I’ve been engaged before.
It didn’t go very far, but I think his designs on me were slightly more intense than mine on him. In fact my designs on him were very scant.
A red flag should have been the singular teacup, plate and cutlery in his apartment. Read that. Singular. In hindsight, perhaps hook up with someone that is kind of optimistic about meeting someone, not just resigned to living alone by having one of everything.
Besides, how could I possibly have the parentals over? We’ll all just sip from the same cup. Cosy.
He was interesting though. That’s why I liked him. I looked past the singular crockery and saw it as a quirk. He was a quirky guy. He was quirky-looking. But sweet. Desperately sweet.
I was living in Kalgoorlie at the time, he lived in Perth. I saw him maybe once every six weeks. Perhaps that’s why it lasted as long as it did. He was a perfect long-distance lover. But that’s just it. I loved talking with him, he was thought-provoking and deep. He loved using lots of words – I actually had a dictionary at my side just in case. But what had in intelligence, he lacked in social situations.
His social pain was excruciating. I love parties, he took me to parties to use me as a social crutch. If I was popular, so was he. Don’t get me wrong, it was fine for awhile, but I can’t play the entertainer all the time, I’ll give it a damn good crack but I either would get too tired or too drunk. Usually too drunk.
He proposed over Chinese food at my kitchen table. His words, “I’m so sure” were met with my “I’m not”.
I locked myself in the bathroom.
He immediately left back for Perth with the ring on the kitchen table. Geez it looked nice on my finger.
I let myself be coaxed into it.
I remember one day wearing this ring to work and someone commenting on how I was a dark horse because I hadn’t said anything.
They were right. I didn’t say anything.
The last time I saw him was in a rundown Kalgoorlie hotel room. He was sitting on the floor, tears streaming down his face.
He said he didn’t want me to be unhappy and retracted his proposal.
I didn’t say a word. My bitten lip screamed with how I could treat him that way.
I gave the ring back.
Then he said he couldn’t bear to have it back.
So there we were. Tiny dilapidated room, two unhappy people and one ring no one wanted.
He pushed the ring hard into my hand with the most strength I’ve ever known him to muster, almost pushing me right into the door (why didn’t he show me this forthrightness before??) and left me again on my own while he traipsed the wide streets of Kalgoorlie for hours.
I still have the ring.
The Mister knows all about it. He doesn’t like it in the house but I don’t think anything will come of it. Nothing seems like the right thing to do. Even now.
I’m not looking for an answer about what to do with the ring. I’m doing nothing about it, just like he would do nothing about it.
But that was the story about the first time I was proposed to.
I wish him nothing but love, wonderment and loads more crockery.