Mount Airy businessman Ben Misay decided to take the holiday tradition of mistletoe just a few notches higher. Misay chose to pop the question to Brittany Langley in a big way Tuesday on the marquee of the Earle Theater in downtown Mount Airy.
“Brittany said she thought Ben wouldn’t propose to her for at least another year,” commented Whitney Smith, Langley’s sister. Smith said the couple has been dating steadily for about two years, after starting out as co-workers at the Thai Cafe in Mount Airy, which Misay’s family owns.
Friends of Langley and Misay pointed out the relationship was anything other than a romance in the beginning.
“When they started out it wasn’t like they hated each other,” said Elizabeth York, also a friend of the couple. “They just didn’t really get along that well.”
Almost a dozen friends came out Tuesday in the cold to set up a table with items representing different stages of their relationship. The idea was to use an alley in front of the theater as a romantic walk down memory lane which culminated in the two exiting the alley facing Misay’s proposal written on the marquee.
“This was Ben to a T. He’s very romantic. He wanted to do something big,” said Smith prior to the event. “I think she’ll be shocked. She’s not expecting this at all.” She explained Misay and his friends hit upon the idea of using the alley and the use of the marquee seemed a natural ending out of a movie.
Wilson Mejia, who said he grew up together with Misay, was also on hand to help set things up Tuesday for the couple. Mejia said he regards Misay as a brother and was obviously enjoying setting things up.
“I never imagined this. He (Ben) was always telling me that this would never happen,” said Mejia. “He used to tell me he could never see himself getting married.”
Another friend on the scene was Anthony Smith, who said ideas for proposing included flash mobs at the Thai Cafe and at the Mount Airy Museum of Regional history. Smith said at one point they were considering using the table of memories on walking trails behind the cafe and even had planned a highly choreographed fight scene where Misay would subdue a mugger, and “rob” him of an item which would turn out to be the engagement ring.
“Ben used to say when I get older I’m not gonna get married,” said Smith. He and others also explained Misay is one who really enjoys a bet and the more outlandish the better. Mejia said the loser of one bet had to run down Main Street in Mount Airy wearing a Superman outfit or wear the Superman outfit in the wind machine at Mayberry Mall. Another wager would have had the loser serving as a caddy for the group, in as few clothes as possible.
“Our bets never are about money, just wild stuff,” added Smith. “So we all had suggestions about what he could do. He took a little bit from all our plans and came up with this.”
Langley’s answer was yes and she indicated that she was clueless about what the surprise would be. She said things for them started out simply after they’d worked together awhile.
“We just started hanging out more and it just happened,” said Langley. She said the couple’s first date was at Lonestar Steakhouse and Misay really liked the yeast rolls, there which is why they were one of the items on the table of mementos.
“I had to win her over with my personality and charm of course,” said Misay as he grinned broadly.
Reach David Broyles at firstname.lastname@example.org or 719-1952.