Golden Tax Relief February 2018

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My $12 Proposal HOW I MET MY WIFE

When I was in college, a buddy of mine asked me why I didn’t like going to bars. I told him the truth: I feared that if I went into such an establishment, I’d end up meeting my future wife there. He laughed, “Ben, nobody ever actually meets girls at bars.” Luckily for me, he was wrong. Because I wasn’t fond of drinking, I almost always ended up being the designated driver for my friends. One night — June 24, 1999, to be exact — the Cheesebrokers were playing at a bar downtown. So, I drove my buddies from campus to see the show. Not wanting to miss out on all the one-hit wonders from the ’80s, I decided to head inside and watch the show. “We learned early on how to communicate and how to put each other’s feelings first. Most importantly, we learned to laugh with one another.” That’s when I saw her. On the dance floor, there was this beautiful girl who stood out among the crowd. So, naturally, I started dancing. To this day, she claims I stepped on her foot, though I don’t remember doing such a thing. One way or another, she definitely pushed me. Looking back, it was one heck of a way to start a relationship.

to see me at work the next day. There, she gave me her number. We really hit it off. By the end of the second week, I knew this was the girl I wanted to spend the rest of my life with. I wasn’t alone in this, either. She had secretly bought her wedding dress well before I proposed to her. By the spring of the following year, I was ready to make my move. Now, if you know me, you know my motto is “Go big or go home.” So, on April Fools’ Day, I planned to give my girlfriend a beautiful diamond engagement ring. Next, I drove to Walmart and bought a ring with an itty- bitty fake gem for 12 bucks. I switched the rings, placing the fake one in the fine velvet case, and the real one in a small cardboard box. If you think you know where this is headed, just you wait. On the big day, my girlfriend and I took a walk down to the river. There was a nice, secluded bank that we liked to hike to, and that’s where I dropped to my knee. I spoke from the heart, telling her just how much she meant to me. Then I revealed the fine, velvet box. To my wife’s credit, she was more than happy with the Walmart ring. She was over the moon with joy as I slipped it onto her finger. Then I told her, “I can’t do this.” I took the ring off her finger and threw it into the river. To say that she was upset would be an understatement. “ARE YOU CRAZY!” she screamed, looking like she was ready to throw me into the river next. That’s when I pulled out my

little cardboard box and took a knee a second time. Her response made me the happiest man in the world. We’ve been happily married now for over 17 years. Living in three different states all over the country and raising two kids along the way is not easy. No marriage can last when people give it 50 percent; both folks have to give it 100 percent. We learned early on how to communicate and how to put each other’s feelings first. Most importantly, we learned to laugh with one another.

Despite this rocky start, we began talking. We chatted all night, and then she came



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