…Billy Joel, ballading mid-song, was just at that line when Tad cranked up his 1986 burgandy Honda Accord. It’s at that precise moment he asked me to get something for him out of the glove compartment, I swear, almost on cue. I popped it open and saw an open ring box and thought, hesitantly, “Oops! He doesn’t want me to see that…” And my head at mock speed boomeranged a shocked glance at him, then back at The Box and I wasn’t sure what the proper social graces were for accidentally discovering an engagement ring. I couldn’t exactly pretend I didn’t see it since it was on top of everything else. All this hesitation in a matter of seconds, felt much more like an eternity.
And then The Question–
“Well…are you going to keep it?”
Not exactly the one
I had imagined since I was six years old reading stor ies that ALW AYS ended in “happily ever after” I was looking for. I suppose it was warrented, however; this WAS the second time he proposed after all. The first time was a year or so earlier, a much more “traditional” proposal (professing his undying love and affection and how he wanted to spend the rest of his life with me, yada yada). At the time, I was conflicted–I couldn’t exactly say “yes” because I took marriage that seriously, a commitment for life, but I didn’t wanna say “no”…so we remained in engagement purgatory for about a week. I wore the ring for fun while I contemplated my decision, but when all was said and done, I could only say “Not yet.” He took the ring back, and let’s just say for the next year he made me pay for my indecision–painfully so–by dating other women we evaluated whether or not to stay together.
As you can see, his question was certainly understandable. I still remember what I was wearing, in fact, I just got rid of it in the past few years. I become emotionally attached to old clothes and have been known to keep a garment well beyond its natural life because of undue affection. I tried to find a picture from that night, but my pictures are discombobulated, I have GOT to organize them before I die.
By the time Billy got to “I love you and that’s forever And this I promise from the heart I could not love you any better I love you just the way you are” I had said yes! Three and a half months later, we were married (dated five years, when you’ve got your dress (my sister’s), it really doesn’t take that long to pull off a wedding).
Fast forward…Nineteen years. 228 months. 6,935 days. 166,440 hours.
A long damn time. And if there’s ANY question, I am most assuredly smiling when I write that.
I cannot remember what life was like before Tad. We’ve been together over half our lives. He is strong where I am weak, and our personalities complete each other’s; a good thing, although not without working through some differences at times. We’ve had emotional highs and learned that sometimes “love” is spelled “c-o-m-m-i-t-m-e-n-t” when feelings eluded.
And if I knew “then” what I know now, my answer would still be the same, the second time he asked, not the first.
I love you, baby…happy anniversary :).