She was sitting there, in the corner of my cozy living room, in the orange Arne Jacobsen egg-chair, waiting to be taken out to dinner. It was her birthday, and we were headed for the Swan restaurant garden. I pulled up the matching stool and sat down in front of her. I started to talk about “us” and our relationship, and the mutual trust and honesty we had developed together over the past year. She began to understand where I was going as I started the conversation, and she opened her smile.
So, I dropped down on one knee, and asked her to do me the honor of becoming my wife. The smile widened — nearly from ear-to-ear — and I am sure that she heard hardly a word that I had spoke. When I finished she said, “Yes.”
The next day, we went to downtown Tripoli and shopped for a ring. We selected an unusual ring, and she still wears it 45 years later. Then, we went to the British embassy up on the hill, overlooking the harbor, and made arrangements to be married there by the consul on the last Saturday in June.
Fast forward 35 years, and as were getting ready to leave on a trip. Our son, Jim, called home and asked if he could “borrow” our house while we were gone.
“Put the egg-chair out in the den next to the picture window,” he asked. We agreed, and sent him a key, and before we left we put the chair where he asked.
Jim told us later that his girlfriend, Kate, was sitting in the egg-chair and they were having a glass of champagne before going to the Chart House for her birthday dinner.
“There is a story behind that chair,” he said. “My mother was sitting in that chair on her birthday when my father proposed to her. And in keeping with the family tradition ... ” Whereupon he proceeded to drop down on one knee and propose to her.
We gave them the egg-chair the next year after they married, and they gave us a grandson. So, now the stage has been set for another chapter in this ongoing love story.
P.S. The Arne Jacobsen egg-chair, an original bought for $250 in 1964 (Illums Boligus, Copenhagen), is now worth $7,200, not counting sentimental value.
Submitted for the Observer’s Love Story Contest. Contest ended Feb. 7.
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