Monday, February 14, 2011

The Proposal

Thirty years ago on Valentine's Day we were engaged.

The ring was bought with the proceeds of a lottery ticket he'd bought right around the time we decided to get married, a diamond solitaire. That Valentine's Day was one of the first of very many special days this man has made for me in my life--and then in the life of our family.

But the proposal, now that had come many months earlier.  Here is how it happened.

When I met Lem at the hardware store where we worked, he was so shy it was unreal. It was a true challenge to make him talk, he was very reserved to everyone.  But he had this certain cool factor.  No, not a playboy-- or even a Fonzie cool, but cool.  Can't explain it. And he had a slight resemblance to Chuck Norris when his hair was long, too.

The first words I ever got him to reply to (with more than one syllable) was "WILL YOU MARRY ME?"  

(Yes I did say that. It was a dare from a co-worker and I was shocked that those words came out of my mouth, because I was a little shy too!)

He did say a whole sentence in reply with that (bold) question.

"Oh, yes, I will marry you, and if you marry me, you will never be sorry!"

"Oh, really?"  I said.

He continued the conversation by telling me exactly why I would love being married to him.  Astonishing.  His lips did move after all!

So after he said all those words--in a row, I ran off back to my station laughing to myself for I (finally!) got him to talk to me--he decided "Hmm...maybe she would date me!"

And so he asked me out. I turned him down not once, but twice! (I was a busy girl!)  Not thinking about how crushed he might be, I didn't mean to hurt him, I really did have other plans!

After two rejections, he worked himself up to ask a third time. I told him I would go out.  (He told me later the two rejections 'crushed' him.  It took all he had to ask a third time.)

For our first date, he drove all the way out to my house and picked me up and we went to a Pizza Hut after we drove back to his town. I didn't know it, but he had gotten food poisoning that day on his lunch hour, (from pizza!) and was sick as a dog.   He didn't mention this to me or call to cancel on me, because he had tried three times to get me to go out!  (Did I mention he is a determined man, too?)

As soon as he walked into Pizza Hut, he told me later the smell just made him want to throw up, which when they brought our order to the table, he quickly got up and excused himself and well, let's just say that was a quick date and he was as white as a ghost when he dropped me off. I don't know how he made it all the way home!

But, oh, how happy I am that I took the challenge and made that quiet southern man talk to me that day, on a dare from a co-worker of both of ours.  And no truer words were ever spoken.  I would not be sorry I married him.  

This 'quiet man' has been a good husband and father, and he is my very best friend.  I am so glad I didn't turn him down that third time.

One other thing he used to tell me when we were first dating in his southern drawl was "I'll grow on you!"

Well, me being a Yankee, I didn't know what that meant--had to have it explained--but it just made me laugh!  And I have laughed a lot with him over the years at the funny things he will say, and OH yes he has grown on me!   

And now, we are "growin' old" together!  


Unknown said...

What a precious story! Thanks for sharing with us. Hope you have a wonderful day with your Valentine!

Dar said...

I admire shyness. My Bill is still shy, but as your husband said, "He grew on me." There was no effort involved. He is so easy to be with, to talk to, to love.
You are blessed and so wonderful that you shared this love story.

Shirley said...

That is so sweet! Thanks for sharing with us!

Brenda Evans said...

What a sweet story - happy valentine's day to both of you.

Penny said...

Love this story -- thanks for sharing!
Happy Valentine's Day!

Sabrina @Falling Leaf Woodworkers and Primitives said...

what a wonderful story, thank you for sharing. I hope your Valentine's day is amazing.

lil red hen said...

This is a wonderful story!! May God give you many more Valentine Days together.

Grandmabeckyl.blogspot said...

Thanks for sharing your engagement story on Valentine's Day. So glad you took the Dare and glad you are together. My husband says he married me because since I was born on Valentine's day then he could remember my birthday! HA! We have grown on each other as well. Happy Valentine's day to the both of you! Hugs!

Laura said...

What a nice story!
My husband is a man of few words also. He says what needs to be said though. :)

Donna said...

What a sweet love story! Happy Valentine's Day to you two lovebirds!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing your story--so very sweet!
Happy Valentine's Day!

★Carol★ said...

It's always those shy ones that you have to watch out for! What a sweet story, and I guess in this case the third time was definitely the charm!
Happy Valentine's Day!

Tanya said...

That is such a precious story and it warmed my heart. How absolutely sweet! You should write a little book about it!
He is definitely a "keeper!"

Kathie Truitt said...

Good grief Joni. After that story I have a crush on him! Such a sweet, wonderful story. And how could he NOT have been in love with YOU? YOU, girl were definitely worth waiting for. Happy Valentine's Day.

Kimberly said...

Thirty years! You must be doing something right and it's a blessing to hear a good love story.
My husband and I had our first date at the Pizza Hut too! Blessings to you both

mary your sis said...

Awww. He was very shy and sweet and you two fit together like two peas in a pod~! Like Sarah Palin says about her husband, Todd, "He doesn't say much, but I know he means what he says! Still waters run deep!"