Tag Archives: engagement

1945. The case of the mysterious proposal

When Anita got to the last sip of her tea at the rather sophisticated afternoon tea-party there was an engagement ring at the bottom of her cup. Her first thought was “I was lucky not to have swallowed all those diamonds”. Then she wondered whose ring may have slipped off as they drank tea and she had picked up the wrong cup. And then she wondered, “I wonder if this ring was meant for me? I have dated two of the men here but I doubt that either was serious enough.”

She glanced around. No one seemed to be watching her. No one seemed to be waiting for a “Yes!” No one seemed to be anticipating a surreptitious shriek of excitement to escape her cherry red lips.

If the proposal was real it would be so banal to simply say, “Hey! Look what I found!” She would spend an entire marriage living with the dullness of having not looked pleased at the marriage proposal.

George came over to her. He was undoubtedly the handsomest man there – or so Anita thought – although he wasn’t one of the two that Anita had been out on dates with.

“How’s it going?” said George.

“Good,” said Anita. “And how are you?”

“Good,” said George. “Would you like another cup of tea?”

“I’d love one,” said Anita.

George took Anita’s cup and saucer and headed for the table with the teapot. He returned.

“Thank you so much,” said Anita. George moved further around the room.

Needless to say, Anita was rather keen to get to the bottom of her cup. Was the ring still there? She was halfway through sips of her too, too hot tea when Berwyn began squealing in the far corner of the room.

“Oh George! Oh yes! Yes! Yes! Oh Georgie darling! Yes! Yes! Yes!”

1941. Helmut’s special birthday

Well I wouldn’t call it a big party; just a dozen friends or so invited around for a few drinks. Helmut was invited. It was his birthday. He kind of knew the party was to celebrate his twenty-first birthday but no one was saying much.

Maree was at the party too. Helmut thought she was pretty sweet, and perhaps something might come of it. She was very friendly towards him at the party and Helmut wondered if he should invite her out on a date. In fact, Helmut knew most of the people at the party, or at least had a passing acquaintance with them. Roger wasn’t his favourite person there. He was always raucous and belligerent. At least Helmut thought so.

Over in the corner of the room, Helmut spotted a huge bouquet of flowers. In fact they were mainly sunflowers. Helmut liked sunflowers. Clearly they were intended for him when they made a speech and they handed over some little gift for his birthday.

The evening wore on. Then Roger tapped an empty beer bottle with a spoon. It was like a clarion call for everyone to shut-up. A speech was to be made.

“Thanks everyone for coming,” said Roger. “I hear that it is Helmut’s twenty-first birthday. Congratulations, Helmut. Maree and I just want to take this occasion to announce our engagement.”

Everyone applauded. Camilla, who clearly was already in the know, gathered the bunch of sunflowers and presented them to Maree.

Everyone went all goo-gar over the engaged couple. No one sang happy birthday.

1929. One never knows

When Elaine and Charlie announced their marriage engagement everyone knew instinctively that it was a relationship concocted in heaven. They were perfect for each other. Both were mean. Both were snarky. Both could be malicious. In no time they’d knock the rough corners off one another. It wasn’t so much cruelty of action; it was cruelty of tongue. Both could make ground meat out of a tough steak simply by verbal lashing.

The engagement period seemed to go well. There were no volcanic eruptions – much to everyone’s disappointment. Then the wedding day arrived and they had chosen a simple wedding in a little country church, with just a few friends and family members. They returned from an extensive honeymoon even more convivial than when they left. The pundits’ disappointment continued.

Next came a baby, and another, and a third. This was getting ridiculous. The relationship wasn’t meant to last. Pre-nuptial common sense demanded a marriage breakdown.

And then one day Elaine lost her job as a school secretary. Apparently she had expressed an opinion that favoured the wrong political party. That was when the waspish habits of bygone years leaped back into gear. Both Charlie and Elaine stood in front of the principal’s desk.

They hadn’t lost the touch. No indeed!

That was years ago. They’re grandparents now. Many of their acquaintance’s marriages have disintegrated. One never knows.

1732. A not uncommon phenomenon

It was St Valentine’s Day and Molly was excited. Last year her boyfriend had given her even more than a bunch of roses. She knew that the next year (which is this year) it would be a ring.

Molly rose early. Her heart soared. She dressed in casual, comfortable clothes. No good dressing up to the nines and letting the cat out of the bag. Before she had finished breakfast she had changed her attire twice. What she wore would be captured forever on her phone. Her phone was charged. She would show the photograph to her grandchildren years down the line and say, “This is your grandmother getting proposed to by your late grandfather.”

Late grandfather! Oh! How sad that day would be! for almost inevitably he would pass on first. And she, by then not Ms Molly Liggins like today but Mrs Alexander Snooks, would be left alone in her world of widow’s weeds.

And children! She had already named all three! There would be Nicholas, and Eadlin, and Lillian. Not to mention their house mortgage free and with a lovely view. And the car! “Limousine” would be a better word. She would have her driver’s license by then. It would be the first thing her fiancé would do: give her driving lessons, in between smooching and kissing in the back seat. Oh! The future! Who doesn’t dare to dream doesn’t win.

There was a knock on the door. It was the florist delivery personage. Was this the prelude? “Mother!” called Molly from upstairs, “could you get that. I’m getting changed?”

And when Molly swept down the stairs she was greeted by a bouquet of yellow carnations wrapped in black paper and a note that said “Sorry”.

1549. Down on one knee

(The closing sentence for this story was suggested by Terry of ARANEUS1. If you want to join in the fun of suggesting a future closing sentence for these stories, click here for a peek as to what’s what.)

I’d put it off for long enough. Leonie-Lee was my life and light. We had been dating now for three years. It was time to propose marriage, but to be honest, what if she said “No”? The possibility of a “No” – no matter how improbable it was in reality – had always come in the way of proposing. I wish she’d taken advantage of that quirky thing (I believe it’s the case) and proposed to me herself last Leap Day.

I caught the number 12 tram. It stops almost outside my house. There’s no need to walk far except down the garden path. In fact, when it rains, I simply wait in my porch and when the number 12 tram approaches I dash out and board the tram raincoat-less and umbrella-less. Crossing the road can be a bother, but there’s a place for pedestrians to cross, although these days who can trust the road-raging drivers? Of course, I carry my coat and umbrella, because when I reach the tram stop where I alight I still have to walk a good half hour to arrive at Leonie-Lee’s house.

I had the engagement ring and everything. In fact I’ve been so excited about this decision that I haven’t slept for two days. Not the briefest forty winks.

When I got off the number 12 tram the sun was shining. The day couldn’t have been more pleasant if I’d planned it myself. I practically skipped my way to Leonie-Lee’s. This was to be the happiest day of my life thus far.

Anyway… that was a couple of hours ago. Leonie-Lee said… well… it doesn’t matter. Same as last time. Afterwards, I headed straight for home. As I stepped off the number 12 tram, dodging impatient traffic, it started to rain.

1450. The wedding’s off

Sian was in the foulest of moods. She had been asked to be matron-of-honour at her best friend’s wedding. Of course she said “yes!” Sian and Delia had been friends since way back. It was not at all surprising that Delia had asked Sian to be matron-of-honour. This was Delia’s second marriage. Sian had been bridesmaid at the first.

Sian and Delia had spent hours and hours selecting the dress for Sian to wear. Sian said she would pay for it. It was part of her wedding gift. And shoes to match the dress! And now the wedding wasn’t going to happen.

Sian was spitting tacks. After all that money she had spent on the dress and shoes. They weren’t exactly items of clothing that could be thrown on before one popped down to the local store to buy a tin of sweetened condensed milk. And Sian had arranged to have her hair done. And her nails. And now the wedding was off.

Did I mention the deposit on the horse and carriage? The bride was to arrive and leave the cathedral in a horse and carriage and Sian had made the booking. Do you think they would give the deposit back?

It was all money down the drain. And what will she do with the expensive wedding cake that was already made, iced, collected, and paid for? Sian was simply trying to do the best for her friend by organizing all these wedding things, and paying for most of them at the time even though she would get paid back later. And now the wedding was off.

What was she meant to do with the expensive cufflinks she had bought for the groom and best man to wear. Money, money, money squandered on a ridiculous non-event.

Why Delia’s fiancé had to drop dead two days before the wedding was anyone’s guess.

1447. The engagement photo

Yes, this is a photo of me and my fiancé. We never married of course. We were engaged for just a short time. Our marriage was arranged, as indeed they were for many back then. Arranged marriages seemed to work well enough. You’d fall in love over time without usually having to spend energy on the lovey-dovey stage.

Hector and I had met just the twice, and he was to visit me again. In those days it took two days to travel from where he lived to my village. He had to catch a number of trains and a ferry. And arrive he did! I had spent all day perfecting my looks and hair. It wasn’t so much vanity, as nerves. One strives to look as elegant as possible for these pre-arranged liaisons.

Hector and I walked to the village hall where the dance was to be held. He was very handsome, and so very courteous and polite. As soon as we walked in the hall he said, “Whose that?” and I said “That’s Mabel Hussleworth. She’s engaged to Anton Gorinski.”

The announcement of her engagement didn’t seem to register. He danced with Mabel all night, and I, a wall flower for but a short time, danced the rest of the night away with Mabel’s fiancé, Anton. In fact, we have danced the rest of our lives away, and coming next Friday we will have been married for thirty-nine years.

Mabel and Hector tied the knot as well. I’ve kept the engagement photograph of me and Hector as a reminder of how lucky I was to have escaped getting married to a serial wife basher. Mabel I believe is in a wheelchair, and he murdered his second wife.

1439. An engagement party

Herbert and his daughter Dolly were on to a good thing. Dolly was rather photogenic and would post her voluptuousicity on the dating pages of the internet. Some handsome lawyer would soon fall for her, and shower her with requests. Dolly always insisted on gifts sent by some online company or other. There were lots of online catalogues to choose from.

As things went further down the track, they would arrange to meet. The gifts continued of course. That is when Dolly’s father, Herbert, stepped in. No way could they meet with his daughter, he angrily texted. There was to be no further communication.

So far, Dolly has been proposed to forty-two times. Usually she sells the gifts on.