I read Amanda Black’s post this week on The Knot about the 10 Most Cliché Wedding Proposals. This got me thinking about the proposal I accepted almost 9 years ago.
It was anything but cliché. In fact, it was the most romantic thing any guy has ever done for me. And that’s saying something. A guy once gave me a portrait of myself which he painted from memory. But that was actually creepy because he was 7 years older than me and I was only 17. And I don’t think he understood that even though I enjoyed talking with him about Tolstoy and music, I wasn’t exactly thinking about marriage.
Or him + marriage. Truly awkward.
My now-husband then-admirer Claudiu stepped into the scene at an even less opportune time. I was in college and had just broken up with my childhood sweetheart. Claudiu was done with grad school and busy working. I was burying myself in work and school so that I wouldn’t think about how completely disillusioned I was with love and marriage.
Claudiu had been interested in me for some time, but I think he knew better than to stand in the path of a hurricane.
Because that, dear friends, is what I am, most of the time anyway. I’m a whirling dervish of activity and excitement, plans and ideas, vision and schedules. (Interesting fact about me: I was going through a memory box recently only to come across my five year plan and discover that I was done 2 years early.)
So when Claudiu made his appearance, I politely declined his many overtures. I just wasn’t ready to slow down for love.
It really didn’t take long, though, for me to succumb to his charm. As I told my florist once, when I sent my husband to pick up an order: look for the Calvin Klein model with the bewitching smile. That’s one of the things about my love that made my knees go weak and agree to our first “date”. But it was more than that. I had never been so strongly pursued by anyone.
I had met my match. My love hurricane.
Then came our first real date. It was a romantic boat ride on the lake, complete with a picnic and star gazing. And in between all that, he pulled out pictures of his family to share. His family lived in California and Romania and he wanted me to get to know them.
On. our. first. date. Major swoon!
I came home that night and told my mother that this was the man I was going to marry. I had no doubts.
So when it came time to propose, Claudiu decided to recreate our first date. I skipped my organic chemistry II class that day for some real chemistry (sorry, too easy). He asked me to wear the same clothes I wore on the first date, and he did the same. He set the date on the first day of fall, knowing it’s my favorite season.
We went out to the lake, with lunch in hand, and spent a lovely morning basking in the sun. At one point, he told me about an interesting piece he heard on NPR–that if you stare hard enough, you can see the stars during the day.
The fact that I fell for this can help you understand my frame of mind at the time. Needless to say, I did not see any stars. But…I did see a plane. And the plane had a banner tied to the tail with the words: Elisa, will you marry me? We were married four months later.
Here we are, love in the raw. Young love, just-getting-started love, nothing-can-harm-us love, before-babies-and-diapers love.
This man changed my life in so many ways and I am continually blessed by his pursuit of me.
So Amanda Black, I have to agree with you: cliché proposals are no fun, but they do get the job done. However, a great proposal is definitely worth celebrating and I am doing that today!
So do you have any great proposal stories to share?