The Proposal

engagementIf there’s only one thing a guy has to get right in life, it’s a marriage proposal. Or at least, that’s my way of thinking. Bugger up a first date, it’s recoverable. Forget to change the oil, you can hire someone else to do that.

But you can’t bugger up a proposal or get someone else to do it.

Although, hiring someone to do it might be a great business idea I’ll have to think about.

Anyway, yes, a proposal.

It’s something you have to do yourself and you have to get three things right.

No. Three things perfect.

Blessings. Location. Ring.

How did that idea get into my head? Well, I blame my friend, Gord Watson. The bastard did the PERFECT proposal. Per-fect! He asked my best friend and fellow writer to marry him in a bookstore, perhaps her most favourite place in the world, on Salt Spring Island, which is, like, ‘their place.’ He got the most amazing ring. And made sure he had the blessings of everyone who was important in his girlfriend’s life.

And I wanted to do the same.

So first I made a list, cuz, if you’ve read any of my blogs, that’s how I roll.

four weddingsThen, I spent the last month talking to nearly all my friends, family, and not a few random people in grocery store line-ups about how and where to make a proposal. The perfect proposal. I looked up ideas on the internet. I watched hours of romantic movies. I laid in bed and thought long and hard about it for hours and hours.

And I heard or came up with a ton of ideas. A few had to be discarded. Apparently unicorns don’t exist. Apparently the Rock is ‘too busy’ to come out and take photos. Apparently, dolphins can’t be hired to bark out the words and NASA won’t send an astronaut to write something on the moon.


lightsSadly I don’t have the money to take the Prettiest-girl-in-the-world to Fiji and propose at night on a beach lit by glowing algae. I don’t have the courage to propose while bungee jumping together (though how I would even get the Prettiest-girl-in-the-world to do a bungee jump is a whole other problem.) And I don’t want to do anything too public, so the flash-mob dancing and singing All Of Me was out.

Oh, I wasn’t short of ideas. A proposal in the planetarium as the stars spun above us, a carriage ride in Victoria as the sun set on the ocean, me spending 4 years learning to play the guitar and then singing underneath a balcony she stood upon.

But they all had to be discarded for one reason or another.

And time ticked on.

While I stewed, I knew I had to do 2 other things.

First up, I had to ask her parents for their blessings.

Oddly enough, I wasn’t nervous about this at all. I love both sets of parents and get along great with them. I was pretty sure they’d be excited for us. With no fear in my heart, I asked one set of parents when they visited and went to see another set while the Prettiest-girl-in-the-world was at work.

I honestly don’t know what I would have done if they said, ‘yeah, ah, no, you jerk, we don’t want you in our family. You ask our daughter to marry you and we’ll feed you to the fishes.’

My guess, if they said no, I’d have to resort to bribing them with expensive alcohol. But, no worries, they were all excited.

However, I’m super bad at lying, so when the Prettiest-girl-in-the-world asked what I did the day I asked her dad and step-mom, I think I said something like,

“Ah, yeah, I went out and didn’t see your dad, I err, ah, went to get a haircut.”

“But your hair is the same.”

“Crap! I mean, ah, yeah, I ah, forgot my wallet and they don’t cut hair for free, you know. Hahaha.”

She looked at me kinda funny, but didn’t press the issue. Had she, it might have gone like this…

“So what was that about my dad?’

“Nothing, Nope, not a thing, no, didn’t see him at all.”

“But you were planning on seeing him or something?’

“Wait, what, no, that’s crazy. Why would I see your dad without you coming along?”

“Then why did you mention him?”

“Ah, hey, errr, uhm, is that the doorbell?”

“I don’t hear a doorbell.”

“Sorry, I got to run, I think I hear the ice cream truck coming.”

“It’s midnight.”

“I know, strange, right? I gotta check it out.” *runs out of room,*

But, it didn’t go that way. I got away with my stupid lie.

One thing down. Next up, the ring.

It was, perhaps, the most important part of the proposal.

The perfect ring.

ring or pcBeing a guy, the perfect ring would double as a watch and would likely have laser beams built in. But, apparently, women have different ideas. So, less about if it has a built-in bottle opener and more about the sparklies.

Luckily, I didn’t have to do this alone. I brought over my best friend (the one who’d received the perfect proposal) and she helped me brainstorm what would be the most amazing ring (that I could afford, since the most amazing one I saw cost about $3,000,000.)

It was hard. Harder than I thought. There were so many choices. Sooooooo many. I’d have been better off if there was only a choice between the black stone and the blue stone, kinda like how I bought my Mustang. You can choose blue or black…

But no, much to my horror, there’s cuts and styles and sizes of bands and lots of bling or no bling and…

And I wanted to get it right and get it right with the Prettiest-girl-in-the-world not there to tell me what she would love.

In the end, I found the perfect ring, though. It would look beautiful on her finger. She could be proud to show it to her friends. It was all sparklie, a little different from most rings, and wonderfully elegant.

That done, I only had the actual proposal to finalize.

I looked back at our special places. The place we had our first date had gone out of business. Oh, it was still a coffee shop, just a different one. Our first real meal together was at the Keg and I didn’t want to have to stumble out of a booth, get on my knee while waiters dodged around me with sizzling steaks.

But there was a place. Kind of our place. Like Salt Spring.

IMG_7696Whistler. In the fall.

And there was one adventure we hadn’t gone on there. (More if you count winter adventures, but I didn’t want to wait for the snow to fall.)

I phoned and booked the adventure.

I picked up my ring.

I reserved a hotel room for us.

I prepared my little speech inside my little head. I listened to 300 songs to find the perfect one for her.

Then waited until the day arrived, so nervous I couldn’t sleep for a whole week, even waking up at 4 am on the day, today, Oct 3rd.

Would it be PERFECT?

Would she say yes?




About Joe Cummings

Aquarius. Traveler. Gamer. Writer. A New Parent. 4 of these things are easy. One is not. But the journey is that much better for the new people in my life. A life I want to share with others, to help them, maybe, to make them feel less alone, sure, to connect with the greater world, absolutely.
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1 Response to The Proposal

  1. Carol says:

    Ahhh… I already heard the answer to that last question from Helga, so big congratulations to you. I think your prettiest-girl-in-the-world today is probably thinking she’s also the luckiest-girl-in-the-world.

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