So, she knew what she had to say, a simple 'will you marry me' ought to do it, but where would she say it? When? And oh god, how? She really wanted to get on with it, but she had just brought home a wedding magazine (for work purposes may I remind you) and if she asked him after two days of dissecting the wedding industry he would think she was nothing but a victim of canny advertising, that the Evil Wedding Geniuses had succeeded in convincing her that her life would be forever incomplete if she didn't glide down the aisle of a stately home in a hundred yards of white satin to the majestic tones of the bagpipes while he waited anxiously clad in tartan and squirming slightly because his bow tie was cutting off the circulation to his neck and three hundred of our dearest friends who had gathered to wish us well and offer us kitchen utensils were watching him closely for any obvious signs of discomfort. Oh no, the question popping simply must wait until memories of that Tome of Bad Taste had faded. However she hadn't bargained for just quite how sticky those memories would be, quite how genius the Evil Wedding Geniuses were in their ability to infiltrate your consciousness, your life, your sanity for better or worse, till death do you part.
So she waited, and by the time The Magazine was no longer making its presence felt in their home it was a few short days until her birthday. The girl had never been able to ask for presents, always finding the question 'what do you want for your birthday?' really quite embarrassing. She had rarely managed to answer it with more than an 'oh, you don't have to get me anything' or an 'I don't know', the very thought of asking for something in particular causing her immeasurable pain. So asking her boy to marry her anywhere near her birthday was simply not an option. If she couldn't ask for a new pair of earrings she certainly couldn't ask for a lifetime commitment. And so, it would have to wait.
And then it was valentines day, and oh for the love of all things tasteful she couldn't possibly propose on or around valentines day. Which isn't to say that it didn't cross her mind. She did consider a card with bows and bunnies and hearts and flowers with a simple 'will you marry me?' inside and when she didn't quite manage to get a card in time and found herself on valentines morning writing a message to her boy on her tummy in lipstick 'I love you' almost became 'wanna get wed?' But she couldn't bring herself to be a woman who proposed on Valentines Day. Despite her love for kitsch and cheese and all things a bit naff (and what is valentines day if not a delightful combination of all three?) she simply did not want to be remembered as that woman who thinks that valentines day is so very 'romantic' that a proposal is in order. Besides, she didn't think that kitsch, cheesy and a little naff was the mood she should be going for with this whole proposing thing and so it would have to wait.
And wait it did, until one day, one unremarkable day when the waiting became too much. When she couldn't keep it in any longer and holding out for the right time was starting to feel like a pointless pursuit. Any time would be right as long as he said yes and besides, she was becoming a nervous wreck and if she kept up this level of anxious weirdness for too much longer not only would he not be marrying her but he would be backing away from her altogether, slowly and with a minimum of eye contact.
And so, one afternoon, one dark dreary February afternoon she asked him. They were sitting on the floor, there was a rabbit under the bed. There was an unsuccessful attempt to talk the rabbit out from under the bed. And there it happened, among the dust and the occasional rabbit dropping, on a carpet they detested that the desire to get it over with, I mean marry her man, overwhelmed her.
“Boy” she said. “I want to ask you something...”
“Ok” he said. Looking bemused. Such proclamations were usually followed by a request for something terribly tempting that they weren't allowed, a puppy for instance.
“I wondered.... if..... um.... maybe....um....” she said.
“Are you ok?” he said.
“Uh huh” she squeaked. “maybe....um...if......um.....you.......”
“Are you sure you're ok?” he asked, looking more worried this time and feeling quite certain that a request for a puppy was not what was about to follow. Perhaps she wanted a pony? Or maybe she was leaving him? Oh crap.
“Mmmhmm” she gulped.
“I wondered if maybe.....um....you'd marry me.” she stammered, looking nervously the other way.
“Of course!” he laughed, “Bloody hell Pix, you scared me there, I thought you wanted a pony.” (or something along those lines)
And then they lived happily ever after.
....For a week or two, until they started trying to plan a wedding. At which point they realised that buying a pony and keeping it in their third floor flat would have been infinity easier. And cheaper.