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Always a realist, I discussed many times with my beau what I hoped for in a proposal. I was particular in what I wanted but, unlike so many of my girlfriends, was rather insistent not on elaborate gestures but, instead, sincerity and spontaneity. (The latter was especially important to me because we dated for close to 4 years before he asked, and I still wanted the moment to surprise me. This was also the reason I suggested no elaborate schemes, the intentions of which would certainly be quickly detected.) Lastly, I asked that it be someplace significant to us- I was weary of stories of Parisian proposals and sky-diving schemes. I only gave him these simple requests, and left the details to him.

In the end, his proposal was beautiful. He took me to a favorite restaurant for a lovely meal and, just before dessert, got down on one knee to not simply ask "will you marry me?" but also to tell me exactly how much he wanted to spend our lives together. When I accepted, the waiter brought a small bouquet of tulips (a favorite nickname of his for me) to the table.

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