Marriage Week 2017: Our stories

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(Photo: Pexels)

When boy meets girl . . . and proposes. Four Adventist Media staff members share their relationship story.

This post is part of National Marriage Week 2017—for more great content, follow Adventist Record on Facebook.

Kent & Miriam

Signs of the Times associate editor Kent Kingston and his wife Miriam.

Miriam and I met in high school—Prescott College in Adelaide, I’d just transferred from Victoria—when I was in Year 10 and she was in Year 9. I think one of our early encounters was playing handball, but my series of smart remarks and witty comebacks got her so annoyed—she actually ended up blowing a big raspberry in my face! At that point, I just took off my glasses and wiped them on my shirt, and that just irritated her even more—but also really impressed her that I reacted so calmly.

I realised Miriam was definitely in the top shelf of prettiest girls in the school—I really liked her—so in the second half of the year, when I realised she walked home much the same route I did to get home, I decided I wouldn’t ride my bike anymore, I’d walk! We officially got together on October 27, 1989. I’d just turned 15, and she was 14.

How I asked

Almost five years into our relationship, Miriam had been putting a bit of pressure on me . . . as ladies do! I had a bit of a timetable in my head of when I wanted to do things—I did want to get married for sure—but I think perhaps I may have asked a little earlier than I’d planned.

One evening we went for a drive up into the Adelaide Hills, and I pulled over on the side of a dark country road. Miriam was, naturally, a little skeptical, but I’d already scouted out the area and knew that there was a stile on the fence—a little step. So we climbed over, and onto this big paddock on the side of a hill—Anstey Hill—one that overlooked the city. You could see the city lights all the way down and around the northeast of Adelaide.

And there, I dropped to one knee and asked if she’d be my wife. Her response? “I’ll think about it!” This, I think, was her power play—just leaving me dangling for a little while! But basically within five minutes she’d officially said yes.

In April, we celebrated our 21st wedding anniversary. Our marriage has officially come of age.

Dora & Chaan

Adventist Record graphic designer Dora Amuimuia and fiancé Chaan.

My cousin didn’t want to attend a housewarming party alone so I tagged along. It ended up being Chaan’s housewarming party. There wasn’t really a spark or anything—he got my number off someone and started texting me, so romantic! But we definitely developed a friendship first. We could talk about anything and everything and always spent hours on the phone.

How he asked

Long story short, he made me run for it—haha.

It was January 3, 2016. We were in the car driving home from a family dinner and Chaan blurted out, “I think we should go for a run”. I’m sitting in the passenger seat getting all self conscious cause it’s like 9:30pm—it’s dark and I’ve just eaten three plates of taro and chicken. I’m thinking, OK, what is he trying to say? Am I getting fat? I hear myself saying, “OK yeah let’s do it”, and see a surprised look on his face.

So we get changed into gym clothes and jumped back in the car. As we are about to leave Chaan says he forgot his watch with a stopwatch on it and has to run back in to get it. So he goes back in and takes about 10-15min.

We get to Sydney Olympic Park and he has mapped out a course for us to complete: zig zag sprint uphill, walk down four flights of stairs, then a 500m jog up a hill then back down the stairs. He made me do this four times! I was dying. By the end of the fourth set I’m making my way towards the car park, when Chaan stops me and says that we should finish off with a run up the Treillage Tower (four storeys of stairs).

At this point, I was so over this exercise thing. I mean, we’d just had two weeks of Christmas and holiday food—my body was in shock! I somehow had enough breath left to say OK. By now it was close to 11pm and the staircase for the tower had been gated off on two levels. Chaan starts off in front of me and races up the stairs—he gets to the first gate, jumps onto the railing and around the gate, and then HE KEEPS RUNNING! He doesn’t help me over the railing. I drag myself over and then keep going. Chaan gets to the second gate . . . and again, keeps going—he doesn’t even look back!

By this stage, annoyed doesn’t begin to cut it—I was thinking, how rude! This guy needs to learn some manners! Well, I’d had enough. I stopped running and stomped my way to the top. When I finally got there—I took my sweet time—I saw this shadow kneeling. It took me a second, but I saw the sparkle. I’m not sure if Chaan said anything but all of a sudden I got my energy back and I raced over and snatched the ring out of his hand, jumping around and screaming yes! I had been waiting a while for this moment—seven years, actually! 

Back in the car I realised Chaan wasn’t wearing his watch. He then told me he forgot the ring in the house and had to make an excuse to go back in and get it!

Wayne & Carol

Hope Channel South Pacific director Pastor Wayne Boehm and his wife Carol.

We met at Avondale College. Carol was a keen squash player and she was friends with one of my brother’s mates. Actually, my brother’s mate was going out with Carol’s best friend—I know, complicated stuff. Anyway, I was out with my brother one day, and lo and behold, Carol walked out with her best friend. That was my first sighting of Carol, and it really stood out to me, but I was only a first year College student—Carol was fourth year. Never do those two meet and associate!

After finishing, Carol picked up a job at Lilydale Adventist Academy (now Edinburgh College, Vic) as a girl’s dean. But as it just so happened, I was doing a year of volunteer at the same school as a boy’s dean. So we had a lot more to do with each other! Each night, other teachers would come and give us an hour relief, and so we had that hour as spare time. So we just ended up talking. Eventually, all the kids started seeing us hanging out and started to pick up on the fact that there was something happening. We weren’t even going out at this stage, but there was definitely a friendship developing. On the weekends we’d head to places like Philip Island with friends to check out the penguins, or skiing with other friends, and then it started to become more apparent that there was something more to our friendship. I asked her out on October 14, 1991. And the rest is history.

How I asked

Carol said I took too long!

I had to go back to College to finish my studies, but Carol was still working in Melbourne. After three years of dating, it got to the “now or never” point, and it was never going to be never, so we had to make it now! We went for a drive up towards Mt Buller. She’d packed a picnic lunch, and we found a little spot up a bush track overlooking the snow capped mountains. It was freezing cold, but a beautiful day. I’d put the engagement ring on the end of a very long ribbon, and I said to her, “here, pull this.” She started pulling on the ribbon, and all this ribbon just kept on coming, and then finally, at the end of the ribbon was the ring. I was on one knee at this point—it was a big surprise, and obviously she said yes. More than 20 years later she’s still saying yes.

Maritza & Daniel

Adventist Record assistant editor Maritza Brunt and husband Dan.

Dan and I met when I was in Year 10 and he was in Year 11. He’d just moved over from New Zealand, and had joined our Pathfinder Club, introduced by a mutual friend. It was puppy love at first sight—I invited him to my 15th birthday party the week after we met, and we became fast friends.

However, as with most things that age, it wasn’t to be. We both dated other people for a few years, broke each other’s young hearts in between, and eventually decided we were sick of the rollercoaster ride we’d been on. We’d remained great friends throughout all those years, but decided to give dating a go, hoping it wouldn’t ruin our friendship. That was five years ago, and the rest is history.

How he asked

They say patience is a virtue, but unfortunately, it’s not one I possess. Two years into our relationship, I was beginning to wonder what was taking the guy so long. We’d been friends for the majority of our teen and young adult lives, we’d survived a year and a half of long distance—both interstate and overseas, when I moved to Brazil—and we’d already had the “marriage talk”, whereby we’d both agreed that a lifetime together was what we wanted.

On our two-year anniversary, I was sure Dan was going to propose. He didn’t. Valentine’s Day was up next. Again, no ring. The only big thing on the horizon was a trip to New Zealand for Dan’s childhood best friend’s wedding, so I was fairly certain it was going to happen there.

My suspicions were confirmed the very first day. Sitting in the passenger seat and using Dan’s phone to navigate, a message popped up on the screen from one of his friends. It read, “How’s the trip going? Are congratulations in order yet?”

I had to physically stop myself from bouncing in my seat. That evening, while Dan was talking to his relatives, I excused myself under the guise of taking a shower, but tore into his room instead. What happened next I’m slightly ashamed of, but I didn’t do a four-year Journalism degree for nothing—I patted down all Dan’s clothes and looked through his backpack, hoping to find a square box that would give me some confirmation that he’d be proposing in the next few days.

Was it wrong? Yes. But any lady who’s ever been in the position of having to wait for a guy to propose may sympathise with me. And my investigative journalism skills failed me that day anyway—I didn’t find anything. Nothing. Primarily because Dan, knowing his lady so well, also had an intuition of his own that I’d do such a thing. That’s why he took the ring box out of his backpack on the very first day and hid it in a secret compartment in the rental car.

His plan worked. I was more confused than ever, and convinced myself he wasn’t going to propose. One day, we visited the Waikato region where Dan lived. He drove us up a mountain which looked over the countryside, and we posed for a few photos at a lookout. It was beautiful, but windy and freezing, and I just wanted to get back into the warm car. Dan had other ideas, and before I knew it, he was on one knee. I couldn’t believe it. By the time we made it back to the car, I was half frozen, but the happiest girl in the world. Just over one year into marriage, I still am.

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