Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Love Honor and Oh No You Didn't!

You're laying there in the dark, on the edge of sleep, and some asshole flips the switch. The room fills with light, your pupils fight to adjust, but it doesn't happen quickly enough. You're blinded. It was exactly like that. I had been floating through my relationship, oblivious to the sound of steps approaching the light switch of our issues. I don't recall what had led me to his desk that day. I was probably in search of pen or piece of paper to take a message on. We weren't the type of people to hide things from each other, which was painfully obvious by the letter on the top of the days mail.

We had been living together for about a year in a house we bought together when he moved here from California. When we began dating he was in the middle of a divorce, which seemed pretty cut and dried. Sometimes it pays to ask the big questions. Things like "So, did you ever actually take care of that divorce?"

The answer would have been, "No, I changed my mind about that. I haven't had a chance to tell you yet because I don't want any confrontation." That is pretty much exactly what the letter on the top of the pile said. "Dear Mr. *****, We have attempted to contact you on several occasions over the past two months with no response. You initiated these divorce proceedings, yet... " 

I could give you a list of reasons he had decided to leave. Some were valid, some were idiotic, some were just painful. The fact is that he left. I cried. We tried to make it work as a long distance couple, with him promising to finish his divorce when he got back. But after that, I had lost faith and I'm sure it felt like I was "phoning it in", which is humorous because that was how we managed to stay in contact for the most part.

When I opened the email I was expecting the worst. We'd been fighting on the phone, over Instant Messenger, in email, and pretty much every form of non-physical communication we could find. If we'd had beepers we'd have beep warred. Just seeing the message there in my inbox, sans subject line, made me grow cold. There was a knot in my throat, panic in my heart, and a tightening in my chest. I felt like throwing up and I hadn't even opened it yet.

Imagine my surprise when I read the opening lines of his marriage proposal. That's right folks, a marriage proposal, via email. ~Swoon~ You were probably thinking he was totally heartless and I was going to go all evil man hater on his sorry ass, huh? But wait! There's more! (FINALLY A  PLACE IT FITS!)

Beneath his request for my hand in marriage was a brief description of what was to follow. The contract. You heard me... a marriage contract. Lord help me, I hoped we have enough livestock for my dowry!

The list of conditions was lengthy.
Parts were humorous
7. You will agree to allow me to pleasure you sexually until such time as I am no longer physically able. 

Parts were oddly romantic
9. You will allow me to cherish you until the day I die.

But the rest...the rest was where I completely lost my mind
4. You will lose a minimum of 4 pounds a month for the 10 months remaining on my deployment. 
6. You will complete a minimum of 3 credit hours of study toward degree completion in one of the following areas. 
10-13. You will You will You will... fix everything I deem to be wrong with you. (okay he didn't write that but it pretty much sums up the rest of the list)

I know what you're thinking, how freaking awesome is that?! Take out the guess work. Do away with all that "what if" crap that comes with marriage. Get those issues out of the table now and attack them head on and you'll have a happy marriage! Don't get me wrong, there are times when I miss that directness. Sick, I know. But, I usually knew where I stood.  Unfortunately, I did not take up the gauntlet on this one. Instead I sent back something along the lines of, "You've GOT to be kidding me." In return I received something like, "If you really love me..." to which I responded with, "If you really loved me you'd be better looking."

Then I showed it to all of my girlfriends.

For those who believe this to be a work of fiction, I'm posting the FB comment from one of my gfs who remembers "the proposal". ;)

Tell me about your marriage proposal(s)! Whether you accepted or extended a proposal, refused it or were turned down. Tell me what your experience is with this little tradition.


Rosonkefam said...

So glad you aren't hitched to this Bozo, Angie! As usual, you have me reading and laughing and shaking my head in disbelief, too, today...you are awesome!

Mike from Adelaide said...

I laughed so hard, I split my pants. A contract to make sure that you became a slimmer, more educated version for him is comedy gold. And I'd look out for clause 7, there may be a pre-existing condition in play there.... As for my wedding proposal; we were sitting together in the bath and as she was sitting on my lap, kneeling was not an option....

Anonymous said...

Is this for real?????

Angie said...

You were on the top of my list as a bridesmaid dang it! :p We live and we learn right? It's all good!

See... your proposal was sweet! Unless it was pervy! Either way she accepted!

Yeppers! A few of my readers actually got to see the contract. I wasn't joking when I said I sent it to my friends. It was about 4 years ago though, so I'm in the laughing stage now. I also laid a lot of smack down on things after that. It's made me this wholly well adjusted specimen of awesome you see today.

RCB said...

Well, to tell you the truth, I'm still waiting for the right lady (her name is Angie, too) to propose to me. What do you think about that, being the modern woman you are? At the back back of my mind I hear my own voice whispering, 'It's gonna be a long wait....'

wagthedad said...

Oh my God Angie. Are you one of those cursed people who attract shitheads? I know how heartless that sounds, but I say it with compassion.
I have a guy friend who attracts only shitheads who do things like use him for child care while in remission from cancer and then ditch him as soon as they've recovered and then tell him the feelings have been dead since the beginning of the cancer, like 3 YEARS.

Anyway, I really, really feel for you because people are assholes. But there are lots and lots of good people out there. I know you know that and probably you are sick to death of hearing it, but it IS true.

My proposal was boring, most likely. Sushi restaurant, a bottle of champagne, down on my knee and a ring. No blimps or skywriting planes or highway signs. Just the old-fashioned way.

Did he REALLY say you had to lose 4 lbs a month? WTF?

Angie said...

Since I'm feeling all personal and in your business... why not ask her?

I won't make excuses, but deep down he is a good person. As I said, we'd been fighting. I don't attract only assholes. A few bad relationships is par for the course and makes for good lessons looking back! Yes, he said that (which as it turns out wasn't a bad goal... just not in a proposal).

Your proposal sounds just like it's supposed to! I think the one knee thing is very romantic. Add champagne to that and it's buckets of awesome!

Diana Burfield (BettyShmetty) said...

Wow...just wow. Mine was romantic and perfect (the proposal) the pitch for losing weight came on the wedding day (nice huh?) Still married him thought and been together almost 20 years of ups and downs. The weight issues never really go away for someone who has them (as in the person pitching the other person's need to lose it.) Seems to me, if you are not sexually attracted to the person you are dating (just as they are) you shouldn't be dating them and then, of course, you shouldn't ask them to marry you...duh! You were brilliant to turn down such a fetching proposal girl...phew!

Leauxra said...

I've never been proposed to... well, there was the setting-me-on-fire guy, but it was more of a bet (that I won, we never got married), and there was the assumed-we-would-get-married-eventually guy that randomly defriended me a disappeared when he found someone who would marry him NOW.

Of course, not I've found Boyfriend, but I don't know if we'll get married. Weddings cost money and take planning. I would rather head to Peru with that kind of money. Or Africa.

Angie said...

It's so difficult to get past that! I've had weight issues for most of my life. I am actually surprised I didn't stand up for myself back then. Twenty + years!! Congrats girl!! That is a success story and each year is a testament to the value you place on keeping love alive. now I'm getting sappy.

I've been proposed to 2.5 times. One time was with then boyfriends dead wife's ring (because he wanted to share something with me that meant something to him), the above situation, and someone who wanted a green card. LOL

Not everyone wants to get married... and not all marriages require a big wedding. Your boyfriend from what I can tell seems to be pretty dang perfect for you! :)

Paula said...

I'm so glad you kicked his butt to the curb! You are awesome and I really hope you know that!

Linda Medrano said...

Okay, you did the right thing. If a guy has a list of changes for you, it's not the right man. Where does it end? Does he later want you to bleach your hair blond and wear blue contacts? Or have your boobs made smaller or bigger. Oh hell no.

None of my marriages started off with a "You're WHAT?" so I guess I went into them with my eyes open. I've been married to Alex for 22 years now. I probably am on my last marriage. But who knows!

Angie said...

Paula and Linda,
I know it sounds strange, but I'll always love him for who he was when we met. Maybe through all of this I can only day love who he is becoming. We all have our burdens. It took time for me to understand why he was the way he was. I don't know if he even understands it yet. But we learn through experience, right?

Oh and Linda, I thought I was your next marriage!? LOL

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