(continued from part 1)

this is the fifth in a series of letters to baby sparklet about how mommy and daddy met and woo-ed each other.

immediately after the lady sparkler’s crazy Texas friends started haranguing her into haranguing me into marrying her, I thought to myself “you know, I do love her, and want to spend the rest of my life with her…”

and so i decided to get a ring. that was December. I had the ring two weeks later.

we were already talking about going to new York for my birthday (April) and it seemed like (at the time) my beloved’s marital haranguing might actually die down by then, at least long enough for me to propose uninterrupted.

not so much.

by February, i was sufficiently badgered to explain to her (in no uncertain terms) that from now on, each time she brought up engagement, i would move the “hypothetical” proposal back another month.

by April, she had managed to add *fourteen* months to the engagement time line. so, while i hadn’t succeeded in her stifling the running of her mouth, i at least knew that a proposal was the farthest thing from her mind when we pulled into NYC’s Penn Station the second week of April.

the same, however, couldn’t be said for me…

I was a wreck, and constantly obsessed about the ring — where it was, and whether it had fallen out of the triple-bagged cocoon in which it was placed. to make matters worse, on the day i was going to propose (april 14th) it rained, and rained, and rained, and rained.

i had already decided I couldn’t propose to the lady sparkler inside some silly, human-built structure because whatever we were inside could be torn down, or worse, turned into a starbucks.

so, i decided i would do the deed in Central Park, which (obviously) wasn’t particularly rain-friendly, which meant that april 14th became april 15th, and engagement day became tax day.

that afternoon, i marched my beloved around central park for over an hour, mostly because i couldn’t find a place to propose. i know it’s crazy, but there are a *lot* of people in new york — who knew? — and every single one of them seemed to be lounging around central park.

before we left DC, i had asked my best friend from college (and future bridesmaid) if she had any suggestions about the whole engagement process. it turns out that her husband was such a mess when he proposed, that she was convinced (right up until she saw the ring) that he was dumping her.

her solution? pull the ring out first.

and, when we finally found a secluded spot, i did just that. the lady sparkler was resting for a moment on a mostly horizontal tree, when i pulled out the ring, and sat down beside her.

she didn’t hear a single thing that i said. she was like the crow from the secret of n.i.m.h., when he sees mrs. frisbee’s medallion and says: “ooooooooooo, SPARKLY!”

interestingly enough, to this day, she has no idea what *she* said either. (for the record, it was: “oh. my. god. are you, like, serious?”)

i have what i said written down somewhere, but it was exactly what you would expect: “love, blah, blah, blah, so happy, blah, blah, life together, blah blah.” she replied, “yes, yes. oh my god, yes.” which — i would surmise — is just about as good of a response as you can get.

speaking of which, on our way out of central park we ran into the back of another boy proposing to another girl, and it looked like he had arranged for a photographer and her parents to join in the festivities.

unfortunately, she looked abjectly horrified. yeeeesh. at least *we* lived happily ever after.

PHOTO: tulips, new york, new york.