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Report 1176: September Song: High Notes of a Few Precious Days in Italy

By Roz from Massachusetts, Fall 2006

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Page 6 of 16: Love Walks In

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The happy 'fidanzati' at the villa

I'd been pacing the floor worrying about the travelers on that dark and tortuous road, when the two sets of headlights finally appeared. The worry turned to utter delight, when the first announcement of our son inside the door was, "Maureen and I are engaged!" To fully comprehend the bombshell that this news entailed, you have to realize that this was a kid (well, hardly a kid, now 39 years old) who had told us from the time he was in college that he never intended to get married, and seemed fixed on that resolve through the years. Now there were hugs, kisses, and happy tears all around as we heard the full story.

Maureen told us that from the time they arrived in Venice, she couldn't understand why Mike seemed sort of worried and preoccupied. This was supposed to be a trip to his favorite city in the world, the weather was great, she was having a ball, but when she looked at his face, there just seemed to be something she couldn't fathom. In fact, he was so distracted that as they were walking along, he stepped too far out on the edge of a mossy embankment, and "splash!" -- there he was practically up to his waist in the canal!

If Mike seemed even more upset than one might have expected from that experience, it could be because the engagement ring was actually in his pocket at the time! Fortunately it survived the dunking, and remained a secret until later that evening, in Piazza San Marco, when Mike finally popped the question by moonlight and orchestra music. How's that for romance from the guy who never wanted a wife?

We could not have been more thrilled at this news, which just seems to bear out the old adage that someone who has never wanted to get married simply hasn't yet met the right person. I thought back to our lunch in Bergamo with the couple who said one reason they felt their marriage was on a good foundation was that they shared the same "Iowa values." I'm not really sure what that means, but I think Maureen, who comes from Des Moines, will show us!

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