Summer Romance Contest Winner

We asked our guests to share their engagement story with us and we had so many entries from which to choose. It wasn’t easy, but congratulations to John Petro, the winner of our Summer Romance Contest! John wins a Cocktail Party at Pasta Pane valued at $500!

Here is John’s touching engagement story:

“We were 23, and had been dating for 6 1/2 years when I finally scraped the money together for her engagement ring (I cashed out a 5-year bank CD I set up when I was 17, using money I saved over 4 years from my newspaper delivery route).

It was Christmas time, and I didn’t want the ring to be her Christmas gift, so the jeweler sold me a small diamond pendant and chain for $100, and I borrowed the money for it from my folks.  I wrapped the pendant as a gift, and put the ring without a box in one of those red fluffy Christmas stockings, and used a glitter pen to write our names on the top.

On Christmas eve, after dinner at her folks, I pulled her father aside in another room and asked his permission to propose.  He gave it very sweetly, and I told him I was going to do it that evening and come back to their house right after.

Patty and I then went up to my parent’s house, where we were alone, and decided to exchange our gifts. I gave her the pendant, apologizing that it was so small, but said “I just really wanted to get you a diamond.” (She never knew about the CD from my paper route, and as we were both in grad school and poor, she believed that it took all the money I had for the pendant.)  Instead of being disappointed, even though I think she somehow hoped we could be getting engaged soon, she was elated. She cried and smiled and kissed me and I really was over the moon.

I looked at the pendant and pretended to be disappointed in how it sparkled, and said “It looked much prettier in the light in my room– lets go see.”  When we went to my old room, I had the stereo set up to play a song that meant a lot to us and one I envisioned could someday be our wedding song. We danced through it and she told me this was her favorite Christmas yet.  I said “I have something else small to give you, just a little thing, silly really”, and then I pulled out the stocking with our names on it and with the ring hidden down in the toe.

She cried again, and asked me if I wanted it to be on our first Christmas tree together, and I said yes. She said “I’ll keep it forever, and it will be on all our Christmas trees.”  I kissed her, and then said “You better keep it forever, it’s pretty valuable” and she said “I know, it’s priceless to me” and I replied, “No, it’s because of the stocking stuffer in it.”

She was confused for a minute, and started reaching in the stocking with one of those “What are you talking about, there’s nothing in here” looks. As she was trying to fish her hand in, she didn’t notice that I knelt down in front of her, so when she finally hit the ring at the bottom, I was already on one knee. She pulled out the ring, and I said something like “Will you spend every Christmas with me, and our stocking, for the rest of our lives?”  Through her tears she said yes.

We danced again to that song, and decided there and then that it would be our wedding song. We then went back to her parent’s house, where her dad had told her mom and sister about my plan when we left, and they had Champagne set up.  We still hang that stocking every year at Christmas, this year will be our 24th year together.”

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