What should have tipped me off was the velcro.
On the night Peter asked me to marry him, there were flowers. And a very unusually nervous and talkative boyfriend. There was a beautiful ring. And tears of joy. These things, I remember fondly.
There was surprise, too. For as much as we’d talked about getting married, I was not expecting Peter to propose when he did.
As it turns out, the universe was throwing me a sign that night, and I missed it.
You might recognize the reference to velcro as “foreshadowing”: a literary device where the author makes an oblique reference to events that may happen later in the story.
In real life, it’s what happens when your boyfriend (and soon-to-be fiance, but you don’t know that yet) picks you up at the airport with an enormous bouquet of flowers in hand, and in his eagerness to embrace you, snarls the front of your sweater on the velcro fastener of his jacket, and as you end your kiss, you realize that you’re attached to one another, face to face.
This didn’t just happen once that night. Every time we came within inches of one another at the airport, his jacket somehow fastened itself to my sweater. When he brushed by me to grab my suitcase from the carrousel, his jacket held fast to my side. After each kiss, we had to disentangle not our limbs, but our outer garments. Not that one can rationally attribute sentience to a hook and eye closure, but it’s as if the velcro…it knew.
Today, February 15, 2012, marks exactly sixteen years to the day since Peter got down on bended knee, in his room in a brown and beige stucco house in Vancouver, and asked me to marry him.
He was not wearing his jacket when he asked me, but no matter. You know what happened next.
Of course, I said yes. And you can bet that we’ll be attached to one another for many years to come.