A Perfect Marriage Proposal

Watching daughter Ginger and future son-in-law deliver the news of their wedding engagement, and hearing the details of the proposal and ring unveiling, triggered memories of my proposal to Maggie, Ginger’s mother.  There is a chance future son-in-law Chris may share a similar romantic planning ineptitude gene with me.

Leading up to my proposal to Maggie were weeks of work to be sure it would be perfect. High school friend Randy Larson made sure I found the perfect diamond. With stone in hand, a jewelry store in Minnetonka’s  Ridgedale shopping center helped find the right setting.  I sneaked one of Maggie’s rings to make sure it was sized correctly and returned it before she noticed. Expecting the ring to be completed by the weekend, I’d made dinner reservations at Manny’s Steakhouse in downtown Minneapolis for the coming Saturday night, making sure they had a quiet table in a romantic spot. My efforts to come up with a little speech with some witty repartee and heartfelt expressions of love leading to the line, “Will you marry me?” were beginning to gel.

The only complication was Maggie’s mother visiting and staying in the condo with us that week.  Of course, wanting to ensure the best impression on her mother, we’d separated our rooms, so any evidence of our sharing a bedroom would not be obvious.

The call from the Ridgedale jeweler reached me at work on Thursday morning. The ring was done and I could pick it up.  Wow! I couldn’t wait.  On my lunch break I zipped out to Minnetonka and suddenly I had the ring. Oh boy, oh boy! Everything was in place, and the ring was safely in my pocket! It was nearly impossible to make it through work that afternoon and doubts about my ability to hold off until our Saturday date, began to creep in.

When I arrived home from work, Maggie and her mother were preparing dinner.  I changed clothes and made small talk for a few minutes, feeling my delayed gratification resolve begin to disintegrate. I couldn’t wait! I asked Maggie if we could talk privately.  Sensing either bedroom would not “look right” to her mother, I pulled her into the laundry room. And there, standing on a pile of dirty laundry, I reached into my pocket, pulled out the box, handed it to her, and said, “Look what I got you!”

Listening to Ginger announce the news of their engagement and show off her engagement ring on a Facetime call, some things sounded familiar.  Chris had planned the perfect wedding proposal during a special trip to Italy, just the two of them.  Everything was set for him to pop the question at a famous gorge and waterfalls in Tivoli, Italy.  Arriving at the spot, he realized he’d left the ring back at the hotel.  Damn!!! He had to postpone the proposal and began watching for another opportune moment. With only a day left before the scheduled departure, he began to panic.  At the Punch Room bar that night, as they finished a cocktail, he said he wanted to move and sit next to Ginger, which he did.  Then, pulling the box with the ring out of his pocket, said, “Look, I got you this” Ginger looked, smiled, and replied, “Were you planning to ask me something?”  Chris, fully in the moment, recovered and said, “Oh, yeah, I forgot. Will you marry me?”

Chris’s face, as he watched Ginger tell their engagement story, contained a smile bigger than Brooklyn. As tears formed in my eyes as I watched them, it was clear Chris and I shared something else, something more important.  And that is the wonder, awe, and joy that a woman this amazingly wonderful would actually consent to marry me. Standing over that pile of laundry, there was no doubt I was the luckiest man on planet Earth. And that’s the look I saw on Chris’s face as he watched Ginger.

Forgetting rings, messing up the perfect ultra-romantic spot and time, and being unable to mouth nice flowing words about what we feel isn’t important.  She said “Yes,” and that’s all that matters.

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3 Responses to A Perfect Marriage Proposal

  1. Thomas D Blondi says:

    What a great story Steve and as always beautifully told!!!

  2. Rob St John says:

    Great imagination (even if everything didn’t quite go as planned) & great stories, Steve & congratulations all!

  3. tanaha hairston says:

    What a wonderfully told story. Congratulations to Ginger and Chris on their engagement. It’s clear the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree with those heartfelt proposals. Here’s to many more wonderful family moments.

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