Quite a few years ago I submitted the following to a Columbus Dispatch Marriage Proposal Essay Contest ( I used to be all about entering writing contests), and it was published in the Dispatch on February 14, 1996:
In 1976 I was working as a crafts instructor at an American Army post in Aschaffenburg, Germany. There was a young Lieutenant stationed in nearby Babenhausen with whom I'd developed a friendship that had deepened into something much more. He took a week's leave to go skiing in the Alps, but after three days he realized that the beautiful mountain landscape could be put to an even better use.
"Can you come down on your day off? There's something I've got to show you!" The sound of Tom's voice over the phone was enticement enough. I hopped a train for Berchtesgaden, a gorgeous little jewel-box of a town in the heart of the Alps. Tom met me at the train station and we drove high up into the mountain known as the Obersalzberg to the old Platterhof, a magnificent hotel built on the mountain by Hitler then reclaimed by the American Army after World War II and renamed the General Walker Hotel.
He led me out to the hotel's wide stone veranda overlooking a breath-taking panorama of the Alps, and at a moment when we were both deep in the wonder and majesty of the mountains he asked me to be his wife.
Actually, there's one more really mushy, gushy sentence about our marriage being as strong as the mountains, but I thought I'd spare you, as it even triggers my gag reflex, and I wrote the thing.
But anyway, that's how it went down all those years ago.
Subsequent to his marriage proposal Tom admitted that he didn't have a ring because he wasn't sure how or where to buy one.
"Hey, no problem!" said I. "I've got one all picked out. I'll go buy it myself!"
I'm practical that way.
So I went to the little jewelry store in Aschaffenburg and bought the ring in the display window that had been catching my eye each time I passed the store.
Harry (or whoever he was ) overheard Tom and boomed, "Nobody undersells Harry The Ring King!" and he sold Tom the ring for $26!