Monthly Archives: September 2012

Engagement Story, Part 2: I Should Be Committed

Previously, on Broke Wife, Big City…

Aprill, our protagonist who was pretty in that girl-next-door-who-drinks-a-lot-of-vodka kind of way, was in the midst of revealing her very un-Hollywood-like marriage proposal story (which you can read here) when she had to unexpectedly take a break because her husband made tacos and she was, like, SUPER hungry.

And then she ate too much and there was a “Leverage” marathon on and typing quickly seemed like waaaaaay too much cardio to engage in…and then…well, repeat for five days and here we are.

But now, on with the story…

It all started on a random fall afternoon that we had designated as our “anniversary” since both of us were too lazy to really care what date we actually first met, or first kissed, or first declared our love or first did other things I won’t mention (SEX!!!) because that would be childish and improper.

We were attending a Renaissance Festival (cause we are unapologetically nerd-tastic and love any place where it is acceptable to drink wine and eat turkey legs for breakfast) in Texas with some friends. It was the perfect opportunity. I had been antsy for quite some time for him to put a ring on it and he had been hinting for quite some time that he did indeed like it and intended to put a ring on it. Not to mention, he’s always been a grand gesture kind of guy, so what better place to propose than in front of 30,000 fellow weirdos dressed in loin cloths and barely there fairy costumes, all of whom had started drinking mead at 9 a.m.?

All day I had felt a giddiness. I knew it was coming. I just knew it. So when it didn’t come during the jousting tournament, I didn’t sweat it. When it didn’t come during the performance of the guy who is paid to insult you in Olde English, I, the rancid wench with the questionable virtue, shrugged it off. I wasn’t even too bothered when I had to downplay an escaped squeal and turn it into a cough when my beloved bent down to tie his shoe by the Ye Olde Petting Zoo.

But as dusk descended, my mood, which was already being fueled mostly by Merlot and beer so heavy you had to chew it, started to darken. By the time we got home, it was a black pit of seething drunk girlfriend rage.

Now, men are not necessarily known for their skills of observation. But luckily, the waves of pure anger radiating off my body while we were watching TV on the couch were practically visible even to Ryan’s eyes (the same eyes that have never, EVER managed to see the furry leftovers that smell like hot garbage in August in the fridge).

“Is everything OK, babe?” he asked, while smartly out of hitting range.

“Yup.”

“You sure?”

“Yup.”

“Because you seem mad.”

“Huh.”

“Like, really mad.”

“Hmm…I don’t know, Ryan. What could I, YOUR GIRLFRIEND, and only YOUR GIRLFRIEND, possibly be MAD about?”

“Uhhh…”

…awkward pause…

“Do you want your anniversary gift?”

“I don’t care.”

“Well, I have to go upstairs to get it.”

“Whatever.”

“OK…? Then I guess I’ll go it…?”

“It’s a free country.”

And that, kids, is how it happened. Just like in a fairy tale, he came downstairs, paused the episode of “Supernatural” that we were watching (well, he was watching and I was blindly staring at while I made a mental list in my head of everything he had ever done wrong in our relationship…which, to be honest, wasn’t much but women have a special skill to turn moments of “you didn’t notice my haircut” into “YOU DON’T THINK I’M PRETTY, DO YOU!?! DO YOU!?!”), got down on one knee and asked “Will you marry me?” while producing a beautiful ring from behind his back.

What followed was a series of “Seriously? Really? You’re not kidding?” followed by 42 tearful yes’s followed by phone calls to every female I knew or had ever known.

But what you didn’t see, and what I didn’t learn until later, was that he had been making plans to propose for years before that actual moment. Each plan more elaborate and “awww…” worthy than the next. For instance, there was the plan to take me on an East Coast road trip in the fall to see the leaves change, where we would stay at a little bed-and-breakfast (which he had already called ahead of time to coordinate his plans with them) and where he would propose in a candle-lit paradise. He had also already called my closest girlfriends to ask permission for my hand. He had schemed with co-workers and mutual friends. He had maps and lists of potential places and estimates of ticket prices to exotic locales.

What he, what we, didn’t ever have was the money or the vacation time to do any of these things.

And just in case I don’t look enough like a selfish, petty person, he actually WAS planning on proposing earlier that day. He had the ring on him the whole time. And when I asked him why he didn’t, he replied:

“Because none of the moments seem perfect enough to propose to the love of my life.”

So, while I may not have a Hollywood-sanctioned, “good” engagement story, I defy anyone who says that I don’t have a beautiful behind-the-scenes engagement story.

And in the end, when you come down to it, a picture-perfect engagement does not a marriage make. But a man who waits three years to propose because nothing seems special enough? I’ll take that man and our “sitting on the couch while Sam and Dean fight demons on the TV” engagement story any day.

Huzzah!

Once upon a time, a man proposed to a woman…

Behind every married couple is an engagement story. The story that they will be asked to tell and re-tell for the rest of their lives. The story that is the opening chapter of a little tale called “Till Death (Or That Hottie From Work) Do Us Part.” The story that pretty much defines them as a couple as long as they don’t go on some epic crime spree later on down the road in their relationship.

(Does anyone know Bonnie and Clyde’s engagement story? Point. Proven. Granted, they weren’t ACTUALLY ever married but I think we can all agree the theory still holds.)

So naturally, you want your story to be a good one. And this pressure to make it a good story is only exacerbated by Hollywood and all your stupid, story-topping friends.

Exhibit A: Every single rom-com on the market features a proposal that falls into one of the following categories.

1. The over-the-top, probably on a rooftop, fireworks and violins, roses and mandolins (sorry…not a whole lot rhymes with “violins”) perfect proposal.

2. The over-the-top probably on a rooftop perfect proposal that goes horribly awry but makes it all the more special BECAUSE it does go horribly awry (including but not limited to a sudden downpour).

3. The surprise engagement/argument engagement where the proposal comes out of nowhere but is preceded by such lovely words (albeit potentially said in a gruff voice) that you have no choice but to say yes (also usually involving rain).

4. The non-proposal proposal in which a couple decides not to get married but just BE together because I mean it’s just a piece of paper and we want to stay together because we want to stay together and so they make quirky yet heartfelt vows to each other in some random location where it is raining and/or snowing.

5. The post-break up proposal, which always involves a guy running 22 blocks in the (you guessed it) rain to get back to the love of his life, who he finds about to leave her house and stands there all out of breath and wet while wooing her back.

Exhibit B: All your friends who have engagement stories that begin with…

1. An exotic locale

2. A rock the size of a small-to-medium baby’s fist

3. A slide show of the couple’s life together

4. Getting a large crowd involved

These are the things the modern-day proposer is up against. But usually, no matter the circumstances, an engagement story, by its very nature of being a momentous occasion, is always a wonderful and emotional moment.

Except when it’s not.

Which brings me to MY engagement story. Now, keep in mind, the story I’m about to tell isn’t even the worse proposal I’ve ever had. That distinct honor goes to a former boyfriend who tried to break up with me, then decided to get out of the uncomfortable break-up scene by proposing, which was followed by “almost broke up but then got engaged” sex, which was immediately followed by a “No…yeah…we really should break up” reversal.

Best. Christmas Eve. Ever.

So, the bar was set pretty low for my now husband. But, in all fairness to my little Schnookum Bear, he had a LOT of circumstances working against him. Namely:

1. We were piss poor broke.

2. He was proposing to a (lovely if slightly neurotic) woman who was more than a little antsy for a commitment considering she had up and left all her family and friends and quit her job to move over 1,000 miles away with him because he got a job offer he couldn’t refuse all before they had even had their first date and now it was three years later and the (lovely yet still slightly neurotic) woman was starting to worry she was going to end up as a cautionary tale to women everywhere about exactly why you DON’T do that.

But enough beating around the bush (heh). Let’s get on with the actual story and what this story actually says about us in the grand scheme of things. This, ladies and gentlemen, is our engagement story. The story we will eventually have to tell our children. And our children’s children. And those children’s children’s annoying friends, who are always hanging around our house because we’re the old people who always have the good candy hidden away in our cob-webby cabinets.

It all started

TO BE CONTINUED…

Diary of a Wimpy Adult

Pssst…kids…hey…PSSST…kiiiiiiids…

Wanna know a secret? About being a grown-up?

You do! Well…us adults? We’re really just big kids with bank accounts.

(Granted, some with…ahem…smaller bank accounts than others).

I know! I was as shocked as you are to learn this. As I got older, I kept waiting to finally, officially feel like an adult. But lo and behold, the years kept passing by…18…22…26…29…29 again…the second anniversary of turning 29…and nothing.

Nada.

Oh sure, there were small changes here and there. Cartoons lost some of their allure while beer gained a LOT of allure.

But overall, I still feel pretty much the same (my encyclopedic knowledge of anti-wrinkle creams notwithstanding).

No…wait. I take that back. There is at least one thing that changes as you transform from kid to adult. While you guys whine on the outside about having to do stuff you don’t want to do, the majority of us have learned to only whine on the inside. So, to you it looks like we’re calmly and diligently paying bills at the kitchen table. But on the inside, we’re all screaming “But I don’t waaaaaaaant toooooooooo…This is soooooo STUPID…I hate iiiiitttttttt…UUUUUUUGGGGGGGHHHHHHH…”

So, just as a heads up, let me give you a list of other annoying crap you’ll eventually have to endure and will continually whine internally about:

Grocery shopping: You know how every time you open the fridge, there is always magically edible food in there? Yeah. When you’re an adult, the only magical thing that happens when you open the fridge is that the green moss-covered leftovers from March haven’t sprouted legs yet. And the only way to correct that situation is to battle traffic, the overcrowded parking lot, the two chubby women who ALWAYS stop in the middle of the aisle to talk about something that absolutely CAN’T wait (like frosting) and then a long line manned by a 20-year-old burnout who physically can’t move faster than molasses or else they die (much like the human equivalent of the movie “Speed”).

Taxes: You know that big essay you’re assigned that counts for, like, 50 percent of your grade and your teacher gives you three weeks to work on it? So naturally you keep blowing it off until 11 p.m. the night before it’s due? That’s how it is every year for us when tax time rolls around. The only difference is that the worse thing that can happen to you is you get an F and/or detention. We, on the other hand, get slapped with “penalties” we will never be able to pay off in our lifetimes and/or jail (which is like detention but without the “Breakfast Club” whimsy).

Cleaning: Oh, you hate cleaning your room? Your ONE room? Aw…boo-hoo. Try having to clean six rooms. And no one gives you an allowance for it.

Eating healthy: You think it’s bad when mom nags you about eating brussels sprouts because they’re good for you? Try having the media endlessly nagging you about eating them because if you don’t you’ll get cancer and die. Or get fat. And then get cancer and die.

Going to work: Don’t tell anyone *looks nervously from side to side* but sometimes we fake that we’re sick too. Cough. Cough.

Dealing with bullies: That 3rd grade bully? He eventually becomes the 39-year-old balding, alcoholic bully. That sits right next to your cubicle.

Going to the DMV: Driving is cool, right? Just you and the open road. You and this wonderful machine that stands for the ultimate symbol of freedom. Except for the fact that you first have to go through all the circles of hell, including the Circle of the Eternal Line, the Circle of Finding Out You’ve Just Spent Two Hours in the Wrong Line and the Circle of Dealing With Anita, the Disgruntled Employee Who Hates You.

Insurance: The very first thing you learn as an adult is that you need insurance for everything. Your home, your car, your health, your very effing life. So, you pay thousands of dollars each year to insurance companies to “insure” you should the unthinkable happen. And then, when the unthinkable does happen, they take all those thousands of dollars you paid over all those years and deny your claim to it. Now, you may be thinking, “but wait…isn’t it MY money?” No, it is not. Because the cold sore you had when you went to the emergency room because you got hit by a car means that your intestines, which are currently hanging outside of your body, are now a pre-existing condition and that you are now at fault for the car accident even though you were actually parked at the time and the guy that hit you drove through two houses before hitting you in your parked car.