My name is Giorgio. I live in the Venetian countryside with my wife Marisa. On October 16th I’m going to celebrate my eighty-second birthday and the exact same day will also be our sixty wedding anniversary.
I remember so clearly the day I fell in love with her, but I hardly remember if I’ve taken all the pills the doctor has prescribed to me. This year I want Marisa to be surprised because living with me all these years mustn’t be so easy. We moved several times because of my job, but now that I am retired we have finally settled down.
I’m not very talkative and I speak only if it is strictly necessary, I’m methodical and stubborn. In contrast Marisa is very sociable and creative, she is my sunshine. I love when she smiles and it’s funny looking at her when she gets angry because she can’t do something.
Memories of a great love
I met her during the military service, and I immediately fell in love with her. Two years later we decided to get married. The wedding was arranged very fast and in a simple way, because neither our families nor us had many savings.
I’m firmly convinced that it’s about time to put it right. I don’t want to just celebrate our anniversary: I want to propose to her as she has always dreamed of, and I’m going to do everything I can to make it happen.
So, I asked my daughter to help me out to use the computer, since I needed to look for some good tips: she always says that there’s everything inside! As she was impulsively browsing some Facebook page, an image of a heart-shape cake and two rings caught my attention, so I asked her to show it to me.
Marry me at Florian
The advertisement said: “Marry me at Florian: your wedding proposal in Venice“. And I loudly exclaimed: “Eureka!”.
I asked my daughter to contact the Caffè Florian to get more information, and she started typing so fast that I couldn’t even see her fingers. Today’s youth!
Some hours later she told me that she had got in touch with the Caffè Florian and she had mentioned my intentions. To confirm the date and to discuss the details I had to call the number that my daughter had written down on a post-it.
I dialed the number and Mrs. Agata answered. She patiently listened to me and then replied: “This Marisa of yours is a very lucky woman”.
I pleaded with her that the cake had to have the garnish made with berries, the bunch of flowers had to be fresh sunflowers, and that all the waiters should have been made aware of the surprise. The following days I kept calling Agata over and over again, also to describe our faces to her. How could she recognize us among a lot of people? Luckily, I remembered!
In the meantime I told Marisa that I was planning to have a walk around Venice for my birthday. She was excited, but disappointed at the same time: she thought I was considering my birthday more important than our anniversary.
“Do you want to be my wife?”
The day I was looking forward to finally arrived. I felt like a little boy on his first day of school.
We got to St. Mark’s Square, where Marisa scolded me because of my clothes: I was wearing one of my best and formal suits for a simple walk.
I suggested to stop at the Caffè Florian to have a break and enjoy the view of the square. Marisa nodded happily.
When we arrived, the waiter kindly took us to the table and gave us two menus. At the entrance of the Cafè there was a young lady who was watching us with a pleased look. I immediately thought to myself that she must have been the girl I’d talked to on the phone.
A few minutes later a waiter arrived with a silver tray on the right hand and the left one behind his back. He placed the tray on the table, served a piece of berry cake to Marisa and gave her a purple silky bag. Marisa looked at me a bit confused.
The waiter, with an unexpected move, brought out from behind his back a beautiful bunch of sunflowers. In that moment I stood up and I invited Marisa to do the same. I opened the purple bag and took out 65 colored stones, which represented our 65 years together, and a gold ring.
Gently putting the ring on her finger, I proposed to her. Being touched, Marisa replied: “I’ve never stopped being your wife!”.
Caffè Florian’s Orchestra began playing a romantic melody, while people around us were clapping. We exchanged a delicate kiss.
Our waiter brought me another piece of cake reminding me it was also my birthday. What a surprise, how could he know? It doesn’t matter, that day I got the best gift I could ever receive: the smile full of happiness of my dear Marisa.