During this, the most romantic month of the year, I’m about to make a most unromantic confession: I proposed to my wife in an automobile. In retrospect, I probably should have selected a more exotic setting. Such as the food court at the mall. Or the salvage yard. Or a bed of a poison ivy.
ANYWHERE BUT THE CAR!
But I wasn’t thinking clearly that night. Had I been thinking clearly that night, I would have escorted Susan to that car, cranked it up, headed to the airport, boarded a plane bound for Niagara Falls – and dropped to a knee beneath the mist.
Me? I said, “I … uh … have something I want to ask you.” I remember there being a long pause. “Sure,” she said.
Had I been thinking clearly that night, I would have opened her door, escorted her to the magnificent collection of flowers in her parents’ garden, plucked one, gently handed it to her – and dropped to a knee in the middle of the hydrangeas.
Me? I said, “Willyoumarryme?” In the practice round, I uttered those words slowly, lovingly, emphatically. Come game time, not so much. I had just transformed the four magic words almost every female longs to hear into one five-syllable blurt, punctuated by a question mark.
IN THE CAR!
There was another long pause. Susan, by nature, was always deliberate. She still is. She considers options, weighs reward against risk,sees the “Big Picture” far better than most. And her big picture answer was …
Wait – it gets better.
Before the botched proposal, we had made plans to visit my parents’ home, so I started that now infamous car and steered it to their driveway. After engaging in some small talk with the folks – considerably smaller than what I had hoped for earlier in the evening – Mom and Dad retired, and Susan and I turned our attention to a movie that was playing on the television. By the time we tuned in, the film was well past “setting” and pretty deep into “plot.” Actually, it was at the point where the protagonist told the person sitting across the table from him that he had something he wanted to ask her. I remember thinking, “what are the odds?”
Sure enough, the main male character asked the main female character if she would marry him. Sure enough, she paused longer than any guy would like. And sure enough, she then said … and I’ll put my right hand on a Bible, if you ask me to, just to verify that I am telling the truth here …
And that was the moment I knew Yale and Susan Youngblood would live happily ever after.