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Marc Munroe Dion's op-ed column: Asking for It
I didn't ask my wife to marry me in a bar. I asked her to marry me outdoors, on a sidewalk in our hometown. I did this because I figured if she said "no" I could just walk away, instead of having to finish dinner in some restaurant or rise humiliated from the couch in her living room, fumbling into my coat, and shakily undoing the deadbolt on her door.
I was 51 when I asked her to marry me. A lifetime of bachelorhood and casual girlfriends had taught me to always have a clear way out, an unobstructed escape.
But she said "yes."
And, the year after we married, at the New Year's Eve party, I waited until we were alone, until the friends who were sitting with us were either at the bar getting a drink or dancing, and I said to her, "So, you want another year?"
She's a smart woman. She knew what I meant.
And she said "yes."
It's a hard life. Things turn out to be different than what you thought they'd be. You get trapped in things, and it's hard to find that unobstructed escape route.
My wife is a flashing blue-water diamond in the scuffed setting of my life, but once a year I offer her the chance to take the gem back, to take herself from me, to start something else, to find a smoother road home.
And she halfway thinks I'm kidding, and maybe I do, too. Halfway.
But I watch her beautiful face when I ask because I know there are things I'm not good at. I know I'm self-absorbed. I know I fail at things often and embarrassingly.
And she says "yes."
And I dance.
Marc Munroe Dion is a columnist for Creators Syndicate.