Love is in the air. Also on it. Michael Garfield, a most unusual Romeo and a head-over-heels TV fan, has seen to that.

For the last 3 1/2 years, Michael, 25, has been dating his college sweetheart, Carrie Saks, 23. Much of the rest of the time, he has been watching TV.

"Since I was a toddler," he estimates, "I have probably averaged at least 14 hours per day of watching TV. Not to mention that I majored in Radio-TV-Film in college, hosted a national home shopping network program, and currently work in the industry {as director of sales and marketing for U.S. Video Corporation in McLean}."

In all those eye-glazing hours, no show has captivated Michael as thoroughly as "General Hospital," the famous soap opera. Michael estimates that he has missed only a handful of GH episodes in the last decade. Carrie is addicted to nearly the same extent.

All of which made Michael's decision easy. First, though, a fake.

Michael took Carrie out for dinner to the Top O' The Town in Arlington. The lovebirds shared champagne and "looked starry-eyed at each other all night." Perceptive fellow that he is, Michael could tell that Carrie expected The Question. But our guy was mum.

Back they went to Michael's apartment. He flicked on that day's episode of "General Hospital," which he had videotaped. A few minutes into the show, an announcer interrupted the program with an "important message from the MSG Network" {MSG happen to be the initials of Guess Who}.

There was Michael, on the screen, confessing his undying love for Carrie.

There was Michael, announcing that it was "about time for me to merge with another affiliate."

At last, there was Michael, asking: "Carrie Saks, will you marry me?"

As Carrie swooned (almost literally, Michael reports), he reached behind the couch and retrieved the engagement ring he had hidden. Onto Carrie's finger it went. Within seconds, Carrie was calling her family in Dallas to tell them the news -- and the method. The wedding is set for Dec. 30.

Since he works in The Biz, the videotaped proposal was easy for Michael to arrange. A friend shot the scene in a basement studio at his home. Then Michael did the appropriate editing. Thus begins the union of "two happy couch potatoes," Michael says.

Has anyone ever proposed to anyone on the actual "General Hospital," and not on a doctored videotape? David Dyer, a spokesman for GH in Los Angeles, was very brief. "No," he said.

He was equally brief when he was asked if anyone ever could. "No," he said, again.

Alas, that leaves Dave Kardos of Sterling a little farther up a tree than he'd like to be.

Dave writes that he's nearing "that time in my life for me to ask my girlfriend" to jump into holy matrimony. But Dave would like to do it in a lively way -- especially after what transpired on the Metro last week.

"I overheard two women talking about getting engaged and how their husbands had proposed marriage," Dave writes. "Each was describing how boringly her husband had popped the question." Then the ladies wondered if a proposal on live TV would be possible.

Dave wrote to me with a proposal of a different stripe.

"Maybe I could do it through your column?," he suggests. "It's not as good as TV, but it's dramatic."

I've been calling Dave for days to try to learn the name of his intended, but all I get is ring-ring-ring (no pun intended). Nevertheless, Dave, it's a done deal. Dear Ms. Whoever-You-Are: Dave Kardos is looking for a lifelong partner. You're elected. He wants an answer. We both hope it's yes.

The same service is open to other guys (girls, too) who are getting ready to administer The Question. If you'd like to propose in the public prints, just drop me a line with the details, and I'll play middleman. My address is Bob Levey, c/o The Washington Post, Washington, D.C., 20071.


Two weeks in the country will do an underprivileged Washington-area child a lot of good -- especially if that child has never seen the good side of life before. Won't you help make that possible? Your gift is tax-deductible -- and it builds the kind of hope and trust we'd all like to see.


Make a check or money order payable to Send a Kid to Camp, and mail it to Bob Levey, The Washington Post, Washington, D.C., 20071.

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