So I’m getting married. It’s not ‘official’ yet, in so far as that it only becomes ‘official’ until I get a ring and propose, but Jackie and I have spent a lot of time talking about marriage and we’re both incredibly excited to be marrying the other. And that’s basically the only thing that has kept me from losing my damn mind as I think about proposing to Jackie.
When’s the right time, where’s the right place, is the ring I picked out right, should I do it in public (no), should I do it somewhere special but with privacy (probably), should it be a big event or spur of the moment? Could she possibly say no? (Extremely unlikely.) The questions circle endlessly in my head about the particulars of the act, but to be perfectly honest with myself those particulars circle in my head, beating at my sanity like a woodpecker at a tree, because I just don’t want to admit the truth about why the proposal actually freaks me out.
Because it’s a fucking proposal. Don’t misunderstand me, I’m simply stunned that someone as bright (in both brains and personality), funny, beautiful, tolerant, witty, kind, and generally mindbendingly amazing as Jackie wants to date me, much less wants to marry me. I’m under no illusions as to how lucky I am to have her in my life, and under even fewer illusions as to how awesome we are for, and to, each other. None of which does a damn thing to alleviate the fact that with one single moment, a bent knee, and a ring I am asking another human being to be my partner, lover, companion, friend, sounding board, arbiter, and my ‘pay-the-bills-you-idiot’ person for the rest of my life. It’s not something anyone should walk into lightly, even when you’re as sure (100%) as I am that you want to spend your life with that someone. This is probably the closest in my life I’ve ever come to something resembling a religious experience, not for some ludicrous ‘the joining of two spirits into one’ experience, but the sheer joy and unadulterated terror that comes with committing to something that is going to be such hard work (a lifetime’s worth of work!) but something that will be worth a lifetime of work.
And that lifetime of work, with the joys and sorrows and boring days sitting around reading while drinking cocoa, all begin with me. They begin with me getting on a knee and putting a ring on Jackie’s finger, and asking her to share in that life’s work with me. To be the equals to each other we’ve always wanted, and the companions we can come to in the darkest of times. We’re not perfect, and never will be, but I think proposing to Jackie is more than just asking her to marry me. It’s asking her to help me be a better person, and asking permission to let me help her be a better person. What a sobering and beautiful thought: that with just a few words we open ourselves up to becoming people more, and better, and happier than we could have ever been apart.