Watching Engagement Ring Commercials With my Boyfriend

Plus, what did you do over the holiday weekend?
Publish date:
July 5, 2011
marriage, vacations, proposals, Sex,

Oh hey everybody, did you have a good holiday? I had my picture taken with a fry. I also touched a live nurse shark with two fingers, got my picture taken in the "big chair," got two holes-in-one at putt-putt and ate so much ice cream that I threw up while my boyfriend choked out "You're like an actual child" in between hysterical laughter.

A few weeks ago, my boyfriend grandly announced that he was taking me on vacation to one of my favorite places in the entire world: Wildwood, New Jersey, a dying shore town that still looks straight out of the 1950s due to the hundreds of Doo-wop style motels that still dot the Coney Island-style boardwalk.

His email said: "I'm taking you on vacation to the Starlux Hotel in Wildwood NJ from 7/1-7/5. I love you," but I naturally read "I am definitely planning to ask you to marry me."

At some point, the engagement thing became an "issue" in our relationship. Which I don't want to admit to you, because I want you to believe that I am the kind of woman who drives men mad with desire, who collects proposals like Dominos Pizza doorknob coupons, and who definitely never has to cajole or otherwise coerce a man into asking for her hand in marriage.

And in truth, I once was! It's all in the emotional unavailability -- develop a drinking problem and use men as interchangeable and temporary void fillers in your empty life/soul and you too can inspire this form of confused yet desparate devotion.

But when I met Pete, one of the things that I liked about him was that he moved at a normal pace -- no 36-hour dates that ended with him accompanying me to my now-ex-boyfriend's place to pick up my things just in case he has his gun out again or instant exclusivity. (Although we did have exhibition sex in front of a live webcam after our first date, but I wanted a boyfriend who was emotionally healthy, not dead.)

Somewhere around 4 or 5 years, however, I started thinking it was about time for shit to get official. And Pete seemed to agree -- in theory. Yes, he wants to get married and be with me forever. Yes, he wants to have children together. But no, he does not ever actually call up the Jumbotron and get this party started already.

So I mentioned it a few times. Then my mentioning became "complaining," perhaps even "nagging." Then I got drunk and cried about it. Then I apologized the next day. Repeat cycle 20 or 30 times. It started to feel really awkward every time we were watching TV and an engagement ring commercial came on, sort of like watching a dirty movie with your parents.

I'd be sneaking looks at him to see his reaction while trying to keep my face totally blank so he doesn't think I'm reacting, and occasionally I'd even shake my head sadly or snort-laugh at one of the corny jokes so he'd know I find this whole romance thing totally ridiculous and it's not ripping my heart out that you don't just want to marry me of your own accord like the movie always told me it would be, not me, I'm the cool girlfriend, boy do I love to give blowjobs. Meanwhile, I can guarantee he was thinking nothing more complex than "Chez Francais is a stupid name for a restaurant."

In the end I set a deadline. I said I'd wait 8 years for him to ask, and knowing that the boundary has been set has allowed me to stop loading what will eventually be a very nice moment with the weight of all our baggage.

And I know that trying to predict when he's going to do it is a terrible idea. I have a girlfriend who made that mistake on 3 or 4 separate vacations before her boyfriend actually proposed, and it only led to her crying on a lot of mountaintops.

So I'm not the type of girl who inspires a 38-year-old lifelong bachelor to drop to one knee without a little prodding. Somehow I still snagged myself the kind of man who takes me on vacation just because he thinks I've been working too hard, buys me ice cream three times in one day and isn't even complaining that I am, yet again, working with 5 minutes to go until 4th of July fireworks. (And who still has until March.)

What about you guys? Anyone else not get proposed to over the holiday weekend?