I might have been bitchy and on the road to completely high as a kite when my boyfriend proposed to me on Christmas Eve. It’s so typically me. I spill red beverages on white clothing, fall up the stairs (and down them for that matter) and continue to wear ridiculous heels even though I roll my ankle in them on a regular basis. Of course my marriage proposal story would be silly. Why would it be romantic? Eh, I still love it though.
My body tends to go insane under extreme stress and the blow Pat and I and many others took right before Christmas with the death of our friend was anything but an exception. That, along with the dry, cold Colorado air made my face fall off in chunks, mainly my lips. I was like one of those disgusting little children with a flaming, peeling ring around their mouth – a more permanent and awful form of the fruit punch ‘stache. I had resorted to smearing baby butt cream on my face…yes on my face…and sleeping in awkward positions to get it to stay on…anything to make my face stop falling off. Of course then that made my neck twist into unbearable contortions, which provides the basis of our story.
On Christmas Eve at my parents’ house in Kansas City, I had taken a handful of ibuprofen with no neck relief in sight. In between whining and bitching about the possibility of my neck giving way and my head rolling to the floor, my parents, Pat and I moved furniture, cooked and generally prepared the house for the mass chaos that is Christmas as our house. Tired of hearing the bitching, my Mom remembered she had two muscle relaxers left over from months old back spasms and dug them out much to my relief. I popped one and continued my bitching while waiting for it to kick in.
I stood clutching my neck looking around for the next task when Pat walked up to me, put his arms around me and I retaliated by brushing him off, rolling my eyes and making one of those irritating, incoherent noises that women make when they want you to leave them alone. He persisted, locking me in a bear hug and saying, “you know I love you…” I reluctantly gave in and said, “yeah” while burying my face in his chest, still thinking about my neck.
“And recent events have brought us closer,” he said, backing me into the middle of the living room.
The next thing I know, he’s stepping back, pulling a ring out of his pocket – the exact one I picked out three and a half months ago – getting on one knee in the middle of my parents’ living room and saying something very formal like, “I’d like to ask for your hands in marriage.” I said, “Of course” and held out a shaky hand. I didn’t actually realize what had happened or that my parents witnessed the whole thing from opposite sides of the room until Pat stood up and gave one of his signature, all encompassing hugs – the best in the world – then I bawled. Holy shit. So, THAT just happened. He completely took me by surprise, which is no easy task.
On his way home from the gym that morning, Pat had picked up a couple of bottles of champagne, so we popped those, then I took a sip and was immediately hammered. Ah, yes, the muscle relaxer I had taken 10 minutes earlier.
“How does your neck feel now?” Pat asked.
“What neck?” I slurred.
The first person to notice when the family crew starting piling into the house a few hours later was my cousin Aaron, who said the ring blinded him from across the room. The rest of the night my head floated above my body partially because of the engagement and partially because I was cracked out on neck relieving drugs. For the first time, the children screamed, tackled each other and dove head first down the stairs and I didn’t care at all.
The wedding planning has already started, but that – along with my missing traditional bride gene - are for another post…or several. This should be a fun year for us all.