Rick Harrison, "Pawn Stars" boss, just got engaged to a Las Vegan, and it's the real deal. It's not one of those fake reality-show couplings we're all sick of.
Harrison met legal secretary Deanna Burditt at trendy Vintner Grill a little more than a year ago. They were bonding on the patio when Harrison's son and co-star Corey walked up and said, "Are you going to be my new stepmom?"
Harrison laughs while telling that story.
"Luckily, we went on a date the next night and really hit it off" at Charlie Palmer's Aureole restaurant at Mandalay Bay, he says.
On that first date, they realized they both were fans of hair metal cover band Steel Panther. So he took her to the band's show that night, and the group called him onstage to sing "Sweet Child O' Mine."
A year later, he took her back to Aureole for Valentine's Day. He pulled out a new diamond ring and said, "Girl, I'm gonna marry you."
"You're such a guy," she told him and said yes.
They're both twice divorced with three kids -- he has boys, she has girls -- so the "Brady Bunch" theme song could play at the wedding.
"That would be funny, wouldn't it? I think we should, at least at the reception," Harrison says.
Odds are low that Burditt will appear on "Pawn Stars."
"You'll notice on the show, none of our wives are ever on it, or anything like that. It just screws with your personal life too much," he says.
Producers wanted Harrison's 8-year-old son to go on the show, but he told them, "When he's 18, he can figure out whether he wants to do that or not."
Harrison's fiancee hasn't changed him.
"But she does pick out my clothes for me, which is probably a good thing, because I'm missing that gene," he says.
"She goes, 'Really? You're gonna wear a striped jacket and a checkered hat?' I go, 'It doesn't match?' I need Garanimals. I really do," he says. (That's the old clothing line that makes it easier for kids to match shirts and pants.)
Burditt isn't a party Garanimal. The couple debuted their engagement Saturday at the opening of Peter Lik's photo gallery at Mandalay Place.
"Saturday night, she had one glass of wine, and the next morning she goes, 'I shouldn't have drank last night. I've got a headache.' She has no bad habits."
Why does he love her?
"She's nice, down to earth, we've both got the same disgusting sense of humor. I won't go into that," he says and laughs.
"She's really, really smart. We sit around and talk history and politics together. She knows all that stuff. She's the perfect girl for me."
"Pawn Stars" is still a big hit. Two weeks ago, five episodes were in cable's top 20 ratings.
And the Harrisons' Gold & Silver Pawn Shop averages about 4,000 visitors a day. (Las Vegans can skip the line with local ID.)
"I can't complain about anything," he says. "I'm still just your normal, average guy that likes to work in the garage on weekends, and I read books at night. I never watch television."
The happy couple haven't set a wedding date or a place. They haven't had a single fight.
"I think she was a little upset, though, when I forgot her birthday," Harrison says.
Doug Elfman's column appears Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org. He blogs at reviewjournal.com/elfman.