The Night He Proposed
In January of 2021, I remember having a dream. And in that dream there was a BRIGHT light beaming straight out of my heart. And I could feel it in real life. There was so much love and joy and it felt intense. And then the intensity grew. Then it started to get warm and it began vibrating--in my dream AND my real body. It was so intense that it woke me up. And when I opened my eyes, there was a silent whisper in my spirit that said: You're about to meet him.
It was so weird and...I don't know! I had just said goodbye to a handful of men (that I may or may not have been dating around the same time but that's another story) and so I was super single. I didn't have any prospects that I could think this could apply to... Until March rolled around and The Broadway Podcast Network asked me to speak at a virtual event on behalf of my podcast and the Network. Actually (haha) they forgot to ask me and had already put it on the calendar and I happened to see it. I was like, "Uhh...y'all want me there for this? I'm free to do it! haha I just don't remember hearing about it!" They were like 'Oh my gosh, so sorry! Yes please we'd love for you to speak.' WELL, I'm so glad that it was never even a question because my future husband was in that virtual meeting room.
I REPEAT: My future husband was in that meeting room.
He popped up on the screen and he was cute. But I wasn't thinking about that. I was quietly thinking to myself...*whew...there sure are a lot of white people in this room lol.*
After the event (which he had helped produce) he found me on instagram and wrote me a message.
The rest is history.
Fast forward. Andrew moved from Oregon to New York City and has been working full time virtually. It's the start of 2022, and I’m beginning to plan my 30th birthday. I knew I had on the calendar to perform another cabaret in Brooklyn and it would be on the actual day of my birth. At the end of January, I began writing my new show (90’s themed!!) and putting the pieces together. I usually produce it myself, costume it, put the song list together, write out the script, find a musician to accompany me, tell my friends, etc. But THIS time, I willingly relinquished some control when I asked Andrew, “Would you like to direct my cabaret?” And he excitedly said YES!
OKAY. Admittedly, I didn’t actually expect him to DO anything. I just wanted him to feel involved LOL. And even though he had a light touch on my actual performance, he had some great ideas surrounding the structure of things! I was pleasantly surprised and happy that I listened to him.
If you’re reading this, you probably know how this story ends, haha! But before he got down on a knee, I found out that he called my best friend as an SOS because I was hell-bent on having tie-dye fingernails. I also wanted to do the entirety of my show in my custom made pink box braids wig (which was not cheap and I wanted to get my monies worth). He was like, “Chantea, what do I do?” and she sent him a link for cute press on nails while also trying to derail me without being obvious! (I literally love her!) He was able to convince me to change out of the box braids but he couldn’t get me to hire a photographer for my show. I was like, “Listen. I won’t make a dime if I hire a photographer. Everyone in the audience literally has a camera. It will be FINE.”
So he secretly hired a photographer on his own. *slow nod…impressive*
BECAUSE LITTLE DID I KNOW that at the end of the night we would be taking an ENGAGEMENT PHOTOSHOOT! He didn’t want me looking busted. (I PROBABLY would have chosen different shoes had I realized. (They were so 90s but SO ugly LOL). But my nails looked bomb. And my hair felt more like ‘me’ than pink box braids I suppose.
The week prior, on Valentine’s Day at MIDNIGHT, Andrew is waiting for me with a little box…
I’m thinking… oh my god. Is this happening…right now???
It didn’t happen then. It was a beautiful necklace that said “I love you” in 100 languages if you put it under a microscope. And after he gave it to me, he said, “Get some rest. Tomorrow’s going to be a big day.” WHY WOULD HE SAY THAT!
I wish you could see my eyes rolling so hard right now. Because THIS MAN has done this to me like TEN times. And so I’ve LEARNED to not get my hopes up. And sure enough, we went on a date on Valentine's evening and we had a great time but he did not profess his undying love for me!(Well, not with a ring at least.) So when my friends asked on my birthday, “Did you know? You had to know! He even changed into a suit!”
LOL No, I didn’t know because I've learned to let go and stop trying to guess. Otherwise I get my hopes all up for squat diddly. AND we always match, even when we aren’t trying. Heck, we were wearing matching underwear that night! When Andrew said we need to go shopping for a suit, I responded, “You know…you don’t have to do a costume change because I do one. Lol… It’s really not that deep.” And he assured me as the director that we should start and end like a team. *Trying not to laugh at how dramatic he is sometimes.* So that’s what we did.
At the end of the show, he put together a ‘behind the scenes’ video (you can watch it at the link!!) which DID make me think, being that I only sent him one video of me rehearsing. And sure enough, it was NOT behind the scenes. It was my family and friends saying that they love me! And at the very end of it, he takes my hand and leads me to center stage.
And gets down on one knee.
And he says my name. Nervous laughs. And proceeds to tell me that he wants to show the world that love conquers all. That he loves me so much.
I’m looking at him and I’m thinking the following:
Oh my God.
OH MY GOD.
Why is he laughing.
Oh my God he really loves me.
Wait, this is HELLA iconic.
Should I cry?
No, don’t cry.
Remember the reaction you practiced since you were 7!
I can’t remember! Shoot! What do I do?
He’s still looking at you and talking to you!!
Omg. A lot of people are looking at you right now.
Dang it, these shoes are so ugly.
This is a dream come true.
HOLY COW THERE’S A RING!
Oh my God this is happening RIGHT NOW.
He just finished talking Salisha.
Why is it SO quiet in here?
Oh my God, because it’s your turn.
Everyone is waiting for you to say something…like that time you forgot your line when you swung on at The Britney Show.
I am SO proud of him for pulling this off. How the heck did he do that?
This is so bomb.
Aaawww, I love him.
Salisha, please. Say your line. It’s really your turn to talk now. It’s just one word.
SPIT. IT. OUT.
And the room screamed in congregational UPROAR. And Andrew scoops me up and hugs me so tight that my feet came off the ground. And when he sets me down, I’ve never been more awkward in my life. Everyone was so happy. We were so happy. And now they’re waiting for us to tell them what’s next. And I’m standing there in disbelief that this moment that I waited for for more than half my life JUST took place. And it went well. And I’m happy about it and excited that the love of my life just made it HAPPEN!
And I shortly realized that I could have written the dumbest, stupidest show. I could have forgotten the words to every song. It really didn’t matter what kind of show I planned for my 30th Birthday Cabaret because ANDREW FREAKING TOPPED ALL OF IT.
And that was the best birthday present I could have ever asked for.
Our friends cleared the room and as they waited for us at the reception area, we took a full blown Engagement photoshoot. And to our surprise, when we walked up the stairs, everyone was still there. They hadn’t touched the cake. Nor the champagne. They were all just happy and chatting and hanging out.
And then we partied.
So grateful. I'm still trying to wrap my head around all of it. I have never in my 30 years of living had a love like this before. Andrew is my literal other half and HE ACTUALLY FOUND ME. I been wishin on stars and dating the WORLD. And he actually exists and when I reflect on how it all came together, I'm just SO thankful to God. There was a time that I thought, I will never find someone. I'm SO complicated. And I don't really like answering to anyone or having anyone in my space. I recharge BY mySELF. And I get bored so so so quickly. It would take an ANOMALY.
And God straight up said to me one night during the pandemic when was I was feeling so so alone:
Is there anything too hard for God?
And once again, God showed UP. In a way that I could never take the credit. In a pandemic. NOT a coincidence. It was and is DIVINE and my heart feels the deepest gratitude and love for all of it.
I cannot wait to call Andrew my husband, and officially become Mrs. Weiss.
*All photos by Trent Campell at Picture This Productions.*
*Also, I was accompanied on piano by the amazing Rick Hip Flores who literally saved the day because I waited til the LAST FREAKING MINUTE to decide that I wanted a live accompanist instead of karaoke tracks.*