Skip to content

the proposal

November 28, 2011

photos taken by the lovely miss wise

London, UK
Saturday, November 26th, 2011
13 degrees, overcast and windy (though the weather report promised sunshine)

It was a lazy Saturday morning. A slow morning. The kind of morning made for coffee and a plum danish at the local patisserie and Mozart playing in the background. The British Boy went to his local Turkish barber to get his hair cut. I fiddled around with photos and other matters of procrastination. We’d planned to go to Richmond but by the time he got home I was in a right funk and the weather had turned and I couldn’t be asked to haul ass across the city. But Joe being his jovial self cajoled me into a walk in the park, so we decided on Hampstead Heath followed by a cheeky pint at our favorite pub, essentially repeating what we’d done when I first arrived 5 months ago. Nostalgia is the go to emotion when you can’t bear the thought of impending separation.

On the way up the Heath, we talked about what a crazy summer it had been and how quickly time goes and how I didn’t want to go home. I think we settled on something like “This sucks!” and left it at that. And then we were quiet for awhile. At the top of the hill were 5 benches overlooking various parts of the city and Joe asked me which bench I’d like to sit on and I chose the middle one and we sat down and he said: “Good, now I can give you your present” and I’m not going to lie to you… the thought of him asking me to marry him crossed my mind but the box was big and the box was heavy and in the box was a flask full of whiskey. “Just a little going away present“, he said. And maybe I felt a little twinge of disappointment, but it was soon replaced with “Holy crap, this is the best flask EVER!” (I do love me a good flask).

And so we sat there, on the bench, under the trees, in the cold, overlooking the city, sipping our 5 ounces of whiskey. It was a very Joe & Jeanine kind of moment. There we were, blah, blah, blah, sip, sip, sip and as the flask emptied, I noticed a sound coming from it. I said: “It sounds like there’s something in the flask” and he said, “Really? Let’s have a look.” And that’s when he got down on one knee (perhaps both knees, come to think of it) and I was very confused because the mouth of the flask was far too small for a ring and maybe the whiskey had gone to my head a bit but then he tipped the flask over his hand and out fell a golden chained ring and he asked me if I’d do him the honor of being his wife and I just about drowned in tears such was my joy. Yes. YES! was my answer. OF COURSE! (much to his relief).

While sitting at the pub, enjoying a pint of cider, we had a right giggle about how he never imagined asking a girl to marry him looking like Burt Reynolds circa 1976 and how the only reason I said yes was because he got me drunk in the first place and how I was too indulged in self-pity that morning to notice any strange behaviors (such as his sudden need to shave when he got home from the barber… meanwhile, he was in the bog filling a flask with whiskey and an engagement ring) and how when I told him on the way to the park that he should make all the decisions that day because I was in a very indecisive mood, his thoughts were “Oh! Shit! I’m about to ask this woman to marry me and she can’t even decide which park she wants to walk in”. There is also the ongoing joke that I could have downright choked on the damn ring before he ever got the chance to propose. I love that about us. The laughter. We’re always laughing about something and I do believe this is what will carry us through the hard times.

The ring, incidentally, is made from a 150-year old Victorian guard chain, from which used to hang a woman’s hand muff (proper, people, proper). It must have been a right ordeal picking a ring for the likes of me. Joe told the tale of how the sales lady at Liberty kept showing him rings that were “too girly, too shiny, too ostentatious, too princessy, too much, no diamonds please… do you have anything more masculine?”. In the end, he picked perfectly — an antique, recycled, creative piece that fits perfectly. And I can’t imagine a better proposal either.

I don’t know what the wedding plan is or what the future holds. All I know for certain is that I am going back to Montreal this Thursday and I’ll likely be there for several months. After which…. I’m getting married to an amazing man. I never thought I would ever get married but here I am, being very girly indeed, ridiculously giddy (over the moon, really), feeling extremely lucky at the thought of spending the rest of my life with this British boy, whose door I knocked on nearly 3 years ago. What an amazing adventure it has been! And I can only imagine what kind of shenanigans we’ll be up to next.

When you realize you want to spend the rest of your life with somebody, you want the rest of your life to start as soon as possible“.  ~Nora Ephron, When Harry Met Sally

52 Comments leave one →
  1. November 28, 2011 11:16 am

    i couldn’t be happier for you. big big love, my dear. xoxo

  2. November 28, 2011 11:19 am

    i am DYING with glee…and a HUGE smile is smack dab in the middle of my face!!! i was ready to kill you though..i just knew you were gonna trick us with your ‘title’ and it wouldn’t be about a ‘marriage’ proposal at all. thanks for playing fair. 🙂

    better picture of this ring, pretty please??

    and SOOOOO happy for the two of you!!! yippy yippy YIPPY!!!!!!!!!

    7mo to go for the Spaniard and I….lordy lordy.


  3. November 28, 2011 11:19 am

    Such a happy story. Can’t wait to hear more of your adventures. Congratulations!!

  4. November 28, 2011 11:21 am

    I absolutely knew your love story would definitely take you somewhere…and this is somewhere! Congrats to you both and will follow with baited breath as to how the next part of your lives unfold. 🙂 Congrats.

  5. November 28, 2011 11:23 am

    Woohoo! Congratulations- so happy for you! Sending lots of love.

  6. November 28, 2011 11:27 am

    Wonderful news! And entirely predictable 🙂

  7. November 28, 2011 11:30 am

    I love this. Love this, love this, love this.

  8. November 28, 2011 11:34 am

    Such beautiful, beautiful news 🙂 Congratulations to the both of you!!!!

  9. November 28, 2011 11:59 am

    my first time to your blog and what a post! such a lovely story and congratulations! your ring sounds and looks perfect, i’m not a diamond kind if girl either, the victorian muff bit- amazing! best wishes

  10. November 28, 2011 12:14 pm

    So sweet. So happy for the both of you. xo

  11. November 28, 2011 2:12 pm

    I love me a happy ending! And a happy beginning. So congratulations to both of you on both accounts! This is even better than reading a great book. There are lots of great pictures.

  12. November 28, 2011 2:18 pm

    well that’s a great tale! many congratulations to you both.

  13. November 28, 2011 2:52 pm

    Considering that you have no idea who I am, and that the only thing I know about you is that I love your blog and have been following your story with the British boy from the start, I am so so excited for you! Congrats!!! Your story has been enthralling from the start, something that a girl can only dream of (save for the home sickness and long distance part of the relationship, of course).

  14. November 28, 2011 3:41 pm


  15. November 28, 2011 4:38 pm

    When I read the title I was hoping that you were not luring us into something else under false pretenses; that, indeed, this was about THE proposal! I am so happy for you, Jeanine! What a beautiful and romantic proposal, and I love the photos, too, you both look so happy 🙂 Big Congratulations!!

  16. November 28, 2011 4:51 pm

    I am so VERY excited for you both! I’ve thoroughly enjoyed following your love story and can’t wait to see what comes next. Congratulations!

  17. November 28, 2011 5:45 pm



  18. November 28, 2011 6:23 pm

    Absolutely beautiful!!!! what a way to propose!!! Love it!

  19. Alison permalink
    November 28, 2011 6:56 pm

    You may say this is the wrong word but you know how you look in that first picture? Peaceful. Like you finally made it home.

    No words to describe the happiness I feel for you both.

    love, love, love


  20. November 28, 2011 8:02 pm

    weeeeee!!!! i congratulations dear girl! love this story. love his choice of ring, you 2 are a great team.

  21. November 28, 2011 9:07 pm

    tears, again! love you both! (though have yet to meet mr. british boy) –
    looking forward to having you this side of the pond for a wee spell – hope to see you and hear about your adventures in love – lucky lady.
    much love to you. xoj

  22. Mary Jackson permalink
    November 28, 2011 9:28 pm

    So happy for you!!!!! Fun proposal too. Congratulations Jeanine.

  23. November 28, 2011 9:30 pm


  24. November 28, 2011 9:43 pm

    AHHHH- did we call it or what? Remember in Montreal when Elizabeth and I were all, “You better invite us to the wedding” after we badgered you into going to visit him.



  25. November 28, 2011 9:53 pm

    oh I can hardly BREATHE— I was sitting over at Christine’s and she said, “did you see?” and I said, “did I see what?” and she said, “Jeanine” and I said (okay, it might have been a scream) “YES?”

    and she said, “YES.”

    and oh my god, honey– yes to the million stars and and magic and motes of dust that twirl around us YES.

    My heart is so full. My face could split from this grin.
    I am so happy for you and Joe. So happy for you and Joe. So happy.

  26. Karen permalink
    November 28, 2011 9:56 pm

    Congratulations Jeanine and Joe!!! Your story is so magical. Big love to you both from a girl you don’t even know.

  27. November 28, 2011 11:51 pm

    I know you’re not girly and princess ….
    But I just read your strory …
    It’s the same kind of story that comes out of the Disney movies ….
    In England, where the castle’s are !
    The magic …. a prince comes along … the love … stardust in both your eyes ..
    What a beautifull ending ….
    Congradulations once again …. (I still love reading you)
    Love ya xxxx

  28. November 29, 2011 1:02 am

    Okay. I didn’t even READ the title. I just launched into this post with a heavy heart for you because I knew you were anticipating leaving, and I thought, “maybe this is the goodbye…” as I started reading.


    HOLY SHIT! Congratulations! I am over the moon for you!

  29. November 29, 2011 1:11 am

    Oh! Congratulations! Such wonderful, exciting news! I am so happy for you and your British Boy!

    I know hearing wedding bells might be more appropriate, but all I hear instead is
    “Fairytales can come true, they can happen to you…”

    Congratulations again!

  30. November 29, 2011 1:49 am

    Oh that’s all fine. So romantic. I wish you very, very happiness.

  31. Libby permalink
    November 29, 2011 2:45 pm

    Congratulations! Yippee! That is such great news! I love the proposal, I love the ring, and I even love the mo! Things will work out. Just remember everything worth fighting for always takes a lot of effort. It will be worth it. You are worth it. One day we will meet and I will give you a big high five. Libby from Small town Ontario

  32. November 29, 2011 2:58 pm

    oh, congratulations! wonderful news!!

  33. November 29, 2011 3:56 pm

    Congratulations! That’s so fantastic!

  34. Chris permalink
    November 29, 2011 4:14 pm

    Just been having a right ol blub.
    Cld be the drugs or it cld be that’s such a goddam lovely story and that I’m so happy for you both. X

  35. Elena permalink
    November 29, 2011 4:32 pm

    We didn’t see it coming.. no.. hehe!! 🙂

  36. November 29, 2011 4:42 pm

    Wonderful news! I’m so happy for you 🙂

  37. November 29, 2011 6:08 pm


    this is the most delightful news!
    big heart-full cheers to you + Joe!

    in celebration,

  38. Lynn permalink
    November 29, 2011 9:58 pm

    How very wonderful for the two of you. Congratulations. Sitting in Ottawa catching up on your blog while missing my British Boy who is on a short visit home across the pond. After 30 years of marriage (and yes it is work at times) “distance still makes the heart grow fonder”
    Saying good bye to each other on Thursday will be hard but so much to look forward to.

  39. Valérie permalink
    November 30, 2011 1:10 am

    Well I’ve been following you for a while now and you know nothing of me but I’ve been a little sad lately and reading this… wow… I’m so happy for you! This is great news! Félicitations!

  40. November 30, 2011 11:58 pm

    When are you back in Montreal? MUST come up and celebrate properly! I’m so happy for you. Truly. Entirely. Laughter is the best. Laughter is glue.

  41. December 1, 2011 5:09 pm

    I don’t know, but I’ve followed your blog for a while and have been genuinely concerned about you leaving. I was reading at work and I almost said WHAT!!!! out loud when I saw the subject of today’s post. Congratulations and best wishes, looking forward to reading more well-written posts and seeing pretty pictures.

  42. Ingrid permalink
    December 2, 2011 8:21 am

    Aaaah, just aaaah! So happy for you both. I’m sure this will make the next few months fly by, too. Congratulations!

  43. December 2, 2011 10:32 am

    Absolute perfection! A million congrats!!!

  44. December 2, 2011 11:01 am

    SHUT THE FRONTDOOR!!!! I KNEW it! Wow wee wow wow…fanfuckingtastic my dear! I’m sure it makes going back to CA a wee bit easier to bear!

    Woo Hoo!

  45. Laurie permalink
    December 2, 2011 3:28 pm

    Congratulations! So very happy for you both!

  46. December 2, 2011 7:23 pm

    Ohhhhhh….congratulations!!!!!!! I’m a little bit weepy over this news! Yay!!!

  47. December 4, 2011 10:23 am

    So HAPPY for you both!!! May love be the canvas you paint your lives upon.
    Here’s to all of your new adventures together. Yay!!!

  48. December 5, 2011 7:06 am

    Jeanine + Joe = Joy!

  49. December 8, 2011 8:56 am

    Yay! How sweet and genuine and sincere. All proposals (and relationships!) should be like that.

  50. December 12, 2011 2:55 pm

    fuck me if this isn’t the best damn news! congrats to you both! i LOVE your ring, his proposal, and how a day that held little in it at the outset becomes one that is marked down in the books for you, for the rest of your life.

    i am raising my glass to you both!

  51. sophie permalink
    December 19, 2011 10:31 pm

    *patiently awaiting the creative baby pictures*


  1. 5 days 39 minutes and 23 seconds «

Penny for your thoughts?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: