The Things We Do For Love

Posted: February 13, 2014 in Community, Family, Humour

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     Love. A four-letter word we can actually print here and not be sued. And love is most talked about at Valentines.

     Yep, Valentines. No longer just a day, it takes up a whole week now. It causes all kinds of buying to happen, all kinds of chocolate to be eaten, flowers to be given, and even birthday gifts to be had as my mom Carmen’s birthday is February 14th.

       But love isn’t only reserved for that time of year. Oh, no. Love is 365 days, 24/7. It’s the love of our spouses, our significant others, our children, our family, our friends. Love is forever (sometimes). Love can conquer all. It is a many splendored thing. It is blind. It makes you a fool. Love can make you do crazy, stupid, and often inexplicable things. It can lead to babies. It can make you paint walls when you vowed to never pick up a paintbrush in your life again.

     I apologise for that last remark. But I stand by it.

     It’s the ‘fool’ part of love that leads me to the real story today. My own love story is, to say the least, eccentric. As you all know, my lovely wife Anne, whom I mention here from time to time, must have an awful lot of patience to put up with a guy like me. At least I think she does. And, of course, I love her for it. There’s nothing I won’t do for her (check the above remark about painting). And when Valentines rolls around, I think about all that we’ve been through together. And one of my favourite memories is about the night I told her parents I wanted to marry her.

      I’ve always been kind of old-fashioned…at least in this way. I always knew I would marry a red head. And Anne was the one for me. So when the time came to get engaged, I wanted to make sure I asked her folks first. This is technically a lie because Anne knew beforehand. However I wasn’t popping the question to her before I popped it to her parents. So, we developed a plan. And we set it in motion.

      The first person I had to get to was her father, Fern. The plan was I would get him alone to feel out the territory. I even had the perfect setting for it. Fern and I used to go the K of C and play pool occasionally. Actually, play is not the correct term. Fern and I would go to the K of C and he would soundly beat me. I wasn’t a bad player. He was just much better. So, while playing pool, I just threw in a ‘what are you buying for Anne for Christmas’ question while he was lining up a shot. He said he wasn’t sure, so I said ‘I’m thinking of buying her a ring.’ while he shot. That the ring was already bought and paid for was not the point. That he looked up at me and said, ‘Billy…that’s a good idea. Let’s go tell Gisele!’ I could have kissed him at that moment. He said exactly what I hoped he’d say. ‘Let’s’ means he’s got my back on this one. ‘Let’s’ means he’s going to help me out here.

      What actually followed however is to this day one of the best practical jokes ever played on me. I’m not sure he meant to, but he really got me. We drove to his home, we went in the house, and my future mother-in-law was just going up the stairs to bed. What timing!! Excellent, I thought. And there’s Fern. He says to his wife, ‘Billy’s here to see you. I’ll be back in a bit, I’m just going to see my friend.’ And he left me there. Alone.  

     Two hours later, we were still sitting in the living room, me talking up a storm, and poor Gisele looking at her watch and wondering just what the heck I was doing there. You see, I didn’t have the guts to say it. I was still reeling from Fern just leaving me there, poor, defenceless, little old me. So, finally, fern shows back up, and I’m thinking ‘Thank God!!’. Fern is going to help me after all.

     What followed is also one of the best practical jokes ever played on me. Fern looks at us, and then says ‘Did Billy tell you the good news?’ And when it was obvious I hadn’t, Fern decided this was a great time to go look at the stars with a telescope. And there I was, like a bug on the wall, like a deer in the headlights…alone, and this time, on the spot.

      I had no choice but to blurt out the ‘good news’ now. At this point, Gisele was probably so tired that she would have agreed if I’d have asked to marry her son, just to get rid of me. She handled it all with the grace she’s known for. All was said, all was known, all was agreed to. And this goes to show you what fools we can make of ourselves when we love someone. I was going to be engaged!!

      I love you, Anne! It was all worth it.

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