I sought out the perfect spot to ask Sue to marry me, and finally made reservations at a restaurant in Sausalito reputed to have a beautiful view of San Francisco across the Bay. I knew Sue would enjoy the illuminated skyline of her favorite city. The restaurant, William A. Sterlington, was everything I’d hoped for—I couldn’t imagine a more romantic setting to pop the question. The restaurant was elegant, with linen tablecloths and upholstered chairs, and there were so many ferns and flowers that it was like eating in a botanical garden. I spotted an old portrait on one wall. William A. Sterlington? If so, what had this winking dandy with piggish features done to merit having his face stare down at us?
We were seated at the table I’d reserved, a table by the window with a spectacular view. Our meal was superb, and the service was impeccable, but something wasn’t right. Something was gnawing at me. I couldn’t put my finger on what it was. At first I thought it was just nerves as I got ready to pop the big question, but then I noticed people from other tables stealing glances at us. I figured it must be obvious what was about to happen, and everyone was waiting for a proposal show, but this didn’t explain why our fellow diners looked so irritated. That was when I realized I was the only guy in the crowded eatery with a woman. In fact, there weren’t any females in sight, other than Sue. Now I knew what William A. Sterlington was winking about.
Of all the places I could have selected for this all-important moment, I’d picked a
restaurant that catered exclusively to…men.
I didn’t want to pop the question in enemy territory. We finished our meal and went
out into the chilly night air. After guiding Sue to an empty patio on the side of the restaurant, I ignored the dampness and knelt down on one knee in the middle of a puddle. I produced the ring, a modest thing. My heart was trip hammering in my chest when I asked Sue to marry me.
She beamed with happiness as she said, “Yes.” And she looked thrilled when I placed the ring on her finger. I doubt, however, that any of this came as a surprise since women are always two steps ahead of men when it comes to this stuff. But Sue seemed to truly love the little diamond that, to me, looked pathetically insignificant before the galaxy of glittering lights erupting from the San Francisco skyline.
We hurried home so she could show the ring to her parents. Even though it was late, they were up and waiting with a bottle of champagne to celebrate the event. Sue’s mom passed the glasses around and we toasted our future.
Then Mr. P. made an interesting offer. “I don’t know what you kids have in mind as far as a wedding is concerned, but I’ll give you a choice. You can have a big, fancy wedding at our country club, or I’ll give you a ladder and three thousand dollars so you two can elope.”
Thanks to her dad, a few days later Sue and I had our first major argument. Sue had opted for the fancy wedding. I proved I wasn’t the romantic she’d hoped for when I chose the ladder and three thousand dollars.
That ladder never had a chance.
Where were you when you asked, or were asked, that all important question? Was it romantic? Share it with us…