Countdown to Bliss

Monty C. Floyd and Claudia Reich

Met: January 2002

Engaged: Jan. 22, 2006

Projected Wedding Date: 2007

The fear of living in ( gasp) Queens had only just begun to grip Monty C. Floyd, a Texas native who’d come to the big city trying to win back the heart of an ex-girlfriend, when he saw an ad on Craigslist for a swank Upper East Side share. “Female preferred,” it read.

Mr. Floyd may not have been female, but he was a charmer with a British rocker hairdo. He arranged an appointment with the subletter, Claudia Reich, a slender East German with dainty features and flowing brown locks working as a vice president at Citibank. “I always do my dishes,” he told her in his gentle drawl.

After a week and a half, he was also doing her dishes, if you know what we mean. “We figured out that we weren’t going to be just roommates,” he told the Love Beat with a wink.

Both newcomers to New York, the pair began to explore the city together, along with occasional timid smoochfests on the couch. For Ms. Reich, this translated into relationship with a capital R. “In Germany, you don’t usually do things all the time with someone unless it’s pretty serious,” she said.

During a screening of Italian for Beginners, Mr. Floyd leaned in and kissed the Fräulein more passionately than ever before. “The movie didn’t really capture my interest enough,” he said. After the credits rolled, they moved the make-out session to the now-defunct bar the Blue Elephant before returning home. “That night, there was no more under-the-shirt-over-the-bra kind of deal,” reported Mr. Floyd. Oh, my ….

Of course, there was some awkwardness the next morning. “You’re acting weird,” he told her.

“No, you’re acting weird.”

Ms. Reich left the apartment for some “alone time.” When she returned, the roommates took a shower together. Suddenly, everything was fine. It was only a matter of weeks before they began to make cute little jokes about being “married.”

Their families were very happy about the growing love affair. “Last Thanksgiving, my grandmother said I’d be kicked out of the will if I don’t marry Claudia,” said Mr. Floyd, 35, a former Army private and political fund-raiser who now writes screenplays. “And if I didn’t marry Claudia, I’d probably lose about 10 of my closest friends.”

One day, the couple went on a shopping spree to Saks, Bergdorf Goodman et al. Mr. Floyd was intent on finding a particular shade of Chanel lipstick. At Barneys, her favorite store, Ms. Reich made a beeline for the lingerie department. “What are you doing?” Mr. Floyd asked. “We have to find this lipstick!”

“When he’s on a mission, he has to get it right away,” said Ms. Reich, 28.

“Of course we have it,” said the Chanel countergirl, walking away and returning with … a ring box, which Mr. Floyd quickly wrested from her.

“Will you marry me?” he asked Ms. Reich, dropping to one knee and popping the box open to reveal a glimmering single-carat, brilliant-cut, platinum-set diamond flanked by two trapezoid baguettes, to the audible delight of normally jaded Barneys shoppers. Mein Gott, of course she would!

Mr. Floyd and Ms. Reich currently divide their time between London and New York, using the Plaza Athénée as their home base, and are planning two events: the wedding in her hometown of Bad Liebenstein, and the reception at a yet-to-be-determined location in the States. The groom-to-be is justifiably proud that he didn’t propose in a restaurant or horse-drawn carriage. “Everybody’s done that,” he said.

Benjamin Kay and Margery Smelkinson

Met: Nov. 17, 2004

Engaged: Dec. 27, 2005

Projected Wedding Date: June 25, 2006

Benjamin Kay, 25, a broad and goateed Wall Street associate, is getting hitched to Margery Smelkinson, 26, a bespectacled, freckled Ph.D. grad student in biological sciences at Columbia who can’t wait to give up her maiden name. Though they’ve been engaged for barely more than a month, the couple has already booked the band and the caterer for their wedding at Bridgewater’s. “We’re eager to get married,” Mr. Kay said.

They met on Mr. Kay was pleased by Ms. Smelkinson’s profile, which professed a love of steak and specified: “I’m looking for someone who knows the difference between a complement and a compliment.” She was a little warier, especially after she saw the picture of him cradling his mother in his arms like Rhett Butler with Scarlett O’Hara. But “basically, if someone wrote to me and was decent-looking, I’d go out with them,” she said. “Usually, it would suck.”

Before setting up their first meeting at Tomo, a sushi place on the Upper West Side, they spent two hours instant-messaging. Mr. Kay confessed that he liked “difficult” women. “You have no idea,” thought Ms. Smelkinson, who spends a lot of time in a lab coat with fruit flies.

At the restaurant, they began a discussion about religion. “How can you believe in a deity?” she challenged him, drawing stares from nearby tables.

Mr. Kay wasn’t deterred. “I meet people who find belief something exotic kind of frequently,” he said, “so it wasn’t the first time that had happened. Background and tradition were important to her, which was more important to me.”

After a drink at a neighborhood dive bar, Mr. Kay escorted Ms. Smelkinson home and asked for a gentlemanly kiss.

“No,” she corrected. “He pulled me around the corner and pinned me against the wall and started making out with me.”) Oh my, encore!

“I didn’t object,” Ms. Smelkinson added with a coy smile.

After eight months, your basic New York City rent-slash-roommate issues inspired the two to move into a roomy one-bedroom near Columbia. Ms. Smelkinson brought along her cat, Carl. And last Christmas, on a rainy evening after a hibachi dinner during a family vacation in San Juan, Puerto Rico, Mr. Kay dropped to his knee near a coral reef and asked the sexy scientist to be his wife, proffering a one-carat, diamond-encrusted platinum band from Diamond Cutters International.

Cohabitation has definitely improved his life, Mr. Kay told the Love Beat. “Once you took out the stress of ‘Where am I sleeping tonight, and is the cat fed?’, it became a lot easier.” he said. “Now we always have milk in the fridge.” Countdown to Bliss