As I left the house on the 29th with only a quick peck on the cheek from Jacqui, I foolishly thought that I was safe for at least another four years. You see, I’m thirty four and a great believer in “try before you buy”. Unfortunately, I want to “try” for two or three decades, then obviously I will know enough about my intended to finally make a real commitment!! I have thought about marriage several times before, but the thought process always seemed to last longer than the relationship. Jacqui, on the other hand, has a very different outlook and has been dropping very obvious hints (which I have skillfully managed to sidestep) for the last four years. Jacqui, you understand, is one of life’s true romantics – Champagne and roses, moonlight walks, candlelit meals, these are the sort of things that she appreciates, and to be perfectly honest, I don’t mind the odd glass of the French stuff either. This story is about the influence of technology on our lives and how convenient the mobile phone has become. You see, I left the house at 7am for a meeting in Wimbledon. As I was driving along, my mobile started to bleep, indicating that, at 7am, someone had taken the time and trouble to send me a text message. This message will ultimately change my life and this story will be told many times over the coming years. The message read:
As it is the 29th of February today, will you marry me? I love you with all my heart, Jacqui xxx. PANIC STATIONS!!!!!!!!
Is she serious? What am I meant to say? After all, it’s me, Mark Ley, the eternal bachelor, I’ve managed OK for thirty-four years and now I’ve been caught off guard – how am I am expected to react? If I say yes, I can kiss goodbye to the nights in the pub and the weekend football; if I say no, I’ll lose Jacqui for sure. What do I do? This is the most monumental question that has ever been thrown at me and it comes via my mobile phone!! I am involved in board meetings nearly every day, the corporate big wigs and captains of industry fail to intimidate me, yet one simple question and I’m actually shaking with fear.
My mind started working overtime. I won’t go home tonight, I’ll stay at a friend’s house, I’ll move to Venezuela, I’ll go and live in a cave – anything to avoid answering this question that I have managed to hide from for so long. I take the easy option and go home. I tell Jacqui that nothing would thrill me more than getting married and that night, OH YES, that night, we’ll leave that to your imagination, but needless to say, if I said yes every day, I’d die a very, very happy man!!! The proposal, romantic, no! convenient, yes. I told Jacqui that I had to go down on one knee to read the message just to add some traditionalism to the thing. We are to be married next year, no date fixed yet, but needless to say, it is going to be one hell of a party and over the coming months, confetti.co.uk will become a regular in my office. Good luck and best wishes to all soon to be wed.