Sorry I didn't post this yesterday as planned. There was something about the silence of the snow yesterday that put me in a reading mood, rather than a writing mood, and before I knew it, I'd read myself to sleep.
But back to the meme:
I turned down 3.5 marriage proposals before I accepted my husband's.
Marriage Proposal One:
I was in high school. A very lonely, very intense, slightly crazy upperclassman, who spent 80% of his time debating politics, read some essays I had written and was moved to express his undying love. My mother didn't allow me to date anyone seriously yet at that age, but this boy was persistent.
One day, he called me over the phone and proposed that we run away to Utah to get married. He said he had researched the marriage laws in every state, and that Utah (at the time) was the only state where a girl of my youthful age could get married without parental consent. He had been saving money. He had packed a suitcase. He had written down the address and phone number of a cheap hotel. He had a plan all set for evading our parents. He had thought of everything!
I turned him down.
He apparently spent the next couple of years driving by my house at night at least once a month, and staring at my window forlornly.
I hear he's happily married now.
Marriage Proposal Two:
This one is actually really sweet and tragic. It also happened during high school. (I swear I was a total geek, then! And I don't mean the cool sort of geek, either. I was positively mousy. I mean, people made fun of me. I don't know how this kept happening.)
There was a boy at my high school, in the same year as I was, who had a terrible crush on me for basically the entire four years. He was smart, brilliant even. He was nice. He was even cute. (Best of all, he had never made elaborate plans for kidnapping me and taking me to Utah! I mean, as far as I know.)
He was rather an odd at times, lacking in social graces, but, being I was a total nerd myself, I could have handled that.
The problem was, he was one of my best friends; I'd known him since I was twelve, and, try as I might, I could never muster much more than brotherly affection toward him. We tried dating a couple of times, but it just didn't work for me. He kept professing his affection; I kept turning him down. I was always madly in teenaged-love with someone else. But all our other friends knew he had a crush on me, so almost none of them were willing to date me for very long, because they didn't want to break this kid's heart. (Or at least, that's what I like to tell myself. See mousiness earlier referenced for alternate reason.)
One day, when we were both at a bowling alley, this boy bought me a 50 cent plastic ring out of a vending machine, and proposed. I was nearly an adult, then. He was so earnest. It was terribly romantic.
But I turned him down, too.
But he's happily married to someone else too, now!
So I'm not a total bitch, right? Right?
I still have the plastic ring.
Marriage Proposal Three:
I was in college. He was a rich boy from the east coast whose uncle held a position of importance at the university. I was on scholarship, working my way through school unsupported by family, barely scraping by. He was a member of the Campus Republicans. I was a liberal idealist. He was a computer engineering major. I was studying world literature.
We both liked ballroom dancing.
We dated for a tumultuous few months. We broke up. He was leaving town in a couple of weeks anyway, to go work for a huge technology company; I still had to stay here another two years to finish my degree, so, it was for the best anyway, right?
I did miss him, though.
One day, not long after he'd left town, he called me to say he was coming back into town for the weekend, and would like to spend some time with me. I agreed to see him. Then he said:
"You know, I think it would make my parents very happy if I came back from St. Louis engaged."
To which I responded, innocently as can be, "But who on earth would accept a proposal on such short notice this weekend? Are you seeing someone else?"
Because, you know, "My parents would be happy" did not really sound to me like a very good reason to propose.
Marriage Proposal .5:
I know what you're thinking. You're thinking, "What does she mean by half a marriage proposal?" Well, you see, after I rejected the tepid offer by the rich boy from the east coast, I met another man whom I wound up living with for two years. This man was that sort of person who never finishes anything, or commits fully to anything-- the sort who does everything halfway. He never actually proposed to me. But after a certain amount of time had passed, it became inevitable in the minds of our families and friends that we would eventually get married. My boyfriend even actually started talking about where we would get married, and whom we would invite, and some of his friends started referring to me as the fiancee. But he never once actually ASKED me to marry him. Which I suppose was for the best, given I eventually broke up with him.
And then I met my husband.