A proposal of marriage is one of the most overwhelming, earth shattering, blissful moments of a persons life that will be remembered and cherished forever. I imagine. I am not engaged, never have been and I am not desperately hinting at my boyfriend to put a ring on it, despite being asked constantly ‘when is it going to happen’ by friends, colleagues and neighbours. Let me reassure you that this is not a measurement of our love or adoration, just a realistic insight into my current relationship status. However, this state of indifference I have is probably because there have been numerous (three) occasions where I thought a proposal was happening and it really, really wasn’t. I wouldn’t say the excitement or anticipation has dwindled or diminished, I just feel that the ‘moment’ has been and gone already, so it will REALLY take me by surprise when it does happen.
Expect the unexpected and all that. Let me share with you the reasoning behind my feelings. On a normal Wednesday evening, my boyfriend and I are slumped on the sofa watching rubbish TV and trying to forget our days at work. He turns to me and asks a question;
“Do you want to play a maths game?”
“Absolutely not” I bluntly respond.
“Come on! Okay – I’ll start.”
He asks me to select a three digit number and then he picks a number and so on. This continues and he then totals the number. He nervously takes me by the hand and leads me to the fruit bowl (not a euphemism) and asks me to select a piece of fruit. I choose the lemon and pass it to him. He slowly slices the lemon in half and turns and opens it towards me (as you would open a ring box) and there’s a piece of paper positioned inside.
“Ok – take the paper out and read it” he nervously instructs. This is it! A citrusy proposal, how original! How surprising! How refreshing (literally!)I slowly open the paper as he watches on in anticipation.5437“See! It’s the number we just added up in the lounge!”
It was a magic trick he’d learnt on YouTube. Little did I know I was in love with an Asian Paul Daniels.
I obviously didn’t say ‘I thought you were going to propose’ for fear of looking like a desperado, so I simply shrug it off, laugh about it and add it to my bank of anecdotes. A few months pass and my birthday rolls around. I am whisked off to a spa day with overnight hotel stay in the countryside. Paul goes to check us in and I wait in the car. He’s gone for a while but luckily I’m kept amused by a rather petite man wrestling with a set of golf clubs and a rather small sports car boot (you’d think the fact he was genetically closer to the floor than most that a low slung boot would work in his favour, apparently not).Paul finally returns and we make our way to our room. He opens the door and he has set his mobile phone up in the room so it is playing Beyoncé’s ‘Halo’ as we enter the room. There is a bottle of champagne and glasses on the side and gifts on the bed, it’s like a Lonely Island music video.
He slowly turns and says “HAPPY BIRTHDAY BABES!!!!!!!!!!!!!”
I want to take a moment to step out of the story and make sure I don’t sound ungrateful, I’m extremely grateful. But throw me a bone here – Beyoncé, champagne, surprise revelations. He doesn’t realise that I would naturally see this and think proposal.
Never mind. The champagne was rapidly consumed and it was a lovely gesture on his part, bless him. The final and most recent occurrence was the morning of Christmas Eve 2016. We were sat in bed opening gifts, hair stuck up like a chicken, morning breath, all the romantic elements you would envisage. I empty my gift bag (again not a euphemism) and Paul tells me there is one more gift he wants to give me (I know right – a ring?!) and that I should look in the bag again. It turns out that one of the sides of the bag is layered and has paper over it, the scallywag.
I peel it back and there is a tiny piece of paper with a riddle on it. I follow the clues and go all around the house in this treasure hunt. One of the clues directs me to a small cake hidden in a cupboard (wedding cake?!).
At this stage I would argue my assumption of imminent proposal is extremely justified.
The final clue directs me to go ‘back to where we began’.
“No Sarah, the bedroom, where we started the treasure hunt.”
Duh. I can’t think straight, I’m checking my nail varnish is perfect for the hand selfies, or ‘helfies’. I’m slowly starting to pat down my chicken hair ready for photos and I’m frantically rubbing my tongue over my teeth in an attempt to clean them. I notice Paul glance over at me clicking my tongue and erratically rubbing my hands over my hair. Jesus if I keep this up he will never propose.
I return to the bedroom and he asks me to look inside the bag one more time. It turns out ALL the sides of the bag are layered and there is a hidden card at the base of the bag, the sneaky squirrel!
I open the card slowly, drinking in every element so that I don’t forget a second.
I open the card and see the words before me ..Sarah, two tickets to Matilda! the musical! Merry Christmas x
Oh. Oh, I mean lovely! I love Matilda. I just thought (and quite rightly so in my defence) that THIS was it. I glance up and catch my reflection in the mirror. My hair is shiny on top from the excessive rubbing and my eyes are bloodshot and tired, thank god this wasn’t it. Imagine the photos! A pyjama top with no bra on?! No one on Facebook wants to see that.
So I’m back at the same place as I was at the start of the story. Not engaged, fine with that, but definitely not engaged.Thinking about it, I wonder what he will do when he actually DOES propose?
Tattoo? I’ll keep you posted.(If anyone speaks to Paul any of the above three suggestions would be welcome!)