So I posted this one little status update to Facebook a couple of days ago, and ever since then my phone won’t stop beeping. It beeps when someone posts a comment, “likes” the update, when someone emails, when someone texts me, and when someone calls me. In the interest of integrity, I guess I can’t really call is a beep. It’s a recording of me saying “Beep” in a a very monotone voice.
So, anyway, I changed my relationship status from “In a Relationship” to “Engaged” and then posted a status update of “is engaged. Go me.” Most of the replies have been a simple congratulations, with the obligatory gay joke (“What’s his name?”) thrown in from Sculley. But there have been more than a few messages wanting the juicy details of how I did it. Because, let’s face it, I’m one romantic son of a bitch. (Sorry, Mom. Love you.) While this tale might disappoint in the romance department, maybe it will stop the beeping.
Strutter and I had been talking about marriage for awhile. So, like a month ago, I finally kidnapped her on a Saturday and drove her to a jewelry store to look at rings. First, let me say that I’m not a fan of the whole commercialism that drives the wedding process. Buying a $3,000 ring (Something like 2250 Euros, Len) to make a promise that you’re willing to be in debt for the rest of your life with someone else just seems counter-intuitive to me. Then dropping $50,000 on a wedding and reception… well, you get the point. Anyway, I’ve wandered off-story.
So she tries on a few rings. We both agreed that the solitaire style was the most appropriate, since we hate all the crushed diamond nonsense and the little sidecar gems. Then we start looking at wedding bands, for (I assumed) me. I don’t wear jewelery. I didn’t really care, as long as it wasn’t flashy. And then, we get in the truck to drive off and run some errands.
On the drive, Strutter informs me that she doesn’t like any of the rings, because they’re too dainty and they make her hand look weird. I don’t really say anything, because I assume this is some girl mind-trick. She then says that she would rather have one of the men’s bands. Again, I keep relatively quiet. I may have given a grunt. Then she adds that she liked the Tungsten Carbide rings better than the precious metal ones, and that she wanted to just get one of those as her engagement and wedding rings.
So, let me summarize what that conversation meant. She didn’t want a $3,000 ring and then another $500 ring afterward. She just wanted a single $250 ring to serve as both. So, of course, I’m expecting a catch, but I just shrug and say as little as possible.
Later, we’re talking about the actual wedding. She doesn’t want some big service. In fact, she wants to go to the courthouse and just do it simple. After all, it seems like a waste of money to have all the bells and whistles. I’m still relatively quiet, but it’s probably more from shock than from fear of a girl-trick.
So later still, when I’m alone, I try to recap what happened. She doesn’t want an engagement ring. She doesn’t want a wedding. She’s basically saving me the cost of a small house with these decisions. So I should be ecstatic, right? Wait! If she doesn’t want an engagement ring, how am I supposed to get down on one knee and “pop the question” all romantic-like?
Meanwhile, she’s talking to her family about her decisions on the ring, and her great-aunt decides to buy her a ring (not anything expensive, mind you) just so she has something for show. And I’m talking to my parents to make sure they’re cool with me asking this girl to be their daughter-in-law. (They are.)
The other night, she comes home from her mom’s house and puts a ring box in my hand and says, “Here. Do it.” I have to confess that I panicked. This isn’t like anything I’ve ever seen in the movies. I’ve imagined proposing a few times before in my mind, and it was always somewhere nice… like a cabin in the mountains, or a balcony overlooking the city at night… you know, something girly. So I stammer and hesitate, which makes Strutter start to think that maybe I’m not ready for this. “Fine!” she says and snatches the ring back and stomps off to the bathroom to put on her pajamas.
So, as romantically as I can muster, I push open the door to the bathroom while she’s looking in the mirror and squeezing blackheads, and I got down on one knee and proposed.
She said yes.
(And now that I’ve outed her about squeezing blackheads, I’ll probably be killed in my sleep.)