My girlfriend and I had been dating for two years. She made it through some serious health problems and I knew that if we reached the end of that crucible with our relationship intact, we were meant to be together. I knew beyond any possible doubt that I wanted to be with this woman for the rest of my life. Money for the right ring was the only thing standing in my way. Being a fourth grade teacher, I am often forced to live caviar dreams on a tuna fish budget. Between student loans and other assorted bills, it seems to be taking an eternity to save up the necessary cash to begin our live together. I often joke that I will be able to propose in another three or four years, as soon as all my debt is cleared up. Needless to say, this was far from ideal. It has become somewhat of a joke. Whenever we have a disagreement, she teases me, "Does this mean I’ll have to wait four years and two months?" It was always said in jest, but it upset me to a degree. I knew that we both wanted to be married and she certainly deserved a great wedding. Naturally, you can’t have a wedding without a proposal. Never one to do things half way, I wanted to plan something unforgettable.
So I started thinking, what could I do to earn some extra cash for the perfect engagement ring for that perfect woman? Well, I write and teach writing all day long. I enjoy my job and I do it well. It strikes me as appropriate that the job I love should pave the way to marrying the woman I love, so why not put my skills to good use. Searching the internet, I came across numerous writing contests. Sure, I had entered a few before, but this one had to be different. This had to feel right. Just as I was about to call it quits, I stumbled onto this contest: the best proposal story will win a diamond from Diamond Cutters International. I knew immediately that this was the challenge for me! I poured out my heart and soul into my writing, knowing that I could never put into words what I felt. I entered the contest and waited. The suspense was terrible. Days seemed like weeks, weeks like months; when would I find out? Finally, when all hope appeared lost an e-mail. I had won the contest! I could hardly believe it! I took the diamond and had it placed in the most beautiful setting, ready to pop the question.
The scene was now set. We were at her house, tooling around online, when I said, "I entered this writing contest.’ Let’s check out this site to see if I won." She knows that I enjoy writing, so this wasn’t very out of place. My hands trembled as I typed in the address. A message appeared: SERVER NOT FOUND. What? I could have passed out right onto the keyboard. Taking a deep breath, I double checked the site I had entered. In my haste, I had mistyped. Making the necessary correction, I hit the enter key. It took forever for the screen to load (she really needs to get rid of that snail like dial up). Feeling as if I would grow old waiting, the site finally appeared, just as I had remembered it. Nervously, I scrolled down the screen, searching for my words of adoration. Maybe I had misread the e-mail response; perhaps I didn’t win after all! Then I see the title, Love and Student Loans. Clicking on the entry, I slid the mouse down the page to the line that read,
"Tracey, will you marry me?"
She couldn’t believe what I had done! She said, "Yes, of course Ill marry you!" Jumping into my arms, we exchanged words of love and joy. This was the beginning of my happily ever after. Our dreams would come true, all thanks to Diamond Cutters International! If only my student loans could be taken care of so easily
Proposal Story By:
Michael J. Ricci