dinner at the Fancy Restaurant the next night, and he proposed later that evening. There could not have been a better February 15th.