The Proposal


I met Raymond on the internet.

eHarmony to be more specific.

Fast forward approximately 1.5 years later and we were off on our first international trip. And none other than the land of pizza and cheap wine (as their license plates state), Italy! The last week at work before the trip, all I heard from the HR ladies around me was, “Do you think he’s going to propose??” And my response was always, “I don’t think so…..I think he thinks his mom thinks it will happen, and he seems to enjoy keeping her in an anxious state.” Then on the Friday before we left, Gisela, my compensation buddy, said as I was leaving “you can’t post it on Facebook before you get back!!” I laughed, still thinking there was no chance.

So we get to Italy, starting out in Rome. We spent a day and a half exploring the city with Cathy, and then Ray and I head off to Cinque Terre (5 small coastal villages on the west coast of Italy). We found our bed and breakfast in the most Northern part of Monterrosso and then headed down to the beach to wait for our friends (James and Lindsay) to meet us there later that evening.

The Beach

So we are on the beach eating and drinking when Raymond says, “Want to go take a picture of the town from those rocks?” (“Those rocks” were actually a rocky pier that jetted out in the middle of the bay.) So we headed over there, he gave me the camera and I turned around and took a picture. I turned back around to face Raymond and he stood there, looked at me, and said, “Take another picture.”
“I already took one,” I said.
He responded, “Take another!”
“But this one’s good!”
“Take another!”
So I turn around, take another damn picture. When I turn back around to show Raymond how awesome the second picture was, he was down on his knee and holding a ring.

(Reenactment because no one else was around initially)




Now I can’t remember exactly what he said, but I think my response was “are you serious??” And then this happened:




I also don’t know what possessed him to pull that shiny baby out, uninsured, on a rocky pier with only the ocean to cushion its fall should it slip.  But I sure am happy he did…. and it couldn’t have been more perfect!!!! We then spent the next 10 days in Italy, Slovenia & Croatia in googly-eyed, newly-engaged bliss!!






So there I was, deep in the Belgian Congo – surrounded on all sides…

Wait – wrong story.  So apparently there’s all sorts of things involved in choosing a ring, none of which I knew, so I tried to learn things, then went to a couple of jewelry stores.  Then I “nonchalantly” asked a certain lady what sort of rings she would like, if she were interested in such things.  From this stealthy conversation (also on a beach, oddly enough), I learned that the rock ought to be rectangular, and the band ought to be white gold.  This proved to be mostly enough information to communicate to a jeweler, but I needed to bring in some “expertise”, so I asked Jay to come by with me and take a look before I committed.  His expertise mostly consisted of “being aware engagement rings existed”.  But it was enough.

So now I had to figure out what sort of circumstances might be ideal for an engagement.  Fortunately, we were going to Italy, where not only do they have delicious cheese and wine, but also the Mediterranean (and some pasta).  I figured this could be my opportunity.  I had to get to work.

In a month, I had managed to build a human-a-pult capable of hurling a human body across seven miles of ocean, or an african lion two miles (on a slightly more narrow trajectory).  I had trained a bear to stand on its hind legs and whistle, “California Love” by 2Pac.  I had procured (at great personal danger, and considerable expense) a thousand year old sword, possibly pulled from a stone and possessed of magical powers (or so said killersords1221 on the ebay). Unfortunately, the TSA would not cooperate in allowing any of these items through, so I had to make do with a ring and some board shorts.

I carried this ring through the airports of the US, throughout Rome, and on the train to Monterosso.  I didn’t have a really solid plan as to the where/when/how of the proposing, but I wanted the situation to be romantic enough that Jemie would have difficulty saying no (given that was probably her initial inclination).  I felt that the Cinque Terre region was a pretty solid bet, so I just had to scope it out a little bit and pick a specific spot.


Upon arrival in Monterosso, we found the beach (it was not difficult).  After dropping our bags off at the hotel, using my limited knowledge of Spanish to communicate to the little old lady proprietress who spoke only Italian, we elected to drink some wine and eat some cheese on the beach.  I wanted to wait for the sun to set across the bluffs overlooking our beach (so that the sun would be in Jemie’s eyes and befuddle her decision-making skills), and to do it out on the rocks (because I like rocks).  At the appropriate time, I pocketed the ring in my board shorts and told Jemie we should get a picture out on the rocks of the town.  She took the picture far too quickly, and as such, I was unable to get the ring out and get on a knee in time.  So we ended up arguing about why she should take another picture. Fortunately, she eventually acquiesced, to both the picture taking, and the married-getting.  Even though she first had to ask me if I was serious (me? not serious about something??).

5 Responses to The Proposal

  1. Smelly Kristy says:

    There were some hearty belly laughs while reading the stories. Very hearty indeed. Love it!!!!!!

    • mom says:

      Quite a story Raymond! And not having thought out the asking part??? I can hardly believe of the most thoughtful and serious type. For sure you should have written it down and taken the paper out at the appropriate moment.

  2. Tuyet says:

    You guys are so stinking cute…loved your story. So happy for you both!

  3. Bobbi Horowitz says:

    Hi, I’m a friend of your mom’s and can’t wait to meet you at the wedding. Your engagement story is exciting and adorable and I love the pictures.

  4. Laura Larsen says:

    Loved reading this, you guys. I had heard the story from Ray before, but reading this was super entertaining. I laughed out load on several occasions, to the extent that my husband and dog thought I was a bit crazy. Can’t wait to see you both in a few days. Nobody deserves this more than you both.

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