Our Honeymoon in Hawaii
Before I delve into Part 2, let me correct my Part 1 time line, per my awesome husband. He says (and I like this version better), that I didn’t start to nag until four or five months into us living together. Then it was about three months after that, then two months, etc. But it wasn’t until about a year in that I was really laying it on. He says if I had been crazy enough to start in immediately, he might not have been so amiable about the whole thing. (Translation: He wouldn’t have stuck around.)
So there we were, a year into our relationship, living in sin, and on opposite ends of the issue. I felt like we made a mistake and probably should have lived apart until he gave me a ring. He felt like we made the perfect decision and should probably live together until one of us was making six figures a year or Hell froze over, or both. I wanted a wedding. Not a big, opulent one. Just a wedding with paperwork that said we could only break up after spending a lot of time in court and a lot of money on lawyers. He wanted to live together, happily ever after. He figured we’d get married someday… WAY off in the distance. That was way too long for me.
I suggested we go back to dating and living in separate places. He thought that was ridiculous and would never work. We fought. A lot. I felt terrible for being this person, but I couldn’t stop myself. Every time we agreed to leave the issue alone for a month or two, I only lasted a day or two. Words would just fall out of my mouth no matter how hard I tried to stop them. “I just can’t do this anymore, Russ. I want to get married. I don’t know how this happened or why I’m like this, but I can’t pretend I’m not thinking these things.” The next few months or so were a blur of me trying to keep my mouth shut and having a great time with my man, for the most part. I mean, this was a fun, carefree time for us. Sex, food, friends, parties, sex, food, dates, sex, breakfast, etc. But that stupid voice inside my head kept saying, “He’s never going to marry you, you idiot.”
Now, let’s rewind a couple years to when my awesome grandma Frankie passed away and left me her necklace with the diamond in it that was originally the diamond in the engagement ring my awesome grandpa Murray gave to her. Follow? She left me her engagement diamond. So, when Russ and I first moved in together, I showed him the diamond in the box where I kept it and said, “Please use this diamond in my ring, should you ever choose to ask me to marry you.” Translation: “You are going to save so much money on my engagement ring, there’s really no reason you shouldn’t just ask me now.”
Fast forward to a year or more into us living together. My parents reminded me of the jeweler friend they had who could probably get us a really good deal on a setting for the (free) diamond I already had in my possession. Uh oh. The Parents were passive-aggressively getting involved, like any good Jewish parents do when they see their daughter slightly distressed and wanting to marry the tall, Aryan man she loves so much.
Now all of a sudden, Russ and I found ourselves at this jeweler’s place of business, just to “look” at his selection. Well, we found the perfect setting and it was such a good deal that Russ bought it on the spot. It wasn’t a proposal of marriage, it was just a really good deal. Then Russ and I went out to lunch and had one of the worst fights in the history of our 13-year relationship. There we were, sitting at The Claim Jumper, waiting for our giant orders of comfort food and neither of us were very comfortable. He felt completely confused and bamboozled, wondering how the fuck he just bought a ring when he wasn’t even ready to ask me to marry him. And I felt ashamed and confused by the person I had become, who so desperately needed this man to commit to me that I forced him into a position he was clearly uncomfortable with. I was sobbing. I felt like I had forever ruined one of the most important moments of my life. I had nagged my boyfriend into buying a ring. I felt sick. I wanted to run away. But Russ held me while eating his extremely large corn bread and told me we would get through it.
After that horrible day, we had one more “talk”. Russ asked me to please leave it up to him, now. (I had obviously emasculated him enough.) He made it very clear that from here on in it was going to be his decision: When, where and how. And I was not allowed, under any circumstances, to bring it up. I had to trust him now. And I decided to do just that. I mean, I had already messed it all up so badly, I really didn’t want to do any more damage.
Then one day, without me knowing, he picked up the ring. And I guess it was on the top shelf of our closet for a pretty long time. We had made reservations in Ojai to celebrate our second anniversary and he was planning on asking me there. But the night before, during an (ahem) intimate moment, he asked me. It was so beautiful and perfect, and so… Russ. And it washed away all of the bullshit that had happened before. If nothing else, Russ and I love each other and, at that moment, that was all there was. I cried my eyes out, and called my parents. Then looked him in those beautiful, blue eyes of his and said, “I’d like to pick a date. I don’t want this to be a long engagement.”
You can take the girl out of the proposal, but you can’t take the nagging, desperate-to-get-married-wench out of the girl.
We got married April 30th, 2000. Exactly seven months after he asked me. The wedding was perfect. The honeymoon was even more so. And, after ten years of marriage and one fantastic child, I wouldn’t change anything about it. Except maybe the whole nagging part. I would probably change that.
This is me very, very happy.