The Engagement of Emily Baldwin

Submitted into Contest #237 in response to: Write about a successful marriage proposal, or one that goes horribly wrong.... view prompt




Engagements. When do you do them? Where do you do them? How do you do them? On Valentine’s Day, the holiday of joy and love commercialized to sell chocolate, flowers, and jewelry with a ring in a glass of champaign? During a gathering of family and friends where you can make some grand announcement with a long-winded speech? Traditionally at the place where you met, down on your knees looking for the right words to make the moment epic for your beloved. I guess there is no right time, place, or way, but it all seems so cliché.

I knew it was time. I have been seeing Emily exclusively for two years. I love her. I am enchanted by her voice, he motions, her looks. I desire her. She makes me laugh. She challenges me mentally and emotionally to be more, do more, and see the world through a different perspective. She supports me in all my ventures and ideas. She listens to me, cares for me, respects me, loves me. I need this woman to always be in my life. I have to ask her, and I have to ask in the perfect way.

I made reservations at Alfonso’s, a quaint little Italian place in little Italy. She loves the ambiance, the lowly lit room where each table has its own candle. A violinist serenades you while you wait. Emily watches as if she can see the music coming off the violin, dancing harmoniously through the air just for her. She enjoys the banter of the sommelier as we sample wines to go with the dinner we order a la carte. After that its drinks and dancing at the piano lounge where she can show off her lengthy, finely fashioned, athletic form for all to admire.

I already have the ring picked out. I thought it was going to be easy to select an engagement ring for the woman I love, but there was so much to it. How many carats? Round cut, princess cut, marquis cut, and more. Gold, white gold, or platinum? What kind of setting? I paced the sales floor, peering through glass display cases, comparing each ring’s quality, appearance, and price. My indecisive nature drove the sales lady to rub the bridge of her nose and sometimes her temples as she watched customer after customer come and go satisfied with the service they received from her fellow salespeople. I paid no mind. The selection had to be perfect. Her commission be damned. After hours of searching, I finally decided on a two-carat marquis cut with white gold and a bridge accent setting. I hope she loves it.

Lastly, I picked up a few gifts to set the stage for my proposal. I already feel the lightness in my stomach and the jittery sensation that creeps through one’s skin when they are nervous. Hopefully, she will be talking about this proposal for generations to come.


I never really knew how I wanted to be proposed to. I definitely did not want my engagement ring anywhere near my food or beverage for fear of choking – it would be just my luck. I sure as hell didn’t want some big to-do where my boyfriend forces me into the spotlight as he yammers on and on about life and love – I'm anxiety prone. If a man ever proposed at a sporting event the answer would be, no – get real. I didn’t know how I wanted to be proposed to, but I knew the man I would say yes to would put some serious thought into it, make it special, memorable. I knew I wanted to tell the story proudly to family and friends and to people I would meet throughout my life. I not only wanted to be surprised, I wanted to feel the love radiate in the moment.

I have been seeing these three guys for some time now. They all know that if they want me to themselves, they are going to have to put a ring on it – if I let them. In all honesty, I wasn’t sure if I was ready to settle down. I spent Thanksgiving with Thad, and Christmas with Barry, so Clint got Valentine’s Day. I never thought Clint would be the one to propose. I kind of expected it from Thad, having dated him the longest, or Barry, being the neediest. But Clint, he was my good times bud. He was the one that swooped in and out, taking me to fancy places, never pressing for sex whereas the other guys lived for Netflix and chill, acting like I was a high they couldn’t get enough of, constantly seeking my time.

So, I was surprised when on Valentine’s Day Clint was sitting in the driveway rudely laying on the horn. It’s not typical of him, and it’s not like we were late for dinner. I stomped outside ready to give him a piece of my mind when I saw him holding the sweetest looking Golden Retriever puppy with a red bow tied around its neck.

“Call him,” he says, setting the puppy on the ground.

Excited with a puppy crush, I kneeled down and started coaxing the little guy my way in octaves I didn’t know I could reach. The chubby little furball bounced my way with his tail wagging, his ears flopping, his tongue hanging to one side, and those sad looking brown eyes steeling my heart. I scooped him up and he showered my face with little puppy kisses as I ruffled his soft golden fur. Then I felt it. Laced into the ribbon that formed the bow was a stunning two-carat diamond ring. I look up towards Clint who was down on one knee with a dozen red roses held out in front of him.

“Emily Baldwin, will you marry me?”

I laughed. I cried. I ran to him with the puppy in my arms saying, “Yes, of course I will, yes!”

He took me in his arms and between the fiancé kisses and the puppy kisses I felt like the most loved woman in the world and the night was just getting started.

February 10, 2024 02:43

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Rio Betancourt
15:51 Feb 22, 2024

Raising a puppy together will be the real test of patience for that couple. Fun story twist!


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Karen Hope
15:45 Feb 19, 2024

Great twist in the plot. I wonder if Clint will ever find out. Good luck to the happy couple!


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John Rutherford
13:15 Feb 17, 2024

I hope it lasts!


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Stella Aurelius
12:45 Feb 10, 2024

Ooof, I did not expect the twist of Emily not being that serious. I wish I could warn Clint before it's too late. Great job! A little correction with spelling, though: champagne.


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Mary Bendickson
07:46 Feb 10, 2024

And they call it 'Puppy Love'. Thanks for liking my 'Sixties Teen'.


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Trudy Jas
04:44 Feb 10, 2024

Say it with a puppy. After all, the Gorlen might outlive the marriage. Oh, bad girl. :-)


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