by Karen Rustad
I’m going to ask B to marry me tomorrow. A couple days ago I was sitting in a brewpub with my friend L, who set me and B up, telling him what I have planned later that week. I had to tell someone. I tell him I’m excited—and incredibly nervous. I doubt B would say no, L says he thinks it’s basically impossible, but nonetheless—the thought of that crumb of a smidgen of a chance that he would turn me down, and the aftermath of that, is just completely fucking terrifying.
Me: “If B says no, we’re going to the nearest brunch place with bottomless mimosas and getting fuckin’ SMASHED.”
L: “But what would poor B do?”
Me: “K can take him to get wasted at a different mimosa place.”
L: “Okay. We can divide up the friends that way.”
Me: “Yeah! And then we can have a drunken rumble in an alley later!”
How does society just expect guys to propose, like it’s not a big deal for them, like there isn’t angst and effort involved, figuring their girlfriends probably made them engagement chicken and have been waiting with bated breath for a proposal for ages? (Seriously, Internet, we need to have a talk about this.) In so many engagement stories, the focus is on the romance and the surprise—the vulnerability of the asker is an afterthought, if that. Do men just not blog enough about it? I scoured the Internet for people writing about the period between when they decide to ask and when they actually pop the question—men OR women—but I could hardly find anything.
Well, I, at least, am excited and anxious and wound up. I couldn’t wait until our vacation in March, my original plan. I could barely wait at all after the rings arrived in the mail!
I’m also worried about the proposal being good enough. Balancing the need for romance and glamour with the fact that our relationship is pretty down to earth and B’s kind of a mountain man—how do I guarantee that I won’t be sweaty or muddy or hungry or gross-looking when we reach SCENIC FOREST VISTA?
An additional wrinkle is that B has been proposed to before, and while he said no to his ex for unrelated (good) reasons, I still feel a bit of a need to top what she did. Organizing stuff like this sends my latent perfectionism into overdrive, googling and plan-B’ing and overthinking things in an ultimately futile effort to make everything go smoothly. How can I ever have enough control over this to ensure it’s the MOST ROMANTIC THING we’ve ever done?
Does the engagement proposal have to be the most romantic thing we’ve ever done to be good enough?
And all of that comes before the worries about what people who aren’t B will think:
- That I’m a girl asking a guy. (Even in our rather feminist circle of friends, we’ll be the first to do that.)
- That my guy told me he’d prefer it if I asked. (Yeah. We’re freaking weird.)
- That I still haven’t found a job. (Working on it.)
- That I bought both our rings—and our rings are made of silver. (Short version: I’m low on cash, I knew what I wanted, B doesn’t know how he’ll like wearing a ring, and I wanted the option to only “out” the fact that we did it Sadie Hawkins style to the people we wanted to know—which meant buying both rings at once.)
- My ring doesn’t have a “rock.” (My ring’s literally tying the knot, how more wedding-y can you freaking get?)
But after all the antecedent anxiety in the planning stages, at this point I’m running low on worries. After listing out all the above, I find I’m truly out of fucks to give. Fuck diamonds, fuck perfection. I wanna get hitched.
I hope he says yes.
The food on our date was mediocre. The forest vista was completely obscured by fog and we got rained on. It was definitely NOT the most romantic thing we’ve ever done. He said yes.
Photo by Vivian Chen (APW Sponsor)