Anne Mateer – Real Life Romance – Part 2 of 2

Shannon here: Historical romance author, Anne Mateer shares her proposal story and a chance to win her latest release, Playing by Heart. Comment or answer a question at the end of the post to enter the drawing. Deadline: Oct 18th, 11:59 pm central time. Here’s Anne:

Anne Mateer engagementAnne Mateer & hubbyPlaying by Heart by Anne Mateer

The Proposal

It all started a few weeks before the actual event. I had just transferred to my boyfriend’s college after we’d spent the previous school year corresponding via letters and phone calls. (The old fashioned, expensive way!) The leaves turned brilliant shades of red and orange and the air turned crisp and cool. Having hoarded his summer salary, my boyfriend and I had looked occasionally at rings in jewelry stores, winking diamonds in glass cases under bright lights. But one day he took me to another place, to a dilapidated little building in that college town. A jeweler that had come highly recommended. We rode to the second floor in an old elevator complete with the metal gate to pull across before it would operate.

The elevator opened to a plain room, just one wooden counter, a gray-haired man smiling behind it. We want to look at engagement rings, we told him. I want a solitaire, I explained. He nodded, asked a few questions, and realized we knew absolutely nothing. Instead of showing us pre-made rings, he brought out several loose diamonds, differing shapes and sizes, and explained the nuances and pricing of each. He didn’t carry inventory. He created it. A few minutes later, we thanked him and left.

My then boyfriend and I didn’t mention the visit between us again. In one sense, we’d learned a ton from the experienced old jeweler. And yet it seemed a little overwhelming. Why not just pick a ring from a velvet nest under glass?

A few weeks later, the first Tuesday night in that November of 1986, we settled in to watch election returns. (My man not only followed politics then, he aspired to them.) I can’t remember how the conversation turned, but at one point he excused himself and went upstairs. A few minutes after he returned, he told me he had something for me in his shirt pocket.

A marquise-shaped diamond solitaire ring, hand-crafted by the old man.

He asked. I answered.

We called our parents, went out for Chinese food, and stunned his roommates with our news when they returned.

Not a lavish proposal story, to be sure. And one that, in my youth, I remembered with a twinge of envy for those with more ornate stories. But looking back 28 years later, I see that moment was so us. Private. Understated. Planned for, but not scheduled. And in the surroundings of our normal life.

And after all, isn’t that really the best kind of romance?

Question 1: What was your proposal like—ornate or mundane? If you aren’t yet married, what is your dream proposal like?

Question 2: Have you ever played any kind of sport?

About Anne: Anne Mateer loves bringing history to life through fiction. She is the author of four historical novels as well as a contemporary short story to be included in this fall’s Cup of Christmas Cheer II. Anne and her husband have been married 27 years. They live in Texas and are the parents of three young adults, all still looking for their own true life romance. Learn more and connect:     

About the book – Playing by Heart: Lula Bowman has finally achieved her dream: a teaching position and a scholarship to continue her college education in mathematics. But then a shocking phone call from her sister, Jewel, changes everything.

With a heavy heart, Lula returns to her Oklahoma hometown to do right by her sister, but the only teaching job available in Dunn is combination music instructor/basketball coach. Lula doesn’t even consider those real subjects!

Determined to prove herself, Lula commits to covering the job for the rest of the school year. Reluctantly, she turns to the boys’ coach, Chet, to learn the newfangled game of basketball. Chet is handsome and single, but Lula has no plans to fall for a local boy. She’s returning to college and her scholarship as soon as she gets Jewel back on her feet.

However, the more time she spends around Jewel’s family, the girls’ basketball team, music classes, and Chet, the more Lula comes to realize what she’s given up in her single-minded pursuit of degree after degree. God is working on her heart, and her future is starting to look a lot different than she’d expected.

Come back Oct 10th for Linda Wood Rondeau!

12 Responses to “Anne Mateer – Real Life Romance – Part 2 of 2”

  • My husband knew he was going to marry me from the first time he saw me my first week of high school. He waited a year and half to ask me out. We dated for three months, but it got too serious so I bowed out. We stayed friends, he went off into the Navy, and I finally went off to college. He had seen me through many rough years at home and on one of our numerous long distance calls, somehow it got thrown out into the conversation about him loving me from the beginning. We always love to banter so I said something to the effect of he’d never know unless he asked. So he asked, and I said yes. Two months later, at Christmas, I was on a plane from Florida to Hawaii where he was stationed. He gave me my ring in the airport. It has been 12 years now, and I wouldn’t trade him for the world.

  • Amanda says:

    not married so I’ll answer #2: I am currently on a volleyball team but sprained my ankle in the game on Monday night. I feel like I’m getting too old to play but I’m not giving up 🙂

  • Bonnie Wilt says:

    There have to be fans out there crying. I knew your engagement story and I still cried. Love you to the moon and back.

  • Shannon, I loved your engagement story. I had a similar experience. My then boyfriend took me to a jeweler in his hometown in Illinois when we were visiting his parents. The jeweler showed us loose diamonds and talked about designs. We left and went back to Cincinnati where we both lived. A few months later, my boyfriend took me out to dinner and proposed. I said yes, and he gave me the diamond solitaire in the ring the jeweler had designed.

  • Sorry, Anne. I confused the names.

  • Lis K says:

    My proposal story was similar to yours (watching TV, him leaving and returning with ring, he asked, I answered). And I have to admit that I did feel a twinge of envy also when I heard about other elaborate proposals. But I like your view that the proposal fit who you were as a couple. That gives me a different way to look at my proposal story. Thanks for sharing!

  • Shelia Hall says:

    My marriage proposal was different! We were watching a horror film on Feb.13 &he looked at me and let’s just get married! Not very romantic for sure!

  • Anne Mateer says:

    Thanks for chiming in, y’all! I love all your stories–each so fun in their own ways! I do think my generation didn’t have quite the elaborate proposals that they do now. My sons even had more elaborate ways to ask dates to homecoming and prom than my husband did to ask me to marry him! 🙂 Times change, but it’s all good.

    And Amanda, take care of that ankle. 🙂

  • Martha says:

    My proposal story is so weird and unromantic that I will spare you! I love to read other people’s though!

    As far as playing a sport…not really! I have always loved playing running games, but a good game of kick ball or sometimes baseball was the closest I got to really being good at it.

  • Heather S says:

    I’m not married, but my dream proposal would be something really romantic like on a moonlit river cruise or on the beach at sunset or something like that. 🙂

    I’ve played a few sports such as volleyball and basketball but I don’t think I’m very good at them or at sports in general.

    Thanks for the giveaway!

  • I’m a romantic at heart, so I love hearing all these stories! I think I’d want a private proposal … I haven’t really thought about it, but nothing too elaborate. But I have thought about a ring –something delicate looking, not too fancy and I don’t think it has to be a diamond. I’m open to other possibilities –I think Laura Ingalls Wilder did it for me (Almanzo gave her a garnet and pearl engagement ring). I loved Little House books as a girl.

    Thanks for the chance to win –“Playing by Heart” sounds adorable … the beginning of basketball? I think you’re the first in the Christian fiction market to feature that!

  • stvannatter says:

    I have a winner! Jessica White won the drawing. I appreciate Anne for being my guest and everyone else for stopping by.

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