I don’t know about you, but sometimes I feel as though romance died, along with chivalry, a long while ago. Or, if it’s not dead, it must be, at least, seriously diseased. Maybe it’s that thirty years of marriage thing that depletes romance. But maybe it’s not that at all because I remember my husband’s marriage proposal. We were sitting in the car outside the house he shared with his two male roommates. He said, “Hey, you wanna get married,” and I said something like, “Hell yeah.” (Note: It has been said with some validity that I’m the least romantic person in the galaxy…a truth that seems a little at odds with my romance writing career.)
That being said, I was a little surprised when my eldest son mentioned he wanted to think of some really great way to propose to his girlfriend. In the end, he took her to Egypt, where he convinced some unsuspecting stranger to film them in front of a sphinx while he asked for her hand in marriage. EGYPT! Decidedly better than a car parked in front of someone’s run-down bachelor pad.
I was even more surprised when my daughter’s boyfriend, Bob, called me at six in the morning about two weeks ago. “I bought a ring! You have to see it, and then I need help finding the perfect place to propose,” he said. I didn’t bother to mention that pledging one’s troth in a car parked by the curb was a tried and true method. Instead, we spent the following day driving around state parks searching for the ideal spot for my little enviro-friendly daughter to vow the rest of her life.
We ended up in a little area called Interstate Park on the Wisconsin/Minnesota border. It had a miraculously Yosemitesque feel to it. There was a beautiful little boulder-strewn canyon which Bob and I agreed was perfect. After some tramping and debating it was decided that in ten days time, on a Saturday afternoon, I would decorate one of those big, flat boulders in a fairy-like manner, light a couple dozen candles, leave a bottle of wine and chocolate covered strawberries and wait for Bob to lure his unsuspecting bride-to-be into his lair.
I spent the next ten days, drying wildflowers, gathering spectacularly colorful leaves, and collecting pretty rocks like some demented raven. On the afore-mentioned afternoon, I dutifully arrived at the appointed canyon and decorated the boulder.
To everyone’s surprise, I neither set the woods nor my hair on fire. A few people peeked into the canyon, but no one entered. Perhaps because it looked a bit as though I was setting up a druid altar. Basically people just rushed their children off to safety. Regardless, at 6:30 pm, just before dusk, Bob called me from some outhouse in which he was hiding from my daughter. I told him all was ready and climbed up the boulders to keep an eye on the candles from above. At 6:47, the soon to be happy couple came traipsing into the mouth of the canyon. At first glimpse of them, I left, creeping over mosses and away like an escaping convict.
Daughter called me an hour later, sounding giddy and thanking me a hundred thousand times.
She now wears a row of diamonds on her left hand and laughs a lot. I think it’s a time they’ll remember forever. I know I will (partly because the mosquitoes were particularly ravenous during my wait on the cliff above the canyon). But then, I remember the proposal in my husband’s car.
So how about you? How was your proposal? Exciting? Romantic. Wonderful. Ridiculous? Or are you still dreaming of that time to come? And is the proposal important, or is it just an inconsequential step toward marriage?
Sorry, my pc hates me tonight and won’t load my pics.