In Walk Two Moons by Sharon Creech, “Gram” tests her would-be suitor (“Gramps”) with a series of probing questions before consenting to marry. I think my Sarah (now age 16) will use the same criteria:
When Gramps asked Gram to marry him, she said, ‘Do you have a dog?’ Gramps said that yes, as a matter of fact, he had a fat old beagle, named Sadie.
Gram said, ‘And, where does she sleep?’ Gramps stumbled around a bit and said, ‘To tell you the truth, she sleeps right next to me, but if we was to get married, I–‘
‘When you come in the door at night,’ Gram said, ‘what does that dog do?’ Gramps couldn’t figure what she was getting at, so he just told the truth. ‘She jumps all over me, a-lickin and a-howlin.’
‘And, then, what do you do?’ Gram asked. ‘Well, gosh!’ Gramps said. He did not like to admit it, but he said, ‘I take her in my lap and pet her till she calms down, and sometimes I sing her a song. You’re making me feel foolish,’ he said to Gram.
‘I don’t mean to,’ she said. ‘You’ve told me all I need to know. I figure if you treat a dog that good, you’ll treat me better. I figure if that old beagle Sadie loves you so much, I’ll probably love you better. Yes. I’ll marry you.
…and there you have it. All you young men thinking of courting my Sarah, take note.