Casablanca was on TCM last night. Have I shared my engagement story with you all? I've been doing this blog for what, 3 years? I'm guessing I have, so if you've heard this before forgive me. If you haven't, enjoy my little engagement story. It's pretty special. We've been married for 14 years so it helps to remember our beginnings.
Cue the flashback music......
Mark & I met in June 1993. I was 23 & he was 31. We dated for about 2 months, I was falling head over heels for him, & one night he told me “if you want to get married you need to find someone else, because I’m never getting married.”
I broke up with him the next day on the phone, then spent 3 hours crying, then called him back & said I didn’t want to break up. He said “this isn’t high school, Laura” & that was that. We were apart for about a week, he went on a date I think (I pined away meanwhile), and then he called me & asked me to lunch. He said I was messing with his work, he couldn’t concentrate at all, & we could try it again but with no promises. Stupid, 23 year old me said OK!
But 14 months after we met, on his birthday July 31, 1994, he proposed. I had NO IDEA. We’d gone to his niece’s wedding in New Harmony (a small idyllic town in Indiana) that May, and had shared a room (we were in love, just no plans for marriage) & had talked about how we’d never be able to top her wedding because it was so special. But we never said, “when we get married it will be such and such.” We never talked about getting married. It just wasn't on the table.
So on July 31st I had taken him to New Harmony for his birthday present to see a play (The Fantastics, which is a musical actually) and spend the night at the Inn. He brought a couple movies with us since movies were our thing. After the play we went back to the room & he put in Casablanca. About 45 minutes into the movie (have you seen it?) when Bogart says “Of all the gin joints in all the towns in all the world, she walks into mine,” it flashes to Mark saying those famous lines instead of Bogart. He had a friend help him film the scene, had it digitized in B&W and added to the VHS tape.
Mark added these lines, in his best Bogart voice: “Well there’s no use fightin’ it, see. It’s preordained. In the cards. You & me kid, we go together like pork chops & applesauce. So what do ya say, schweetheart? Laura, will you marry me?” And then the movie just cuts back to Bogart & Sam in the bar like nothing has happened. I was frozen in time—completely shocked. I said, “Really? Do you mean it? Are you sure?” It was so surreal that I didn’t believe he was actually proposing until I saw he had a ring, too. Obviously I said yes & the rest is history.
Yep, it was a pretty amazing way to start an engagement.