Shannon here: Today, the remaining four authors who collaborated for The Love Boat Bachelor are tackling a new romantic topic. Theresa Anderson, Joan Deneve, Marji Laine, and Betty Thomason Owens are describing their actual proposal, with all of its romance…or lack thereof. Any comments will go into Friday’s drawing. Deadline: Feb 28th, 11:59 pm central time.
Joan: A proposal now is a big production, often staged with a videographer hiding in the bushes to get the big question and her reaction on tape for posterity (and Facebook friends) to see. That’s not the way it was done forty years ago.
Marji: You’ve got that right! My son just proposed with lots of bells and whistles.
Betty: I thought I was going to be an “old maid.” I was already twenty-one and hadn’t even met anyone. I met Bob on Labor Day weekend and he proposed in November. If you could call it a proposal. “I’ve been praying about it and I believe we’re supposed to get married.” Is that a variation of “you’re the one for me, babe?” Ha ha.
Theresa: An old maid at 21? That’s funny! I was much older than that, ahem, when I got married.
Joan: Sounds like you got a man of action. It just proves, when you know, you know.
Betty: He’s always been that way. He sees what he wants and he goes after it.
Marji: I like your translation, though: “You’re the one for me, babe.” Or would that be a paraphrase? LOL! My proposal, on the surface, wasn’t the least bit romantic either. My boyfriend hadn’t gotten a ring, hadn’t spoken to my family, and hadn’t even told his family about it. In fact, he hadn’t planned it at all. Just sort of blurted it out. After a regular date to the movies. “Goonies” if I remember correctly. Boy am I dating myself!
Betty: I remember watching Goonies with my kids. So no, it doesn’t really age you that much…
Joan: I bet the movie Goonies is very special to you now.
Marji: Yes, it is, but the whole thing was really romantic. Because he is a planner. He doesn’t do the spontaneous stuff very often at all. And though we’d been talking about our future, his abrupt decision was pretty moving. Seems he had been talking to God about me quite a lot.
Joan: It sounds like our men had one thing in common: They all prayed about it. So glad God is my champion! But I’m probably the only girl on the planet who has ever been proposed to on the first date! I met Rene’ when I was thirteen. He was fourteen. Nerdy “works in progress” both of us! His brother married my sister so we were kind of family. We became really good friends, but secretly, he was my one and only man-crush, and I wanted the friendship to be much more.
Years went by, and we enrolled in the same Christian college. We remained great friends. We had a lot of the same classes, and we studied together. But never as a date. Oh no. But he did manage to date every other girl from my dormitory. The church at our college was huge. Sometimes I sat in the balcony to stalk him and see which one of my dorm-mates he was with that night. You’d think I’d give up, wouldn’t you?
Betty: So you were a stalker?
Marji: That’s funny that you were right under his nose. The buddy that he couldn’t see as his one and only! Can’t wait to hear more.
Joan: After three years in college, I finally gave up hope. Then one Wednesday night after church, Rene made a bee-line for me before I could get back to the dorm, and with a frantic expression on his face, he said, “I need to talk to you.” I may have given up hope, but I still dropped what I was doing if he ever needed to talk. He and I sat on a park bench close to the church and he said he’d been praying about whom God wanted him to marry.
THAT GOT MY ATTENTION!
He cracked his knuckles and hem-hawed around but eventually said that every time he prayed that prayer, my face would appear. So he thought maybe God was telling him to marry me. But then he added, “But I don’t love you in that way.” You would think I’d be crushed. Oh no. To me, this was hope! Especially when he added the next thing. “But I’m praying about it, and when God gives me that kind of love for you, I’m going to ask you to marry me.”
Like Forrest Gump, I simply said, “Okay.” But then I added, “How long do you think that will take?”
“I don’t know.” He walked me back to the dorm and I hid my smile until I cleared the door.
The next month he asked me to the fall banquet at school. Our first official date!
Afterwards, we went off campus to Signal Mountain (in Chattanooga, TN) It was October cool. A breeze was blowing. A dog was barking in the distance. Full moon. We were at one of the overlook places. Our elbows were resting on the ledge and our hands were folded. We didn’t talk, but I could feel him looking at me. So I glanced at him.
I was not prepared for the look of love on his face and the goofy grin that I’ve come to adore through the years. He cleared his throat and said, “Jo, God has given me a love for you that I didn’t think possible. I told you that when God gave me that love, I’d ask you to marry me. So Jo, would you do me the honor of being my wife?”
I don’t need a video. Every moment of that night is securely lodged in my heart.
It was my dream come true.
And you know what the rascal says now? “Oh, I loved you all along.”
It doesn’t matter. He loves me now. And I love him too. So. Much.
Marji: Oh! I LOVE your story, Joannie! You’re right! He’s a keeper! No wonder you hung on for so long!
Joan: Our Christian college wouldn’t condone it, but I think after forty years, it’s safe to confess. There was a kiss. Oh, boy, was there a kiss.
Theresa: Oh my goodness Joannie, that’s is the most precious story of romance I think I’ve ever heard. I loved your response, “How long do you think that will take.” That’s classic. I should have asked my husband that question when we started dating. Because if I’d of known he was going to take 6 years to propose, I might have went looking elsewhere. I’m impatient like that. But, nah, he was worth the wait.
Marji: How did he propose, Theresa?
Theresa: Joannie, you mentioned all your men prayed about it. Well, I guess that’s another area where my story differs. Mike and I weren’t Christians when we met. I was knee-deep, no, make that nose-deep in the world and everything it offers. And so was he. I didn’t go to college straight out of high school. I waited a few years then moved from Indiana to St. Louis with a friend. We were roomates and she attended Chiropractic school and I went to the University of Missouri for elementary education.
Mike was my roommate’s classmate. He was buddies with a guy that had a crush on my roommate, so I started seeing Mike alot. He was dating someone else at first and was crushed when their relationship ended. Well, being the kind and compassionate person I am, I had to console him. Truth was, Joannie’s not the only stalker in the group.
Joan: Glad to know I wasn’t the only stalker!
Theresa: I became his shadow until I convinced him that he couldn’t live without me. It only took 6 years! He planned the proposal and I’m sure he worked diligently on the proposal script, but honestly I can’t remember a word of it. I was completely surprised. By this time, he had graduated chiropractic school and I had graduated UMSL and started attending chiropractic school in Georgia. So, we were separated by several states for the first time in our relationship. I wondered if our long distance romance would last.
On a trip back to Missouri to see him is when he proposed. It was at a restaurant along the river in Cape Girardeau, Missouri. I guess the old saying, “distance makes the heart grow fonder” is true. Now he was my shadow and following me to Georgia where we finally got married. Did I say it was 6 years later? We became Christians shortly after, and I thank God every day for pairing me with this man.
Joan: Theresa, what a great story! Six years? That’s about how long it took Rene’ to realize he couldn’t live without me. I guess Betty’s guy moved the fastest. (From Labor Day to November)
Betty: And we got married in December. We wanted to spend Christmas together.
Joan: I loved reading all these stories. It’s nice to know all these marriages are still going strong. I guess when you think about it, it’s not the how of the proposal…it’s the “who.” Theresa, I’m so glad you both became Christians.
All of these authors are collaborators in The Love Boat Bachelor, a novella.
Theresa Anderson is a chiropractor, writer, editor, and homeschool educator of her two children. Her family, including a coopful of chickens and a rescued cat, resides in the Atlanta area.
Joan Deneve and her husband Rene’ reside in Prattville, Alabama, a quaint town in the Heart of Dixie. She teaches English in a Christian school and enjoys spending time with her children and grandchildren. Having spent the last forty years married to the love of her life, Joan believes it’s important to grow old together because “the best is yet to be.”
Marji Laine homeschools her twin girls and in her spare time does photography, scrap booking, and enjoys NASCAR season way too much. She lives in the Dallas area with her hubby of 28 years and their four kids. At least until her son’s coming wedding. You can find her at MarjiLaine.com
Betty Thomason Owens writes romantic comedy, historical fiction, and fantasy-adventure. Her 20’s era romance, Amelia’s Legacy, Book 1, Legacy Series, released October, 2014 (Write Integrity Press).
About the book – The Love Boat Bachelor: Romance is a joke.
After the love of Brent Teague’s life came back into his world only to marry someone else, Brent is through with women. He might be through with being a pastor, too.
Brent was so sure that God brought Mara Adkins home to him so they could marry and live happily ever after. Six months after her wedding to another man, that theory is obviously a dud. If Brent could be so wrong about that, who’s to say he’s not mistaken about God calling him to pastoral ministry?
Tired of watching Brent flounder for direction, Brent’s feisty older sister boots him out of Spartanburg and onto a cruise ship. Brent’s old college buddy manages the ship’s staff, and he’s thrilled to finagle Brent into the role of chaplain for the two-week cruise.
As the ship sets sail, Brent starts to relax. Maybe a cruise wasn’t such a bad idea after all. But there’s just one little thing no one told him. He’s not on any ordinary cruise. He’s on The Love Boat.
What’s a sworn bachelor to do on a Caribbean cruise full of romance and love? He’ll either have to jump ship or embrace the unforgettable romantic comedy headed his way.
Come back Feb 20th for Mary Ellis!