A Valentine’s day marriage proposal in St. James’s Park
February 14th: Valentine’s day. Last year I was grateful that I wasn’t in the early indeterminate stages of dating anyone. That’s always tricky when you’re not really sure of your relationship status.
As no ladies were likely to be anticipating a gesture from me I was content to let the day pass unmarked, except perhaps for an intimate few moments with the Xbox. Unfortunately, as I was SO blissfully unaware, I accidentally booked a date for the evening. Class ‘A’ spaz.
It was The IT Girl (who, I have decided, I will actually call ‘Jen’ in proper homage to the IT Crowd) who pointed this out to me when I arranged to see her Monday. She decided that we should do the least valentiney thing we could find and mooted a comedy club, speakeasy bar or late night pottery.
I managed to find an awesome walking tour called “THE SECRET WEST END – Apparitions, Alleyways & Arbours”. This seemed to have the least chance of being in close quarters with any cooing couples.
Since I had seen her last, Jen had an accidentally short haircut that she feared made her look like princess Diana. Hanging around with the apparition of a dead princess on a ghost walk didn’t seem like such a bad idea actually but thankfully any resemblance was fleeting. We both seemed to be a little nervous agian, I don’t know if this is a positive sign but it’s nice to be kept on my toes at least. I was very jealous about the hip flask that another couple had brought along as I think we both would have relished a few nips to take the edge off the nerves.
The walk was fantastic. We toured around some of the many london streets which are still lit by gaslamps, chatting in between and learing about history, secret architecture and the ghost dog of a dead Nazi. Unlike the last time I went on a walking tour, I dressed for the weather. This meant that any arm linking and furtive hugging was strictly for pleasure. Early on we passed through the courtyard of the winebar where I went for a date with Indy and a ‘sort of but not’ date with Fuckwittery.
Couples, intimate gaslit streets, walking arm in arm…. this ‘non romantic’ date was working out rather different to how I had planned.
Our charismatic guide then announced that he would be taking us to what he considered the most romantic spot in London: St James’s park bridge, which affords a view across the lake of Buckingham Palace framed by trees and fountains. Certainly others had heard of the bridge’s romantic reputation and shortly after arriving we were joined at a discrete distance by two couples. As we stood on the bridge, admiring the beautiful view on that crisp clear night and hearing about hearing the tragic but romantic tale of a headless ghost, a beautiful formation of geese flew just overhead and landed in the lake. Jen and I looked at each other in glee and hugged arms! As the tale continued another formation swooped over. The whole experience was quite magical.
Clearly I wasn’t the only one one feeling this; the night was perfect, the view gorgeous, and the mood was clearly conducive to grand romantic gestures. Right there on that most perfect of nights, on Valentine’s day, the next thing that happened surprised even me.
Taking earnestly to one knee, hand in hand, and looking up; the assembled walking tour suddenly paused with anticipation as they realised what was about to happen…
We watched as the nearest couple on the bridge got engaged.
…well… what were you expecting to happen??? I’m not going to propose on a second date!
A little while after the tour ended and the party went their separate ways. I guided us back to the wine bar that we passed through earlier and grabbed a delicious bottle of rioja and we settled into a cosy corner. We both agreed that the date had been an unmitigated success.
Since Jen had cunningly booked the next day off work I invited her back to mine.
Toast had a chat with her in the morning as I was stumbling around trying to get ready for work. Afterwards he said to me:
T: “You should marry that one, she is clearly the best, even with Diana hair”
B: “Cripes! What in particular makes you say that?”
T: “It’s more about what she appears not to be:
4) Not that interested in you.”
I will admit that she does seem rather awesome and on the face of it we’re really well suited. I heave learned from my previous experience not to rush things or got too excited so I am going to take things nice and easy and enjoy the dating. With regards to marriage percentage, I am going to have to do a little moderation. On my last date Toast had splashed my quoted mid date marriage percentage all over Twitter before I had a chance to write up with a sensible, well considered number. Since I’ve taken a lot of ribbing recently from getting too excited and seeing percentages drop almost exponentially, I felt pressured to keep it there.
However as it looks like I may be seeing Jen plenty more I am going to moderate the figure to what it WOULD have been if Toast hadn’t prematurely ejaculated it onto the internet.
Marriage percentage: 50%
So there you have it, the first official marriage proposal in the Wed or Dead Wager! Well… I never promised it would be ME proposing. Not quite yet ;)