I’m not sure exactly how to handle this. On one hand, I feel like such an entitled gimmie pig but on the other, I’m not sure that lying about my feelings is the correct thing to do.
My wonderful honey and I have been together for almost 5 years and, “When’s he gonna pop the question?”, has been the hot topic amongst our circle for a year or two. He has made his intent known to me for quite a while and I’d been anxiously anticipating his proposal.
Some background: My honey and I are in our mid-thirties, we’ve talked extensively about marriage and having children (which he really, really wants). He thinks he may have a learning disability regarding the passage of time and doesn’t understand how long things take to accomplish. So in December, after about three years of talking about marriage and starting a family, I fairly clearly explained to him that planning a wedding can take X amount of time and pregnancy takes at least X amount of time and the older I get the more dangerous and difficult it is. So, adding the time up, the earliest we would bring our baby home from the hospital is X. I hated to do it, but his sense of time is such that unless you lay things out like that, he really doesn’t realize things will take that long. We once lost a tv remote for 3 months and, until I could prove it to him, he swore up and down it had only been gone a week.
So last night, after a long work week, doing chores, and making a late dinner (all of which was done while I was looking pretty schluby; wandering about the apartment in yoga pants, a tank top, no bra, and my hair back in a messy ponytail). After dinner is over and after my somewhat upset stomach resulted in (how to put this delicately?) an extended and unpleasant trip to the bathroom, I return to the living room and sit at the coffee table and my laptop. He sits on the floor beside me and says he has a present for me. He pulls a simple, handmade object out of his pocket. (I won’t get into identifying details, but the particular type it was has a special significance to me). He flips it over and it’s actually a pouch and the ring is inside. He asks me to marry him.
And here’s where I worry I’m a gimmie pig and that I let the long wait built up too much of a fluttery anticipation because my thought was, “Really? Now? While I look like this, after I’ve just had bowel issues? I’ve been waiting three years and I get 30 seconds?”
Yes, the container the ring came in was very sweet, but otherwise, it reminded me of a proposal a friend had in which she and her honey were both sitting on the couch and he looks over during COPS and says, nonchalantly, “Hey, wanna get married?”
Am I a terrible gimmie pig for being disappointed and hoping the proposal would be romantic? That I hoped the moment would feel more weighty with the importance of what was happening? That he would have put more time and effort into planning the moment? That maybe it would have involved an outing? He got the ring two days ago, said it had been burning a hole in his dresser and that he had no plans on how to pop the question (he thought of the container thing earlier that day and made it when he got home from work), but that he wanted to surprise me.
In my head, it’s kinda like this: say you love New Year’s Eve and it’s currently mid-October at 6pm. Someone comes up to you and yells “Happy New Years!” and you say “What? I thought it was October. It’s not?! New Years is now? Um, Happy New Years? Oh, it’s over now? That was it? Ok.” And you’re left knowing that something really important just happened but you were so blindsided and it was over so quickly you didn’t get to enjoy it. I didn’t want anything crazy-over-the-top. I just thought he’d do something romantic and that it wouldn’t be a hastily thrown together, last minute, 30-second long moment.
Now I have a year or so ahead of me of people asking over and over again, “How did he ask?!” and I have to feign a giggly, dewy-eyed excitement as I tell my story because I don’t want to seem ungrateful or otherwise be insulting towards my honey.
Have I let the wedding industry and media inflate my brain with how a proposal should be? It’s never a happy moment when you look in the mirror and think, “Oh crap, a gimmie pig is looking back at me.”
When my now Dear Husband started courting me, he sent a love letter…the first one of many. I rented a room in a house owned by an older divorced woman who had retrieved the daily mail and called me downstairs to get my mail. I stood in the foyer looking at the unopened tan envelope knowing exactly who had sent it and what it contained, I threw my head back and wailed, “I’m not ready for this!” My landlady snapped me out of my self-centered pity party with a stern rebuke, “Stop that right now. There are women who would give their right arm for a letter like that!” Sniffling while I gained back my emotional control, I replied, “Ok,” and went back to my room to read it. I still have that letter 28 years later.
When my son-in-law proposed to my daughter, he did so sitting on a log during a walk through the woods and which started with, “So, are you tired of me yet?”
I think you have allowed your fantasies about the perfect proposal to color reality and have a greater priority in the grand scheme of things than is prudent. The proposal isn’t the important part of the relationship, nor is the wedding ceremony. What matters is how good your marriage is. My son-in-law may have done the most inept proposal I’ve heard of in years BUT he is an outstanding husband and father, he makes my daughter very happy and how he proposed is now the subject of much humor and family folklore. In the spirit of my old landlady I’ll say, “Stop that right now! There are women who would give their right arm to have *any* proposal from a good man!”