I know you’ve heard that love will find a way.
Me, too, but who knew that a pepperoni pizza could be part of Cupid’s plan?
He was a boy, 26, from Columbia, South Carolina.
She was a girl, 23, from Albany, Georgia.
He graduated (English) from the University of South Carolina (Go, Gamecocks!)
She graduated (social work) from the University of Alabama (Roll, Tide!)
This Southern boy and this Southern girl first met in Charleston, South Carolina, that Holy City of the American South.
This Southern twosome fell in love in Charleston, the perfect setting for Cupid’s marksmanship. Ask anybody who’s been there.
Then, last week, this Southern boy and girl got engaged in Des Moines, Iowa.
Iowa as in the Midwest – roughly a thousand miles from Charleston?
His brother Tyler was a student at the Charleston School of Law. So was her sister, Anna. One weekend, Claire Roth drove from Albany to Charleston to visit Anna. Carson Lamb drove down from Columbia to visit Tyler.
After all, they quickly found that they had a lot in common – not least a fondness for pizza.
Fast forward nearly four years. Carson has graduated from the Georgia State School of Law and taken a job with the Baudino Law Group in – you guessed it – Des Moines, Iowa. Claire now has a master’s degree in social work and is a school-based therapist in Des Moines with a private practice. The two Southerners moved to Des Moines last January.
Earlier this month, on a business trip to Atlanta, Carson bought an engagement ring on the quiet and had it delivered to his office back home.
Then he went to work on a delivery system of his own. These were the elements: a stroll downtown after supper to a local landmark, the Iowa Women of Achievement Bridge, and a “chance encounter” with a friend of Carson who moonlights at Domino’s.
The friend approached them, holding out a box of pizza to Claire, and saying that he had a “failed delivery” and that she and Carson could have the pizza free if they wanted it.
Do you smell a thickening plot?
When Claire looked back, Carson had dropped to one knee and was extending the ring for her to see, and the friend had opened the box to reveal a pizza with the words “Marry Me” spelled out in pepperoni — with a green pepper question mark.
The girl said yes!
They all then adjourned to a nearby wine bar where Carson had arranged a party with their local friends. Next they enjoyed champagne with Claire’s parents, Ira and Julie Roth, of Athens, Ga., who had flown into town for a weekend at the celebrated Iowa State Fair – and stumbled into their daughter’s surprise pizza proposal and engagement.
“None of my friends were surprised that Carson used pizza to propose,” Claire said. “I’ve always loved pizza. It’s probably disgusting how much I love it.” Full disclosure: Both Carson and Tyler Lamb are the sons of this columnist and his wife Margaret, and Claire Roth is their future daughter-in-law.
P.S. The Des Moines Register caught wind of the Pizza Proposal and ran a story on it on August 10.