The Engagement: An Oral Contract

John and I had planned to watch the Wisconsin v. Minnesota football game that Saturday weeks in advance. I should have known something was up when John offered to take me to an eyebrow waxing appointment and wait for me in the car before heading to the bar where we would watch the game.

After the appointment, we headed over to Wrigleyville and I couldn’t help but notice John leading me towards the site of our first date.

As we walked down the alley toward Wrigley Field, John looked at me and asked, “Do you know what today is Kiddo?”

The thought and feeling of “Oh Shit. I forgot an important date,” definitely set in as I searched my brain for why today was important. There was a lot of anxiety about whether or not I forgot a special day…but I decided to gamble.

“Um, no?” I said hesitantly.

“Today is my grandpa and grandma O’Donnell’s wedding anniversary,” John said before adding, “and it’s also the 40th anniversary of my parents’ first date.”

After that, everything was kind of a blur. Especially when John told me that when he was in Italy he realized he never wanted to be apart from me that long again. Tears definitely started to flow.

When John got down on bended knee, in low 30-degree temperatures mind you, and opened the box with the ring, I. Was. Elated.

John and I got engaged November 23, 2013, outside Wrigley Field, where we had our first date.

John and I got engaged November 23, 2013, outside Wrigley Field, where we had our first date.

However, as John constantly told me during his first year of law school, the engagement is a contract. Terms had to be set before I accepted. Yes, this went through my head immediately when he was down there. So I did what any devoted NFL football fan would do…

“Can they (our kids) be Packer fans?” I asked between the tears and laughter.

John looked at me like he would not have expected anything less but disgusted at the same time as he said “Whatever makes you happy, Kiddo.”

“THEN YES!!!!” I said while John up to kiss him.

The story didn’t end there though. Right after, I heard cheering and looked over to see a man in a Steelers’ jersey and a girl in teal puffy jacket holding a camera.

“John,” I said, “We should ask that tourist if she got a picture of us.”

John just laughed at me, because the girl with the camera happened to be one of my best friends, Kim Dunbar. He had called her earlier in the week to plan everything, including being at Wrigley Field to take photos.


If you doubt this story at all, which I totally understand, you are more than welcome to ask John. He’s still trying to figure out a way out of his promise…especially during the Packers/Bears rivalry games (if you can even call them that these days ;-)).



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