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Popping the question gets the same response
Marc Munroe Dion's op-ed column: Asking for It

Date published: 1/1/2013

FALL RIVER, Mass.

--If I lived in a small peasant village thousands of years ago where it was customary to dance naked in the fields on New Year's Eve to ensure a good growing season, I would be the first to drop his fur britches and start cavorting through the stubble corn.

Which is to say I like ritual. I like the statues of the saints in church. I like Christmas trees and the Rosary. I like an omelet every Sunday morning. I'd have been a good 12th-century monk.

Every New Year's Eve, my wife and I attend a party in a local saloon. There's a buffet and music. It's a small bar, and the owner limits attendance to 25 couples, all people we know, all people he knows.

It's nice. You eat some shrimp cocktail, some cheese, maybe a little salmon and a piece of prime rib. I drink tap beer and toast the New Year with undistinguished champagne in a two-piece plastic glass.

The crowd is cops, a dentist, construction guys, firefighters, people who work in grocery stores, a couple small-business owners. And the owner puts a big sign in the window that says "PRIVATE PARTY" and then locks the doors so we can smoke.

My wife, who is fond of sequins, shines in the half darkness. I am drab in tweed, though she usually makes me put a glittery "Happy New Year" sign in the band of my fedora.

It is my favorite time of the year to look at my wife, who seems like blond magic in the scruffy basement tavern, and I like it when she leaves me to go to the ladies room, just so I can watch her come back to me, hipping her small body through the crowd, an absent, lazy smile on her face, and fresh lipstick on her small rose of a mouth.

And every New Year's Eve, I ask her to marry me, or at least I offer her the chance to "un-marry" me.


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