Tuesday, 24 May 2016

Are you a Romantic?

I have a young friend who has got engaged this week.   She is in her late twenties and has been with her boy friend for seven years last week-end.   To celebrate their seventh anniversary he suggested that while she was at work on Saturday morning he would pack a picnic and when she came home they would go out somewhere.

She duly arrived home and they set off.   The venue was a really beautiful garden which is open to the public  at this time of the year.   He laid out the picnic on a rug - he had prepared it all from the smoked salmon to the champagne (he works for a wine merchant).

She sat fiddling with her phone (her words) until he told her to stop and turn around to look at him.   He was on one knee with a diamond ring in his hand.  Of course, after seven years of living together, she accepted - and found that he had asked her father's permission and gone through all the formalities.

How different things were in my day!!  I don't remember any of my contemporaries living with a boy friend.  I sat here at lunchtime trying to think of the kind of things we did when we were courting (a long time pre pill of course.)

Much of our time (my first husband I am speaking of here and we were married in 1952) on 'dates' was spent at the cinema (winter) or rowing up the river, sitting on the bank out in the country for an hour or so and then rowing back.  We had to hire the boat from Skipper Ross, who was usually to be found in the pub on the banks of the Brayford Pool in Lincoln.   We had to open the door and shout for Skipper Ross, who would hire his rowing boats out.  All pretty innocent by today's standards - but the fear of pregnancy hung heavy in the air in those days.

As to my second courting days with the farmer.   He was still milking his milk herd when we were courting, so it consisted of watching him milk and walking with him to put the cows back in the field.   Saturday nights after milking were our one night of relative 'freedom'.

How times have changed.   And yet it seems to me that in spite of the co-habiting these days, young people still seem to want all the accoutrements of the old ways - the asking of the father's permission, the diamond on the finger, the down on one knee proposal.

I wish them all the best - they are a lovely couple.

Are you a romantic?

22 comments:

Derek Faulkner said...

I was the next generation up from you Pat,(I'm almost 69)and the Pill and sexual freedom came along when I was in my teens. As soon as the girl who became my first wife got to 16 she went on the pill and although we didn't live together, we enjoyed a healthy sexual relationship for two years before we did get married, when she was 18 and I was 23, in 1970.I imagine that once we had the sexual revolution in the 1960's, not much has changed between then and nowadays, except that you have to ask your partner to come off of Facebook before you can propose to her.
Dare I ask, did you traditionally wait until you were married that first time?

Tom Stephenson said...

So I was one year old when you first got married? Thank you for making me feel young, Weave. Unfortunately, romance of that sort has not featured as much as it should have done in my life, but it all worked out in the end.

Simon Douglas Thompson said...

My sister's finace referred to my parents as his "other mum and dad" the other day on the phone. We nearly died laughing, he is a very smooth operator. If a very nice one.

John "By Stargoose And Hanglands" said...

It must be something about farmers. A farming friend of my father's got married then went back to do the milking before going on honeymoon.

Bovey Belle said...

I have been married twice, but never been proposed to! It just became obvious that we would marry. I didn't live with my first husband, but I did my 2nd. In fact, we had our first daughter together whilst waiting for my divorce. We were both at an age when waiting around for a divorce didn't seem to matter as much as our love for each other. I never had a honeymoon either - just think of the money we saved!!

Becca McCallum said...

That's romantic, I suppose, if you like that sort of thing. Personally I would rather have a discussion about it all, rather than the surprise/expectation of a proposal. How awful to be put on the spot like that! (is what I would think). I guess I'm not really much of a romantic, at least where my own self is concerned.

Joanne Noragon said...

I applaud all the romantics and hope their romances never ends.

A Heron's View said...

Hi Pat, I being seventy-three can appreciate what you say about courting for the morals of the age were the similar to yours. My first marriage was in the mid sixties and lasted for twenty-two years. A seagull warned me when I put the engagement ring on her finger he deposited on my head.
My second marriage was fifteen years ago and I wrote to her 90yr old father because I knew it would be appreciated. My marriage proposal to her was at night under a Harvest Full Moon on a mountain top - and yes I am a romantic soul, for it is part of my nature :-)

John Gray said...

Its over a year since the Prof and I got married
Did you everthink that could happen in your day ?

Sarah said...

I thought that sort of thing had gone out with the ark too. I've been married for 24 years. We were living together for two years before our marriage and were friends before then, but we were never engaged and I would not have worn a diamond ring of doubtful provenance on my hand in any case, We simply went along to Guildford Register Office to book a day four weeks hence which gave me plenty of time to book a holiday (a cottage in Pembrokeshire), buy a wedding outfit (which still fits and I'm considering wearing it to our son's graduation this summer) and organise a post-wedding party for our immediate family and close friends - about 40 of us. It was one of the best days of my life and I still love my husband with all of my heart so I guess I am a romantic.

Mac n' Janet said...

I'm a romantic, we were engaged, diamond ring and all then a white wedding. We didn't live together or sleep together until after we were married. Times change though and it's different for people today.

JoAnn ( Scene Through My Eyes) said...

With 51 years of marriage you can probably guess that we were traditional for our time. Marrying in 1964 was so much different than it is now. The way it is done now - live together for several to many years and then the proposal, wedding and honeymoon all seem redundant to me - seems they started their life together long ago and a wedding in the middle is a little confounding to me - just my opinion. Though I wish all who marry and/or live together all the happiness in the world.

Cro Magnon said...

I'm not sure if I'm a 'romantic'. We spent our honeymoon in Morocco, then took the ferry to Gibraltar to get married. We told no-one until we returned to England. I didn't want fuss; we could have been married in St Pauls!

Rachel said...

P and I have been together 34 years, not married but he is a romantic and brings me flowers all the time and still smothers me with kisses like the day we first met.

Librarian said...

My first marriage was too early and to the wrong man, as it does happen sometimes... he was my first boyfriend, and back then of course I expected "us" to last forever.
I didn't have a proposal from him, but I did from my second husband: We were having a drink at Yates' in Barnsley, when he asked "Are we going to get married then or what?" :-D Stephen didn't have much money, and so I never expected him to buy a ring for me, but he made me choose one from a shop in Barnsley that day. It was a small light blue stone on a silver ring, and I still wear it when it fits the rest of my outfit.
It is early days yet with O.K. (we only became "an item" in February), but he feels so very right to me that I would say yes if he proposed. There, now I've said it!

Maria said...

My father in law was a very romantic man even after 60 years of marriage to my mother in law his beloved wife. My husband takes after him and, it seems like my son is the same. I wonder if romanticism, apart being one's nature, can also be picked up from one's surroundings?
Greetings Maria x

Heather said...

What a lovely story - I wish the couple well and many years of happiness together. How nice that there is still some romance in the world and the young man made his proposal according to 'tradition'.
My husband is not very romantic but I have had him a long time and appreciate the thoughtful things he does for me. We certainly didn't cohabit before we were married - it wasn't done 62 years ago. Well, it probably was done but it was kept very quiet and frowned upon.

jinxxxygirl said...

Yes i guess we want the best of both worlds don't we? Lets see i was married in 1989... We lived together almost two years before marriage... He was stationed in Germany , i was in the States and he called me on the phone to ask me to marry him...lol Um... i said yes... then a couple days later in the mail i received a banner that he had typed on the computer asking me to marry him AGAIN..lol along with a CD that played Roy Orbison's song Anthing You Want You Got It Baby....lol Lets see.... I got the 'down on one knee' on our 10th Anniversary when he came to my work and got down on one knee in front of everyone and asked me to marry him again...lol But yes the answer to your question... i'm a hopeless romantic... i blame my grandmother who gave me romantic novels to read as a teenager...lol Hugs! deb

donna baker said...

Bless the romantics for the world would be lesser without them. I, on the other hand, don't have a romantic bone in my body. Don't know why.

The Weaver of Grass said...

Well, Heather and I share one thing in common. All that time ago sex before marriage was certainly frowned upon - and no way would I have incurred the wrath of my father. As to farmers and romanticism - my farmer married and went back to milking and it was two years before we had a honeymoon (Canada). So interesting reading your comments. On the whole you seem to be quite a romantic lot.

Hildred said...

Yes - incurably romantic.

Fairtrader said...

Romantic?? I don't know about that, I'm far too practical. But I enjoy the quiet walking in the woods, listening to birds and insects, watching the greenery getting heavier by the minute. When we courted, wich is not very long ago, we've been a couple some thirty years...we went to the cinema and the concert hall. We had annual subscription at the concert hall . He enjoyed giving me flowers and teach me how to use the fishingrod when we went for cod! Romantic? No. I'm not much for poetry eiher.
Happily, I have friends that can do much better to make the world a place of shimmering pink light filled with sonets!!
Thank you for that lovely lovely post!!!!! OOOOH, young love!