Strains from a small live band flitted over to our table, as I sat staring across the candlelight flame into the eyes of my adoring man. I had just finished eating the most exquisite meal and was now awaiting a sinfully rich chocolate desert. Fresh flowers filled our personal space with the aroma of rose petals. An eager waiter hovered close by waiting to fulfill our every wish. In my mind, nothing could be more perfect about this night. Little did I know it was about to get even better. A sparkling diamond awaited me, served with desert.
As my romantic man dropped to one knee, took my hand, and pledged his forever love, onlookers drew in a long breath of anticipation. How could I resist the look of raw love blazing from his eyes? Throwing my arms around his neck, I half laughed, half cried yes, yes, yes.
Applause erupted from ever corner of the fine restaurant, echoing off the dimly lit ceiling. The band struck up a love song dedicated just for us. This remarkable moment will forever be etched in my mind.
AND, in my mind alone.
Buzzzz, Buzzzz…my doorbell was ringing. As I hauled my lazy body up off the couch to go answer the door, I tried to figure out who it could be. My brother was home, my mom at my grandparent’s house, and I wasn’t expecting company. It was my night off.
I always took Thursday nights off from dating, seeing friends, and being social in general. Thursday nights I lounged around in pajamas, watched TV, read, or did anything I WANTED! My boyfriend (later husband) didn’t always understand this “night off” concept, but it was my rule. After all, a girl needs her space.
Apparently, John (my future husband) didn’t think I needed my space this Thursday. “What are you doing here? It’s my night off.” How could he resist me?
Acting much weirder than usual (considering his extreme personality, that’s scary), John came in acting like he was trying to hide something. He fidgeted more than a flea, turning 4 shades of red, pink, fuchsia, and salmon before pulling a ring box out of his pocket, falling to one knee, and blurting out “Will you marry me?”
I was so surprised. It was so sudden. This was my night off! A beautiful diamond, nested in a band of small chips, sparkled up at me.
“Yes, of course I’ll marry you!” I cried out with joy.
My brother, wondering what all the commotion was about, poked his head around the living room door frame. I ran to show him my diamond and share my blissful news. He was so happy for us; he offered to make us all Sabret hot dogs. It was true cause for celebration.
Nowadays, we good parents know not to use food as a reward. Using food as a reward causes our children to have an unhealthy relationship with what should be purely an energy source. Instead food becomes an expression of celebration, disappointment, and comfort, ultimately contributing to morbid obesity and early death.
Back when I was a kid, my parents obviously were not privy to such scientific data. Food was always used as a means of celebration; therefore, Sabret (not just cheapo wieners) hot dogs would mark my life altering event. My brother couldn’t have been happier for us.
Immediately, I thought, my mother MUST know. “Let’s run over to my grandparent’s house!” I urged my new husband to be.
On the way over, we decided to allow my family to discover for themselves the diamond I was flashing. After all, it would evoke greater response due to shear delighted surprise.
My mom, aunt, and grandparents were sitting around the kitchen table having coffee and talking. We joined them and immediately I began talking (mostly with my hands). For a moment, I thought our surprise would go undiscovered. Perhaps this rock of mine was not large enough after all…
Just as the doubts began descending like an angry vulture, talons tightening their grip on my joy, a burst of light must have bounced from my diamond straight into the eye of my mother. Unfortunately for those in spraying range, she’d just gulped from her coffee cup.
Eye widening to the size of half-dollars, her cheeks squeezed inward (resembling a blow fish just before it blows) and a rather large stream of coffee sprayed from her lips across the entire table. Each of us in her wake was drenched. There was no doubt, she’d seen the ring.
Once again, my family had reason to celebrate. This remarkable day in the lives of my family and I should be commemorated with nothing less than a Carvel ice-cream cake. My grandmother insisted.
And so, that night I began an unhealthily relationship with food, but a wonderful life of love with my husband.