Gilbert finds a unique and chocolatey way to propose to Deirdre. A Twisted Tales entry.
| Deirdre and I were at her place, snuggled on the sofa with cocktails and popcorn, watching a rom-com. I figured the time was right. I stood up, fished in my pocket for the ring, and went down on one knee.
“Dee.” I got that one word out before she burst into laughter.
“Oh, Gil, bless you, boy, the answer will be yes, but surely you can be more original than that?”
Frankly, I was a bit miffed. “What, ‘I love you and want to share my life with you forever’ is too trite or something?”
“Ah, it’s wonderful, and I love you, and I look forward to sharing that life. But you’re a best-selling author. You paint with words to create masterpieces. You use words like surgical instruments to carve up critics. You take words and build marvelous worlds peopled by colorful and engaging characters. I had just expected something, well, different, from a creative mind like yours.”
I felt both complimented and miffed. “So, what I think you’re saying is that you accept my proposal, or at least you will, when I come up with something sufficiently creative and original?”
“Exactly. Think of it as a challenge to Sir William in your book, Flames of Erdon. An obstacle to be overcome. A quest to be undertaken. That kind of thing. Though you already know the ending: the heroine will accept.” She wrapped her arms around me and kissed away my miff.
“Very well, fair lady. Your knight accepts the challenge and will undertake the quest.”
# # #
So how many creative proposals had I run across?
There were the guys who had a proposal flashed up on the scoreboard at a hockey game, or arranged for people in the stands to hold up letters at the first goal. I thought those were pretty cool, but neither Dee nor I watched professional sports.
There were the guys who hired a skywriter. I dismissed that as both expensive and trite. Overdone. And with my luck, the weather would ground the airplane.
There were the guys who designed memes and posted them on social media. Ick. I did briefly consider posting the proposal on my author website, but Dee seldom visits it. She knows what I’m writing and is my favorite beta reader. I considered slipping the proposal into the current draft chapter but decided it was too impersonal and unromantic.
We’d talked about skydiving, doing a tandem jump with pro jumpers. Maybe a big sign on the ground that could only be read from 5.000 feet? Didn’t feel right, somehow.
After considering a dozen approaches, and reading six web sites on “Best and Most Creative Marriage Proposals”, I finally settled on something unique. Something special to just us.
# # #
Dee, like every woman I know, loves chocolate. Okay, that’s obviously not the unique part. I added a twist.
I went to the most expensive confectionery in town and bought a fist-sized hollow chocolate egg, plain but expensive. After discussing this with the sales clerk, I separated the egg into to halves and inserted the ring (still in its box) into the egg. The clerk then re-sealed the egg with chocolate, and decorated it with colorful flowers and hearts. You could never tell that it had been opened. The egg then went into an elegant gift box with a little brochure explaining the symbolism of an egg--new life, rebirth, fertility, eternity, stuff like that. I added a personal note that read, “Deirdre, I love you, want you, need you. This egg is a symbol of our delicious new life together. Will you marry me?”
Okay, the note wasn’t the most vibrant prose I’d ever written, but it was from the heart, and I thought the egg a sufficiently original vehicle. Sir William had succeeded in his quest. Challenge met. Dragon slain. And so forth.
Chortling to myself, I arranged to have the box delivered to Dee’s place and retired to await her delighted acceptance.
# # #
“Gil, thank you for the pretty chocolate egg,” Dee said when she phoned the next evening, “And I accept the proposal.”
“Do you like the ring?”
There was a moment’s silence.
“Gil, I didn’t see a ring in the box.”
“Oh, it's in the egg. Just break it open.”
There was a longer silence. A longer and ominous silence.
“Oh, dear. Honey, I hope you can forgive me for what I’ve done. I don’t really like dark chocolate. I took that egg back to the store and exchanged it for a milk chocolate egg. But it was a wonderful and original idea.”
We rushed to the confectioner, but of course she'd dealt with a different clerk, and her egg had been sold. Somewhere, some lucky customer opened a chocolate egg and found a thousand dollar engagement ring.
I have spent our married life so far reminding myself, "Milk chocolate. Milk chocolate."