So there I was, at a basketball game with my girlfriend Ducky
(or "Kate", if you prefer). It was the break between
the third and fourth quarters, and the San
Jose Lasers were down to the Atlanta Glory. Ducky had, for
some reason, insisted I come to this particular game, and that
her good friends Rich and Chris come too.
The house Santa Claus, who had been throwing T-shirts into the crowd and promoting some toys for tots programme, came limping up the stairs to my row. He asked me to stand up.
Then I heard announcer say "Jim DeLaHunt, your girlfriend wants to know if you will marry her!". I remember being surprised at how long it took to realise that he was talking about me, and that he was really talking about marraige, and that my marital-phobic girlfriend was in fact behind it. Wow! I never even noticed the proposal message on the scoreboard.
I was delighted. I'd known for a long while that Ducky was a keeper, but she was awfully skittish. She didn't even want to talk about the indefinite future until after we'd passed our six-month anniversary. So I was figuring I'd wait until, say, the one-year anniversary next April and try then. But no, she aced me!
The crowd was going wild. Santa, it turns out, had a ring box for me. I was ignoring Santa, since I had my heart full with Ducky. But lo, there was a really pretty silver bracelet in lieu of a ring. I showed it to the crowds. And after a while I even remembered to say "Yes"!
I don't remember a lot of the rest of the game. My heart was still very full.
In place of a ring, Ducky gave me a beautiful silver bracelet, accompanied by a poem. In part this was because she didn't know my ring size, in part it was because she already know I liked that bracelet. I had had a similar one earlier in the year, and had given it away to a friend. The poem was a series of haikus.
If you ever get engaged, be sure to have an answer to the question, "when is the wedding?". Everyone asks you that. We plan to have a nice long engagement, at least a year, so the wedding won't be until 1998 at the earliest. In fact, the kind of wedding to have is one of the issues we have yet to decide.
Everyone loves a good engagement. I guess it represents happiness and hope. The TV crews picked it up. And the reactions are great -- in one of the pictures, if you look carefully behind the cameraman, you can see a delighted audience member pointing at us! A month later, a radio show audience that heard the story was moved to applaud.
So there you have it -- the first marriage proposal in the history of the San Jose Lasers, and quite possibly in the history of the American Basketball League!
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