Roses are red, violets are blue,
Please marry me and say I do!
This marriage proposal poem was inscribed in an engagement ring — whether it was given on Valentine’s Day or another occasion is not known, but the holiday does seem to bring out thoughts of love and giving that special someone a box of chocolates, flowers a card or just a simple “I love you.”
Normally, men and women don’t, when they happen to be in front of church, decide it’s a good day to get married and go waltzing down the aisle for the nuptials to be performed. But who’s to say it’s never happened that way.
After talking to a few friends about their marriage proposals, a couple of them came pretty close to that description.
Usually there’s a time of courtship, getting to know and coming to love one another before it advances to the ring-on-the-finger stage, and then, usually the fellow will pop the question. That is unless the female decides if she doesn’t go ahead and ask him that important question, she might be old enough to apply for Medicare. If she doesn’t wait for the next Leap year, when girls are allowed to do the asking, she just takes the bull by the horns and says, “Enough of these shenanigans. Let’s set up housekeeping.”
Regardless of who asks, a marriage proposal is an event where one person in a relationship asks for the other’s hand in marriage, and if accepted, marks the initiation of engagement and a mutual promise of later marriage.
When doing some interviews to see if the flame of love still burns in the Lowcountry, I received these responses:
Anne Heyward, an original Blufftonian, recalls her proposal as being somewhat of a surprise, saying she and husband-to-be had been dating, but not seriously (or so she thought). Back in 1959, when they were out enjoying a hamburger at The Shack in Beaufort, she laughed when he said: “I’m here tonight to ask you to marry me.” She says she had only known him maybe three weeks, but time works wonders and four months later they were married.
Charlene King recalls a simple but somewhat overwhelming proposal when, in December 1975, she and husband-to-be Don went with other family members to Alabama to spend Christmas with his parents and on the return trip back to Atlanta, as they rode on the back seat he landed a big smoocher on her and said “Will you marry me?”
She of course said “yes.” The “I dos” were said in 1976 and this year will mark 40 years of wedded bliss, one son and two lovely granddaughters.
At least these first two ladies were asked that important question.
My own happened quite differently when my husband-to-be, picking me up for a date on Valentine’s Day, strolled into my parent’s kitchen, tossed a diamond ring on the table and said, “There it is, take it or leave it.”
Being a naive 17 year old, I took it and this year — three sons and two grandchildren later — will mark 59 years for Harry and me. (Plus, I had to show him I knew how to make biscuits from scratch before the two of us tied-the-knot .)
My niece, Laurie Crosby recalls that she and husband-to-be just started talking about their future one day. That led into “let’s go pick out a ring.”
Said Laurie: “It was not a formal, romantic memorable event but my life with Ricky has been wonderful with three wonderful sons and soon I will finally be a grandmother, March 19th. I can hardly wait.”
When asked about her proposal, my sister, Carolyn Simmons Hudson replied, “Al Hudson and I were high school sweethearts for four years, so, there was not a marriage proposal from either one of us. We just knew we would be married. Therefore, Al asked mama and daddy for my hand in marriage and we set a date. Since our wedding in 1954, we’ve been married for 62 years. Our rocking chairs are ready to get married, the wrinkles have begun but we’re still having fun in 2016.”
And here’s one of my favorites from granddaughter Cheryl Tanner:
“When Camilo proposed he was living in Charlotte, I was living in Bluffton and we were commuting every weekend to see each other. I was one week away from leaving to go on my first international mission trip to South Africa when I was visiting him in Charlotte.
We both share a love for Cuban food, which is very similar to his native Colombian food. On my last night visiting he took me to our favorite Cuban spot in town, we shared a lovely large dinner and when it came time for the server to offer dessert, Camilo, of course insisted.
I, however, was in no way interested in dessert after such a filling dinner and was a little irritated that after he asked if I wanted some and told him no, he still ordered it.
But, when the server brought out tres leches with a marriage proposal across it, you can imagine that my desire to have dessert certainly changed.
With shaky hands and pounding hearts, he proposed and I said yes. Of course the rest is history and we just celebrated 5 years of marriage on Jan. 24.
These marriage proposals could be summed up with this short poem:
“If you love me half as good as I love you,
There’ll be a wedding in a week or two!”
Contributor Jean Tanner is a lifetime rural resident of the Bluffton area and can be reached at email@example.com.