Odds are that if you've been in a serious relationship, you've had to be forgiven and forgive for stuff, mostly stupid, unimportant stuff like forgetting the car radio was turned up full blast when you asked your SO to run an errand for you or staring down at a sinkful of enchilada-encrusted dishes wondering with grim futility, "Why is this happening to me?" That stuff is hard to apologize for or forgive, probably because it's all so pointless that wasting a grand gesture like remorse or forgiveness seems like a waste of effort. Better to save up all that forgiving for a really momentous occasion, like when the person you're dating stabs you with a 12-inch kitchen knife. This is exactly the idea that 48-year-old Gregory Todd must have had when he not only forgave his girlfriend Tiffany Ballies in court for piercing his liver, spleen, and pancreas with a common household implement, but proposed to her as well, producing an engagement ring for all to see as Ballies cried tears of utter bewilderment.
The Telegraph reports that Todd proposed to the 32-year-old Ballie at a hearing during which she admitted to stabbing Todd in his sleep last December. Ballie's barrister Paul Genney interrupted the proceedings to announce in full romantic comedy style that Todd had a special announcement. "Mr. Todd," he said,
is in court and has been to see her in prison. He has brought a ring to court to propose to her. Eventually they want to get married. He says he has brought the engagement ring to ask to her marry him today.
Ballie broke down after that, but gave no indication one way or the other if she would accept the proposal since a lot of shit has probably been going on with the couple, both before and after the stabbing, which came on the anniversary of the death of Ballie's ten-week old son and shortly after she'd suffered a miscarriage. Though her lawyer has argued that she was dealing with a whole cargo ship load of emotional grief at the time and didn't even know why she'd stabbed Todd, something must have been a little off with the couple's communication. We might speculate that, since proposing publicly to someone who's in a fragile emotional state is at best oblivious and at worst insensitive, Todd may not have been the best person to help Ballie deal with some serious emotional trauma. Just a thought.
For his part, Todd seems intent on winning his lady back by visiting her in prison and telling reporters after the hearing, "I love [Ballies] I want to marry her. She didn't know I was going to propose today but I was." Courtroom surprises, though, may not be the best surprises. Judge Michael Mettyear seemed equally confused by Todd's gesture, explaining that, while he understood that excruciating nice-guy Gregory Todd had forgiven Ballies, she still, like, stabbed him almost to death. "If he had died," said Mettyear, "this would have been a life sentence. The minimum term would have been 25 years. If she had been convicted of attempted murder the sentence could have been the order of 15 years." Such an outcome would no doubt have meant a decidedly less There's Something About Mary news item.
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