This year has been a rough one for me, challenging all of these long-held notions I’ve had about what I’ve wanted from my life, notions I didn’t even know I held on to so tightly. As silly as it sounds, I’ve always thought that making the second most important decision of your life would be like the Covergirl slog–easy, breezy, beautiful. I’ve heard so many of the stories about people “just knowing,” seen so many happy endings to the most improbable stories, that I just assumed that in a relationship that moved along so smoothly deciding on forever would be as uneventful as the summer rainstorms at three each afternoon here.
Needless to say that my notions of fairytale love have taken quite the beating this year. For one thing, going to all of the marriage and family workshops and pre-marital counseling sessions have shown me that marriage is hard work in a way that just thinking about the prospect has not. The major thing that all of my visions of how I would come to be married (on the remote chance that I ever WOULD get married) missed was that there would be this other person who would have to be equally as sure, equally as committed. Seeing the other person struggle to make a decision on you forever is surreal. It’s like having a magician systematically reveal the secrets to all of the tricks that left you in wonder. It takes the bloom off the rose. I keep thinking, “it really shouldn’t be this hard, should it? Either you do or you don’t, you will or you won’t.” There doesn’t appear to be any room for surprise or romance left. There’s not likely to be any “it’s always been you” moment in which the hero finally confesses he’s loved the heroine from the first and always knew it would be her, mainly because from the outside looking in, it doesn’t look like it’s “always been” anything.
I hate unromantic proposals in everything but a Harlequin. A Harlequin is just a book, a marriage of convenience just a way to keep these two idiots together long enough for them to figure out what we’ve figured out be page twenty; they were meant to be together. When I watched Love & Hip Hop Atlanta’s reunion show and saw Lil’ Scrappy propose to Erica, when I saw Jim Jones finally propose to Chrissy on Love and Hip Hop, when I hear about any lackluster proposal, it deflates me. I don’t know, maybe I want to much, but I want a guy that’s happy and excited and can’t wait to put a ring on it. I want a guy who only waits to put a ring on it as long as it takes him to be sure and to plan a proposal just for me. When I shop, I want to make comparisons and deliberate. I may leave the store without buying anything so I can go home and think about it some more to see if I still want it. But that purse I carried around on my arm like it was already mine isn’t going to feel led on if I don’t end up buying it, you know? *Sigh* I stopped making sense two paragraphs ago, didn’t I?
I went to New Orleans Thursday night. We stayed until midmorning Monday. I bet I don’t have to tell you all the number one question I was asked both before and after my trip. Was he going to propose? Did he propose? Even Pink Susie, who told me I needed to move on, asked. Even my boss asked. Seriously. No one had anything else to talk about except beignets and Hurricane Katrina when it came to my trip. I went on my trip trying not to let any of the proposal hype get to me, and I managed to have a pretty good time. I love New Orleans–the music, the art, the food, the people. I liked getting up and going for beignets in the morning, loved walking around the French Quarter for hours. I fell in love with jazz music all over again and missed my stepdad so much my heart hurt. It felt fantastic to get away for a few days and decompress a bit, stretch out and breathe. Would it satisfy my romantic side to have had a nighttime proposal in the French Quarter with a street musician on saxophone playing for his life and an artist immortalizing the moment on canvas, MensHealth on one knee in the dirty narrow street? Sure. Did I think it was going to happen? No. What I envision is something much more prosaic. I imagine that if MensHealth does decide he wants to marry me, we will sit down and discuss it rationally. Since he has said he would “state his intentions” but wouldn’t realistically be ready to propose (as in has a ring) until March or April, I am not imagining frills or poetry. But I like frills. I love poetry. A saxophone solo or hidden photographer would make my life. But I won’t have that.
This has been a tough year on my notions of love and my vision of how love should happen. I feel more like I’m negotiating during a lock out some days than I do like I’m on the brink of making a forever commitment to love. It’s hard to accept that MensHealth just might not be ready, but that’s easier than trying to convince myself I can wait a while longer. My counselor asked me about my decision and having a hard deadline, and my answer to her is still valid. I need a resolution like Aaliyah. I need to move forward or move on. I can’t even write in a straight line about this anymore. It’s all a big loopty-loop. January 1st, broken heart or not, I’ll be able to breathe, to just…breathe.
- The Paradox of Enduring Love and Letting Go of Romantic Absurdism (kieradailey.wordpress.com)
- Accepting a Marriage Proposal (visaliaweddingstyle.wordpress.com)