Tag Archives: romantic proposal ideas

The story of how it happened

One of the true joys and blessings of life is family. I’m pretty fond of mine, too. But you already guessed that or I wouldn’t be writing about them here, huh?

My wife’s name is BJ. Well, her family still calls her Bobbie Jean, but it’s always been BJ for me. I always tease BJ that I’ve known her longer than she’s known me. She was a grade behind me in school, but I knew who she was when I was in 8th grade. She was one of two girls that started for the junior high football team. She was a starting guard. You’d laugh if you see her now to think of that. She only stands 4’11”. She’ll tell you, though, that back then she was bigger than most of the boys.

We didn’t actually meet until I was in the 11th grade. We had a driver’s ed class together. I already had my driver’s license and was taking the course simply because my parents said I had to – seems they got a break on car insurance if I successfully completed the class. She was the unfortunate one: she was put in a group with my best friend and I and she had never driven before in her life.

I asked her out once that year and she turned me down. Now normally, being the prideful sort of male that many teenage males are, I would never ask a girl out twice. Hey! If she said no the first time, her loss. As I said, I was a teenager, whaddaya want?

Nearly two years later, I’d graduated and was working the graveyard shift at the local Stop-N-Rob. I came home early one morning to find a gaggle of girls at my house practicing some kicking routines. Seems my younger sister had invited the pom squad over to practice. Regardless, I wanted to use the phone and one of the pom-toters gabbed non-stop. In my angry “college boy,” voice, I demanded the phone, but asked who she was talking to. She was talking to BJ. I once again demanded the phone – with BJ still on it – and proceeded to ask her out once again. I was, of course, older and wiser at that point.

BJ said yes, and the rest, as they say is history. BJ will tell you that I took far too long to ask her to marry me. It was July of 1983 that we began to date. We weren’t married until 1990.

The pressure had been put on me, however. She wanted a “unique” proposal. Ladies, let me suggest to you now: take the proposal however you can get it. Do not, I repeat, do not put undue pressure on your hopeful spouse to be.

Well, I came up with a “unique” way to propose, but some of the situation was out of my hands. Initially, the proposal was to come in 1988…but that fell through. In 1989, I had my very first written published work — I proposed to her in that work.

We’ve now been married for 18 years and I’m now able to introduce us as “Dr. and Mr. Mann.”

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Today is my anniversary

Today, April 28, is my 18th wedding anniversary. I can’t believe that I’ve been married for 18 years! But alas it is true and I’m thankful for the 18 years we’ve had. I hope we can have another 18 years…well, not just 18 years, actually more than 18 more because in 18 years I’ll be 61 years old…so maybe even 18 twice…which will be 36 more years and that would make me 77. I think.

But you get the idea.

What a lot of folks don’t know is that BJ and I dated for 7 years–YES, SEVEN–before we were married. Y’see, she put the pressure on me early on and said she wanted a creative proposal. Great. Not only am I nervous just to propose, but it has to be “creative,” too.

So, I came up with the idea to propose to her in my first ever published work. I’d been working toward that goal for several years and believed it to be soon.

Welllll, I wrote a comic book that was supposed to come out in 1988, around the time I graduated from USM. Let me interupt here to tell you something neat I learned this week about the blog. I can put a “link” to pictures and websites in my blog…when you put your mouse on top of the link–DON’T CLICK–a little pop-up images appears with a small picture of the image or link. Try it. Roll your mouse over “1988” above.

Anyway, that book didn’t come out until 1 year later, in 1989. Talk about me having to hold my tongue for forever! In the back of the book, each of the creative team (Me, Mitch Byrd and Steven Butler) wrote a little thank you. BJ had proofed mine several times before sending it out. She knew what it said. She didn’t know that I had added my proposal at the end. When the book came out, I stood around watching her read…She wasn’t going to read it right then because “I’ve read it before.” Well, I had to force her to read it!

She said “yes,” but you knew that one.

So, on April 28, 1990, BJ and I were married in Pinelake Baptist Church, (the old one, out on Spillway Rd–actually, the new sanctuary at the old location) the church I grew up attending. A reception followed in the building behind it.

Since then, we’ve moved all around, but I’ve covered that elsewhere. We attended BJ’s 10 year high school reunion and my 20 year high school reunion–both the only ones our classes have held. At both reunions, several of our classmates had already been divorced and remarried, some more than once. Marriages these days, it seems, is more a matter of convenience.

I’m fortunate to have been married for 18 years. I know my wife reads this because she points out all my mistakes. I can say this for sure, marrying her was not a mistake!

Happy Anniversary, BJ. I love you very much!


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