The ring
[lead dropcap="yes"]As some of you know, I got the steps of the engagement process out of order. I asked Melanie to marry me before I had the ring. Yesterday, I got the ring, and being a guy who can't sit on a gift (and this being the biggest gift of all), I planned to give it to her today.[/lead]

The plan was that we would meet for daily Mass, which is not unusual, and after, when everyone else had left, I'd get down on my knee in front the tabernacle and ask her to accept the ring as a sign of my love and intention to make her my wife if she'd have me. Then Fr. Murphy would come in an give us his blessing.

The best laid plans of mice and men...
I was at the church early, and rather than just go in and pray as would be normal, I decided to wait until Melanie arrived and we could go in together. It’s a good thing I didn’t go in. I was sitting there, listening to the “Battlestar Galactica” podcast (another story and very cool in a geeky way) when I got a phone call. I didn’t recognize the number, but picked it up anyway.

It was Melanie on the payphone at the supermarket down the street from her house. Evidently, she had left the house without her keys or cellphone, and would I please come pick her up? I knew that by the time I got her, it would be too late to get back to the church without walking in late, and I just hate doing that, so my plan was shot. Time to regroup and adapt.

I picked her up, and even though she thought there’d be no unlocked windows--it still being the dead of winter in Massachusetts--I thought I’d look anyway. And there in the back of the house were two small windows, high up on the wall, and one just happened to be unlocked. (To all the B&E artists reading this: it’s locked now.)

There was no way I was going to fit through the window and even if I could, no way I could get myself up there. I had to boost poor Melanie up through the window, even as I chuckled to myself, “Never did I think that instead of presenting Melanie with a ring, we’d be breaking and entering instead.” Of course, it wasn’t pleasant for Melanie, especially bruising her legs on the windowsill as she went through.

So once she got the door unlocked and I met her in the kitchen, I said: “This wasn’t how I planned to do this, but...” And I got down on my knee and presented her with the ring.

What? I could have waited until another Mass to give it to her? Due to various reasons, that would not be until next Tuesday at the earliest. Like I said, I’m not a guy who can wait to give a gift, and this is the biggest gift of all. I would have exploded by then.

At least we have a great story to tell.

(Melanie will want to kill me for telling you all this, but it’s only fair since I told the embarrassing story about our first “date” that wasn’t a date.)

[Special thanks to John I. and John B. who helped me so much with the ring-buying process. I couldn’t have done it without you.]
  • Dom:

    I think it’s only fair as well, and your intended will learn a thing or two about the fragility of the male ego in the process, for the heart of the man, too, is deserving of special handling. As to your first “non-date,” her own side of it would be illuminating. Unless a guy is just plain “fresh,” as we used to say, there is a moment in an intimate encounter, when a woman sends a signal, one that can be either read or misread.

    Hard to say, really. Prudence will keep most of the details from the world, to be known only in the hearts of the two lovers themselves.

    Frankly, I still know little of my parents’ courtship, and that’s how it should be. They’ve been married 53 years this June.

  • Dom: in regard to your friends John and John, is there an inside joke about the fact that you “could have done it” without them, or did you unintentionally drop a “not” while you are focussing on tying a knot?

  • Gee Dom, it sounded like a reverse elopement…!

    Darn, there should have been pictures! Imagine the captions: “Lithe fiancee slips through small aperture…” Then the question: “How did burly fiance get through there…?”

    The stuff of romances. Where’s Barbara Cartland when we need her…?

  • “Adapting”—for this is an awesome key to a successful Marriage.  You just took the “first” “climb” into it—through a window! God Bless you both.

  • I think the original plan was very cool, even if you didn’t get to pull it off!

    Melanie, you will simply have to forgive him for telling the story.  He probably knows we are hanging on tetherhooks waiting for each installment of THE love story of St. Blogs.  smile

    My own diamond arrived on my finger in the kitchen.  No knee, though.  No window either.  The official proposal took place two months before the ring arrived.  I sort of liked it that way.  We picked out the ring together, and I still love it too much to have the stone remounted even though the band is getting very thin.