Proposing to the person you are living with is not easy! I'd actually been asking Miriam to marry me for quite some time before the "official proposal". It became a sort of evening ritual. I would turn to Miriam and say, "Will you marry me?" and she would respond, "Ah, I'll think about it." I promised her that eventually she would get her big, romantic proposal.
Miriam had brought home from Rochester, MN a ring that had belonged to her grandmother. It had a beautiful, brilliant cut solitaire surrounded by 14 very small diamonds. However, the ring looked silly on Miriam's hand. We decided that we'd get the stones reset into a ring the was more suited to her hand when we actually got engaged. We spent some time looking at engagement rings to give ourselves ideas, and when I thought I had a good idea of what Miriam would like I said that I would take care of it from there. I had to have some element of surprise.
I drew up an idea for the ring setting and took it to a jeweler that was walking distance from our dowtown apartment. They said that they could do that setting with the stones I had and that it would take two weeks. I started to put the other pieces of the plan in motion.
On Friday, September 26, 1997 I got off work at 2:00 p.m. I went home and picked up my tuxedo and a change of clothes. I put a poem I had written for Miriam in an envelope and stuck it to the door to our apartment. The poem included her instructions for when she got home from work: Come inside and relax a bit. Get yourself ready. Put on your best dress and pack an overnight bag. Be downstairs ready to go at 7:00 p.m.
At 7:00 p.m. I came back to the apartment in my tuxedo and went up to the door to get her. Miriam was a little flustered - she's gotten home late from work and had to rush to get ready. I handed her a bouquet of roses and escorted her downstairs. There, waiting for us at the curb, was a horse-drawn carriage. The carriage took us on a brief tour of downtown and dropped us off at The Cincinnatian hotel, home of The Palace restaurant.
We had a cocktail in the bar while we waited for our table at The Palace to be ready. Dinner was wonderful. Then, I excused myself to go to the restroom while we waited for our dessert. I returned with Miriam's engagement ring in my hand. I knelt down next to her at the table, handed her the ring, and asked her to marry me.
She slipped the ring on her finger. Once she stopped crying, she said yes. :-)
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