Our first-ever in-book mar­riage pro­posal!

To up the ante on an al­ready big ques­tion, one writer makes a very pub­lic pro­posal. Now, keep read­ing, and imag­ine him down on one knee...

Elle (Canada) - - Insider - By Bobby Box

Sarah,

I’m be­yond thank­ful that you swiped right on that cold win­ter evening a year and a half ago. It was a sim­ple but pro­found ges­ture that has changed the course of our lives.

If you hadn’t come across my pho­to­graph in our mu­tual friend’s so­cial-me­dia ac­count— and in­stinc­tively wanted to get to know the sun­burned red­head in the photo next to his buddy at the lo­cal Bos­ton Pizza—we might never have met. Be­cause then you rec­og­nized me on Tin­der and knew it was our chance. It seems we were meant to meet.

You got my at­ten­tion when you started our first text con­ver­sa­tion and then piqued my in­ter­est even more when you risked dis­ap­point­ment and showed up at a house party full of strangers be­cause you knew I was there.

“I’ve only ever dated red­heads,” you told me dur­ing our first face-to-face con­ver­sa­tion, and it threw me for a loop (as did the “I’m ve­gan” confession but to a much lesser de­gree). My hair was once a source of deep in­se­cu­rity for me. As a kid, I was teased re­lent­lessly. I would never have thought that this once em­bar­rass­ing trait would one day be re­spon­si­ble for find­ing the love of my life. But af­ter all the red­headed frogs you had to kiss, you fi­nally met me, your bearded, tat­tooed gin­ger prince.

Yet I was still guarded. At 25, with lit­tle long-term-re­la­tion­ship ex­pe­ri­ence and a fair amount of prac­tice with re­jec­tion, I’d re­solved that I’d be sin­gle for the rest of my life. And I felt fine with that. “Love’s just not for me,” I’d re­luc­tantly tell my­self, de­spite the fact that I grew up feel­ing the love that is abun­dantly present in my par­ents’ re­la­tion­ship—af­ter 33 years to­gether, they still ab­so­lutely adore each other.

Hell-bent on break­ing down my walls, you let me in very early. You had enough con­fi­dence in our po­ten­tial to take a sledge­ham­mer to the stub­born ex­te­rior I used to shield my­self from get­ting hurt again. You did this bit by bit ev­ery time we were to­gether, like when we played The Game of Life at the cof­fee shop by your place or when we took a trip to Ni­a­gara Falls for the week­end and played the Willy Wonka slots un­til our 20 bucks ran out. When I asked what it was that made me dif­fer­ent from the men in your past, you told me, “Things were com­pletely dif­fer­ent from the mo­ment we met.” With them, you said, there was no fore­see­able fu­ture. But with me, you saw the house, the kids, the ev­ery­thing. You made me feel like love could ac­tu­ally be in the cards for me—that it was in the cards for me.

But I was still look­ing for some­thing that would tell me we weren’t meant for each other—ev­i­dence that this was too good to be

true. But that didn’t hap­pen. In­stead, with each trip to Ni­a­gara and each cup of cof­fee (bis­cotti on the side), I loved you more. And when I told you I loved you a touch too early—just three months in—you didn’t freak out. An­other key mo­ment came seven months af­ter that, when you came to a din­ner with my ex­tended fam­ily for the first time. At the end of the night, I leaned in to kiss my grand­mother’s cheek, and she said, “She loves you, you know.” When I asked her how she could tell, she replied, “It’s the way she looks at you.” In­deed, my grandma—who watched you like a hawk that evening—knew then that what we have is real.

What made me re­al­ize that my walls were of­fi­cially down was that I missed you when you weren’t around. This was some­thing my par­ents pointed out. In the past, I would dis­tance my­self from re­la­tion­ships and rel­ish time apart. But when you weren’t with me, I wanted you to be. I’d never ex­pe­ri­enced that be­fore.

As our re­la­tion­ship has evolved, I’ve come to see that love isn’t some grand ges­ture or spec­ta­cle like it is in the movies. The key to love is in the lit­tle things—the things that are just be­tween you and me. Like when you twist your legs in mine in the mid­dle of the night even though you know it makes me hot. And when you leave a cor­ner of your Melba toast for my spoiled dog, Shooter Box, be­cause you know how much it means to me.

It’s also about ac­cept­ing and en­joy­ing the sub­tle changes we bring to each other’s lives—like how I no longer feel awk­ward stand­ing in the mid­dle of a Sephora when I am with you and how, be­cause of your ridicu­lously early hours as a ve­gan baker, we man­age to bal­ance the days when you get up for work be­fore I even make it to bed. It’s about how you’ve be­come the daugh­ter my par­ents never had and how my best friend, Scotty P, has be­come yours as well. It’s about how you some­how man­age to watch me, a car­ni­vore, de­vour gourmet burg­ers with­out so much as a glint of judg­ment. When I first met you, ve­g­an­ism was some­thing I knew very lit­tle about, and through­out our re­la­tion­ship you’ve opened my eyes to healthy foods I didn’t know ex­isted. And I’m thank­ful. Be­cause of you, I’m a changed man. I’ve gone from be­ing a cyn­i­cal bach­e­lor to a (sort of) ve­gan marsh­mal­low.

Sarah, I’m so proud of your pas­sions, your cre­ativ­ity and your ac­com­plish­ments. I prom­ise you all the love I can pos­si­bly give for the rest of my life. I prom­ise you many more pizza nights with the folks and more failed at­tempts at pur­chas­ing our first home to­gether. Be­cause, at the end of the day, even when we dis­agree (like in our con­ver­sa­tions about rais­ing our chil­dren ve­gan or whether satel­lite ra­dio is bet­ter than AM/FM), we’ll work through it to­gether—un­til we’re old, wrin­kled and full of wis­dom. I want to set an ex­am­ple for our chil­dren, the way my par­ents have for me, by show­ing them ev­ery day what true love looks like.

Sarah Beat­son: I live for your smile, your love and the baked goods that I ask you not to make be­cause I’ve been work­ing on my “beach body” for the past 26 years. Be­cause of th­ese things and more, I want to ask: Will you marry me? Bobb y Box

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