One day about a month ago, I was at the gym, working it out on an elliptical, watching TLC’s “Say Yes To The Dress” on my personal monitor. It’s a reality show that follows an NYC bridal dress shop; specifically, the quest of the brides-to-be to find The Most Perfect-est Dress Everrrr, and the quest of the employees to close sales. It’s not usually the kind of show I would watch, but there was nothing else on that piqued my interest.
In this episode, a dress-seeker took some time to tell America how her fiancé proposed to her, and how it was everything she had ever wanted, and how happy she was. I’m sure this interview happens on every episode. As the show went to commercial break, and as I pumped my legs and arms in ardent pursuit of bodily perfection in time for my trips to Brazil and Europe, I lapsed into a hypothetical daydream of the future – what if one day, I was proposed to? An image of a faceless man appeared in my head, and he presented me with a ring and asked me to marry him.
I nearly had a tearful panic attack on the elliptical. I nearly ran with fright from the gym, no goal in sight.
I might need help, y’all.
I’m not against marriage, it’s just not a life goal for me. I’ve fallen in love twice, and I still love the both of them, and I will continue to love them fiercely until the day I die, because true love does not require reciprocation, nor the promise of a sexual relationship forever. I may fall in love again, who knows? But about seven years ago I stopped holding marriage up in my mind as something that I need to do before I die. I’m also most certainly not a commitment-phobe. I take romantic relationships very seriously, and as a result, I don’t hop from relationship to relationship just so that I can say that I “have someone” (whatever that means). I have never had a problem being committed to any of my past boyfriends.
So you can imagine my bewilderment when I found myself on the verge of panicked tears on an elliptical, my heart jackhammering away like that of a rabbit being pursued. If this is how I react to the most remote possibility of a hypothetical that *might* happen in the future, what would I do in real life?
Does it have anything to do with my parent’s divorce when I was four? Does it have anything to do with the relationships I see failing all around me? Does it have anything to do with my natural hermit tendencies – my need for personal physical space? Does it have anything to do with the near-constant rejection I have experienced at the hands of men (rejection both heartbreaking and welcomed)? I’m asking you. I’m waiting…
I just got through perusing this article on Clutch Mag Online – about how too much emphasis on expensive engagement/wedding rings may be ruining marriages in America. It reminded me of that morning on the elliptical. And what is it about rings, anyway? What if, like me, you don’t hardly ever wear jewelry, and don’t want to be bothered with something so expensive that you might lose? I’m starting to feel anxious just thinking about it. I don’t know, man. Do you think I need a shrink? Maybe I just need to talk to my Mommy. Yeah, I think I’ll just do that.