Wednesday, April 18, 2007


This is how it went down.

I ordered the ring through a friend Carrie who is a jeweler in the suburbs. They made the ring to look roughly like a Tiffany setting Maggie and I saw on the internet and liked. (Only not with such a giant stone.) The picture on the left is of the Tiffany model.

I had ordered the ring, and they said it would be done in the middle of April. Around Thursday last week I remembered this, and thought, gosh, I haven't really figured out where or how I'm going to ask the question.
I had considered my options, including going to the park on 18th street and asking her there. But I hadn't made up my mind.

On Saturday I was at home ripping CD's to my computer when I got a call from the jewelry shop saying the ring had arrived. Since I wasn't hanging out with Maggie that day anyway, I immediately drove out to the shop. (Stopping on the way to have a combination roast beef/pastrami sandwich and fries at sub-t.)

I picked up the ring, paid for it (I guess my Amex limit is pretty high after all.) and headed home. I had to stop in the Jewel parking lot to open the box and look at it again. I then proceded home.

At first when I got home I was about to hide the ring in the fridge of the coach house to make sure Maggie didn't stumble across it. Then I decided I better stash it in the car, because I might want to give it to her on Sunday. So I put it in it's bag inside a bag full of clothes that has been sitting in my trunk for ages. I figured she'd have no motivation to go through that and find it accidentally.

That night we went out to Paul Graessle's 30th birthday party in Arlington Heights. (Jenn Hammelly later told me that she had looked for a ring on Maggie's finger that night and thought to herself 'not yet.')

The next day I decided that unless I were to wait till later in the week, the only way to ask her on Sunday would be to catch her alone after Mass at St Clement's.

We had plans to shop for presents during the day, and I had developed a bit of a headache, probably form not eating right. We went back to Maggie's place and ate some food she cooked up. (Mac and Cheese with Garlic and Soup.) I did the dishes (the whole sink full.)

Then she warmed up and I took a brief nap. I drove her to drop her at Choir practice at 5pm. The Mass didn't start till seven, so I called my parents and got my Dad on the phone... I told him I was about to ask Maggie to Marry me, and if he had any advice. He said to talk to Jesus about it. I said I had done that already because he had taught me to do that in the past. He said that he wanted to be consistent in his message. He then gave the phone to my Mom and said that he was going to leave so that she could give me her advice.

She gave me some good advice, including advice about how sometimes people might not be able to give the answer they want to right away because they are shy. She had been this way. We both agreed though that Maggie probably wouldn't be like this.

Then I called Maggie's Mom. Well, first I wrote out a script (like I used to when calling girls I liked when I was younger.) I tried to follow the script and it more or less worked... more or less... It went something like this:

MR-"Hello" (Sound of TV in background)
ND- "Hi is this Magaly Ramirez? It's Nick Dietz calling."
MR- "No, she's not here right now, can I take a message?"
ND- "Wait a minute, this sounds like you..."
MR- "No, she's not here right now."
ND- "Stop joking with me... this is Nick Dietz, Maggie's boyfriend."
MR- "Oh, Hi Nick! You sounded like a telemarketer!"
ND- "Are you busy? Do you have a minute?"
MR- "No, I'm not busy" (Sound of TV getting quieter).
ND- "Can I ask you a question?"
MR- "Sure, go ahead"
ND- "I'd like to ask your permission to marry your daughter Maggie."
MR- "Oh No!" (Shriek) "...No, No No..." (Crying) "I... can't talk right now..." (Crying) "talk to Francis..."
FC- "What's wrong?! What happened?"
ND- "Don't worry, I just asked your Mom's permission to marry Maggie."
FC- "Oh, I was worried because she just burst into tears... here she is again..."
MR- "Nick, of course you can marry her. I'd love to see you together." (crying)...

So, my Mom's advice seemed to have been appropriate, but it applied better to Maggie's Mom, not to Maggie. When she burst into tears she wasn't able to say yes right away. (I assumed, of course, that the outburst meant yes despite the cries of "oh no!". It turned out my Mom was right.)

I then went and got some hot cocoa at Starbucks. (Three bucks!!) I thought it would keep me awake through church, calm my nerves, and potentially cure what was left of my earlier headache. It did all three admirably.

Next I had to take out the ring again and look at it. Then I put it in my inside jacket pocket and tried pulling it out. It stuck. So I moved it to my outside pocket and put my hat over top of it. That would work better. I took my gloves out and left them in the car to keep the bulk down. I tried to be conscious not to keep my hand in my pocket, to avoid looking suspicious.

I sat on the left of the aisle toward the front of the church. Since it was a contemplative Mass, the choir sat on the right wing of the church. I took off my jacket (ring still in pocket) and left it in the pew during the Mass. I thought this would work out great, since after the Mass I could ask maggie to say the rosary as we sometimes do after Mass. (She had a new-years resolution to say it with me on Sundays, but we've been bad about it.) When the church emptied out and I finished the rosary, I could ask the question.

Since I was in the church almost an hour early, I got to go over the music several times. I started trying to sight-read the music. I guess I must have been nervous and trying to keep my mind occupied.

Maggie had a solo part in Hebrew. She seemed a bit nervous at first, but it sounded good. The music was nice.

But then, at the end of the Mass, they announced that there would be cheese and wine downstairs afterward. Oh no! I thought. So after the final song I got up and went to talk to Maggie. I left my jacket in the pew. As we went to the choir room to get her stuff, I suggested that we pray the rosary. She seemed a bit unhappy, because she hadn't been keeping up her resolution... at the top of the stairs she mixed up her folder with someone else's. People were congratulating one of the other choir members on getting engaged. She wanted to get some wine and cheese. She said that could be her dinner. I said, no, we should eat some real dinner. But she wanted some wine, so we headed downstairs.

We each had some wine. I even ate some cheese. We talked mostly to each other. She mentioned how she was shy at this type of event. We noticed one guy reading the bulletin and facing away from everyone and seeming anti-social. Maggie, still a bit sappy from hearing of the engagement no doubt, reminded me of how Pritha said she wanted to get engaged so she could play house. Maggie asked if we could play house. I said sure. It didn't seem to register as an unusual answer to her. I suggested we finish our wine and go pray. She said "do you have the rosaries?" and started grabbing for my pocket! I totally panicked! I grabbed her right hand quite abruptly as it headed for my left pocket with the ring in it. Somehow this didn't seem to register as strange to her. I said "no, I left them in the car"... and she was satisfied with this answer.

Finally we went upstairs to pray. We hadn't been downstairs too long, but I was still worried they would close the church on us. I led us to the left side of the church where the tabernacle is. We sat with the tabernacle to our right and the statue of Mary to our left. As we started to pray (the Joyful mysteries) I pointed out the tabernacle and the statue of Mary. I thought this would be a great place to propose.

At about the third mystery, Jessie, the usher, came through and kneeled briefly at the tabernacle. Maggie lowered her voice in praying and seemed a bit shy. The church resonated strongly even our quiet prayers.

I tried not to pray to quickly, but kept worrying about them closing the church. Finally, with five hail-mary's left in the last decade, Fr Hickey came through the church and said from across the Church "we're locking up". I couldn't hear him, and had to ask him to repeat.

Maggie and I got up. Maggie was visibly upset. Fr Hickey had always been her favorite priest, but a couple weeks back had disappointed her at a new parishioner meeting by shaking her hand briefly and walking away without expressing any apparent interest. Kicking us out of church while we were praying didn't help.

As we got to the back of the church I noticed that the wine and cheese party was still going on. Obviously they would have to leave, so the church couldn't be locked up right away. I told Maggie we should continue our prayers. "We only have five left."

So we went back in to the back of the church and finished our hail-mary's as Fr Hickey was back in the sacresty. Then as we finished I said. "Maggie, I have a question for you." I pulled out the ring, opened the box, got down on one knee and asked her, "will you marry me?" She immediately said "yes". Then we both looked at each other and said "let's go."
She said she was light headed as we left the church, and I stood by her as we headed for the car. She said, I have to call my Mom. I said "use my phone, she won't answer yours until I call her to say it's okay." That's what Francis had suggested.

Since it was dark in the church, she turned on the car light to get a better look at the ring. Then she called her Mom and Francis. They had already told Barbara.

Then we had to drive quickly to Renee's place because Maggie had to pee.


Anonymous Chris said...


10:31 AM  
Anonymous jenny-lu said...

Yeah!!!! we like maggie and we're really happy for you :)

8:25 PM  
Anonymous Monika said...

Congratulations Nick!

11:17 AM  
Blogger Ashley James said...

You always manage to end on a punchline. :-)

5:06 PM  
Anonymous Youjin said...

I'm so happy for you and Maggie!!

11:15 PM  
Blogger bspollak said...

poleguy, this is lovely :)

11:26 PM  
Blogger Mystique said...

How awesome! Your relay of the events gave me "goosebumps." ;) I'm happy for the two of you. Cindy

8:26 AM  
Anonymous Sue said...

I love play-by-play descriptions....congratulations, Dawg!

7:08 PM  
Blogger Valerie said...

So happy for you two! Congratulations!!

8:31 AM  
Anonymous Deacon Peter said...

God Bless and all the best on the engagement. I could only imagine what the wedding will be like when it comes...

6:45 PM  
Anonymous Jenn Hamelly said...

Yay! Best wishes to you both! Being married is amazing. And seeing my name in print in someone's blog is pretty cool, too ... :)

1:47 PM  
Anonymous Dad said...

Nicholas Paul, "So long, its been good to know ya . . . "

6:31 PM  
Anonymous Mom said...

I wasn't that surprised. I was expecting it from the beginning. What took you so long Nick?

6:34 PM  
Anonymous Mom said...

Nick, I've been expecting this from the beginning. What took you so long?

6:55 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hello there Maggie and Nick-its Nick and Maggie here (
wishimng you all the health,love and luck in the world!

2:18 AM  
Anonymous Maree said...

Great work.

5:22 AM  

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