When Fred proposed to me, I was feeling the way I always do when he’s been gone all day at work and I haven’t seen him in 12 hours… hungry. We had made plans to go out to dinner and he was dragging his feet (as always) while I stood in our entryway, arms folded and stomach growling, getting more irritable by the second.
He walked up to me and said, “Wait. I want to give you something before we go.”
I thought he was teasing me. Knowing that I was starving, I figured he thought it was funny to stall even longer.
Then he dropped down on his knee and shock replaced my hunger. I had heard women say that they couldn’t remember anything that happened during their proposal. I used to think that was ridiculous until it happened to me.
Over dinner I made Fred replay everything he had said to me so I could burn it into my memory—and so I could tell every detail to all of my friends.
We’ve been engaged for a little over a month now and I don’t get tired of telling the story or showing off my bling. But I have to admit that I still look down at my hand and think that it’s somebody else’s. I feel like I’ve been granted membership into an exclusive club that I don’t quite fit into.
I love the idea of spending the rest of my life with Fred, but I don’t like the idea of planning a big, fancy wedding or picking out a china pattern. I feel like I’m the anti-bride. The first time a woman asked me excitedly what my colors are, I mistakenly said “I haven’t really thought about it.” I realized that was the wrong answer when she cocked her head sideways and looked at me as if I’d just told her the Pythagorean theorem was incorrect. I had an emergency meeting with my best gay friend, who also happens to be a wedding planner. “Chocolate brown and red,” he said. “It will be to die for.”
So, while I was prepared for the color question, I wasn’t prepared for my girlfriend’s question the next day: “Can I throw you an ornament shower?” It was a sweet gesture, but I cringed at the thought of opening a bunch of little gift boxes while women in reindeer sweaters sipped spiced tea and oohed and aahed over “Our First Christmas Together” tree decorations.
The day of the shower, I dreaded going into the house, which was decorated to the hilt with wreaths, blinking lights and bite-size hor d’oeuvres. I had worn jeans and immediately kicked myself when I saw the women around me in dress pants and heels. “Bad engaged girl,” I chastised myself.
I made a point to taste the cheese log, compliment the hostess, and excitedly share the plans we (meaning my best friend/event planner) had made so far for the wedding. Then came time to open the gifts.
I slid the ribbon off the first box and opened the lid. I pulled out a simple silver “T.” My breath caught. It’s the initial of Fred’s last name—soon to be my last name. As the oohs and aahs chorused me, I smiled. Maybe this engaged thing isn’t so bad after all.