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Woman Can’t Remember Boyfriend’s Middle Name

February 1, 2010
By Sheila Sattler Kale

"Who Are You?"

From "Chicken Soup for the Soul: True Love"

"You know when you have found your prince because you not only have a smile on your face but in your heart as well." - Author Unknown

I would say "yes" if he asked.

I felt sure he would ask, but how long would I have to wait?

Steven was careful in every decision. He researched and planned. What plans was he or wasn't he making?

It wouldn't be the first marriage for either of us. In fact, both of our spouses had died from accidents in our 16th year of marriage, when they were each 36 years old, and we both had two children just entering their teens when we became single parents. We discovered this extraordinary coincidence as we chatted after a concert at our church one Sunday night.

Now, it was a year later. We just left a citywide prayer service asking God to bless us with rain because the drought was becoming severe. Steven had asked me to share the sunset with him at our park.

We sat in the dark awhile after the sunset, savoring the cool night air, enjoying the stars and each other.

Steven got up from the lawn chair. I wasn't sure if it was time to go. But then he knelt down on one knee, took out a tiny box, opened it and said, "Sheila Dianne, will you marry me?"

I was totally confused. Of course I wanted to marry him, but he used my middle name. I wanted to respond in the same way he asked me; I wanted to say Steven (whatever ?). I realized I didn't know his middle name. Why couldn't I remember it? How could I marry a man when I didn't even know the simplest thing about him like his middle name?

"Sheila? Will you marry me?" Now he sounded concerned. I had hesitated too long. It was not the time to admit I didn't know his full name. I would just have to figure it out somehow. I'd look at his driver's license or something.

"Yes, oh, yes. I will marry you, Steven."

I threw my arms around him and we kissed. Then he slipped the simple but elegant ring on my finger. I was amazed that it fit perfectly.

He told me: "I measured it against a ring I saw at your house. It was a choice between two rings, but this one looks more like you - simple and beautiful."

We had just turned the corner to exit the park when I remembered. I did know his middle name. Of course, I knew his middle name! I couldn't suppress a giggle.

He looked over with the one eyebrow raised, "Are you going to share the fun?" he asked.

I was caught.

Now laughing full out I said: "I do know your middle name. I always knew your middle name. It's Steven. It's your first name I couldn't remember! You are Frederic Steven Kale."

"Yeah?"

I explained why I hesitated when he asked me to marry him. We both laughed. Especially as he recounted: "One of the first times I talked with you I asked for your vote on whether I should go by my first name. Remember? I had just moved here. Since I moved to Fredericksburg, I wondered if I should be known as Frederic from Fredericksburg. You and almost everybody else agreed I didn't 'look' like a Frederic."

Steven loves to tease me about how I made him ask me twice.

Recently we laughed again with each other as we shared the story while getting acquainted with a new friend over dinner.

She looked stunned. "Two nights ago I had an awful fight with my fiance because I thought he didn't care enough to remember my middle name." Looking down at the table, she said: "Maybe it isn't that big of a deal. Maybe other things are a lot more important."

 
 

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