Thursday, 1 November 2007

True story

“What’s the point of getting married?” he said. “It’s just so…conventional. It’s state interference. It ritualises what’s supposed to be personal, signing official documents and formalising everything. What’s the point?”
“Well, I think it’s dead romantic,” she said. “Making those vows to each other in front of friends and family, celebrating your relationship, saying you want to spend the rest of your lives together. Who cares about signing things, and the state? It’s not about that.”
“It is in my opinion,” he said, and thus a deadlock was reached.
“You can’t tell a Pisces which way to swim,” wise friends told her.
She knew it was true. There was no point arguing the toss. His mind was made up.

The years passed. They had three children and were very happy together. Still she hankered after a wedding, though. Not because she wanted to be a Mrs, not because of the dress, ring, any of the trappings. She just thought it was romantic. She thought they had something worth celebrating.

By now their eldest daughter was old enough to ask questions. “Oh, Mum, why doesn’t Dad want to marry you?” she asked in a pitying way, more than once. “Doesn’t he love you?”
The questions made her wince. “It’s not that,” she’d reply, floundering for the right words. “It’s just… He thinks it’s old-fashioned. Kind of.” But it sounded feeble, even to her. “Ask your dad,” she said in the end. Let him do his own explaining, she thought.

After ten years together and still no sign of a backtrack, she had given up on the idea. It didn’t really matter, did it, at the end of the day? They were happy together, they were committed to staying together. A ring and a bit of paper weren’t going to change the way they felt about each other, were they? But still a tiny bit of her felt sad, as if she'd missed out on something special.

Then, that summer, they were on holiday in Devon. He surprised her after the first week by announcing that he’d arranged for them to have a night on their own, away from the kids. His mum and sister were in on the plot, arranged as baby-sitters.
They went to Lyme Regis together, just the two of them. The sun was shining, and they wandered along the sea front and around the shops, hand in hand, enjoying each other’s company. As afternoon turned to evening, they walked to the harbour. “Let’s go and sit down there,” he said, pointing to the furthest bench, right at the end of the harbour wall.

They sat down together. The last families on the beach were packing up their things, a few swimmers still braving the sea. They felt far away from the rest of the town out there, just the two of them.

He produced a bottle of champagne and two glasses. “Fancy a drink?” he asked.
She laughed. She loved it that he surprised her after all this time. “Go on, then,” she said. “Trying to get me drunk already?”
“Something like that,” he said.
He poured them a glass each, and handed her hers. “Cheers,” he said.
“Cheers,” she said.
“Will you marry me?” he said.

She stared at him, so shocked she almost toppled into the sea. Somehow she managed a good comedy pause before replying. Well, he’d made her wait this long, hadn’t he? She’d let him sweat a few moments in return. “Yes,” she said.


JJ said...

Aaahhhhh, that's so romantic. Look, lots and lots of years together, three children, a mortgage, moving houses, and he STILL wants to marry you - that's even more romantic that the conventional way around!



Helen said...

Oh that made my eyes well up.

Pacha said...

Oh thats a such a lovely happy ending (beginnning?) story. So romantic and beautiful. Reading this sent goose bumps up and down my spine! And I am getting tearful just imagining your wedding with your children as little page boys and bridesmaids.


Sooooooooooooo romantic!

Lucy Diamond said...

Awww thanks, I feel rather tearful myself now. Do love a good bit of romance, me!
One thing about getting married when you already have kids though is that they're very keen to get involved...eldest daughter has a very firm idea of what she wants to wear etc and has spent a lot of time designing her own bridesmaid dress in great detail. (I haven't broken it to her yet that she'll be getting one from BHS or somewhere similar...) She also asked, "Hey, now you're getting married, does that mean you're going to have another baby?"!
I am really excited about it all though. Please restrain me if I get all Bridezilla on you next summer, though, won't you?!

Anonymous said...

hi im new to this, just finished any way you want me, i loved it, and can't wate for more. saw the web site address and thought id have a look.
Congratulations, How lovely and romantic.

CTaylor said...

Awwww that's so lovely. Many congratulations!

Lucy Diamond said...

Cheers, anonymous! So nice of you to drop in and I'm really pleased you liked Any Way You Want Me. Thank you!

Lucy Diamond said...

Oh - our posts crossed, Cally. Thanks!

Anonymous said...

That's a beautiful story!
*wipes tear from eye*

To echo JJ, marriage takes on even more meaning when it's done later rather than sooner. Congratulations x

Zinnia Cyclamen said...

Awwwwwww, that's so luver-lee! And I don't even like romance (much). (Well OK I do a bit.) (Sometimes.) (But I don't admit it in public.)

Lucy Diamond said...

Thanks China Blue! At least after ten years with someone you know what you're getting!

Zinnia, go on, admit it, you're a big softie, aren't you?

Caroline said...


Aw aw aw aw aw aw awwwwwwwwwwwww.




(I am so happy for you)

Lucy Diamond said...

Thanks thanks thanks thanks thanks!



Even in your comments you are stylish, Caroline!

liz fenwick said...

I've come over all weepy......comgratulations :-)

Lane said...

That is so lovely and I have to ditto jj's comment. It's so much more romantic. Aww big congratulations:-)

Lucy Diamond said...

Oh thanks you two! Am feeling all warm and fuzzy with so many nice comments today...

Sally Lawton said...

Congratulations, what a beautiful story. Very romantic, happy planning! x

It will be all write said...

Congrats !!!!

There is hope for me yet then - My partner and I have two children together, the 4by4, the two cats but no sign of a ring.

: )

Helen Shearer said...

Thanks for the great romantic story. I haven't so much as a date in eleven months so it's nice to hear that romance is still alive and well. Congratulations to all of you!

Kate.Kingsley said...

WOW! and congrats. What a lovely post ~ I'm a wee bit teary eyed after reading that!

Kate K

PS: being married ROCKS!! ;-)

Angie said...

Lucy, that is such a lovely, romantic story. Thank you for sharing a piece of it with us. :)

Jen said...

Oh, wow, that has made me all tearful and sniffly... you make a lovely couple. I'm right chuffed for you both XXX

Lucy Diamond said...

Oh my goodness!! All these messages! I will have to post up true lurve stories more often.

Hi Sally, I have started the romantic plan-making, oh yes...Well, I haven't actually done much but enjoying thinking about planning anyway...

It Will Be All Write - is he a Pisces by any chance?! These men, honestly, what are they like?

Hi Helen - thanks for the congrats and GOOD HUNTING on the romance front.

Kate K - awww bless ya! Glad to hear you are so happily married.

Hi Angie, glad you liked it!

Oh Jen, thanks for your chuffed-ness!

Hayley said...

Now I'm blubbing, what a lovely story. Congratulations!

Anonymous said...

After months of reading and being too shy to comment, that story is just soOO lovely that I just had to write and say CONGRATULATION! Although it has made me well up with tears at my desk! Any news on when the happy day will be?

Lucy Diamond said...

More blubbing! I'm starting to feel a bit guilty about all the weeping and sniffling I have started around the country... Maybe I should contact Kleenex and ask for a share of their profits?

Thanks for your messages anyway, Hayley and Anonymous. Much appreciated. And I am so glad you delurked there Anonymous, even though it was anonymously! We have set a date, booked a place, it's all happening next August. Can't wait!

rivergirlie said...

awwww - that'll make a fantastic ending to one of your books - just the way it is. x

Clare said...


So pleased for you.

Me and my not-hubby both have the same attitude that your h-t-b used to have, which is lucky. The discrepancy must have been annoying for you, so how nice to have it resolved after all this time.

I can totally see your point about the romance, I'm just waaaay too lazy to organise such a big event!

The whole set-up - surprise night together, bench by the sea, champagne... all wonderfully romantic. How lovely. Do you know what made him change his mind?

Lucy Diamond said...

Good thinking, rivergirlie - must try and work it in to a future novel. Bit of cutting and pasting, Bob's your uncle, no-one will ever know...

Clare, I don't know what exactly changed his mind. Maybe I wore him down with all my nagging and sulking. (not really!) But yes, it was so romantic, the whole caboodle - perfect. Ahhhhhh!

Vicky said...

found this blog as one of sarah ball's fave's - am also a hopeless romantic. my man and i have been engaged for almost 2 years - we honestly don't have the cash for even a small wedding, and i don't quite wanna give up on a nice dress yet. plus there's sorting out the guests - who doens't like who, whill they ruin it? in the end it has to be for the couple, doesn't it? its your special day, and i hope its all you've ever imagined. plus i gotta say thank you to another inspiring couple. in a world where everyone seems to split its wonderful to see a couple who've lasted 10 years plus wanna get married now!
many congrats and i think i'm hooked on another blog! :)

Vicky said...

... and i see my spelling has a couple of speed wobbles again today. try and ignore, its one of those day!

Lucy Diamond said...

Thanks, Vicky! Nice to see you here. Yes, we're not spending a fortune on our wedding either - seems daft to go OTT money-wise when we have three kids to feed and buy new shoes for etc etc. So ours is going to be fairly informal, just a Good Day Out with all our friends and family. And of course a fabulous frock!

DOT said...

I am just catching up with all your posts since your move. Sort of lost touch with what was going on in your life.

And then you go and spring this on me. That is soooo unfair. Some warning might have stiffen the wobbly lip. Could have prepared me with Kleenex to hand. But no, I had to run to the kitchen and grab the roll.

What can I say but how wonderful!

Lucy Diamond said...

Thanks, Dot! Nice to see you here again. Hope you're looking after Brighton for me!