Thursday, July 8, 2010

Will You Marry Me?

Four words, that when put together, can change a couple’s life (hopefully for the better) forever . . . “Will you marry me?” My wife and I have been married six years, but it all started with those four words. My brother-in-law, Joseph, recently asked his long-time girlfriend, Alyssa, this very question. He had been building up to the event for quite some time. He had saved up to purchase a beautiful engagement ring, consulted with friends and family on how best to pop the question in the most romantic way, and diligently worked on trying to make it a surprise.

On the day of the big question, Joseph was clearly nervous, calling and texting his sister (my wife) on a number of occasions. Finally, after watching a local fireworks display with a group of friends, he pulled Alyssa aside. In sarcasm, Alyssa said, “What? Are you going to propose to me?” As she turned around, she found Joseph down on one knee, the traditional proposal stance. However, in a surprising turn of events, she yelled, “That’s not funny!” she lunged at him and pushed him, nearly knocking him down a hill.

“No really, I’ve got a ring in my hand!” yells Prince Charming. Finally realizing what was really happening; she accepted reality and accepted the proposal (disastrous tumble down a hill averted).

It took me on a trip down memory lane as I recalled the day I asked my wife to marry me. I was so nervous I couldn’t eat (which for any of you who knows my eating habits, should have been a clue to her that something was up). We were on a double date with our friends Beth and Jesse (who also went on to get engaged and married and are now neighbors, living three doors down the street). I handed the camera to Beth, asked her to take a picture of us and then surprised everyone by dropping to one knee and pulling the ring out of my pocket (it made for a terrific picture that we cherish to this day – the shocked on her face is priceless). She was so surprised, she didn’t say anything . . . not even “Yes!” The excitement in her face and the hug I received led me to ask, “Is that a ‘yes’?”

Engagements and weddings are always exciting because your family grows, but it is extra special when that person already feels like a member of your family. We have known Alyssa for nearly three years. Our children love her as she has often been willing to undergo the torture of babysitting for them (and survived). Our son affectionately calls her “Wyssa,” we now affectionately call her “family”.

So, what wedding day advice would my wife and I give the bride-to-be? My wife would say, don’t take anything too seriously, have fun, at the end of the day, you’ll still be married (after six years of living with me, I was pleased to learn she didn’t say, “Don’t do it!”). I would say to remember that while the wedding day is wonderful, it isn’t about the day, it’s about your marriage. Most importantly, we both would like to say, “Congratulations Joseph and Alyssa, enjoy your blessed lives together!” This is an exciting event, besides, it now gives me a whole new series of events to write about in this column.

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