On June 24th, 2012 Lansing’s 27,013th Most Eligible Bachelor officially went off the market.
That’s right. Stephanie and I are now engaged. Yes, to be married. Thus ends Mom’s less than subtle hints about Popping the Question.
For those wondering about the details, fear not. It is a tale of cunning consumerism and fiery romance, stocked with multifaceted characters and far flung, idyllic locales.
In short: I drove to Detroit on a Friday, bought the ring, drove back to Lansing, and proposed on Sunday while on the way to a pizza dinner at the establishment known locally as Le Nuthaus.
My original plan had been to ask for her hand while on an upcoming camping trip, on a Michigan beach, at sunset. But, upon seeing the ring, I fell into a Frodo-like trance and became a slave to its will, and I had to give it to Stephanie as soon as possible.
Plus, I felt my sunset-on-a-beach plan was a bit cliché and worthy of an entry on TV Tropes.
Stephanie called me on her way home from work, and asked if I wanted to walk up to the Nuthouse for pizza ($5 on Sunday, and $2.50 22oz beers). Knowing our pizza outing is one of her favorite things, I knew this was the time. I had minutes to come up with the Where and the When.
Walking to the Nuthouse gave me options. We would be on the River Trail. I thought of what else lay along the way, but time was short and before I knew it, we were walking hand in hand toward our dinner.
“Do you mind if we walk a bit more first?” I asked, as we neared the River Trail steps. Stephanie was all too happy. As we approached the Impression 5 Science Center, I was inspired. Stephanie is a fan of science, Outer Space, NASA, and science fiction. She also used to work at I5. Not a bad spot, but where exactly?
The Planet Walk came into view. Signs portraying the planets are set out along the River Trail.
The first planet along our path? Venus. My mind raced. Venus, the Roman goddess of Love. To paraphrase the Talking Heads, this must be the place.
We stopped in front of Venus. I hugged Stephanie and said, in a purposely goofy voice, “You’re my Venus.”¹
She laughed and shook her head, as she is prone to do whenever I open my mouth.
I reached into my pocket and took out the ring. “Would you be my Venus forever?”
Her eyes became like saucers, and her voice shook as she asked, “Are you serious?”
I replied, with my best Egon impression, “I’m always serious.”
And she said yes.
After Stephanie recounted the details of my proposal later, her youngest sister replied, after a pause, “And you still said yes?”
¹ Bananarama reference not intended.