Wedding Proposal Daze

Posted by: on Jul 13, 2017 | No Comments

With kudos to Jeff for taking what is widely considered to be everyone’s favorite photo of the happy couple.

Wedding Proposal Daze

Two of my favorite movie wedding proposals belong to John Cusack. #1 is Grosse Pointe Blank, followed closely by High Fidelity. Wedding proposals should be like that…completely screwy and out of left field. My proposal to Linda was not out of left field, but it was certainly screwy.

To really get the full picture, we need to go back to May 1983, when Linda graduated from SU. And before I continue, let me say that 99% of what you are about to read is 100% true (with a tip of the cap to Yogi).

OK, back to Linda’s graduation. That was the day I gave Linda a really nice gold bracelet in a rectangular box. Linda’s first reaction..”This isn’t the right size!” In other words: “Where’s my square box with the diamond engagement ring?” All true.

Over the summer, we discussed living together before getting married. Even got permission from both sets of parents to do so. Well mostly, I kind of remember Linda’s father grumbling something about how he wasn’t going to be the one to spoil things, but I was not sure how thrilled he was. As for my dad, he was half asleep when I dropped that one on my parents. Special thanks to my sister Marsha for breaking in my parents on the whole living together thing.

Columbus Day, October 1983, we start looking for someplace to live. After a few hours of finding nothing we can afford, Linda sits down on the steps of a brownstone and starts sobbing. I tell her “Don’t worry, it’s only our first day of looking. We’ll find something.” Linda promptly blurts out, “I don’t want to live together…I want to get married.” I probably should have run away right then and there but noooooo, I’m way too nice for that. Although I was not all that sympathetic and came right back and said, “I’m not getting married until we live together.” Wasn’t the first time I said that, wouldn’t be the last. Still all true.

Finally in February 1984, thanks to the aforementioned sister Marsha, we find an apartment at 115 East 87th Street. A great sublet on the 32nd Floor of a very nice building. Was supposed to be 9 month lease but we ended up staying for 2 years.

August 1984. At my father’s 60th birthday, the BubbyGram hired by some family friends (complete with bright red lipstick and a bagel necklace), pokes fun at my dad, my mom, my sisters and me…and Linda gets caught in the crossfire. The BubbyGram takes one look at me and says “Look at you…living in sin” (and makes a spitting sound). Now I have one weepy girlfriend on my hands. But things are about to get better…sort of.

A week or so after BubbyGate, Linda informs me she has no intention of showing up for the high holidays at her temple without a ring on her finger. We have actually already told her parents to start looking at dates and that our engagement is imminent. So now she is looking for the ring, which I have already picked out and is being crafted.

One night, probably at about 2 or 3 AM in the morning, I wake-up to find my soon-to-be fiance’s face hovering over mine, and I mean within inches of me. “What’s wrong?” I ask. “Is it here?” is her reply. And as much as I wish this fell into that 1% not true category, this is all true. My oh-so-sweet Linda had become possessed. She wanted her precious (sorry…I just had to throw that in).

Now we get to the good part. The night of the ring ceremony. That day I pick-up the ring, get flowers, get into the apartment, and hide them behind the couch. But first, I take the really nice black ring box out of the white box it came in. A few minutes later, Linda gets home and within a short while asks, “Do you have it yet.” Again, true. So I reach behind the couch, pull out the empty white box, look at her and say “Is this how you want it to happen?” I turn over the white box, the lid falls off to reveal an empty box. I know, I’m cruel but c’mon…she did kind of deserve just a little. Needless to say, she is crushed and runs off to the bedroom, giving me the opportunity to put the black box into the white box, and to show just how well I know my gal because I know what she’s going to do.

Before we get to that, dinner is franks and beans casserole.  Mmm, mmm, good. So romantic, and to this day, she is still mad at me about that. As I said, I know my gal. Right after dinner she demands that I give her that white box so she can remember what an asshole I am (like she would ever need to be reminded of that over the next 32+ years). I reach behind the couch, get the white box, and just as I’m about to hand it to her, I shake it to show her the box is empty no more. So now Linda starts shaking a bit, says “oh oh” a few dozen times, I tell her to close her eyes and stretch out her arms, I get the flowers, put the flowers in her arms, get down on one knee, tell her to open her eyes, open the box and ask her to marry me. And for some bizarro reason, after what I just did to her, she says yes.

But wait, we are not done yet. Prior to that evening’s festivities, Linda and I discussed the size of our wedding party. I didn’t really want one (sorry to my boys and I still love all of you…well almost all of you) and she did. My idea was to have my BFF Eric and her sister, no ushers, no bridesmaids. After the ring ceremony, I spent the next 30 minutes cleaning up our gourmet dinner, while my not yet wife spent the next 30 minutes on the phone with Anita, Jacquie, Jean, Lisa and Susie telling them she wanted them all to be in our wedding. When I was done with the clean-up, I walked into our living room, smiled as best as could, and asked, “How many?” “My sister and…..” was her response. At that moment, I knew I had lost complete control of the situation. Wasn’t the first time, certainly wouldn’t be the last.

In the end, my wife got her ring, got her wedding, and got her nice (and I really am nice) Jewish boy from longisland (and it is longisland). The moral of this story is that your life is like a box. It doesn’t matter what size it is or what comes out, it’s what you put in it that counts.