I have always been a sucker for romance. Love stories that make me cry. Grand gestures on the big screen. Dancing and singing musicals. One of the highlights of these movies, the marriage proposal. I always loved a good marriage proposal on the big screen. So possibly I always had quite high expectations of this, if and when it ever happened me.
Seven years ago, tomorrow, it did happen.
It was a cold dry bright January day. The now husband was acting slightly out of character and a bit odd. We went for a stroll through town. I was stopping and looking in shops on Grafton Street, he was getting quieter and quieter. He then suggested a stroll in St Stephen’s Green. It was a cold day, a walk in the park was not top of my list of things to do but he was acting a bit weird so I agreed. I was blabbering on in my own world as we walked into the park when he asked me to sit down on a bench . Only then did I get the first inkling that this was not going to be a normal Saturday.
And then he started talking. He told me a tale about his parents pointing to one bench beside us and about our future children pointing to a bench on the other side of us. I won’t tell you the story because they are his words not mine to share but do you know what? They kicked the ass of any Hollywood romance.
Then simultaneously a random bloke came and sat on the other end of the bench and the now husband but his hand into his inside pocket and produced a jewellery box and time stood still for moment.
The random man on the other bench had just bought a new phone and started checking out the ring tones! Seriously. But do you know what? It didn’t ruin anything it made it all the more real. This random man was going on with his everyday Saturday and a real live, a remember till the day I die moment was happening, right beside him. So when my now husband actually asked me to marry him it was to the background of normal life and nokia ringtones, not like in the musicals or on the big screen, it was better than that. It was real. It was perfect. It was the best day. Better than our Wedding day because it was just us. It was the best question I have ever been asked. Despite the randomer and the hundreds of other people milling through the park, it was just us. Just me and him and a shiny diamond ring and a promise of a lifetime of love. I have never seen anything before or since on the big screen that came within touching distance of how romantic it was. Real romance.
We go and sit on the bench whenever we are in town , my kids know the story, maybe they will tell the story on the bench to their own kids. With a bit of luck we’ll still be visiting the bench together when we are old and grey and we can sit together and watch the world go by. I hope so.