Two weeks ago when I was hanging out with Neil in San Francisco I found myself having some fairly meaty conversations. Nothing particularly profound or philosophical, but more than your typical shoot-the-shit stuff. To the extent that I marveled “you’re not one for small talk, are you?”
Neil asked me all sorts of questions. Religion and spirituality, the merits of various career paths, favorite culinary creations, the works. All requiring thought and articulation on my behalf and a vast reserve of patience on Neil’s part while I muddled through my ramblings. Dude is a saint.
One question he asked was if I had ever been proposed to. I was stunned. No one’s ever asked me that. Ever. And the answer is yes.
It was late, he was drunk, we were walking home, he got down on his knees in the middle of the street and asked me to marry him. A grown man. On his knees. In the street. PROPOSING. Out of NOWHERE. And my shock and annoyance (I turned him down) were meager in comparison to my supreme fury the following morning when he didn’t remember a damn thing. WHAT THE FUCK. You do not propose to someone and then FORGET.
Note: Dude was thirty-one at the time. Having dated several thirty-something dudes since I no longer consider thirty-one a “grown man.” Nor thirty-nine, for that matter. Hardly. But at the time, he was the oldest guy I’d dated. And with an eleven year age difference, thirty-one seemed about as grown up as it got. He supposedly had his shit together. Except I now realize no one has their shit together. And certainly not at thirty-one. “Men” are just boys in nicer costumes.
So at dinner that night (we’re now back in present day San Francisco) when relaying the details of our day to Isaac, the proposal story was dismissed as not being a “legitimate” proposal because the dude was drunk. Apparently this is a not uncommon occurence. Except for me it is. And in that moment, it was very real. That guy could have woken up an engaged man. Maybe it’s just me, but in my world girls don’t take proposals lightly. That is some serious life-altering shit.
Since I’m baring personal secrets I may as well go ahead and finish the story.
So we inevitably break up, completely unrelated to said proposal debacle and however many months later. A year or so goes by and we meet for dinner at some new swank place. During which I proceed to drink WAY too much, redefine the term “shit-canned,” and break down in tears because I’m haunted by his half-assed proposal. All while sitting at the table at this really nice restaurant. Well done me.
It startled the shit out of him and me both; I hadn’t ever before given that little mishap a second thought. But there it was, buried in my poorly sealed vault of secrets, and suddenly I’m drunk and overwhelmed and crying and pissed and hurt. Then there was the angry storming home (teetering the whole way on sky-high heels, natch), at one point dropping my clutch and shit flying everywhere; the drunk confusion at which point I stopped making sense even to myself but stubbornly plow on because I’m boiling over with rage; the slamming of my front door in his face and his pacing back and forth and knocking and trying to set things right. It was a hot mess. And not the good kind.
Now, years later, all is forgiven and forgotten. I hadn’t thought about that night (or the horrifying ugly drunk shitshow that followed) for years. Neil dug that memory out of me with a simple question. It’s funny the little tidbits we hang onto.
So, yeah. Another one for the “Life of Meg” chronicles.