Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Popping The Question

Almost every little girl dreams of growing up, meeting her Prince Charming one day, falling madly in love and hearing that oh-so-special question, “Will you marry me?” I, however, was a tomboy growing up and had decided I wouldn’t marry until I was in my 30s. I never really thought I was that attractive to men anyway, although I craved attention from them.

Needless to say, marriage proposals did come my way…often. I married at nineteen. I married at twenty-six. I married at thirty-five. I married at forty-six, and I married at forty-eight. And, I’ve heard that “special question” even more times than the five proposals that ended in marriage.

The first time I received a marriage proposal was when I was seventeen years old. He was twenty-six, and when he asked me to marry him, I said “yes”, because I thought no one else would ever ask me again. (Oh heck, I always said yes.) I couldn’t understand why my mother wasn’t happy about it. I mean, wasn’t that what girls were “supposed” to do, grow up and get married? As a teenager, my self-esteem was very low. I’m just glad I didn’t go through with it.

Another boyfriend asked me to marry him when I was about twenty-three. He bought me the big, beautiful diamond engagement ring, but we never seemed to agree on when to marry, and after all, he was a bizarre psychotic alcoholic. So, in the end, of course, I couldn’t marry him. Whew! Another near miss!

At thirty-two, I met a musician, who also owned a catfish restaurant (now, that was a plus), who also wanted to marry me. We were going to have a Cajun-style marriage party, with his buddies from the band playing for us and his best friend cooking the crawfish √©touffe√©. Yet, three weeks from the wedding date, I still hadn’t mailed the invitations, and, in retrospect, I am grateful I didn’t follow through.

The first time I traveled to meet Hubby #5, I was proposed to by the United Airlines skycap, who checked in my bags at 5:30 A.M. An older black man, he asked if the amethyst ring on my left finger was an engagement ring. “No”, I replied, “I’m not married.” “Pretty woman like you, not married?” he said. “Well, would you marry me?!” I beamed my best smile, laughed and said, “You just made my day. That’s the first marriage proposal I’ve received today.” I definitely had my groove on that day.

This past Sunday, I attended a potluck dinner for the single adults at my church. I called my mother for her Chicken Salad recipe, which I knew was easy and yummy. As I suspected would be the case, there was no chicken salad left to take home after the dinner. Following the potluck, we heard from a wonderful speaker and his wife, who I just happened to know. And, when the speaker concluded, a short, balding older man stood up and asked in a very serious voice, “Who made the chicken salad in the glass bowl with the red top?” I raised my hand, thinking he must want the recipe or that someone might’ve keeled over with food poisoning. As his eyes settled on me, he excitedly asked, “Would you marry me?!!” Everyone began to laugh. I think I turned red. Later, as we were filing out of the room, I walked up to the would-be suitor and said, “I’d be glad to give you the RECIPE”, which of course meant, “Cook it yourself.” Looks like I’ve learned to say “no” in my own special way.

If you are a single woman in the market for a husband, below is my mother’s recipe for chicken salad. Be careful who you serve this to!

Glenda’s Chicken Salad
o 1 whole chicken, de-boned and diced
o Bunch of red grapes, cleaned and cut in half
o 1 cup of pecan halves
o 4 stalks celery, sliced
o 1-1 ½ cups mayonnaise
o ½ - ⅔ cup sour cream
o ¼ cup sugar (to taste)
o ½ - 1 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper (to taste)

1. Cover the chicken with water in a large pot and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and continue to boil chicken on medium low heat for 1 ½ hours. Let chicken cool. De-bone the chicken and dice into bite-sized pieces. (Save the broth and freeze for your favorite chicken soup recipe later.)
2. Combine chicken, grapes, pecans and celery in large bowl.
3. In a separate bowl, whisk mayonnaise, sour cream, sugar and pepper until thoroughly combined and smooth.
4. Pour dressing over the chicken mixture and toss to coat.

Some women collect dolls. It seems I collect marriage proposals. However, getting a marriage proposal is not necessarily all it’s cracked up to be. I mean, I can get a man hooked, but I just can’t seem to keep ‘em. And, I’m not sure I should’ve “hooked” any one of the men I said “yes” to anyway. Knowing when and how to say “no” is just as important as knowing when to say “yes”, because Prince Charming really is worth waiting for.

Know When To Say No, Y'all!

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