Understanding Frenchman and I had been talking about marriage on and off for quite a long time before we got engaged, but (as I suppose is the case for most couples), always in the future and conditional tenses of "one day" and "if". I can't put my finger on exactly what changed this summer, except a sense that, if this was going to happen "one day" it might as well be now. I think we both felt it, but neither of us said anything.
And so it was that we returned to Paris with a glorious summer behind us, and one Sunday evening, the conversation turned to marriage and the "would you"s turned to "will you," and there we were, engaged.
It might sound like a bit of an anti-climax, but it didn't feel that way. My memories of it all are as much of that unspoken certainty growing between us as of the actual moment when he asked me the question, and as far as I am concerned, we became engaged in not one, but many beautiful places.