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Proposal in the Omni Parker House Hotel

The Omni Parker House Hotel's rich history is well documented in its own window displays and its oddly curated gift shop in the lobby. Novelty items stocked there include homages to the Boston Creme pie, a traditional delicacy the Hotel restaurant is said to have invented, Ho Chi Minh, the restaurant's one-time pastry chef, as well as T shirts bearing the profile of JFK, who held his bachelor's party in the hotel bar and had its famous dinner rolls shipped to the White House. Though saturation...

The Omni Parker House Hotel's rich history is well documented in its own window displays and its oddly curated gift shop in the lobby. Novelty items stocked there include homages to the Boston Creme pie, a traditional delicacy the Hotel restaurant is said to have invented, Ho Chi Minh, the restaurant's one-time pastry chef, as well as T shirts bearing the profile of JFK, who held his bachelor's party in the hotel bar and had its famous dinner rolls shipped to the White House. Though saturation of references to its past denies the Parker the classy aura of the Taj Hotel across the Common, The Parker's ornate and informative lobby was the perfect refuge from a sudden rain storm the other day. While I waited to dry, an outcry brought my attention away from the plaques of the lobby wall. A young woman across the room, dressed up in platforms and a blouse, was wiping tears of joy as she fumbled with her cell phone. One look at the sheepish man in a suit and a crew-cut who was holding her other hand told me what had just transpired; like so many Boston men before him, he had followed in the footsteps of local hero JFK, who proposed to Jackie Onasis in that very room. The young woman told her mother on the phone the good news: "you already knew?" She beamed at the man in the crew cut. To my relief, she recounted her mother's knowledge: The man with the crew cut had told the woman with the blouse that his boss had invited them to dinner in the city. They had been put up in the Parker for the occasion. As they dressed for dinner, the man said he was planning to present an important proposal to his boss at dinner. In the elevator, the man seemed nervous and distracted. He asked the woman if she would mind looking over the proposal. In the lobby, he gave her a manila envelope said to contain the proposal. The woman discovered the proposal had not been intended for his boss at all. It outlined why he loved her and that he proposed to marry her. By this time in the story, a mother and her adolescent daughter had crossed the room to congratulate the woman, and John F. Kennedy seemed to say the same, smiling down on the couple from the walls.

Omni Parker House Hotel, Boston