We interrupt your regularly scheduled vacation memories to bring you this digression into the mind of the author.
It has totally intrigued me lately to hear peoples’ responses to the news that Stephen and I are engaged. Typically, it sounds like this:
“I saw that coming!”
“THAT doesn’t surprise me!”
“I’ve been waiting to hear that!”
“Now, why am I not surprised?”
And I have to say, HOW THE HELL DID YOU PEOPLE ALL KNOW SOMETHING I HAD NO CLUE ABOUT??????
*cough cough* Sorry.
Right from the beginning of our relationship, Stephen made it abundantly clear that he was not interested in marriage. He once told me not to expect white picket fences and happy-ever-after because he wasn’t planning on that. Anytime the subject of marriage/weddings came up his comments were extremely negative. One time I was making the point that while getting married again was certainly not a goal of mine, I also wouldn’t completely rule it out as a possibility for the future. His response?
“If you got married, I’d miss you.” Needless to say, after that I avoided the subject as much as I could.
Recently it seemed there was a sudden outbreak of engagements and marriages around us, and one evening I cautiously broached the subject, seeking to reassure him that all of this marriage-stuff in the water wouldn’t have any effect on me. He shot me down so fast it made my head spin. “Don’t be silly, I’m not worried about anything like that.”
So, you see, so far as I believed, marriage was simply not going to happen. I was content with our relationship as it was. We were both openly committed to one another in a long-term dating relationship, and that worked for us. Personally, I saw no reason to change it. Only recently had we begun dancing around the idea of SOMEDAY moving in together and/or buying a house together, but it was generally understood that that would happen after Sean had grown up and moved out. In other words, far in the future.
And if anyone asked me our plans, I openly admitted we had no intentions of marrying. It seemed odd – and still seems odd – to me that no one believed me. Why on earth not? It was the truth as I knew it to be. I would assume I would know what our plans were. And that others would not.
Yet apparently I also did not. All that time that I thought he didn’t want to get married, he thought I didn’t want to get married because I avoided the subject like the plague! He had supposedly been considering marriage for over a year, but wanted to be sure I’d actually consider saying yes before he asked. He didn’t think I would.
Another interesting point – most females in a long-term relationship usually think about proposals – what would it be like, how would he set it up, what would he say, what would she say, would it be romantic, and so on. I never did. Because I KNEW it wasn’t going to happen, there was no point daydreaming about what it would be like if it did. I’m too practical for that. So when it did happen, much to my shock and disbelief, the response Stephen got was pure and authentic Sue. It was what came to my mind at that precise second in time, not something pre-planned or forethought. It was my instinctive reaction to his proposal. It was Truth. And I said yes, as everyone knows.
Being the practical Leos that we are, it made sense not to put the wedding off. Why wait? Which has led me into an interesting state of mind. In the space of a few days I went from firmly believing we would never get married to planning our wedding only a few months hence. I can’t even begin to explain how this has messed with my psychological equilibrium. In true Leo form I am systematically planning the wedding, making lists and crossing things off, organizing and arranging. Inside, I am hopelessly confused, incredibly sentimental and highly emotional. I alternate between excitement and terror, anticipation and dread. And we won’t even mention the horrible combination of guilt and relief I am feeling that Stephen’s god-awful-ugly-incredibly-expensive-leather-couch-he-dearly-loves won’t fit anywhere in my house!
So please forgive me if I growl at you when you express your lack of surprise at my engagement. You may have seen it coming, but I sure as hell didn’t, and it’s turned my entire existence upside down.
In a good way.
Mostly. I think.
Yes, in a good way.
We now return you to your regularly scheduled holiday programming. Next installment: The Disney Magic!