Friday, May 28, 2010

A fish fry, two secrets, & a diamond...

There’s never a dull minute around my family but last weekend proved especially interesting. Saturday dawned hot and sunny, the perfect setting for our annual fish fry that my husband hosts every year. You’ll notice I specifically stated my husband is the host because my sole purpose in the festivities is clean-up. He orchestrates a wondrous spread that I’d never dream of attempting. To give you some idea of how he does things, I arrived home from work to a bathtub brimming with fish fillets and fifteen pounds of potato salad. But that’s another blog.

Anyway, here’s the first secret of the day. My daughter also appreciated the cooperative weather since she’d planned a surprise birthday party for the special young man in her life. Her plot was they’d come to our house and help with the fish fry then she’d take him to his friend’s house to pick up his gift that had been too large to store at her apartment. Of course, the friend’s house hid the party. I couldn’t believe the boy was that gullible but finally decided he had to be a really good sport or was so twitter-pated he’d follow my daughter without question.

While my two daughters and I scrambled outside with preparations, I happened to notice that my husband and my daughter’s fella had disappeared into the house. My antennae twitched and I headed after them to see what was up. As soon as I walked into the kitchen, both men turned and gave me that deer in the head light look as though I’d interrupted them in the middle of an illegal drug deal.

The young one bolted with an armload of paper plates and grinned at my husband. I cornered my husband between the center island and the kitchen sink and demanded to know what was going on.

“He just asked me if he could marry her.”

“And what did you say?”

“Well…I told him yes.”

And so, the second secret of the day unfurled. My other daughter chose that moment to interrupt. This child’s had radar since birth and always sensed when her father and I are attempting to have a conversation.

“What’s going on?”

“He’s going to ask your sister to marry him.”


“I don’t know. But don’t say anything. We’ve got two secrets now. His surprise party and we can’t let your sister know he’s going to ask her to marry him.”

“Well, he needs to ask her now so we can all watch.”

“No, stay out of it. That’s between the two of them.”


Needless to say, word spread fast through our guests. Nobody in my family has ever been able to keep their mouths shut, me included. Quite a few at the gathering knew about the birthday party and quite a few knew about the pending question to be asked.

As the day stretched on, my daughter got a little antsy to leave the fish fry because she knew her other guests would be waiting. But her as yet unknown fiancĂ© didn’t seem to be in any hurry to leave. He figured they could pick up his gift anytime. He didn’t realize his gift happened to be a bunch of people waiting to wish him happy birthday.

My daughter fidgeted around me and hinted at getting her father to nudge the boy out the door. I nixed that idea. We couldn’t very well boot them out. That might put a bit of a damper on the pending proposal. The one she had no idea loomed in her very near future.

Finally, she pried him away from the corn-hole game (You have to be from the South to appreciate it. You toss a beanbag into a board with holes in it) and the young couple left.

A few hours later, my blackberry rang and the conversation went something like this:

My daughter: “So, did YOU know he was going to ask me to marry him?”

Me: “Of course.”

My daughter: “He said he asked Daddy for permission.”

Me: “He did ask Daddy.”

My daughter: “And you both kept it a secret?”

Me: “Yes.”

My daughter: “All day long?”

Me: “What did you expect?”

My daughter: “What else do you know?”

Me: “You’ll never know for sure, will you?”

By the way, the ring she accepted is lovely.