Annie Wise of Alexandria had the unmistakable tone in her voice.
"I lo-o-o-o-o-ve him," she said, so dreamily that you could almost see her swooning. "He's wonderful. Marvelous. Everything I ever wanted a man to be. But I need your help."
"My help?" I said, choking on my coffee. "You don't sound as if you need my help. You sound as if you need a minister's help."
"That's just the problem, Bob."
"How do you mean?"
"Well, we got engaged last September. It was the most romantic thing I've ever seen. He got down on his knees and everything and asked me to marry him. He didn't have a ring, so he folded up a dollar bill and slipped it on my finger. I cried like a baby. I wore the dollar for months. It was beautiful."
"I have a feeling things didn't stay so beautiful."
"No, they didn't. We broke it off in April. Then we got back together. Then we broke it off again."
"Wait a minute. I'm getting dizzy. Is it off or on right now?"
"On. I mean, I think it's on. I mean, I hope it's on."
"Angie, if you don't know, no one else does."
"Well, here's what happened. A few days ago, we talked about it again. I said, 'I'll do whatever I have to do. I want you to marry me.' He said, 'Let me think about it.' "
"And he's still thinking about it?"
"Right. But just to show him I really do mean it this time, I want you to tell him so in your column."
"Hang on a second and I'll transfer your call to Ann Landers."
"Seriously, Bob. He reads you every day. He'd know I meant it if you put it in your column. It would kinda be like hiring a plane and skywriting I LOVE YOU BOB over his house."
"That's his name? Bob?"
"Bob Stewart. He lives in Alexandria, too. He's 27. I'm 26."
"Angie, love conquers all, and it just conquered me. I'll be glad to do it. I just hope it works. And Angie, promise me one thing."
"Promise me you'll get him to give you a real ring. Dollar bills aren't meant for fourth fingers."