Worth Far More than Rubies

Close-up of Proverbs 31:10 inscription on the engagement ring

Two things were apparent to me when I started deciding how I was going to propose to Hanan. First, she knows me too well for me to really be able to surprise her. Second, as a math professor, she loves puzzles. So rather than surprise her, I decided I would give her a puzzle. The ring I picked out has two ruby sidestones, so I wanted to find a verse from the Bible that would tie into the rubies. Conveniently, I found Proverbs 31:10—

A wife of noble character, who can find? She is worth far more than rubies.

Armed with this verse, I came up with a plan. Monday of the week I was going to propose, we met in the morning to go running, as we usually do. After our run, I gave her a single rose with the letter “P” attached to it. She wasn’t sure what to make of it, but accepted it graciously. Monday night, after helping at the Global Grace ESL class, she found a second rose on her car’s windshield, this time with the letter “S” attached to it. She started to suspect something was up.

One of the clues Aliotsy gave Hanan, a card with the number 31 Tuesday morning, her walking partner Marie handed her a rose with a “B.” Tuesday night, her best friend Mary came over with an “R.” Wednesdaying morning I handed her another “R,” and Wednesday night an “O.” WHen she came in to work on Thursday morning, she found a “V” tied to her office door. By the time I gaver her an “E” that night, she’d already unscrambled the letters to read “Proverbs”—smart woman. Friday morning, when she teaches calculus at Grace Valley Christian Academy, the school office manager interrupted class briefly to hand her two roses with a “31” and a “10.” She now had ten roses, the phrase “Proverbs 31:10” and a pretty good idea that I would be doing something special when we went on a date that night.

Some of the dozen roses that Aliotsy proposed with. Now, Sacramento International Airport is one of our favorite date spots—really! We love to sit on top of the parking garage and watch planes land and take-off in the night sky, while sipping hot drinks from the airport Starbucks. That night, though, things were going to be a little different. I had contacted Southwest Airlines Baggage Services at the airport, who in turn connected me to a manager. He was more than willing to assist me with a wedding proposal. With his help, I obtained special passes that would allow us to go through security without boarding passes, which would let us watch planes from inside the airport. Furthermore, he put me in touch with the manager of Vino Volo, a wine bar in the terminal, who arranged for a bottle of champagne to await our arrival.

Hanan and Aliotsy at Vino Volo, moments before Aliotsy proposes. Needless to say, Hanan was shocked when I went up to the Southwest ticket booth and received passes to go through security to the departure gates. And she was even more surprised when she found the bottle of champagne and a nice table waiting for us at the wine bar. What didn’t surprise her was the ring—in my rush to get things organized, we had to stop at my apartment before we went to the airport, and she found the ring hidden in a small pouch while I was in my room changing.

Oh well. She still said yes.

Hanan and Aliotsy hold hands, with the engagement ring on Hanan's finger.fin