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June 15, 2007

My Marriage Proposal


Thirteen years ago today I proposed to my wife, the then-Kristine Blauser, in my newspaper column in the Fresno Bee. It was one day before the first anniversary of our first official date; we got married one day and two years after our first official date. If you add that up you'll note that this means we have a three-day anniversary festival every year. This comes in handy; for example, this year, when Krissy and I are going out and about tonight to celebrate our life together. Go us.

I can't remember the last time I posted the column in which I proposed to Krissy, so I'm posting it here behind the cut, so those of you who want to avoid the schmoopy-moopyness (or alternately, the terror that was me as a 24-year-old newspaper columnist) can do so. But personally, I still like the column, both for what it says, and for the fact that I got to propose to my wife in front of a couple hundred thousand people, which is a nice trick if you can get away with it.


I Propose

Well, my girlfriend, Krissy, and I are celebrating an anniversary. One year ago tomorrow, she and I went on our first official date: June 16, 1993. Don't congratulate me for remembering. The reason I remembered is because I got my credit card statement from our first date exactly one month later. This allowed me to say to Krissy that night, "Hey, we've been dating for a month. Let's celebrate." The idea went over well, so I've been keeping track of the date ever since.

Of course, our first date was not the first time we met. We met three weeks earlier, while I was doing a story about a local disc jockey named Julie Logan. In addition to her regular duties on the air, Julie also hosted a dance party at a bar, so I went and watched her do her thing.

At some point in the evening, I decided that my story would not possibly be complete unless I tested the mood on the dance floor. So, for purely work-related reasons, I got out there and presented a distinctive style of dance that a number of my so-called friends call the "spastic chicken."

Unbeknownst to me, from across a crowded room, Krissy spied me and said to herself, "What an interesting and amusing dance style. We must dance sometime soon." We did. As it turns out, she dances exactly the way I do. Imagine, if you will, two spastic chickens jerking around this club. If Frank Perdue were in the room, he'd have had a fit.

At the end of the night, I gave Krissy my business card and told her to give me a call sometime. For this I was mocked by my so-called friends, but it made sense to me. I mean, why would this girl give me her phone number? Just because someone dances the same way you dance doesn't mean he's not, in fact, a vicious ax murderer. I'm not (not that they can prove, anyway), but even so. Also, the number on the card was my business number, so if it turned out she was the psycho, she couldn't track me to my home.

I didn't hear from her again for nearly three weeks. This made me paranoid: Maybe I'd given her someone else's card. It was possible; I keep other people's business cards in my wallet with my own. My own theory about dates is that there are a finite number of them in the universe. If I gave her someone else's card, someone else might be having the date that I was supposed to have. Now, I know this makes no sense. It's just how I think. (Like you don't have any weird theories.) As it turns out, Krissy finally got in touch with me and, one year ago, we had our first date.

I don't know that I can fully explain how having Krissy in my life has changed the way I look at the world. Perhaps the best way would be to explain that, nowadays, my life is conveniently separable into two categories: Before Krissy and With Krissy.

The Before part is in the past tense, a 24-year development period in which I gained the skills (grasping utensils, managing speech, learning to dance like a spastic chicken) that would allow me to be presentable to Krissy when we met. As for everything With Krissy, well, that's just starting.

I don't know when Krissy and I started talking about getting married, but we did. Still, we've always hedged our bets. Every time we've talked about marriage, the future, kids and so on, I've always said, "Not that I've proposed." To which she would say, "Not that I've said yes."

Well, I'm proposing now.

Kristine Ann Blauser, will you marry me?

Yes, that's right, readers, I've just proposed to my girlfriend. Really. I thought you'd like to be in on the moment.

Also, this makes it extremely difficult to back out. Not that I want to; I've bought a ring and everything. It's very nice. You should see it.

But more importantly, I love Krissy so much that I want as many people as possible to know about it.

This year has been the best year of my life. I hope to have 50 or 60 more just like it.

Posted by john at June 15, 2007 09:24 AM

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Lauren in Los Angeles | June 15, 2007 09:30 AM

Awwww! That's a great proposal. I hope you have 60 happy years still in front of you and Krissy.

Howard | June 15, 2007 09:35 AM

Very cool.

Jeff Hentosz | June 15, 2007 09:36 AM

Not schmoopy-moopy in the least. Well-played, sir. Congratulations.

Wondering, though: did Krissy accept by letter to the editor or paid advertisement?

Mfitz | June 15, 2007 09:38 AM

You are both lucky people.

Janiece | June 15, 2007 09:39 AM

Seriously, I think it's fabulous that you are so clearly grateful for your family. It's obvious you've found your bliss with Krissy, and you're not afraid to show it.

Hurray for demonstrative men, for they raise the bar for the rest.

jerry | June 15, 2007 09:48 AM

Wow, what a great story. Congrats on quite the special anniversary!

Sam Taylor | June 15, 2007 09:48 AM

Well done.

My wife and I dated long distance (Florida to Texas) for a year. We flew back and forth a lot. One time, I picked her up from the airport around midnight. When we got to the car, there was a tiny teddy bear with a ring on it's paw buckled in the passenger seat. He had a little shirt on that said, "I wuv you." or something equally sappy.

She picked up the bear and said, "Aww, he wears a ring! He looks so cute with it."

To this day, I still don't know how that bear opened the car door. ;) :D

Classy proposal, btw! You did a good job doding most of the sappiness, which (as you may be able to tell) many of us can't resist.

Jim Hall | June 15, 2007 09:51 AM

Great proposal! I hope you two have a great celebration!

Chang, for rizzle. | June 15, 2007 09:58 AM

That's very sweet. You're a good man. And she's a great lady. You are forever outmatched.

MY wife Alice finished TLC and said, "Wow. John Scalzi must really, really love his wife. He must put her and Athena through alot while writing that book."

To which I said, "Well, imagine what it's like to live with a writer only the have been published."

I was met with silence.

Steve Buchheit | June 15, 2007 10:02 AM

Happy Anniversaries!

So, did she have to take out a classified ad to reply?

Spastic chicken. That's going to keep me chuckling all day.

Steve Buchheit | June 15, 2007 10:07 AM

BTW, 13 is a very lucky number is Norse Mythos, I think it's Freya's number (but I'd have to check that).

And are we changing Lace (13th anniversary gift) to Blog Post?

Bookninja | June 15, 2007 10:08 AM

My wife Carol and I will be celebrating our 6th wedding anniversary on June 16th. But my proposal was at a bar after getting pretty drunk. She accepted even before I promised to propose again in the morning when sober. First date anniversary is in November and that one is a little more romantic.

When to propose? When every positive future has your partner in it. When I couldn't imagine a happy future without my wife, I proposed.

Amanda | June 15, 2007 10:16 AM

That's so cute, and quite original. How many people can actually do that?

Congratulations on your years and accomplishments together and may you have many, many, many more. My folks are celebrating their 32nd anniversary this summer. Time flies when you're having fun!

Christian | June 15, 2007 10:22 AM

Dammit John, would you just stop being so great for a few minutes? Please? I hate it when you make the rest of us guys look bad [sigh]...

Super Congrats to the both of ya!

Natalie | June 15, 2007 10:25 AM

Awwwww. Congratulations! Does Athena also dance like a spastic chicken?

I'm also glad to see that me and my husband aren't the only ones who celebrate multiple anniversaries: yesterday was the 9th anniversary of our first date and we went to dinner to celebrate.

Jeri Merrell | June 15, 2007 10:28 AM

Awwww.... how utterly romantic and meaningful!

Very gracefully done. You may dance like a spastic chicken, but you propose like a Shakespeare hero! :)

Thank you for sharing this slice of your life.

Steve Buchheit | June 15, 2007 10:30 AM

Natalie, my wife hold our fist date anniversary as our REAL anniversary. That wedding thing was only a speed bump.

And sorry, John, I had a brain fart. This would be your 12th wedding anniversary, which would mean replacing Silk/Linen with Blog post.

Adam Rakunas | June 15, 2007 10:42 AM

I can has hanky now?

Shara Saunsaucie | June 15, 2007 11:00 AM

That is completely and totally awesome. Congrats on the anniversary. :)

Annalee Flower Horne | June 15, 2007 11:04 AM

wow, that's just adorable.

Andrew L | June 15, 2007 11:06 AM

There are countless awkward, graceless, embarrassing ways to publicly propose marriage to that special someone.

This is not one of them.

Congratulations to both of you, and many happy returns. (All three of you, really -- Athena has shown most uncommon wisdom in her choice of parents.)

Alex | June 15, 2007 11:23 AM

Sweet, and happy anniversary!

Did she read the column first thing that morning or was there a week of awkwardness before she got around to it?

Jim Wright | June 15, 2007 11:31 AM

Gak! It's like being in a room with a bunch of kittens and cat lovers. The "Awwwwwww" noises are giving me stomach cramps, ya bunch of sissies.

I once gave my wife a rock hammer for our anniversary, she once gave me a Colt 1911A1 .45 pistol. Man, I love that woman. (She's an amateur geologist and rock hound, which explains the hammer. Plus there were other gifts, I'm not that big a smuck). And I'm not sure which one of us proposed to the other, which went something like "Hey, let's get our friends and go down to the courthouse." "Okay, let me put on a clean T-shirt first..."

But, you, proposing in the newspaper, dude, that's like crazy romantic. So, congratulations, or whatever the proper Hallmark salutation is.

J | June 15, 2007 11:37 AM

Wow. Well done. Glad you two live such a wonderful life together. Nice guys like you deserve lovely wives like her.

Nathan | June 15, 2007 11:41 AM


An added benefit to having proposed in the newspaper is that it prepared Krissy for all this blogging nonsense.

Gina Black | June 15, 2007 11:48 AM

Major awwwwww.

Pablo Defendini | June 15, 2007 11:51 AM

Congratulations, Scalzis!

Dan | June 15, 2007 12:04 PM

Damn allergies. People are now going to think this made me all weepy and whatnot. I suppose I should go check the HEPA filter on the air conditioner. I just cleaned the thing last week, but apparently, I didn't do a good enough job.

Sweet story, by the way. I'm glad you two found one another, and may your future together be well, wild and wonderful. Enjoy your anniversary.

PixelFish | June 15, 2007 12:04 PM

Yes, finish the story....how did she answer you? (I mean, we know she said yes, but when and how?)

I love hearing how people got together. (Someday I'm going to screw up my courage and ask how PNH and TNH met.)

John Scalzi | June 15, 2007 12:11 PM


They collided at a shopping mall. Parcels everywhere!

Krissy read the proposal that morning and said yes after I got down on one knee and presented the ring. Pretty simple.

ordinarygirl | June 15, 2007 12:15 PM


I still remember when my husband proposed to me and it is still the happiest day of my life. And the bonus is that it was on my best friend's birthday, so I'll always remember both.

Ewan | June 15, 2007 12:34 PM

I like telling this story, so:

Nothing exceptional about my proposal, really (and yes, we celebrate proposal day, first-date day*, and wedding day); but it was at our then-favourite restaurant (C&O, in Charlottesville). Back then they had a formal dining room upstairs, and we were the only customers. I was waiting for the moment, and it had kinda arrived just as the waiter came to ask about dessert choices. I could not make a choice. Just couldn't - my brain was busy, y'know? So eventually - probably after at least 30 seconds - I ordered two. Jenny, as you might imagine, is now looking at me with the expression that reads roughly "Hmm. Is Ewan having a seizure, or is he just really that incompetent?" The waiter leaves, I go down on one knee, happiness ensues. {Jenny, with happy/scared/excited smile: "Oh! Oh! Oh, what do I do now?" Me: "Um, say 'yes'?" She: "Yes!" Yes, I still tease her.}

Then of course the three desserts arrive and we ask for them all to go. They were good, though.

*Sorta. Day n-1 we meet at a work event, think each other is attractive but a jerk. Day n we meet in a bar, Jenny is several drinks into her evening, things go much more smoothly. But day n+1 is probably the first actual date, strictly speaking.

Corby K | June 15, 2007 12:41 PM

I met my wife at a scifi convention. She was wearing a Babylon5 t-shirt, and I had an amusing story about meeting Jerry Doyle where he remarked about us having the same barber.

Turns out, she likes balding, slightly-overweight, boy-men who are still trying to find themselves.

Lucky me!

Jenny Rae Rappaport | June 15, 2007 12:51 PM

*swoons from the utter romance* =)

Laurie Mann | June 15, 2007 01:18 PM

Cute, John. Very.

We still dance like spastic chickens ourselves. We just celebrated our 30th anniversary.

We met, as many fannish couples do, at a college science fiction club meeting. I was a new freshman, he was a junior. He'd been in the club about four months when I joined, so he was pretty new there too.

In those days, Jim was quiet because he was still pretty shy. And I met so many people at that meeting, I remember Jim, but he didn't make a huge impression on me for a few months. Our first date was the following February, and it was to see Barry Lyndon. But that was after months of doing things in groups, like playing poker together almost every Friday night and going to cons together in the days when you'd cram six people into a single sleeping room.

Ahh, '70s nostalgia!

F-L | June 15, 2007 01:34 PM

Wow - that's a really awesome proposal. Congratulations.

Kristy | June 15, 2007 01:35 PM

Aww, that's lovely. Really, you're making it that much harder for us single girls, because you're raising the bar really high. Lucky Krissy!

Thanks for sharing.

Mary Robinette Kowal | June 15, 2007 01:35 PM

True love is so sweet.

David Chunn | June 15, 2007 01:47 PM


And coincidence. My wife and I got married 11 years ago today.

Steve Buchheit | June 15, 2007 02:05 PM

Jim Wright, you know it's true love when you can give each other firearms. My wife and I happen to like sharp things. So one present was a Ghurka Khukri and another it time was a nice machete. You just have to know your other in the relationship.

John | June 15, 2007 02:21 PM

Nice story, John. Me, I told my wife I had something for her (no, not that!). Then I gave her a candy bar. Pretending it was an afterthought, I then gave her the ring. Tada.

Jim, Steve, you are lucky men. I truly love my wife, but I wish she would give me a .45 and a machete. That is too awesome.

Nathan | June 15, 2007 02:47 PM

Jim, Steve,

You're right about having to know your "other". I have no use for firearms or bayonets, but last birthday I got a braising pan and a kick-ass set of personalized spatulas.

David | June 15, 2007 02:56 PM

Nicely done, John. Its interesting but not surprising to see you were a
good writer then too. Some people are just naturally talented I guess.

My wife and I picked out an engagement ring after about 9 months of
dating, which of course she had to design herself. Susan's a
research-it-to-death / do-it-yourself kind of gal; when we had our 90 year
old slate roof repaired she knew more about slate roofing than every
roofer in town except the guy we hired. Unfortunately the Aspen jeweler
who made her ring did a terrible job and refused to correct the
situation. We didn't get our money back until we engaged the Attorney
General of Colorado. End result: Susan wouldn't talk about getting married
for several years, until I finally said "We are getting married now, or
else." Probably not the most romantic marriage proposal, but it got the
job done. We got married on her grandmother's and mother's wedding
anniversary in the same church they were, so that covered the romantic
bit, and explains why we were married on a Thursday; waiting for that date
to fall on a Saturday was several years off.
Whatever it takes to get the job done. :-)

Sam | June 15, 2007 03:00 PM

Nice read, but its guys like you that get incensitive guys like me in trouble so...hmpf! Good read though.

Erin | June 15, 2007 05:39 PM

Very sweet and romantic. How fortunate you two are to have found each other! Many happy returns of the three days.

Anna K | June 15, 2007 05:54 PM

As so many have said *sniff* congratulations!

Wil | June 15, 2007 07:55 PM

I'll add my agreement with the consensus... you did that one right, John.

Never lose sight of the fact that she makes two of you with her pinky finger alone and you'll do all right in this life.

As some Kiwi-Welsh farmer was heard to mutter on the silver screen, "That'll do."

uhura | June 15, 2007 08:44 PM

awwww! Thank you for sharing!

CaseyL | June 15, 2007 11:27 PM

What an excellent story, and proposal, and marriage.

Thanks for sharing it with us.

Happy Anniversary, and many, many more.

CaseyL | June 15, 2007 11:29 PM

Er... sharing the story, I mean. Obviously, you're not sharing your marriage with us.

Joyce Reynolds-Ward | June 16, 2007 12:13 AM


In my case (I'm NOT sharing first date stories, no matter if I evereverever get published), we'd been dancing around the subject for several months while living together. I mean, the man lured me to the back of beyond with a job offer (in the recession of 1981, during the Great Exodus From Eugene), in the mountains (a surefire sucker ploy for the Mountain Woman), and then cannily let everyone in the small rural county we were living in think that we were *already* married (having scanned the native population and realizing he was going to need to import female companionship).

After our engagement became known, I had many lonely cowboys sidle up to me and announce "If I'd a known you weren't married, I'd have asked you out!"

And the proposal? He came home from work, shortly before I had to leave for work (we worked at the same convenience store), pulled out a bottle of whisky, and asked when we were gonna set the date.

We picked the date, I went off to work, and later on received a drunken but highly romantic phone call at work.

Oh yeah, for Jim Wright...this was after he'd given me a 30.06 Ruger M77 and a bottle of Chanel No. 5 for a birthday present that year. So I could go hunting, then smell good afterwards and he got us two cute little kitties, one of whom was Cthulhu the Snake Killer.

Later on, when I was pregnant with our kid, I gave him a 12 gauge shotgun for Christmas. He gave me a .22 target pistol at the same Christmas.

Ah, the joys of hippie redneck romance.

Daniel Sroka | June 16, 2007 01:01 PM

A bunch of us were once having a conversation about why most women get very excited about weddings, while men seemingly don't. I ventured this theory. For a woman, a wedding is a party: a huge, public celebration they get to throw. Women grow up thinking about this huge party and how they'll plan it. But a man's relationship to a wedding is different. We grow up being taught that our major role is in the proposal: a very personal, private, and singular event. A tenuous and scary act, where the woman could easily say no. Where one flubbled line or misplaced ring could screw the whole thing up. We grow up knowing that our main wedding-related job is to create the Perfect Proposal. One that will not only entice our girlfriends to say "yes", but that will create a Story that can be told and retold for years to come. We are judged on the story-worthiness of our proposal, and we know it. So it's no wonder that we take our time proposing. It's not that we are scared of commitment -- we are scared of screwing up the story.

So congratulations. Your proposal is a story to be told and retold.

Steve Buchheit | June 16, 2007 09:27 PM

Nathan, were not all bladed weapon gifts. I once bought her an 18" cast-iron skillet (which we use practically every day, cast-iron is the best). Which, I guess you could categorize as both cookware and blunt-trama weapon. She's even bought me Scalzi books for Christmas.

Nathan | June 16, 2007 11:08 PM

Well, yeah Steve,

I received my cast-iron skillet from Jule about 8 years ago. And yeah, you're right, it's totally a weapon...but it's one that I'm competent to use without cutting or blowing off any parts I intend to keep using for a good many years.

firearms and my competence...not so much.

Bruce A. | June 17, 2007 04:23 AM

Awwwwww... that's cuter than a kitten with a cupcake.

Gina | June 18, 2007 03:19 PM

More than a couple hundred thousand. I read it at the SacBee, on the McClatchy newswire. Remember it well, too.

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