Part Twelve: Boy proposes to girl

The date: May 26, 2001. The place: Jacksonville, FL…

It was Memorial Day weekend, and we were in Florida for my brother’s wedding that Saturday. Yet I knew that there was at least one more thing planned…

The wedding was Saturday afternoon. Sometime earlier, I had let my brother in on the big secret: that I was planning to propose to my sweetie that night after the wedding. He already had a room booked at the wedding site—a bed-and-breakfastish sort of place—for the whole weekend, and since he and his wife were leaving for their honeymoon hours after the wedding, he offered me the room for The Occasion, a cozy romantic getaway right on the shores of the St. John’s River. Perfect.

It turns out that my brother didn’t (couldn’t?) keep this little secret from everyone—or anyone, it seemed. All day long before and after the wedding, people were coming up to me and whispering their congratulations. “We heard what you’ve got planned for tonight—good luck!” I mean, heck, even the minister pulled me aside to offer his congratulations and pastoral advice. It seemed that everyone there knew what was going on. Everyone except for my sweetie. When my brother tossed the garter, I (of course) ended up with it (but then again, there was only one other single guy out there, and I think my brother kind of steered it my way… :-) When the bride tossed her bouquet… well, my sweetie didn’t end up with it (though she confessed to my sweetie later on that she’d been trying to toss it her way). But I think someone said something to someone else, for a little later on, the bouquet catcher came up to my sweetie and presented her with it, saying “I think this was meant for you” with a smile on her face. (Like I said, everyone knew.)

So now it’s Saturday night, the wedding long since over. I’m standing by myself, looking out over the river, my hand in my pants pocket fumbling constantly with the velvet box hidden there. I hear her come up behind me, and I take her in my arms, the two of us looking silently across the water. And I ask her if she’s enjoying this. And then I ask her if she thinks she could do this for the rest of her life. And then I turn her around. The ring. The question. The answer—yes. And the tears start to flow.

It’s been almost a year since that night, and she still hasn’t changed her mind. Or her answer. :-)

The whole story: [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] [7] [8] [9] [10] [11] [12]