Hotspur Meets His Match

In the sad wake of Notre Dame burning yesterday, I mentioned getting engaged there. Oso said she enjoyed hearing it, but that was only a tiny part of the story.

Here I will tell a complete version of my history. I will start at the beginning.

In January of 2000, a close friend of mine, Rick, invited me to an “Ignore The Super Bowl Party.” The idea was to keep the sound off during the game so everyone could chat, then turn it on during the commercials, so everyone could laugh. That was back in the days of the Dotcom bubble, and the commercials were hilarious.

During the week before the game, if Rick asked me once, he asked me five times if I was coming on Sunday. I told him yes each time. But when Sunday came I really didn’t want to go, but I thought, “Fuck, I told him five times I was coming. I’ll just go and stay for a drink and say I have to get up early in the morning, then leave early.”

So I went.

There were about eight of us, of whom I knew everyone except this lovely Scottish woman (LSW).

Trish (Rick’s wife) owned an art gallery and she knew I was taking glass blowing lessons, and at one point she asked me about it. Then LSW said, “Oh, I’ve always wanted to do that, where do you go?”

We struck up a long conversation afterwards, and discovered that we were the same age, had kids the same age, and all sorts of other things in common. It was a fun evening. And she really was lovely.

I didn’t see LSW again until mid-April when the glass studio owner held an open house. She asked students to come help her host the event, do demonstrations, etc. To my surprise LSW was there. Her lessons were on a different night of the week, so I didn’t know she’d followed through.

In June that year, I moved in to a customized condo that I built just for myself, and in July, I bought a boat.

Fast forward to Fall 2000. I was at an employee’s wedding, and got introduced to his lovely sister. We danced all night long, and it was the first time in a long time that I thought how nice it would be to have the company of a lady – to go to dinner, movies, symphony, museums, etc.

I dated her a few times but eventually figured out that she was only 28. I was 51. You know the rule: Half your age plus seven = 32.5. So, no.

Then I started thinking; who would I even ask out? All of my friends were married, and any single woman I knew was either a dyke, a blimp, or had issues that I didn’t want to be in the same zip code with.

Then I remembered LSW. But I didn’t even remember her name. So I called Trish and said, “Do you remember the Super Bowl Party? Who was that Scottish woman? I’m thinking of asking her out, but I don’t remember her name, and don’t know, maybe she’s married, or in a relationship, or anything else.” Trish said, “She’s dating someone, but I know for a fact that she’d like to go out with you.” I thought, “Hmmm…what an odd way to put it. I bet I’ve been talked about.”

So I said, “Don’t say anything to her. I’m only thinking about it.” Yeah, right. Can women really keep secrets, ever?

Anyway, I called and asked her to go to dinner, and we had a fucking blast. As I walked her to her car on a misty warm November evening I asked her if I could call her again, and she replied, “Yes please.”

That’s how it began.

So we started steady dating.

Then I got an invitation from my cousin’s daughter to her wedding in the south of France in June 2001. I was planning a trip to Italy for that summer anyway, so I thought, “I’ll just go to France instead.” So I RSVPd in the affirmative.

Then one day shortly thereafter I was in LSW’s office and there was a huge print of this hanging on the wall. I asked her what it was, and she told me her granny gave it to her when she was a teenager and told her to always have a free spirit and not be afraid to take risks. She kept it close by her entire adult life.

Later, we were talking one night, and she had been telling me about all of her extensive travels through Europe in her twenties and thirties, and I said, “I’m going to France in June, any advice on things to do in Paris?” And she said, “I’ve never been.” And I said, “You’ve travelled all over Europe but you’ve not been to Paris?!!!” And she said, “I’ve been asked, but always thought, it’s so special to me, I will only go with the right guy. So, no, I’ve never been.”

Then in mid-March 2001, we had gotten pretty serious about one another, so one night at dinner I took a deep breath and said, “Will you go to Paris with me?” She smiled, and said, “Oui.”

So next day, I booked her flight, and contacted a jewelry artist friend, and met with her to design a ring. I was going to propose, and I had the idea that I would do it at the TOP of the Eiffel Tower, in Paris, in France, in June.

The day before our flight I picked up the ring, packed, and next morning we were off.

We arrived at Charles de Gaulle (what a shithole – worst airport ever) on a Friday around noon. Then made our way to Paree, where we stayed at the Hotel Mansart, just off of Place Vendome.

Next morning we headed to the Eiffel Tower where I was going to throw caution to the wind and ask LSW to become my bride. I even learned how to say it in French, which she would understand because she speaks it.

We got there a little before ten, because we had walked through a farmers market, and when we arrived it was really crowded. Then a guy told us that we could only go to the plaza level about a third of the way up, because the elevators were getting annual maintenance.

I was shocked. I said, “Goddamn these French motherfuckers. Who the fuck closes their elevators on a fucking Saturday in June. Shit piss and cock.”

LSW was stunned, and said, “What is wrong with you?” And I said, “I wanted to go to the top.” And she said, “Geoff, we will be back here in two weeks. Look around you. There are people who are probably only here for a day, who will never have the chance again. Get a grip.”

So we left, and I started to calm down, and think, “Now what do I do? I’m not carrying this fucking ring in my pocket for two weeks all over France. I want to get engaged.”

So we walked to Notre Dame, went inside and toured the interior, and we were going to get in line to tour the upper parts, but by then it was past noon, and the line was a mile long, so I said, “We’re going to be back here in the morning for Mass (next day was Sunday), so we’ll do the tour afterwards before it gets so crowded.

Then we walked over to a cafe on the Right Bank and got some lunch and a glass of wine. While we were sitting there it suddenly occurred to me that the next best thing to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris was the top of Notre Dame Cathedral. I would propose in the morning, after Mass, at the top of Notre Dame, in Paris, in June.

So I did.

And she said, “Oui Oui.”

I’ve told this story about a hundred times, and I could tell it a hundred more. It was the happiest time of my life.

Here is a photo of the plaza in front of the cathedral on the night of the Summer Solstice. If you ever get a chance to be in Paris that night it is amazing – wall to wall people, bands on every other street corner, everybody partying.



  1. You left out the part about the roofies.

  2. I’m glad you decided to tell the story, Hots. That’s a great set of memories to have.

  3. The only thing incorrect about this lovely story?

    The top of the Cathedral is a much better place to propose than the La Tour Eiffel!

  4. I never got a chance to use the roofies so I gave them to MJ.

  5. I agree, Mare. But the original inspiration came from that photo hanging in her office.

    During that trip we went to Chamonix and took the lift to the top of Mont Blanc. When we were at the highest point gazing out over the glacier HotBride turned to me, and asked me to marry her. Then laughed and said, “My proposal was even higher.”

  6. Lovely story, Hotspur.

  7. It reminds me that I need to look into glassblowing lessons at a studio near my work.

  8. What did you do to MJ after you roofied him?

  9. Cool story bro

    Good timing too, before 9/11. Got there just in time.

  10. I got to see it in ’09, which was at least before the fences around the base of the Eiffel Tower.

  11. Congrats! Great story.

  12. Dude, I love this.

    And this is the funniest sentence I’ve read in a really long time. Mostly because I know you and could picture you saying it, but also because it’s fucking spot on.

    “Then I started thinking; who would I even ask out? All of my friends were married, and any single woman I knew was either a dyke, a blimp, or had issues that I didn’t want to be in the same zip code with.”

  13. And this is the funniest sentence I’ve read in a really long time. Mostly because I know you and could picture you saying it, but also because it’s fucking spot on.

    “Then I started thinking; who would I even ask out? All of my friends were married, and any single woman I knew was either a dyke, a blimp, or had issues that I didn’t want to be in the same zip code with.”

    I raffed at this as well, because I’m seeing it first-hand.

  14. Why do dogs float in water

  15. “Then I started thinking; who would I even ask out? All of my friends were married, and any single woman I knew was either a dyke, a blimp, or had issues that I didn’t want to be in the same zip code with.”

    He left out cunts.

  16. When we visited Notre Dame I was 53 and she was 52. But we’d been married 31’years by then so……..way less romantic. We walked from ND to Eiffel Tower. Pretty damned good hike. Lot of fabulous architecture along the way to distract you. We didn’t go to the top of either structure due to my distaste for long lines.

  17. Good story.

    It would have been better if it had a pirate in it.

  18. Ditto, but with vampires.

  19. Hotspur vs the Vampirates of Notre Dame, doing battle in the catacombs beneath the city for the fate of…of…oh crap, I can’t think of anything I want Hotspur battling for the fate of even for comedic effect.

  20. But bullwhips will be involved. In the usual manner, of course.

  21. Hotspur versus the Butt Pirates of Paris.

  22. O a related note, I cannot fully express my disappointment that I reached my current advanced age without having become a werewolf.

  23. I’m doing my annual security refresher today on “spotting insider threats” and Ilhan Omar hits literally every point on “reportable indicators”.

  24. You could only go to the plaza level because pirates had taken control of the elevators.

  25. Hotspur starts a riot by calling Paris a cunt.

  26. Great story, thanks for making the rest of us look bad.

    “…..she said, “I’ve been asked, but always thought, it’s so special to me, I will only go with the right guy. So, no, I’ve never been.””
    I wonder how many trips to XXXXX she got with that line….. 😉

  27. No, you got to take the elevator to the mezzanine.

  28. Leon, is there anything in that course regarding storing top secret emails on your private server? If not, why not?

  29. That’s a different briefing. “The Big Stack of Just Fucking Don’ts”

  30. I’ve never been to Paris France
    Never even seen Mustang Island
    Ol’ hank was gone before I was born
    I’m not the kind to stay up cryin

  31. I see London, I see France…

  32. Comment by Jay in Ames on April 16, 2019 3:26 pm
    New picture of Tiger Woods, Donald Trump, and John McCain


    This is the kind of crap that makes me think the internetwebs are fantastic and the greatest invention next to wine.

  33. What a wonderfully love(ly) story! Thanks for sharing it with us 😘💕

  34. I thought, “Hmmm…what an odd way to put it. I bet I’ve been talked about.”


    “Complete assholeish, douchy, dick.”


  35. All H2 spouses are way too good for us.

  36. Comment by Jay in Ames on April 16, 2019 5:22 pm
    Careful when you answer text messages


    I love that so much. lololol

  37. “Complete assholeish, douchy, dick.”


  38. mare loves Hotspur.

  39. Hotspur, such a romantic story. Dan asked me to marry him at a Bennigans in Arlington, TX. Before a Yankees/Rangers game. No ring. He just blurted the question.

  40. Oso, you were doing something you loved and he couldn’t wait!

    That’s romantic.

    “I want to spend the rest of my life with you so much I’m going to ask you after the curly fries but before this awesome game!”

  41. Aw man, I miss Bennigans.

  42. #MeToo leon. Zucchini fries.

  43. #MeToo leon

    The best part of this comment is reading this as “pound me too”.


    At first I read that as “the ring goes to Riverdale” and thought, “meh, that’s not the weirdest crossover I’ve heard about.

  45. are here.

  46. Hahaaaaahhha, Leon!

  47. Mare, his version is I got him drunk and later told him he’d asked me to marry him. Our first date we had appetizers at Bennigans. Mmm…fried mushrooms. After zoo and before the movie Big. After Big, we went to McDonalds and went to another movie, Eight Men Out.

  48. Happy birthday to Pupster and AprilWine!

  49. Hotspur, I love that story. And Hotbride is indeed lovely.

  50. Roamy, IKR? Beautiful skin too!

  51. Mr. RFH asked me to marry him at 2 AM on his birthday, saying it would be the best birthday present if I said yes.

    I knew he was going to ask because he dragged me into a jewelry store to get sized. I was wearing a AC/DC concert shirt, and you could tell from the squinched up face of the saleslady that I was not her preferred clientele.

  52. Heh, you weren’t shedding $100 dollar bills so that isn’t surprising.

  53. BOOO!

  54. BOOO!

    Oh yeah?

    Why do Mexicans cross the border 2 at a time?

  55. Thanks for the birthday wishes, had a nice home cooked meal that everybody pitched in to shop/cook/cleanup, and they boys mowed the grass without being asked.

    One of these lives in my backyard:

    My life is pretty nifty.

  56. Dan is really getting pissed about my mom dumping on me. Pray for Oso.

  57. In the 80’s Kamala Harris was a five line skank

  58. You have the same birthday as Steven Seagal. Congrats!

  59. What’s a “five line skank”?

  60. Happy Skinkday Pupster!

  61. You need to buy some cocaine.

  62. Happy birthday, Pupster.

    After Michael, I wait for confirmation from the potential victim.

  63. (Eumeces [Plestiodon] inexpectatus)

  64. 🎂👋🏻🎉🍾🐶

  65. PUPSTER!!!!

  66. Happy Birthday, Pupster! 🐶🐕

  67. Happy Blow-Your-Savings-On-Hookers-And-Blow-Day, Pup!

    (And if you see that skink being played with by your animals, get it away from them. Damn things are toxic to pets.)

  68. So I had one vote for slivers and two votes (husband is one) for resizing the bigger tile.

    The question was, what would you do if it were your problem? Ripping it all out and redoing it the right way is out of the question. The problem area being the corners of the shower that can be hidden with the shower curtain.

    I’m playing with the idea of offsetting one row and proceeding the correct way from there. If I can. Things I learned from this experience….
    1. Put down the tile and walk away when the blood pressure gets cranked.
    2. Hire this shit out.

  69. This is kind of interesting.

  70. Comment by ChrisP on April 16, 2019 11:13 pm
    Who taught Obama to be Obama?

    It wouldn’t surprise me. Obama has always been a phony. That’s what made Clint Eastwood’s monologue at the 2012 convention so funny: Obama is fundamentally empty. He’s an illusion.

  71. Delaying everything, Randall procrastinated.

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