The other night, as Michelle was getting ready for her annual RWA excursion, I offered to write a blog in her absence, not really knowing what I might write about. Then we remembered a conversation we had had a couple nights before, and the blog immediately took shape.
So, here it goes: I’m going to tell you how I proposed to Michelle, and then I have a really important question to ask you.
It was 1991, and Michelle and I had been dating for two years, but I knew what every guy figures out at some point along the way in his “final” relationship. She was the one, and I wanted to ask her to marry me. And so, I went about trying to figure out how to do that.
The first thing I did, and perhaps the best thing I did through this experience, was to buy the largest diamond I could afford. I had it set, and so it was time to figure exactly what I was going to say, how I was going to say it, and where.
I remember thinking a lot about the question of where. That seemed important. I thought about various venues, but in the end, it seemed most meaningful to ask her to marry me in the place where we first met. This particular place would be available, private, free of charge and climate controlled, all good things. And it would be meaningful for a number of reasons, not only because we had met there.
You see, when Michelle and I met, it was actually videotaped and broadcast on the local news that night. That’s because we met when she was Miss Pennsylvania and I was a TV news reporter working for the local station. The afternoon of our meeting, a call came into the news room where I worked. The Miss PA organization was conducting a mock interview to get the state pageant winner ready for the Miss America Pageant just a couple months away. I was a young, single guy at the time, so I raised my hand and said, “I think I can do that.”
So, I headed to the place where the mock interview would take place, also considered the de facto headquarters of the Miss Pennsylvania Pageant. It was the main conference room at the Blair County Chamber of Commerce, Altoona, PA. Now understand that lined up on the walls around that room are huge portraits of a decade’s worth of Miss PAs. Including a larger-than-life portrait of Michelle. That night, I was part of a panel asking Michelle questions as practice for the interview portion of Miss America. The TV station actually sent a news crew out to the mock interview to videotape it and report on it during the late news.
So that’s where we met and two years later, that’s where I decided to ask Michelle to marry me. Fancy restaurant? Nope. On a sail boat at sun set? Nah. In a conference room at a chamber of commerce. Yup. I had the office personnel keep the place open so we could just walk in. I even played a copy of the video tape that was shot that first night. I had some flowers for her. And I had some non-alcoholic champagne ready if she said yes. She did. We got married Thanksgiving weekend, November 28, 1992.
I look back on the proposal now and realize that I was very focused on making the event meaningful and connected to our lives as a couple. But I still wonder whether something might have been missing. So, here’s the question to which I need an HONEST response:
Do you consider my marriage proposal to Michelle “romantic?” And further more, how would you want to be proposed to? And if you are married, how do you feel about the way your husband proposed to you?