I woke up in the middle of the night last night and couldn’t fall back to sleep. When this happens, my mind often wanders, which it of course did.
I got to thinking about proposals. Marriage proposals, that is. It’s strange for me to be on the other side of all of that. You guys know how badly I longed for one of my own. I waited pa–well, I waited.
I would dream up different scenarios and watch them pan out in my mind. But when I actually thought long and hard about it all, I couldn’t see it happening. Not because I didn’t think J would commit, ring or no ring I had a commitment out of him. It was more because I had no clue what he had in mind. Romantic dinner all dressed up? A vacation? A walk? Simple and sweet? Over the top and elegant? I hadn’t a clue.
But that didn’t stop me from making every moment the moment in my mind. Walking to the mailbox maybe he’ll do it now. Grabbing food at Wendy’s maybe he’ll do it now. On vacation in Charleston maybe he’ll do it now. Trust me. I made the most simple of moments huge in my mind, and I set myself up for disappointment over and over again. I don’t recommend that for anyone. The year leading up to our actual engagement was a rather rough one for me because I welcomed a lot more disappointment than I should have. And I really only have myself to blame for that.
How did he do it? Well, he didn’t wake me up in my sleep and profess his love and slip a ring on my finger. He didn’t make some grand speech at a fancy restaurant, kneel to one knee and hold out a ring which I would accept as everyone clapped. We weren’t walking on the pier in our favorite town.
We were fighting. No, I’m not kidding. It was the weekend after we got back from Charleston. You know, the trip I convinced myself would be the trip. The one I imagined myself walking into the house upon our return with my left hand outstretched for my gushing mother to appraise. The one I wore special outfits and made sure my hair looked picture perfect the entire time. You know, just in case. When the weekend ended and my left hand was still bare, the disappointment I felt could choke a person. In my mind, that was it. He just wasn’t ever ever going to do it. We’d stay in dating limbo forever.
But a proposal isn’t all J made/makes me wait for. He’s a habitually late person. Need to be somewhere by 5? We’ll leave at 4:58. Well, I’m always stupid early. Like, half hour early. So when a person is even just a teensy bit late, they’re unacceptably late to me. I expect you (any of you, FYI) at the very least 10 minutes early. Otherwise, to me? You’re late. But I digress.
It was the weekend after our trip; the one that left me so disappointment. J was supposed to be at my house to help me cook dinner just the two of us. We agreed on 8PM. By 8:45, he still hadn’t arrived. By then I was starving and pissed. So I left. I went to return some movies. While I was out, he called to let me know he was on his way. I gave him ice in response. I drove around a while just to be sure he’d have to wait for me in the driveway. You know, give him a taste of his own medicine. I know, my maturity astounds me too.
I was being mean when we got upstairs. Ignoring him, etc. He complained that it was hot, so I wandered into my bedroom where I went to turn on the AC unit in my window. At that point, I wasn’t angry anymore. But I wasn’t about to let him off the hook. So I teased. I argued that he makes me wait for everything. That he’s always late and is making me wait for a proposal.
I had no idea what was coming next. I didn’t know that when I went to leave the room he’d grab my wrist and twirl me into him: hugging me from behind. I had no idea that he would reach into his pocket and hold a diamond ring in front of my face.
I did know I’d cry. I did know I’d say yes.
His reasoning? It’s the only way I’d catch you off guard. Touche, husband. Touche!