A week before I asked my wife to marry me, I took a long lunch break and flew from DC to Ohio to ask her father’s blessing over Italian sandwiches.
It was like any other day in DC. My then girlfriend and I got up, got dressed and ready for the day. I’d told her the night before that I would be involved in an all-day review at work and wouldn’t be able to talk.
I dropped her off at her like normal, but then headed straight to Reagan National Airport.
A short flight later, I was in Ohio. After renting a car, I went and picked up my future father-in-law at his practice and went out to lunch. As we sat down, he folded his arms across his chest with a puzzled expression on his face.
He still had blood on his scrubs from his last surgery as we sat across from each other in the busy Italian deli.
As a few long seconds of silence ticked by, he finally asked “So what brings you to Ohio? For lunch today?” A month before this, I’d sent him an unmarked letter to his office saying I’d pick him up for lunch on this date and please don’t say anything about it to anyone.
Figuring there was no reason to beat around the bush, I dove straight in.
“Well, I’m in love with your daughter, and I plan to ask for her to marry me on top of the United States Capitol Building next Tuesday at high noon and I came to ask for your blessing.”
He let an uncomfortable number of seconds drip by (arms still crossed, blood still on scrubs btw) before his expression softened and he almost yelled out with a huge grin, “That’s Great! Why didn’t you just call me instead?!?”
Some conversations need to happen in person. I’m glad that was one of them.