Wednesday, August 24, 2005

A proposal

In October, I will be celebrating the first anniversary of my marriage. Then, sometime in July I will be celebrating the anniversary of paying off the wedding, but I digress. There is one thing that predicates all of these things and yet is utterly essential to their occurance. I speak, of course, of the marriage proposal.

There are many questions to ask yourself before you pop the question. Do you enjoy sharing the bed with someone who elbows you and snores (and can likewise put up with your snoring)? Is your pet name for them "Honey", or is it "Snookybootiewootlebottom"? Do you enjoy spending time with them? Even if it's shopping for clothes? Even if it's for hours on end until your feet are blistered and raw and your leg muscles long ago turned into jelly and you're nearly comatose while waiting in the "man chair" outside of the changing room? Oh, and it might help to consider if you love the person, too.

If you answered yes to these questions, then you're ready to be married. But there's still one thing you need: An expensive piece of hardware to prove your love. No, I'm not talking about a dump truck or chainsaw, I'm talking jewelry, and only the kind that is inexplicably inflated in price will do. So you go to a jewelry store and feel lightheaded when they show you the price, along with tightness in your chest and a tingling left arm. No, it's not that burrito combo you just had for lunch (well, maybe it is), it's the cost of that little sparkly gem. Don't worry, they'll let you examine it with one of those thick monocle jeweler thingees so you can see the flaws in the stone. Keep in mind that you'll have no idea what you're looking at, so just nod stupidly.

The first place I went was amazed that I wanted to check out another jewelry store. I know it's a racket, but there's a slight chance that one shopkeeper will take pity on me and only charge me 500% cost instead of 700%. And indeed, I found a place that was cheaper: the gumball machine at the store has lovely moon gems set in the finest plastic bands. They are a little harder to resize, however.

So, you have your ring in pocket. Now you have to guess when you should ask: be careful, if you don't do it in exactly the way your future bride imagined it in her daydreams, she'll be bitter forever. Do you have a traditional girlfriend? After a nice dinner, but before the "mile high mudd pie" is a wonderful choice. Slip it into her wine glass and hope she doesn't choke on it; for the more frugal, slip it into her "unlimited refills" plastic soda cup at McDonald's. For a less traditional way of doing things, take her on a drive to the middle of a dark forest and chase her through the trees with a hatchet, but instead of murdering her, give her the ring with a charming smile. She's sure to forgive you. Of course, if you reconsider while you're chasing her, that forest is very deep, and no screams can escape...

Ahem. For my own part, I decided to propose during our trip in Las Vegas. We were staying along with my family at "Sam's Town", which for the uninitiated is the most popular casino among 55-75 year olds. It's about 5 miles from the strip, so it's safe from all of the fun and excitement that lies therein. It does have a show in the center of the hotel that features a bear, an eagle and a coyote singing some patriotic tune. In other words, it's the worst hotel in Vegas. The only upside was driving a handicapped scooter at maximum speed through the hallways and the people next door to us having very loud sex all night.

It was Saturday night when we escaped, and although calling a night in Vegas "warm" is redundant, it was in that it was comfortable walking outside despite it being November. We walked around the strip, the lights and displays illuminating the street filled with thousands of people, and only maybe half of them handing out flyers for "entertainers". I knew that somewhere this night I would propose marriage.

First, we headed into the Venetian and walked to the "Canal shops". I've never been to Venice, so I can't really say if the gaudy painted-on sky was realistic, or if the namesake canal running through the middle of the super-expensive shops carried the same aroma as the original. My plan was simple- an endearingly cheesy gondola ride and a proposal. Me on bended knee while those perched above us applauded. And yet, it was not to be, because before I could suggest this plan, she said, "Those gondolas are the stupidest things ever."

Our next stop was the Paris hotel and casino. On the outside, a loving tribute to the iconic Eiffel Tower hovered above a place that promised to bring forth the City of Light. Inside, another casino, but this one with the waitresses dressed like French maids. We walked into a shop, and exited with a skinny shot glass with a poodle painted on the side. She then announces that she needs to use the restroom, and I hatch a second plan. If I hold her package for her, I can slip the ring inside the shot glass and have a toast later. So I offer in my most gentlemanly way to hold her bag, and she says, "No, I'm fine, just wait here."

I have one final attempt to make- a trip to the top of the Eiffel Tower. It's hard to escape the cheesiness of Vegas, but there's a charm in it, and there's romance in looking over the city, whether it's from faux tower or not. I suggest we take a ride up to the top, and she says "It's $10 a person, that's a waste of money."

We exit by a side door, and we are shielded from the crowds passing by on the street in front of us, and the fountains of the Bellagio beyond that. I grab her arm.

"Hold on a sec." I say. She looks beautiful, as she always is to me.
"What?" Her eyes widen slightly as I fumble in my pocket, finally producing a small, black box.
"You, my dear, are being a pain in the butt. Will you marry me?" The hands fly to the face- common to all women, but it just accentuates her beautiful eyes that are tearing up.

The embrace, the kiss and the slipping of the ring on the finger. The promise of a new life; together.


At 5:22 PM, Blogger ChickyBabe said...

This is so beautiful, as always, and recounted in the Mahd style that I like.

May I add that shopping for clothes is a very small price to pay for putting up with snoring every night! :)

At 7:46 PM, Blogger Knows It All said...

Holy moly! I was so expecting this story to end at Treasure Island!!! But it is awesome and I love it.
I'll erase all that beginning stuff about cost and stuff... and just remember this very cool post.
Sam's town... wow.
But you and she sound very lucky.
May you enjoy many anniversaries.

At 8:07 PM, Blogger kangaroogrrrl said...

Well, early congratulations!

And that is an adorable story. *melts*

At 8:11 PM, Blogger sheriff of nothing said...

Oh I have tears...

Even though it wasn't as planned or even you hoped it was romantic indeed.

I could tell you a horror story about my first wedding anniversary but instead I will say....
Make it a good one!

At 2:07 AM, Blogger The Missus Complains said...

About the snoring been there done that. About the clothes shopping, he never goes and I neve force him. About the proposal, we did a similar thing and it all turned out okay. You forgot to mention the part about sickness and can be a very trying thing, a real challenge to your committment.

At 9:43 AM, Blogger Mahd said...

ChickyBabe, I never hear myself snore, so it's obvious that she's mistaken. Maybe someone is sawing 3am.

Knows it all, Thanks. I was so sad to see that they've downplayed the pirate theme at Treasure Island...

Kangaroogirl, Thank you. It seems like we've been married for much longer, and I mean that in only good ways.

sheriff of nothing, it was romantic, despite her best efforts ;). We're actually going back to Vegas for the anniversary- maybe this time we'll take that gondola ride.

The missus complains, I am well aware that I have a character flaw in dealing with the sick- I have no patience for it, but I'm trying to change...

At 2:30 AM, Blogger sheriff of nothing said...

great plan! I will be in Vegas in 2 weeks, maybe I can take the ride and let you know ....

At 10:34 PM, Blogger chica bonita said...

so sweet. *sniff*


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