“I took a European trip from Australia with my then-girlfriend, and had intended to propose in the most cliché way possible in Paris. I was going to be down on bended knee in the Place des Vosges, my favorite spot. The day before, however, we both got food poisoning of the worst kind. Taking turns in the bathroom for 24 hours is not a romantic scene-setter. By the time we dragged ourselves out of bed and reached the intended spot, the square had been shut.”We were leaving France the next day, so I had to hatch a new plan. We were catching a night train to Italy, so I thought that would be romantic. Nope — stiff, white, plastic ‘beds’ and fluorescent lighting stopped that idea.
“Next, we were in Florence, but I couldn’t work out where, when, or how to do it. For a couple of days I ruminated, until I told myself, Today is the day. I was going to take her to dinner and ask her while walking across the Ponte Vecchio. I had the ring ready (my deceased mother’s eternity ring, which I was intending to refashion to her liking) and all. At dinner, she says to me, ‘Wouldn’t it be funny if you proposed right now?’ Which totally threw me and made me rethink my plan. Finally, as we went to bed, I plucked up the courage and asked her. She was happy, of course, but due to the nature of the proposal, there was a hint of That was it? For months afterwards, I felt the need to tell people the whole story as justification!
“In any case, we’re no longer together. I often wonder whether the food poisoning was a sign from the universe!”