Bob (the now-husband) and I were living in Boston and had just seen the movie Rambling Rose in the theater. It was dark outside and we were crossing Dartmouth Street in front of Copley Plaza (as seen in the photograph) when Bob suddenly asked, “Would you marry me?”
We were literally in the middle of the street, right about where that arrow is pointing in the photo.
Now, if you know me, what happened next will not surprise you. But it may appall you.
“Would I marry you?” I asked.
You see, would can be conditional. It can convey a hypothetical situation. I didn’t know if Bob meant “Would you marry me if I were the last man on earth?” or “Would you marry me if I were Robert Duvall and you were Diane Ladd?” I didn’t want to answer the wrong question.
So I asked for clarification. And despite the perfect opportunity (and a pretty good incentive, now that I think about it) to back out, Bob rephrased his question and explained that he was, indeed, asking me to marry him.
We were now on the other side of Dartmouth Street (hello, Rubicon). And the the question had been clearly articulated. It was my turn to answer.
I didn’t say yes. I just looked at Bob and nodded my head. I knew better than to try to use any words.