Dean's proposal wasn't a surprise. I was too nosey to not know it was happening, and I enthusiastically said yes the moment he asked. However, once it happened (in a sweet and thoughtful way, I should add), I began to feel these nagging questions eating away at me: Did I really want to be married? Would we be any good at it?
I love Dean, but in the bright light of wedding planning I found myself picking him apart. Every minor misstep seemed like a warning sign urging me to think twice. When he got my coffee order wrong, I accused him of never listening to me; when he was running late the night we had dinner plans with my friends, I screamed that he didn't value my time. He usually fell asleep before me and he woke up early, which I used as an example of our lives being out of sync. Everyday things that never mattered before were suddenly turning into major crises.
The nagging doubt I was feeling was also being fed by external sources. Two of my close friends had recently divorced their husbands, and my best friend at work was finalizing her split at the same time as I was deep in the throes of planning my union. Side by side, we would be on the telephone: me with the caterers, her with her attorney. On their good days, my newly single friends were excited for me and Dean, but on their bad days they were cautiously critical of the institution of marriage. They had their horror stories and they didn't always filter them for my benefit.
It seemed as if everyone—my friends, the characters in my book club book (Jane Green's Beach House) to newsmakers (John Edwards, Mel Gibson, David Letterman, and um, Tiger!) —was having affairs or leaving their spouses.
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