This Tiny Clue Is Why I Shouldn’t Have Married My Husband

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It’s funny the things you remember. And the things you don’t. But generally speaking, we do recall significant days and events. The emotional mile markers that determine the path of our lives.

Recently someone told me about the anniversary of an engagement.

Huh, I thought…I don’t remember the day I got engaged. I mean like at all. Not just the particular date. I don’t even remember the month. I think it was in the fall. But again, not certain, it could have been the summer.

I come from a family that observes anything and everything.

We are overly caring, thoughtful, sentimental fools.

Just give us a reason to paint the town red. We will celebrate anything. Just give us a reason. Or not. We send cards just because. We buy gifts just because. We buy food we know each other likes. You got it, just because.

You’ll even catch my brother and sister-in-law celebrating Groundhog’s Day.

A humorous inside joke for the need to rejoice in any occasion.

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Hence, it’s troubling I’ve no calendar recollection of a momentous event. I mean it’s not a terribly big deal I don’t remember the actual day. But the month?! C’mon! I’m a deep thinker, a writer, and a reflector. If you combine this with my family of origin, my absence of recall is more worrisome.

Do I remember the night? Yes! Phew! We were in a now-closed restaurant called Mountain Jacks. My then-boyfriend had the waiter put the ring in a glass of champagne. He got down on one knee, I said yes, and we drove over to tell my mom.

Here’s the clue I shouldn’t have gotten married.

It’s not just because I don’t remember when I got engaged.

It’s because now I’m fairly certain I know why I have no exact memory of it: I didn’t want to get married

My then-boyfriend had given me an ultimatum. Either we get engaged or he was moving on. At the time, I was three years out of college. We had met when I was nineteen in Scranton, Pennsylvania. He was ready to start the rest of his life.

Or so he said.

But I was afraid to get married. My parents split up when I was five. A lifelong commitment was not something I was anxious to jump into. But he made it seem as if we’d invested a significant amount of time and I was dragging my feet.

In many ways, that seemed logical.

I wondered if I was being unreasonable. Of course, he would want to take the next step in our relationship. And I didn’t want to lose him. I relented and agreed.

Not long after I was staring at a sparkler in the bottom of some bubbly. I convinced myself I wasn’t afraid of marrying him. I was afraid of marriage. That was my true fear.

But here’s where a second clue pops up: I wouldn't pick a wedding date.

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People would ask me and I would just say we hadn’t decided yet. One thing at a time for this nervous Nelly. I was wearing the ring, wasn’t I? Gimme some time to breathe.

One day I was at the house of one of my high school BFFs.

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Her mom and I were very close.

She asked me when I was getting marriedI ducked the question elusively. “Oh, for Pete’s sake,” she said. She got up walked into the kitchen and grabbed a calendar.

That’s how I chose my wedding day.

It’s astounding it took me until now to realize I don’t know when I got engaged.

Maybe I’m not in the minority. Maybe lots of people focus on their wedding anniversary. And disregard the notion of celebrating the day someone got down on one knee, another said yes, and a diamond found a new home.

But for me, it’s a definite clue.

It’s funny the things you remember and the things you don’t.

Because generally speaking, this girl does recall significant days and events.

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Colleen Sheehy Orme is a national relationship columnist, journalist & former business columnist. She covers love, life, & relationships.

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This article was originally published at Medium. Reprinted with permission from the author.