Grab your tissues — things got real emotional on this week’s episode of Jersey Shore Family Vacation.
First, the girls got Lauren Pesce out of the house under the pretense of a “girls day” so that the guys could run all the necessary errands, picking up flowers, desserts and even matching outfits.
The only one who opted to stay home? Ronnie Ortiz-Magro, who was going through a rough time over his drama with now-ex Jen Harley. (They welcomed their first child together, daughter Ariana Sky, on April 3.)
“I’m very happy to see Mike in such a good place, but it’s hard to watch it because I kind of have my own situation with Jen,” he said. “I just want to be happy with somebody and I found that with Jen. She made me so happy but then so f—ing miserable.”
“Three months ago, you were conflicted on whether you should leave me for your ex — now you’re telling me you want to keep my child?” he continued. “I have a great heart and she knows that no matter what happens between us, I’m going to be there for that kid no matter what. I don’t know if she loves me for me, I don’t know if we’re going to make it after the baby is born. I don’t know. The feeling of the unknown is the most scary thing in the world.”
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Luckily, Ronnie managed to pull himself out of his funk just in time. That night, Mike took Lauren out for dinner so that the roommates could set up the house, kicking “Operation Team Proposal” into overdrive. In two hours, they transformed the Miami mansion, decorating it with a runway carpet, rose petals, flowers, candles, twinkly lights, heart-shaped balloons, a DJ booth and more.
Meanwhile, the man of the hour was getting visibly nervous.
“I think Lauren definitely notices something is up with me,” he said. “She’s known me for over 15 years, and I really don’t get nervous. But it’s very nerve-wracking to trust all these guidos with such an important moment in my life!”
Once they got back to the house, it was finally time for the big moment. Mike led Lauren through the house to the backyard pool area, where the roommates were waiting with bated breath and an adorable slideshow of the happy couple that opened with a heartfelt declaration that brought everyone to tears: “I fell in love with you because you loved me when I couldn’t even love myself.”
“You’re my best friend, my college sweetheart, my better half,” said Mike, getting down on one knee. “You make me a better person. Please make me the happiest man on earth. Will you please marry me?”
Of course, she said yes — and everyone was overjoyed.
“We’ve been through so much, and for us to finally get engaged, it’s really special,” said Mike. “Because it wasn’t guaranteed. It’s been very stormy for a while. The odds were against me. People bet against me. But against all odds, she’s been there throughout the ups and downs, the good times and the bad times.”
“I’ve been wanting to get to this day for so long,” he added. “And right now, I’m feeling like all these bad times that I’ve been through, it’s all worth it for this moment right here.”
Mike, 35, is currently awaiting his sentencing after pleading guilty to tax evasion in a New Jersey federal court in January. Though he’s facing up to five years in prison, he’s maintaining a positive outlook.
The next morning, Lauren headed home, and Mike grabbed lunch with the boys. After Vinny gently broached the subject of the upcoming sentencing, Mike explained that one of the reasons he had wanted to propose to Lauren as soon as possible was to make sure he “locked down a good girl.” (Originally set for April 25, the sentencing date has been pushed back to Sept. 7.)
“Lauren is the light at the end of my tunnel,” he said. “Lauren is my everything, Lauren is my best friend, she is my soulmate, she is my better half. And knowing that I found that, I’m willing to face anything in life.”
But with this cast, it can only be smooth sailing for so long — and by that evening, Mike was already starting to stir up drama when he began speculating that Ronnie’s “horrible decisions stem from the drinking and the partying.”
“I know Mike is like, Saint Mike and everything,” Vinny pointed out. “But let’s not forget where he came from.”
The season finale of Jersey Shore Family Vacation airs next Thursday at 8 p.m. ET on MTV.