The Cream Puff Proposal

Bam Bam loves to bake. She’s read Baking Illustrated from cover to cover, and she loves making all sorts of baked goods. Her challah bread is perfect for dipping in soup, and someone has told her she’d like to marry her pretzels. Bam Bam’s most well known dessert, however, is her cream puff.

This is how it started: in the heat of my robotics season, the team was meeting for 6-8 hour build sessions almost daily. We were so focused on work that we did not even pause for snacks.

Consequently, my compassionate sister began baking treats for the team. Every day as I prepared to go to a meeting, she handed me a bowl full of freshly baked goods.

One day, she made my team cream puffs. The light, puffy pâte à choux with their sweet, creamy filling won the hearts of my teammates. One member of the build team named Tim was especially enamored.

A few weeks later, Bam Bam came to watch a robotics competition. Tim and I were scouting out the best robots from the stands, and Bammy came to sit next to us. When I introduced her, Tim asked, “Are you the baker?” She nodded.

His eyes opened wide. “I love your cream puffs,” he told her earnestly. “Will you marry me?”

Bammy, surprised and somewhat embarrassed, just laughed nervously.

Tim, however, did not give up. Later, he knelt on one knee in front of the whole team. As we were going home, Bammy told the story to our toddler sister Karissa, who was wondering what everyone was talking about. After Bam Bam told Karissa the story, Karissa asked for her to repeat it a few times until she had the story memorized.

From the time she started talking, Karissa has loved telling stories. This particular story, she realized, generated lots of reactions from the people she told it to. Now, the cream puff story never fails to make Karissa smile.

In fact, she tells this story everywhere, all the time. When she is sitting in her car seat with nothing to do, she recites her story. When family comes to visit, the first words out of her mouth are those of the cream puff story. When she was in the emergency room because her arm got wedged in a door, she told the cream puff story to cheer herself up.

Karissa’s telling of the cream puff story consists of a mere two sentences:

Tim said, ‘I love your cream puffs. Will you marry me?’ And then Bammy just laughed like a maniac.”

To quote the words of Shakespeare, “brevity is the soul of wit.” Apparently, Karissa thinks so too.


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