Last week I mentioned that my husband and I were celebrating our 20th wedding anniversary and shared details of how we met. For your amusement, I’d like to reveal how my beloved proposed marriage.
As an author, I should jump into the middle of the action, but bear with some backstory. My husband and I dated for five years before we tied the knot. When we met, he’d only been divorced for two years, after being with his ex-wife for eighteen. They’d married when he was 21, so he’d never had time as a single adult until his divorce. Also, he was (is) 14 years older than me, and was wary about the age difference. We didn’t exchange the “L word” until we’d been dating for a year and half.
Although I have seen successful marriages occur after very short courtships, in principle, I do not believe that rushing into marriage is a good idea. However, waiting five years is extreme in the other direction. Although I understood my husband’s hesitation, around our third year of dating, I began pushing (he would say hard) for marriage. He continued to resist.
One time when we were discussing marriage hypothetically, he slipped.
“When we get married–” he said.
I pounced. “When we get married?”
“If we get married.”
“But you said when.”
“But I meant if!”
In the spring of our fourth year of dating he asked what I wanted for my birthday, which is in August.
“I want an engagement ring,” I said. See, I was willing to work with him and allow him to kill two birds with one stone. I’m flexible and open to compromise that way. 🙂
His response was something along the lines of, “What you do want that you have a chance of getting?”
At that time, I’d just purchased my first computer. It sat on a folding table I’d borrowed from my husband, and I was using one of my dining chairs. So I figured if I couldn’t have an engagement ring, I may as well have a comfortable chair.
We shopped for computer chairs, I sat in them, and showed him the one wanted.
Fast forward a couple of months to June (still not my birthday). One evening at his house he asked, “Do you want your birthday present now or do you want to wait?”
First I said I wanted to wait, but then I got to thinking. He was going out of town for a few weeks and I had planned to get a lot of writing done in his absence. It would be nice to have a comfortable chair, I decided. “Okay, I’ll take it now.”
“I’ll go get it,” he said and left the room.
He reappeared sans chair and shoved a little black velvet box into my hands and said…
[Wait for it]
“Here. Maybe now this will get you off my back.”
I opened the box. Inside was the ring. “Are you asking me to marry you?”
“Don’t push your luck.”
And that, folks, was my marriage proposal.
It took me twenty years to come up with a romantic spin, but I think I’ve got one:
After all my lobbying, he did surprise me. He planned a ruse that had me truly believing I was getting a computer chair. He shopped for the ring himself. Both of us are pragmatic people. Had he gotten down on one knee, I don’t think either of us could have kept a straight face.
But,”now maybe this will get you off my back?”
Lets just say he gave me something besides a ring — a story he’ll never live down.
Did you have a bad marriage proposal? Please share it!