Well, there’s a story to be told here…this is the copper rose box I made for my wife’s engagement ring. I gave it (with the ring) to her on a fine and snowy Thanksgiving morning when we were visiting her family in Connecticut. We were on our way out to run an errand, and I told her I wanted to show her a flower that was growing through the snow back behind the old red barn. It was a magnificent morning…brilliant sunlight and blue, blue sky…the barn in perfect contrast to the fresh snow and the rugged old stone wall supporting it. So we picked our way through the snow and over the path that led down behind the barn, to a spot so familiar to my wife, but a whole new world to me. I reached into the crack in the wall where I had earlier hid my treasure, and pulled out this box. It was engraved with a message wishing Catherine a happy Thanksgiving and a wish for many, many more together. It took her a moment to realize that this small sculpture was a box with something inside. She removed the lid and found the ring that we had chosen together a month earlier. Now it was set with the prettiest diamond I could find, and she knew that I wasn’t just wishing her a happy Thanksgiving. Here’s where things diverted from the storybook tale I’d pictured…she jumped up and down, and said that she couldn’t yet say yes. She wasn’t ready. I took back the box, replaced the ring and lid, and we continued on our errand, completely deflated and not knowing what to do next.
Ugh. Her family knew of my plans to propose. So there we were, in snowy Connecticut, with her family, for the entire long weekend. Catherine told me very soon after the whole back-of-the-barn episode to ask her again. But still, it was a difficult day. Thanksgiving dinner…difficult. Next day…difficult. But we got through it. Friday night, out for dinner at the local pizza joint with Catherine’s parents and crazy uncle Frank, we were sitting across from each other. We’d put in our order, and it seemed like a good time…again. So I reached into the pocket of my jacket, pulled out the rose and plunked it down on the table in front of her. She was much more excited this time, but insisted that we go outside for at least the semblance of privacy. So there, outside of Angelina’s pizza restaurant, with her family watching from the table and the restaurant full of soccer moms wondering what was going on, I proposed again, and she said YES.
We revel in this story a bit, because it tells the story of our life together. The fairy tale version didn’t pan out because life just isn’t that way. Our life together is imperfect, difficult, sometimes messy, probably never exactly what we had pictured. And that’s why it is so darn good…because it’s REAL.
So that’s the story of our box, and about the beginning of our life together. I got a call a few months ago from a Russian guy who was living in Los Angeles. He needed a copper rose box. He was planning to meet his Russian girlfriend in Florence, Italy, and wanted to propose to her on the Ponte Vecchio. He was dashing, she was gorgeous, and the whole thing sounded very glamorous and romantic. I sent him a few pieces of copper and told him where he might buy an engraving tool, so that he could engrave the bottom of their box (I didn’t feel confident that I could engrave Cyrillic letters). He returned the engraved piece to me and I used it for the bottom of the rose. We heard from him a few weeks later…she had said, “Yes,” the first time he asked, there on the bridge. I’m glad it worked out that way for them…that’s their story, and I was really happy to be a part of it.
Everyone has their own story…that’s what makes each so unique and so great.