Dueling pistols are not symbols of romance. At least not the kind of romance that makes you want to marry someone else. They have the swashbuckling kind, not the connubial kind. I should explain, my proposal wasn’t supposed to happen standing in front of dueling pistols. It was supposed to happen in front of the majestic statue of Diana, probably a goddess of something romantic, surrounded by the serenity of the Philadelphia Museum of Art.
I waited for an hour for my fiance to be to show up, pacing in front of the wise bronze Diana, holding an increasingly sweaty bunch of flowers. She arrived directly on the heels of a noisy tour group, which was led, loudly, to the Diana’s feet. The guide began praising the sculpture, and I panicked. My fiance and I kissed, and I gave her the flowers. Still without a second plan of attack we ducked into the nearest quiet space. This was it, I was going to ask her right there. I looked around and found myself in the hall of war. Surrounded by the implements of battle and conquest. Perhaps there was something romantic in all of this, but again, not quite the right kind. I stuttered, finally handing my fiance a leather bound journal. She opened it, and found a poem written on the inner leaf, Robert Browning’s "The ring and book" explaining how rings are made. she flipped the page and found the ring sunk into a carved out hole in the pages. She cried, and said yes. Finally, that was the right kind of romance.
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