Romantic Thoughts (and Second Thoughts)



“Will you marry me?” Daniel asked his girlfriend.

“Might as well, we’re already living together,” she said, distracted by the people rushing past her.

They went back into the concert and he told his parents, “She said yes.”

“Well of course she did!  Now be quiet, the show is about to start,” his mom replied.

Ok, I’m exaggerating.  Maybe everyone was a little more excited than that.

But here it is, a year later, and they are no closer to getting married.  The would-be-bride hides behind her frugalness with conversations like this one.

“That’s too expensive.  Why should I pay someone $2,000 so that I can get married on the beach?  It’s the beach, for God’s sake!”

Daniel replies, “There’s a permit to reserve the gazebo and chair rental.  Someone sets up the chairs and takes them down after.”

“Let’s have the guests bring some blankets and we’ll have the ceremony real quick, so that there’s not time for anyone to call the cops on us for not having a permit.  Sheez, who needs chairs for that price!” she answers.

And yet, a year later, no wedding date has been set.

Do some people really dream of someday attaining this stunning level of (non)commitment to the mediocre?  I want more.  I want someone who is fired up about marrying me.  My preacher spoke on that in his last sermon.  We should be fired up for God.  “This little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine!  Let it shine, let it shine, let it shine!”  I’m not trying to compare myself to the Almighty, but I want some semblance of excitement in my intended, when the time comes.

I mean, just look at Sally Ann, my lovely daughter.  Just don’t look too close, ‘cause Penny will hurt you!


But seriously, Penny is stronger than she looks.  Stand back.

Sally and Penny were engaged last July.  Sally has planned and re-planned the wedding.  She has Plan A and Plan B, and a smile on her face at the thought of getting hitched if it all falls through!

I added a Plan C, for California.  “Get married in Texas, however you please.  Then come renew your vows on the beach,” I told her.  Don’t tell the future Mrs. Daniel, but I’d happily pay $2k to see my daughter as a blushing bride on a La Jolla beach.

That’s how love should be – contagious!  Everyone should want to take part!  Originally they were going to wait until after she graduated with her undergraduate degree, but why wait?!  When it’s right, it’s right!

I don’t know whether things will work out with Daniel and his lovely lady.  After all, they may be perfectly happy fiancées  forever.  Or, they could decide to elope this weekend.

All I know is, I want what Sally and Penny have.  I want someone who shines for me.  And I want someone who lights a fire in me.

Really, it’s been too long since I’ve enjoyed a good, hot romance.  And that’s ok.  I’d rather have no romance, than a lukewarm one, any day!

Happy Valentine’s Day!  Or, as Nadia says, Happy VD!



P.S. Gary Mathews came to visit!  More on that in my next post.


Engagement Announcement


I saw Lucas’s face first, which was weird. I usually see Lilly when the Skype screen opens. Then I realized that she was hugging him from behind, and she had a new ring on her finger. Which was wiggling to get my attention.

“OHMYGOD you’re engaged!” I squealed.

Yes, I squealed. I’m not proud of my girly-girl side, but occasionally she comes out. Usually for emotional times like this and clearance sales.

“YES! We shopped and shopped for a ring, and FINALLY found The One,” Lilly told me. “We put it on hold, then kept shopping, and found the same ring for a better deal! But he didn’t buy it right away. So I kept dropping hints, like, My finger feels so naked, that I should take off my shirts and pants too.” She smiled mischievously. “Then he went off to do something, and I was surprised because we usually do everything together, and when I asked him what he was going to do, he said, Nothing. Really, he should have made up SOMETHING!”

“I’m a really bad liar,” Lucas said in his cute Australian accent. “I really am.”

I count that as a bonus, personally!

Lilly continued, “The next morning, I told him, I think my ring size changed overnight. He didn’t let me try the ring on again, though. We planned a photo shoot so that we could have more than just selfies. That morning, he asked me, If you cry, will your makeup be messed up?” She paused and smiled at the sweetness of the question. I smiled with her; that kind of strong emotion is contagious. “I told him, No, it’s waterproof. Then as we’re getting ready, I played Train’s song, Marry Me, and our song, Bloom.

“AWWWW!” I said spontaneously. It’s part of that girly girl thing and I won’t apologize for it.

“I told him again that I should try the ring on. He said that he didn’t have it, that it WAS in the drawer at home. I saw right thru him,” Lilly said with a sly smile at her fiancée. FIANCEE!!!

He remained quite serious and stated again for the record, “I’m a really bad liar.” Then he snuggled up against her with his head on her chest, hugging her waist. The two looked natural and comfortable; as though they’d been together for years.

Lilly’s story continued, “We took pictures on a cute little bench with the sunset and mountains in the background. The sky was orange. It was so PERFECT!!” She paused for effect.

“I want the pictures! When are you going to announce your engagement publicly? OHMYGOD I’m so excited!” I was practically bouncing up and down. My face hurt from grinning so widely. They are my best friends and I’m so stinking excited for them!

“We’re going to tell family and close friends first, then announce it on Facebook,” Lilly said. But she wasn’t done with her story. “I said, You’re doing this, aren’t you? I was hyperventilating. We kissed. I was in a short dress and kept telling myself, Don’t fall! Our song was playing—Bloom—which was the first song that he told me, This reminds me of you. The sun came out from behind the clouds at just that moment. I was smiling and in shock, then suddenly I started crying.”

One of us was tearing up. I’m not sure which; I couldn’t see clearly.

Lilly said, “Later, Lucas pointed out that in the video for Bloom, there’s a sunrise. And there was a sunset when he proposed. Isn’t that just amazing? It was so perfect!”

“I asked her Dad before, too,” Lucas chimed in.

“When?” I asked. “Did Lilly know?”

“Oh yes, she was right there, it was on Skype,” Lucas assured me. “Scariest thing I’d ever done.”

“He started crying! My Daddy started crying!” Lilly added. Their tag-team story telling touched me once more; I love that they’re so in synch.

We talked more about their adventures: kissing kangaroos, attempted theft of a penguin from the zoo, and witnessing racist penguins who ostracized the brown one.

Lucas said, “No, we can’t have a kangaroo as a pet. It will eat her.”

Over the course of the vacation, they told me, there was lots of kissing, and lots of…well, you know. Lilly kept singing, “Let’s talk about sex, baby!” I’m not quite sure why…

What interested me most, though, was my duty as bridesmaid. In June 2016, I’ll serve in Fiji.

Congratulations, my friends! You make a great couple! And what a perfect story to tell the grandkids!


Marry Me

I’ve been married twice, and never been proposed to. Put another way, no one has ever proposed to me, even though I’ve been married to two different men. If I ever get married again (and that remote possibility doesn’t make me hyperventilate quite as much as it used to), I want the guy to propose to me.

I have not been proposed to; no one has ever proposed to me. However you care to say it, I have been engaged twice, without any of the fun, romantic hoopla that usually precedes it.


The first time, I was blackmailed into getting married. I just wanted to move in with the guy; my very conservative, ultra-religious parents objected. Dad threatened to take away my car and quit paying for college.

I tried to call his bluff and said, “Well, then, I’ll marry him!”

Mom said, “Congratulations! Let’s plan the wedding.”

So I married a guy that I barely knew.

I didn’t say that it was the right decision. I didn’t say that I was smart at age 18.

We were married in a small, quick ceremony with cheap gold rings from the pawnshop. That marriage barely lasted a year. At least I got a consolation prize—an awesome prize—a beautiful baby boy. Thanks for playing, try again.


The second time, we were playing with play dough. Seriously. My son Jack was 22 months old and we, along with my boyfriend-at-the-time, were playing with play dough. As I usually did, I make a ball, then a snake, then a ring. (A more technical description for you engineers: that’s a sphere, then a cylinder, then connect the ends of the cylinder into a “donut” configuration, like a washer with a circular cross-section.)

 playdough Playdough Ring2

Feeling silly, I reached for my boyfriend’s hand, and said, “Will you marry me?” Solemnly sliding the ring (play dough donut) onto his finger.

He took me seriously. The man actually took a play dough proposal SERIOUSLY!!

When asked, he said something like, “I knew that you were gun shy about marriage, so I was trying to find the right time to ask you. When you asked me, well, I got excited.”

Awwww, that’s sweet. In a didn’t-have-a-ring-yet, kinda-thinking-about-it, saw-an-easy-way-out kind of way.

He was very upset when the play dough fell off his finger, so I did the next logical thing: I retrieved a keep-tie from the kitchen and made him a new ring. A couple of days later, he was again upset when the paper separated from his keep-tie. So I did another logical thing: I took a ring off my finger and let him wear it. It was a silver heart-and-flower ring that would only fit his pinky finger.

When the guys would laugh at him for wearing it, he’d show them my picture. “This gorgeous woman wants to marry me,” he’d tell them. And they’d be quiet.

I bought my own engagement ring. Since I was paying for it, I didn’t feel quite right getting an expensive diamond. I settled for a less-expensive ring with my birthstone in it and small diamonds along the perimeter. To this day I still wear it; only now, it’s not an “engagement ring,” it’s a “birthstone ring.”


My Birthstone Ring



Next time I become engaged—assuming, of course, that there is a next time—I want a traditional, down-on-one-knee-in-a-fancy-restaurant proposal, with a traditional ring so that I know it’s planned and sincere.

All the stories and movies about fancy proposals are fun and sweet, I admit, but I don’t need a ring in my dessert. Nor do I want a proposal from a sky-writing plane, a blimp, the Jumbotron at a football game, or a knight in shining armor. And since I had to buy my own ring previously, a nice diamond picked out and paid for by someone else would be appreciated. Nothing too big or fancy, just a simple marquis cut diamond would do. Baguettes are nice, too.

An engagement is a long way off. Talk of marriage recently just has me thinking. I’m glad that my friend is getting married and I can’t wait for her destination wedding in 2016


Learn more about me by following my Facebook page, Jules Strawberry.