The World’s Most Unromantic Proposal

I realize this is TMI (too much information) but I watch a lot of engagement videos on YouTube. They rank right up there with cat videos on my preference list. I love the huge grand gestures that some couples go to, be it professional dancers, skywriting, roses from strangers, mini-movies, or even gathering all their friends and family together to lipsync to music videos. It’s beautiful to see people go all out and make a spectacular public declaration of love.  But fun fact–I have never, ever, ever, wanted someone to do that to me.

Oh sure, I’ll weep to see a man (or woman!) down on one knee as their flabbergasted lover holds a trembling hand to their mouth, unable to speak. But me, weeping in real life, in public…that sounds more like a horror story than a love story.

Which is why I was the recipient of the world’s most unromantic marriage proposal.  My husband Debussy took me to a concrete university walkway on a deserted Sunday afternoon and dipped to one knee–I thought he was falling so I pulled him back up.  There were no flowers, no candelight dinner, no friends lurking to view the momentous occasion, or even stray students, since it was summer.

But if the setting was unromantic, the grand gesture inside the *private* moment spoke loudly to me. He had brought me back to the place we’d met twenty years before, right outside the campus library where a mutual friend introduced us for the first time. We could see the college apartments where I used to live and he’d drop by to watch 3:00 a.m. showings of Alain Delon’s Zorro or William Powel and Myrna Loy in The Thin Man. The walkway led to the humanities classrooms where we’d gleefully sat in the back and discussed Shakespeare, Chaucer, and college majors. He’d brought me back full circle to where we’d begun. He’d brought me back to our beginning to begin a new chapter.

You might think that a deserted concrete walkway is the most unromantic place to be proposed to, but you’re wrong. It was a quiet, private, romantic moment that couldn’t have been shared with anyone else and it meant everything to me.

I guess I’m quirky like that. I have that in common with a lot of the characters I write about. Whether it’s a lonely roboticist who can’t forget that time a traveler from the future popped by, or a late night television horror host whose leading lady will always be a man, or even a girl who goes to speed dating events just to kill zombies. We’re all looking for a romantic moment in places other people might not expect one. But you know, quirky people fall in love, too…

If you’d like to read about some of my quirky characters, you can find more information about them here.

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Aidee Ladnier

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