Way One: ...by having both do it.
Calleigh glanced at the display of engagement bands and frowned. None of them were quite what she had in mind. "I think I'm going to try somewhere else," she said after a final moment of contemplation.
"Have a good day, ma'am," the employee who had been assisting her said as the door slammed shut behind her.
Calleigh threw herself into her car and let out a loud, pained sigh. Maybe there was a very valid reason why the man was the one to ask the woman and not the other way around. Maybe picking out the ring was the kicker.
On the other side of Miami at that moment, Eric was in a long discussion with his mother. "She makes me happy and we love each other," he said.
"Mi hijo," she said, putting on her voice of maternal experience, complete with an abundance of worry. "If you love her –"
"And I do," he interjected.
"And you can see a future with her," she continued, unfazed by the interruption, "then I don't see any reason why you two shouldn't get married." She extended her hand out to him. "Take this." It was a small velvet box, almost the right size for a ring of some sort.
"Is this what I think it is?" he asked, taking it from her hand and idly running a finger along one edge.
"Yes," she said, tears welling up in her eyes. "It is."
"Thank you," he replied quietly, standing up and lightly kissing her on the forehead. He walked back out to his car, leaving her sitting in her easy chair. As he got in and sped off, she watched from the window. Her little Eric, her son, was all grown up now.
The food was exquisite, the conversation a series of snippets of dialogue punctuated by comfortable silence and the quiet chewing of the food. Calleigh was a bundle of nerves – she hadn't managed to find anything that would work. They'd have to go out looking together in the not-too-distant future.
Meanwhile, the ring box was burning a hole in Eric's pocket. He didn't know if he could wait until the meal was over, but he figured that he's waited so many years after first meeting her, another hour or so wouldn't matter in the end. He carefully drummed his fingers along the edge of the table and bided his time until the waiter had taken away their plates and left them with the bill. "Calleigh?" he asked, breathing in deeply.
"Eric? Is everything okay?"
"Can I ask you something?"
She smiled. "I have something to ask you too."
"Oh? You go ahead then."
"No, you're the one who wanted to ask me a question first, you go ahead."
It was a volley, back and forth, each one passing off asking the question to the other. "Fine," Calleigh said, after five minutes of nothing more than "no, you first" repeated ad nauseum. "I'll go first." She took a sip of water before continuing. "Eric?"
"Will you –"
"Marry me?" they said in unison, Eric holding out the ring box over the table. When they realized what had just happened, they burst out into laughter. "Yes!" Again, they spoke in unison. Eric slipped the ring on her ring finger.
"So when people ask, who asked who?" she asked, admiring her ring.
"Does it really matter?"
"Not at all."