Anne Mateer – Real Life Romance – Part 1 of 3

Shannon here: Historical romance author, Anne Mateer shares how she sped up her proposal plus a chance to win her latest release, At Every Turn. Comment on any post dated Sept 17 – 21 to get your name in the drawing. Deadline: Sept 29th, 11:59 pm central time. Here’s Anne:

I Just Couldn’t Wait by Anne Mateer

I’m not a very patient person, even now. But back 1986, I was even less so. 

That fall of my sophomore year of college, this giddy in love nineteen-year-old transferred from Baylor University, in my home state of Texas, to Dickinson College in Carlisle, PA, where her boyfriend was starting his senior year. After ten long months of being apart—writing letters, making phone calls, seeing each other on school breaks—we’d decided if we were going to get married, we ought to at least live in the same state for a little while and make sure we could get along in person. Besides, being apart was expensive. These were the days before email or free long distance telephone plans. 

I knew that Jeff had stashed away almost every penny of his summer work money. An entire $1000 dollars! (Huge money, or so we though then.) And our plans that had once involved waiting on marriage until after he finished law school, now focused on a wedding before he started. 

After settling into school, we visited a jeweler some friends had recommended. We weren’t sure when we drove up to the ramshackle building or when we rode up to the second floor in the ancient elevator, complete with the gate that had to be shut before it would work. The old man had nothing made up. He showed us loose diamonds and empty settings, creating each piece of jewelry to fit the customer’s needs (and budget). He explained more than I ever wanted to know about diamonds. And then we left. Empty-handed. 

Days went by. Then weeks. I’d ask about the ring, if he’d made a decision how much to spend, which stone to buy. He hedged. I grew frustrated. The calendar turned to October. Then November. 

It was election night when my patience snapped. Not a presidential election year, but an important one all the same. Reagan was in his second term with a Republican majority in the senate, but 34 seats were up for grabs that night, and some predicted a shift to a Democratic majority. (Jeff was at that time very involved in politics at the state and national levels.) We sat alone in his townhouse, watching early election returns. It wasn’t often that none of his three roommates were at home with us. 

While Jeff was engrossed with the political pundits, I made my way upstairs to the bathroom. But as I passed his bedroom, I paused. Perhaps I could settle my mind, know that at least he’d made a decision. I tiptoed inside, found his checkbook and opened it up. There in the register was a check made out to the jeweler we’d visited. I wanted to laugh, to cry. He’d bought the ring! 

Immediately I sobered. Now that I knew, I simply couldn’t wait any longer. I wanted the proposal. I wanted the ring. When I returned downstairs, my questions began, poking as close to the truth as possible without giving myself away. Finally, Jeff ran upstairs on some pretense. When he returned, he made a bit of chit-chat, then told me to reach into the pocket of his shirt. 

I pulled out the ring–a beautifully simple marquise diamond in a plain gold setting. He asked me to marry him. I cried—and said yes. (I found out later he’d already called and talked to my dad.) We flipped off the TV and went out, splurging on Chinese food to celebrate. We returned home again to find out that the Republicans had indeed lost the senate. But for once, that was not uppermost in Jeff’s mind. Instead, grinning from ear to ear, we announced our news to his roommates.  

Looking back, I do regret that I spoiled his surprise, because over the course of our twenty-five year marriage, I’ve learned that I married quite a romantic man. So while the proposal was indeed memorable, I often wonder would it would have been had I had the patience to wait.

Abaout Anne: Anne Mateer is passionate about history and historical fiction. She and her husband, Jeff, live in the Dallas area and are the proud parents of three young adults. At Every Turn is Anne’s second published novel. Connect with Anne on her blog, http://www.annemateer.com/, facebook www.facebook.com/AuthorAnneMateer or twitter www.twitter.com/annemateer

About the book – At Every Turn: 

A Heartwarming Historical Sure to Delight

Caught up in a whirlwind of religious fervor when two missionaries speak at her church, Alyce Benson impetuously pledges three thousand dollars to mission work in Africa. She’s certain her wealthy father will simply hand her the money. But when he refuses, she must either stand up in front of the congregation and admit failure, or raise the money herself.

Alyce harbors a secret passion for speed and automobiles. It’s 1916, and the latest advancements in car engines allow some to post speeds upwards of seventy miles per hour! When she discovers her father’s company has sponsored a racing car that will compete in several upcoming events–races in which the driver will be paid and could win as much as five thousand dollars in prize money–she conspires with her father’s mechanic, Webster, to secretly train and compete.

But as Alyce comes across needs in her own community, money slips through her fingers faster than she can earn it. And when her friends cast aspersions on Webster’s past, she believes she might have trusted the wrong man with her secret. Will Alyce come up with the money in time, or will she have to choose between her promise and the man who holds a piece of her heart?

Come back Sept 19th for Anne’s tale of a romantic gesture that brought her to tears!

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