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Monday, April 15, 2024
THE LOVE REPORT: A botched proposal, but we’re madly in love
Kate Polchak and Joe McQueen. SUPPLIED
Kate Polchak and Joe McQueen
My name is Kate Polchak. I first met my partner Joe McQueen back in 2005 through a mutual friend.
We both were dating other people, but we all became friends.
We started running into each other randomly at the Pen Centre and stayed connected through MySpace.
When our other relationships didn’t work out, Joe and I started hanging out casually until, one day, I had enough and told him to just make me his girlfriend already.
Immediately, he officially asked me out. We became high school “sweethearts.”
During our relationship, it became more and more apparent to us both that it was fate.
I grew up in Niagara-on-the-Lake – him, in St. Catharines. However, his grandparents lived on Prideaux Street, so he spent every summer in NOTL.
He played hockey for Merritton, one of NOTL’s biggest hockey rivals. He also went to every Easter Egg hunt in Simcoe Park.
It was obvious that our paths had crossed more than once over the years. The biggest past connection we have stems from a farm dog.
I used to babysit for the Grant family. One day, they adopted a dog named Nellie from a farmer friend.
It turns out, Joe actually spent a lot of time on that farm and even met and knew Nellie!
The farmer, Allistar, was a long-time friend of his grandparents. In the summers, they’d send Joe to help Allistar on his farm.
He even had an opportunity to adopt Nellie or one of the other puppies, but his dad said no.
Fast-forward to 2018: we’d been together for 12 years.
We knew we’d be together forever, but I never pressured for a ring or wedding. Those things were just not a priority to me.
On June 12, we went down to Olde Time Candy Shoppe to pick up my mom from work.
It was beautiful and we were early, so Joe suggested we go walk down by the gazebo and the water since it’s so nice.
We get to the rocks and sit down. He gives me one of those surprise candy bags – because I’m a kid at heart and still love them
.I open it and pull out a ring pop, my favourite. And it’s a mystery flavour.
Normally, anything ring-shaped, I immediately put it on my finger. But since we were outside, I didn’t want to open it yet.
Joe kept on me though, open it. “What’s the mystery flavour?? You should open it.” But I refused!
We started walking back to the store and Joe said, “Let’s walk up Prideaux and see the work they’ve done at my grandparents’ old house.” They had passed away a couple of years prior and the house was sold and turned into a B&B.
So, we walked up. He distracted me enough so when I turned around, he had a ring in his hand and was on one knee proposing.
Of course, I said yes, we had our moment and headed back to my mom’s store – where she and her employees were waiting with champagne for us.
While telling them the story, Joe proceeded to tell me how I ruined the proposal as he planned to swap out the ring pop with my diamond ring when I opened it.
I would guess the flavour and he would say, well, if you don’t like it, I guess you can have this ring instead … which would have been adorable.
But no, I just have to do things my way and, ultimately, ruined my own marriage proposal.
I honestly love this story and I wouldn’t change a single thing that happened.
It perfectly explains us as a couple. Awkward, yet completely unbothered and blindly in love with each other.
Warmest regards and Happy Valentine’s Day!

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