How do guys actually come to decide that the girl he leads out of the crowded moviehouse is the one woman he spends the rest of his life with?
How does a man realize that he guides the girl of his dreams by the small of her back to enter a restaurant and share dinner and a conversation?
What does a man feel when he is standing along that center aisle and watch the angel that is the reason for his existence glide to meet him with a radiant smile that reminds him he is the luckiest guy in the world.
Close friends have shared their memories with me, and more people dear to my heart are getting married and to me, these people, realized all these with a question they ask ... the proposal. And here's how one went...
There was a cool wind that picked up as they got out of the church attending the first afternoon mass and headed out to their car parked among the throngs of vehicles slowly filing out of the church grounds.
"Where to now?" He said with a wry smile, knowing full well it was her turn to decide the night's activities.
She let out a small laugh and said, "Hmmm, there's still some light out, do you want to check out the chateau?"
"Fine with me." He agreed opening the car door, "We don't have anything better to do anyway, and we could still use the light to check out the grounds."
Half of his consciousness was making conversation while the other half went back to when they first met and how happy everything was when he was with her. They had countless conversations of finally getting married and a proposal was just a formality. But what she did not know was that he had already gone out and bought a ring -- not just any ring, but THE ring.
He carried it in his pocket wherever he went just like he did now, waiting for an opportunity to come up where he could ask THE question. Sure, knowledge and familiarity laid things out as they were already set, but, he thought, at least the proposal would be something to remember.
A few months back, he consulted a few friends and suggestions came up from the conventional to the death-defying categories -- from a simple dinner with friends, to proposing while going down the zipline, to his own plans of go-fetch around town -- but none felt good enough for him, so he waited.
"Where is the chateau exactly?" he asked.
"Haha, I don't know uhm, exactly where it is, but I have vague idea." She laughed, which he always found irresistible.
"Gee that's a relief." He said in mock disdain, then laughed, "We'll still be able to get home right? I have to be at work early."
She punched him lightly on the arm, "Of course, we turn left at the fork in the road up ahead and it's straight on ahead. It's somewhere on the left I think, with a really big sign that we can't miss."
The last vestiges of day retreated behind the mountains on our side and the glimmer of the evening crept in. They were about to turn back when they drove up to a sign that said they were there at their chateau.
They exchanged a short smile and stepped out of the car. The same cool breeze swept through the hill and gave that all Christmas-y air.
Just before heading up, he turned around and to check the glove compartment, and took the ring and placed it in his pocket.
"She is beautiful tonight." He silently thought. "Just like any other night, and come to think of it, all the nights of the past few years we've been together."
He jogged up to her as she was already at the foot of the quaint bricklayed chateau and took her hand.
The view was breathtaking -- the city lights sparkled in the distance dotting the evening landscape, the wedding in the garden below them was wrapping up with lights hanging down from the trees like frozen yellow raindrops, and the faint hush of a man-made waterfall nearby.
She had inquired inside on the rates and was hurrying back to his side just as he was taking it all in.
"It's nice here." he said.
"Yeah, it's nice." she replied.
"You like it here?" he asked.
"I'd be okay if we have the reception here." she smiled.
They went around and went up the staircase to check the alternative venue on top of the house just in case it rained and found it to be suitable to their tastes. He felt around in his pocket and felt the ring there.
He realized that it is just not how you do ask, or when you ask, or even the years that have gone by with you together, but to paraphrase a popular movie, what matters
are "the moments that take your breath away."
And this was it.
At that viewdeck, on that chateau, on that night, he turned and said," Hon, I've tried so hard to come up with ways to ask you this -- from the weird, to the expensive, to the traditional -- trying to come up with some grand gesture to show you I love you and I want to spend the rest of my life with you, but none of them would have been me. So as we stand here, I realized that there is no need for grand gestures, because all that matters is the two of us. And there is nothing grander than that."
He reached into his pocket and took out the ring and placed it on her finger, "I've been carrying this around for a couple of months now and I've come to ask you this. Will you marry me?"
Tears had welled up in her eyes but still couldn't hide that bright twinkle as she managed to say, "I will."
They will be married this October 23, 2010.
We shared a laugh, because the blooming bride-to-be says she couldn't remember anything said that night apart from the visit, the ring, the tears then the happy ride home. So this is to refresh her memory.
Well, I realized, it really isn't always kneeling down on one knee, or some elaborate plan to propose in the middle of the day at the mall. Others realize it on the ferris wheel or some may do it on the front porch (right gay?, congratulations their wedding will be sometime october as well).
It's simply about two people knowing what matters most to them -- each other.