Proposing To Your Wife – The Beginning:

When my wife and I purchased a wedding venue a year ago, we never thought we’d actually get married, or should I say, remarried, there. But as our 25th anniversary approached in October, my oldest daughter asked the question that changed all that.

“So, Dad, you giving mom a re-wedding for her anniversary gift this year?”

Like the clueless man I am, I responded, “You really think your mom wants to go through all that stuff again?”

You see, what my 22-year-old daughter knew, and what I’d obviously forgotten, is that when my wife agreed to marry me (a broke Marine with just zeroes in my bank account and a truck note bigger than my paycheck) all those years ago, she got the wedding we could afford, not the one she’d dreamed about since she was a little girl.

Our first go-around was a fine country wedding, or so I thought: sweltering, little, country church – which has since burned down, how’s that for marital omens? – homemade dresses and a few flowers, a buddy snapping embarrassing pics on my Polaroid Instant (shake them and they dry faster, Danny-boy) baby screams audio-bombing…everything, a family member VHS-taping just the back of our heads on a camcorder (that’s a boombox-sized device we used to shoot video in 1992…what’s a boombox? That’s a tape player with big…what’s a tape player? Forget it) then it was I Do-squared, high-fiving my bros as we exited the church, then off to the Sunday School room for Hawaiian punch and cookies, and then cake shoved up each other’s noses, and back outside for garter belt removal by teeth (she still hasn’t forgiven me for that one) flinging flowers to fighting 14-year-olds, flying rice, a badly shoe-polished truck – we never did get that Just Marred (nope, not a typo) completely removed – finally it was strings of dragging cans and off to the lake for a weekend of fun and fishing. Storybook stuff, right?

Wrong. Yep. I’m an idiot.

So, back in the now (a few days later) I casually asked my wife a question.

“Honey, what would you think about us renewing our vows at River Road Chateau? I mean, we do own the place.” She sat up, eyes suddenly bright, grinning like the Joker. She even started doing this weird, super-villain thing with her hands. I was like, uh oh. “Oh, Honey. Are you serious? I can have whatever I want?” I took a step back, because she was sort of scaring me, leering all moon-eyed like that. (At the risk of her reading this, I’m totally lying. She was not at all overly excited or “moon-eyed.” I am a stupid man using tired, male-female relationship stereotypes and should be flogged for my transgressions. Oh, and that “It’s not about the Nail” video is equally condescending and not at all completely hilarious or spot on.)

“Well, what do you mean, anything?” I start picturing Cirque de Soleil acrobats hanging from the chandeliers, The Rock and Mark Wahlberg as ushers, and a bizarre Kanye-Timberlake- Beyoncé-Taylor Swift sing-off thing in the wedding meadow, topped off by Garth Brooks, AC-DC, Def Leppard, and Metallica playing the reception as Wolfgang Puck and Sam Adams – the actual guys – serve up gourmet pizza and amber bock (Because, you know, it’s my wedding too).

“Well, maybe not Anything,” I said. “I mean, I was thinking we’d get dressed up, take some pics with the kids, have a little fun. We still gotta to eat after all this.”

Her shoulders slumped. She looked down. My heart sank. Women have no idea the power of the pout, or do they? I sighed, shifted my feet, and stammered.

“Or, you know, you could plan something. Maybe like have the wedding you always talked about.”

She beamed. She clapped. Did she just squeak?

Oh, no. What have I done?

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