Now that Jonathan Swift is rolling over in his grave, I’ve got a story to tell. Neal wrote a blog entry recently in which he told the story of how he proposed to his now-fiancee. And I promised that I would, in the spirit of the whole thing, also tell the story of how I proposed to my now-wife.
So here it is. Just for posterity. (Some of you were there. I’d love to hear what you recall, if anything.)
First a tiny bit of back story. Steph and I met in late August of 1997. We hit it off immediately (well, she didn’t really like me for the first month. Deleted my voicemails, etc) and spent obscene amounts of time together. Things developed. We were semi-official about our relationship in April of 1998, although we had been trying since the earlier fall to deny the whole thing. Our fear and reluctance was stupid and immature. Those are the boring details. I skipped over the early good stuff to focus the spotlight; I hope you don’t mind.
Sometime in early 1999 Steph told me of a dream she had wherein I proposed to her. Not that she was dropping hints or anything. Of course not! But she did give the the details of the dream. In September of 1999 I knew it was time, and I bought a ring, and recreated the dream. This was the dream, and this is what happened.
Stephanie was with Melissa, an old roommate of hers, and they were having dinner. Melissa worked for Bethel Catering. Melissa told Steph that Steph simply had to see a setup Melissa had just finished for a special event in a particular room at Bethel that was usually reserved for fancy banquets. Steph followed her down to this room (whose name slips me) and opened the door, and then things got strange. All the people from a particular class Steph and I had taken Freshmen year together filed out of the room one by one, each holding a single rose. And one by one, they gave her their rose and walked past, without saying much.
She was then led into the room, where I was standing with a microphone and Johnny Taylor at my side. Johnny was playing the piano. (Ashley Parent was substituted for the real-life version since Johnny had moved elsewhere. She was excellent, and also in our wedding. And now she’s a Malette.) I sang “She’s Got A Way” by Billy Joel. I got down on one knee. I proposed. And there you have it.
In the real life version, I also threw in a case of Dr. Pepper as an inside joke. Sometimes when someone in Steph’s family makes a big purchase (e.g. buys a car), they’ll close the deal by saying, “I’ll take that deal if you throw in a case of pop.” So I threw one in, just to close it. She got it. She said “yes.” Well, actually she said, “If you put that ring on my finger,” which I’ve never quite let her forget. Sorry hon.
It was a lot of fun. We got a couple pictures. It really meant a lot to me to be able to have my friends there to witness the event and be a part of it, since I tend to live life through the eyes of the ones I love.
And there you have it! I hope you enjoyed my little story.