Bart Folstadt

It all started with a phone call from a friend… He had just returned from a wedding and would not shut up about how this beautiful girl that he had met was my soul mate. Everything that she said made him think of me. It got to the point that he was looking for the camera crew to jump out and say this was all a joke and he was on candid television. I am a “One of a kind” type of guy and my wife is most definitely “One of a kind”.

I messaged her via Facebook, and after months of waiting, I finally got a reply. We began emailing back and forth. Night after night I looked forward to her letters. I was overseas at the time and our daily communications became the highlight of my time away. We poured our hearts out to each other and fell in love without ever having met. Photos and our daily letters were all it took. She had my heart.

As my time to come home grew near, it was obvious that meeting this marvellous woman was the number one priority on my list. I still to this day don’t always believe that she is real.

Our courting progressed rapidly and everything was beyond magical as we grew closer together. I am not the fairy tale kind of guy, but this was a fairy tale! We met the families; we made weekend getaways and spent every minute that we could together. She actually snuck me into a girls’ weekend out, claiming that it was a mere coincidence that I happened to be at the same concert, out of town and 250 miles from my house. It was a beautiful situation, and that night sealed our fate. She had complete control of her world and fielded her friends’ curve balls with grace and elegance. As the night progressed, I knew that this was the girl that I would marry. At three o’clock that morning, we shared our first kiss and it was the only occasion in my entire life that a kiss gave me goose bumps. That serendipitous moment will live with me forever.

Fast forward 3 months and the planning began. I had this elaborate plan to propose to her but as I worked overseas, no vendors back home would work with me. Helicopter pilots laughed, catering crews asked if I was serious, then they laughed etc. It became obvious that I could not make this happen while I was overseas but I wanted to propose so badly it stung! I got wind that she liked a particular ring and jewellers laughed at me when I explained my circumstances from overseas. Well, I finally got a hold of Debbie, with Shannon Fine Jewelry. After multiple international phone calls, and a plethora of emails, we had the ring picked out. Now all we had to do was have this blasted thing made, get a rock picked out, and have it all ready by my special date. Debbie moved mountains to have the ring rushed through Simon G. She took diamonds out of inventory and reserved several for me and made it all come together with style. I almost had a heart attack when I saw it for the first time, then I realized it was just blinding me with brilliance. This was definitely the ring that belonged on hand of the most beautiful lady in all the land.

Ring in place and 3 days to spare, I had to hustle; and try to keep my plans a secret from a woman who knows everything and no man has ever successfully kept a secret from. The task was immense but I was going to make this happen. I wanted to spend the rest of my life with this Princess, and I was going to give her the very best that I could deliver!

The tension between us was so thick that you could cut it with a knife. She dislikes surprises passionately and I would not tell what we were doing Friday night. She is a master interrogator and I skirted through the tortures by the skin of my teeth and my anticipation was stressful enough to cause a receding hairline.

When the black car pulled up in front of the house, I sighed as though the weight of the world was lifted from my shoulders; on the other hand, a new anticipation quickly took the place of my anxiety. Off to the airfield we went with nothing but a purse and billfold between us. She was beyond radiant that evening. I’ll never forget the outfit that she wore.

As we flew by the East side of downtown, Rick let us in on the radio chatter between him and the towers, and let us visit a bit. As we neared the beach, I could not contain myself any more. My palms were sweaty, my heart was higher than the helicopter and the rest of my life was a single question away. I informed Rick that I had to know something before he attempted this “guaranteed landing” of his. I looked into the eyes of my Princess and said, “In case this guy crash lands, I won’t die happy unless I know if you will marry me?”

The way that she said yes, the way her voice was full of love and sincere confidence brought tears to my eyes as I slipped the ring on her finger and we shared our first kiss as an engaged couple.

Rick made a smooth landing and we hopped into another black car that took us to the hotel. But I had another surprise up my sleeve. We dropped the purse in our room, and to her surprise, I had all our bathroom essentials (by name brand from our bathroom at home), ready and waiting with changes of clothing and pyjamas to boot.

I escorted her down the balcony staircase and we made our way through the sand dunes on the wooden pathway to the waterfront. As we arrived, an open air tent draped with white curtains awaited. To one side of the tent, our personal chef for the evening sat ready cook. Our meal was accompanied by a sweet white wine that makes my mouth water when I nostalgically recall its taste. The view that I had for the meal was extravagant. My Princess, framed in white curtains in the foreground with a pristine view of the beach, with white caps cresting the blue waves on the as the backdrop was stellar. That image will be etched in my mind for eternity. Her smile and genuine happiness that evening have melted my heart forever.

Here we are a year later and the honey moon is in full swing! In fact, the biggest problem that I have right now is picking out an anniversary gift! Perhaps Debbie has a suggestion?

I love my life and I love my wife! Two things that more men should be able to say, however, I am proud to make the statements in full confidence that these sentiments will echo forever…

-Bart Folstadt