I promised the story about my second engagement and, in a reality that is the only one that really matters. It was the last night of Pride. I was a mess. I had been bartending at the Backlot Bash where I was overly intoxicated from drinking during the parade and I made a huge mess of things trying to be faster and better than the other servers and just ended up fucking up and got tricked into giving beers to people whose tickets I hadn’t gotten. I was a mess, and embarrassed, and failed. Then I was let go because I was accused of giving beers away when I had really just super fucked up. I will admit I did give a few away but that was the night before.
So, I searched the crowd and found Jo. She saw me crying and knew I was hurt/sad/pissed/sorry and drunk. But, she followed me to apologize and ask that I could explain myself. She was proud of the embarrassment I was that night. She knew me wholly and understood my intentions. And she loved that part of me.
We eventually rejoined friends and made the most of the rest of the night. Walking home I was the goof that she had grown to love and I had talked one of her more modest friends into taking her shirt off with me. And she loved that part of me.
As we walked past the businesses on Clark on a Pride night we heard a screech and a crash that rattled the windows of the store fronts that we were walking past. I rush to put my shirt on and as I round the corner running, my arms found their way through the windows of a car to find two kids trapped – hit by a police squad. They are dazed and bloody and seemingly family as the rainbow beads around their neck tell me.
I urge them to stay in the car as I’m sure they must be as drunk as I was. Knowing they can’t tell how hurt they were – intoxicated by both adrenaline and booze – I fear for them. They begin climbing out the window against my assurance that I was a paramedic and that it was best if they stayed where they were. It wasn’t until a beautiful latina pushed me and said, “Get out of the way, I know CPR.” I flashed anger at her ignorance and laughed, almost simultaneously. Good, I said, you save them. After determining no one was dying and there was no threat of ignition I half jogged back to Jo and shirtless friend, smiling, leaving the latina to find someone to give mouth to mouth to.“Was everything alright?” I assured Jo it was as I quickly apologize for leaving without thought. “I know you can’t help yourself, its what you do.” And she loved that part of me.
We continued our walk home and were very close to where she lived, where I’d be sleeping that night. But, before we got there we stopped on the steps of a Catholic church to rest and talk as not to keep up here roommate when we had arrived home. We talked about our future together and how crazy it was that we knew that we were both in it for the long haul after such a short time of knowing each other. We spoke about how many kids we wanted and our families. We laughed about how drunk we were. I was inspired and I was sure. I took the necklace off my neck and asked her if she would marry me as I began to cry. Now, if you knew me you would understand…I cry, a lot! The drinking didn’t help. Proof? …google Kristen Sloth crying. I cried at that video. Multiple times.
She said yes after I told her how serious I was and rambled through tears about how amazingly we know each other. She still said yes through the snot coming out of my face, on a dark street at midnight, the street awoken by the occasional passing car. She said yes without a ring. Unplanned. Unpredicted. Illuminated in the orange that only a streetlight can make. And she loved that part of me.
She went on to say how it was far more meaningful that I wanted to give her my necklace because she knew how much it meant to me. She said the ring doesn’t matter nearly as much as having found me has meant to her. We then laughed a little in between the embraces and kisses that I had proposed and spent all that time talking about our life together on the steps of a church that condemned us, but it felt so right.
I can’t tell you how the right way is to propose. I can tell you to be sure you are truly prepared to get married. Not ready in a year. Not ready in six months, but ready at that moment emotionally, intellectually, and spiritually if need be. Have yourself in the “best self” shape possible. Be sure that the person who you get engaged to knows EXACTLY who you are, almost better than you know yourself. Be sure you can ask that person anything and that you can fight about anything without thinking that a fight will lead to a bigger fight or a break up.
Your engagement should be true, to who you are as a person, to who she is as your best friend, and to who you are a couple. If one of those things is ever compromised, it’s just not right. Don’t be selfish in your proposal and propose the way you would want to be proposed to, she’ll see that. And if you are that girl who thinks someone else is going to propose to you, be prepared to change your stance…she may feel the same way. After all, fairy tale endings are constantly written. Trying to live up to one written for someone else just seems like we’re setting ourselves up for failure.
If you got engaged or are planning to how would/did you do it?
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About The Athlesbian
Meg was born and raised in Chicago where she became an avid sports fan the moment she laid her eyes on her first ball. She has a knack for picking up any sport quickly as most four sport high school athletes would. Meghan played two sports in college and spent her post college years playing women’s pro football, capturing a national title, before having to quit due to injury. She still plays numerous sports in rec leagues around the city and boasts at a recent team tryout knocked out 51 consecutive push-ups in a minute. Always willing to try something new she just played in her first rugby match. Meghan currently works as a fire-medic and is finishing her Master’s degree from University of Chicago, and no, unfortunately, its not in sports reporting!