KNOXVILLE, TN—Amanda Gentry, 25, has misinterpreted longtime boyfriend Wilson Crandall's recent break-up hints—including erratic behavior and strange, cryptic remarks about their future—as marriage-proposal hints.
"I can tell Wilson is getting ready to pop the question," Gentry said. "The last few weeks, he's been acting so weird. He keeps saying he needs to 'take stock of his life' and 'face some important decisions he's been putting off.' I hear wedding bells!"
Though Crandall, 26, a University of Tennessee law student, rarely articulates his feelings about the state of the couple's three-year relationship, Gentry said his occasional remarks "speak volumes."
"A couple weeks ago, right after sex, Wilson got really odd and quiet, like he wanted to say something but couldn't get it out," Gentry said. "Finally, he told me, 'I think you're a great girl, and I just want you always to be happy.' Isn't that so sweet?"
The post-coital exchange went no further, Gentry said, with Crandall telling her only that he needed to talk to her about their future at some point. Two weeks later, the talk has yet to occur.
"He's studying for the bar, but when he's done, he wants to sit down with me," Gentry said. "He says he has something important to say and that I should brace myself. Isn't it obvious? He's finishing law school this May and thinking about settling down. Goin' to the cha-pel..."
Gentry said she hopes Crandall will take her someplace romantic to propose.
"Wilson recently said something about getting away and going somewhere for a week in March," Gentry said. "A few days later, I caught him looking for plane tickets on the Internet. It's weird that he was pricing tickets for around the time of the NCAA Final Four tournament, since I wouldn't think he'd want to miss that. But, obviously, making a commitment to a life partner is so much more important."
Recently, Crandall has been asking Gentry about her career goals, a line of questioning she misread as a sign that he is mapping out their life together.
"He never asked me about social work before, but he's really been encouraging me to invest more of myself into my job," Gentry said. "He thinks fulfillment at work should be a bigger component of my life. Don't worry, Wilson, I have no plans to give up my career to have babies. Yet."
Gentry said Crandall even let slip that he was thinking about moving away from Knoxville after graduating.
"Wilson's been dropping little hints that he might try to get a job back in Chicago, where his parents and sister are," Gentry said. "He's definitely the type of guy who'd want to be close to his family if he was thinking about the long term."
Crandall has not explicitly invited Gentry to accompany him in the event of a move—an omission Gentry attributes to his fears that she may not want to go.
"Whenever we talk about Chicago, he goes on and on about how I'd hate the cold weather and the fast pace," Gentry said. "He's such a doll to be concerned about my feelings, but doesn't he know I'd follow him anywhere?"
Gentry has also misinterpreted Crandall's recent frugality as an effort to save up money for the future.
"It's so cute how he's trying to cut back on expenses," Gentry said. "We never go out to dinner anymore, or the movies, or even the bars. He must be working on one doozy of a rock."
"Wilson's birthday is coming up soon, March 4," Gentry continued. "Maybe he's planning to pop the question then. I can just see him getting down on one knee and saying that I'm what he wants most for his birthday."
Added Gentry: "God, the next few weeks are going to be unforgettable."