Saturday, September 20, 2008

Putting A Big Shiny Rock On My Lady's Finger (Part 3): A Nevin Barich Blog Experience

(Nevdogg Note: On Saturday, Aug. 30, I asked my longtime girlfriend Ramona to marry me, and — no doubt blinded by the size of the ring I got her — she said yes. :-) But when it comes to proposing marriage, it’s not just about getting on your knee and saying, "Well?" No, there’s more to it than that. So much so that this is the third of a three-part blog series on how I officially put myself on the path to engagementhood. Part 1 can be read here, and Part 2 can be read here.)

I'm a romantic. It's just my nature. Some guys are romantic. Some guys aren't. Some guys are good at making women's hearts melt. Some guys crash and burn. I'm a romantic. I know how to melt.

So in my mind, the stakes were high as I planned to propose marriage to my longtime girlfriend Ramona. See, in many respects this is where non-romantic guys have an advantage. They don't have to do much to make the moment special. Just take the girl to a nice restaurant or a beach, make sure you look good, say I love you, get on your knee and pop the question. The girl will love it not because it's a great proposal, but because they don't expect the non-romantic guy to do anything romantic and are stunned to see their guy do something remotely romantic and not screw it up.

Women with non-romantic guys know what I'm talking about.

But for guys like me, it's not as easy. Doing a generic proposal just won't do. Oh sure, most women will say, "She'll love it no matter what." That's just a bunch of crap and you know it. I can read between the lines, ladies. When a guy is romantic, you expect romantic moments to be more romantic. Your expectations are heightened. It's just a fact.

And thus, a few weeks ago, I embarked upon a marriage proposal that had to accomplish two critical things:

1) It had to be the most romantic thing I had ever done (not an easy thing to do for a guy who once spelled "I love you" in roses. Which, surprisingly, isn't as hard as it sounds.)

And 2) It had to be better than all her other friends' proposals.

Yeah ladies, I know you want to outshine your friends. It's OK. :-)

Neither was going to be easy to do, and admittedly, it took me a while to think of something special. But then I came up with something to seemed to work pretty well. For the women reading this, seethe with jealousy and longing. For the guys reading this, when your woman reads this and later tells you she liked your proposal better...

...she's lying.


With that said:

I began Aug. 30 by taking Ramona to her favorite breakfast spot, Bobby's Coffee Shop in Woodland Hills. It's good food, it's cheap and she loves it. Nevdogg romance rule No. 47: If she loves it, simplicity is complex enough.

Write that down.

After a good hearty cheese omelette, I treated Ramona to a three-hour spa package at a cute little salon/spa place not too far from our apartment in Northridge. And as she enjoyed a eucalyptus steam, aromatherapy facial, and some type of mud...thing, I went to work.

I had decided to propose in our apartment, since we don't have a special place or spot. Nevdogg romance rule No. 65: Don't force anything.

Write that down.

So after picking up a dozen red and a dozen white roses, I went back to the apartment, cleaned up and did the following:

---Laid out a dozen of the roses on the living room floor one-by-one, alternating between red and white.

---Put a little love note at each flower (I'm a writer, after all).

---And made sure the flowers led to the ring.

Nevdogg romance rule No. 73: Presentation is key.

Write that down.

Then, after I picked Ramona up and gave her a little bracelet (to throw her off the track, in case she suspected anything), I saw that it was 4:45 p.m. I really didn't want to propose in the mid-afternoon. It just didn't feel right. Besides, it went against Nevdogg romance rule No. 79: Romantic moments should occur in the evening.

Write that down.

So I got her a gift card and took her shopping, which she loves and I hate (thus showing how much I love her by being willing to do something that makes me want to kill myself. Nevdogg romance rule No. 87: It's the little things that matter. Write that down). After we spent an hour or so shopping, it was after 6 p.m. (thus, the evening) and I made it seem like we were going to dinner.

"Oh dang," I said when we got to the car, "I forgot something at home. Can we swing by real quick?"

"Sure," my soon-to-be fiancee replied.

When we got to our parking garage, I had Ramona wait in the car, to make it seem like I'd only be a few seconds. But instead, after rushing inside to make sure the flowers were still alive (I had another dozen in the fridge just in case), I called Ramona on her cell.

"You know what, babe," I said, "just come in. I'll be a few minutes."

And, like a deer to headlights, Ramona got to the apartment door, read a little note on the door that explained what to do...

...and the rest worked itself.


Nevdogg romance rule No. 95: The element of surprise: Use it.

Write that down.

And this is how I know this was a proposal for the ages:

A few days ago, I was getting my hair cut courtesy of my good friends at Over The Rainbow in Northridge when I told the engagement story to a number of women of all ages. They all oooohed and ahhhed and "can you tell this to my husband so he can be more romantic."

If you can impress the women at the beauty salon, you did well.

I'm making that Nevdogg romance rule No. 107.

I wrote it down.

And now for this week's:


According to my stat tracker, has been read in 48 countries.

Including Iran!!

And that Iranian president says he hates Jews.

Such a kidder.


Another Suburban Mom said...

That is soooo romantic. I have a smidge of a crush on you now Nev. Mazel Tov to you and Ramona!

Things That Matter With Mike And Nev said...

Now wait a second here. There are 107 Nevin rules of romance. And you're supposedly a writer, right? I see a book in your future...

Amber said...

Nice work Nev!

So when does the bachelor party planning committee commence?

Stephanie said...


Ramona said...


it's hard to believe, after this three-part series, but Nev actually left something out.

No, two things.

1. I said ``Yes!'' over and over, like a million times

2. We ate chili dogs afterwards :)

Anonymous said...

My fiance did pretty good too! It was my happy place and a total surprise! He even made sure my friend and the Disney photographer were there to capture the moment!

I wouldn't mind the spa treatments though.... you can feel free to tell him I said that! :)
~Amber J