“What do you want for Valentine’s Day?” asked my boyfriend on Saturday, February 12, 1994. What could I say? I couldn’t ask him for the one present I wanted most. We had been discussing marriage in “some day” terms for several months and I was convinced that Valentine’s Day was going to be the day he proposed. Now it seemed I was wrong.
Valentine’s Day was a difficult proposition for us this year anyway. Warren was working nights and I was working in the daytime. Because the fourteenth fell on a Monday, we would both be working and unable to spend the day together, so we celebrated early.
We spent the afternoon window-shopping and Warren offered to buy me a copy of one of those Bridal magazines.
By that time, I was disappointed and frustrated enough to reply, “I wanted a real present, not some dumb magazine.”
Despite my childish behavior, Warren went out of his way to make dinner a special event. We had lobster and champagne at a wonderful restaurant. As good as the food, the ambiance, and the company were, my mood only improved marginally.
Every time I tried to turn the conversation toward our relationship, he changed the subject. Our day ended with a romantic movie that Warren couldn’t seem to sit still and watch. He spent as much time in the lobby as he did holding my hand.
By the time the movie was over, it was nearly midnight. I dozed off on the trip home, only to wake up in Warren’s mother’s driveway. By this time, it was almost one in the morning of February 13th. I could see that Warren was tired too, so I didn’t understand why he insisted that I had to show his mother how to use a video camera.
He told me that she wanted to make a tape of some property she was selling. It wasn’t until afterwards that I remembered that Warren knows how to use a video camera just as well as I do.
If you watch the tape, you can see that I’m not in a good mood. That’s putting it mildly. You can see that I’m fuming. Frankly, if I were Warren, I would have started looking for another girlfriend. Instead, he sat next to me and made one of the most romantic speeches I’ve ever heard.
“I might not be the richest man in the world, or the handsomest, but you would make me the happiest man in the world, and the luckiest if…”
At this point, he got down on one knee and pulled a ring box out of his pocket. “If you answer yes to the question, will you marry me?”
Of course, I started to say, “Yes,” right away.
Warren gently placed a finger on my lips and said, “Wait. I wanted to propose on Valentine’s Day, but we both have to work. Now, if you don’t care, if you don’t want to be able to say we got engaged on Valentine’s Day, go ahead and say yes.
“On the other hand, if you wait to give me the official answer until Monday, then we can honestly say that we were officially engaged on Valentine’s Day.”
I agreed, of course. What woman wouldn’t want to be able to say she got engaged on Valentine’s Day?
Warren told me afterwards that the video tape was proof for our children that he actually got down on one knee to propose.
We were married six months later. This year we will celebrate our twenty-eighth wedding anniversary.
On Valentine’s Day of 2002, we watched the tape with Matthew, who was five-years old back then. I don’t think he completely understood the significance of his father’s speech, but he certainly understood the part about “Mommy’s kissing Daddy!”