I don’t know if it’s trending in the LGBT community, or if I’ve just finally struck an age where it’s just time for my friends, but it seems everyone is getting married. *Gulp* Including me. This article is just the beginning of my progress (and my crazy wiley desires to crumble the plans, shut everything down, and cancel the wedding) and my tips and stuggles and successes along the way. I know there’s a million wedding mags, websites, tips, tricks, and planners. But, as I’m learning, the complications of wedding planning seemingly double (or God, maybe triple) when you are a woman…marrying another woman.
I hope you can follow, learn, laugh, cry, and be part of this journey and that one day you too will be getting married and can say…”I know exactly what the hell I’m NOT doing!”
Welcome to my path of a lifelong commitment one terror, joy, tragedy, or blessing at a time.
So, let’s start with the process from the beginning. The story of my engagement. Um, well, engagements. See, I’ve had the crazy misfortune of doing this twice. They were extremely different situations and approaches. I mean, who the hell gets it right the first time. Oh yeah, most people. I think the first time I proposed to a woman I was in a place of erroneous grandeur and was in love with what could be, and not with what was. I was far more immature, irresponsible, and less reliable a person and looking back, I was much more playing the role of an adult in a relationship than actually being in one myself.
The first woman in this story, we will call Maribel, she was the first woman I thought I’d spend the rest of my life with. We had already been living together, part due to convenience and part out of hating her not being there when I got home…I loved her after all. I really did. I had planned for months how to propose. How do I ask her to marry me with the finality that says…we’re not joking or daydreaming anymore. I don’t want anyone else…I want you.
I searched for rings, spending hours online trying to capture her essence in a ring that proved that I knew her soul, like no one else. I had spoken with a few artists after digging up secret wants from her in conversations that were to stay hidden and come to learn that she had wanted pearls…but I knew that she loved pearls and she shared my rabid disdain for diamonds. Cecil Rhoades bloody diamonds’ master manipulation had no grip on either of us. I would find her the perfect pearl. I did, too. It was perfectly round and creamy and I was so proud of finding what I felt was Maribel, personified on a band of gold.
Looking back on the disillusion, I was in love with the process. I worked too hard at it. I had to hide it in the house that we lived in and move it fearing she’d find it premature. I dreamt and romanticized how I’d present it to her…as a surprise in front of all her friends perhaps? After she sang a karaoke song? No! At a ballpark with her name on the big screen? No! I sat on the ring for months and waited for the right time.
We were going to be joining a friend in the Caribbean for a few days later that summer. That’s when I did it. I had a plan that our second night there we’d go to the top Italian restaurant and we’d have champagne. I was scared of being outed outside of the US especially since the island had 4 hate killings of gays the year before so I planned on slipping it into her champagne when she left the table for the washroom. But, she never went. During the most perfect night of food, cocktails, and a rainstorm at our finger tips, she never went to the washroom. My plan to do this necessitated it so I asked if she had to go and I pretended that I needed to, hoping she would follow…but she didn’t. I got to the bathroom, looked in the mirror and began to flip out! This was my moment and the window was closing. I marched out, tried distracting her with something in the distance, and plopped the ring right into her champagne.
“Oh my god, did you just do what I think you did?” she said as I could feel my happiness bubbling inside of me for what is supposed to be the happiest day. “Seriously’” I felt my stomach drop, “You have got to be kidding me.” The look on her face had dropped me to about six inches tall and no one had ever made me feel worse about myself. “That’s how you’re going to propose to me?” I knew then, at that very moment that I had done it all right, like I had planned, but it was all wrong. I worked it backwards in my head. In the Carribean, check. At the best Italian restaurant on the island, check. In a romantic rainstorm, check. With the perfect ring, check. Glass of champagne, check. I’m still me right…check.
I was reduced to a piece of shit in moments. She wanted to know why I didn’t do it on the beach. The fact that I could have done it better told me all I needed to know at that moment. Despite her saying yes, our relationship was reduced to that moment. Six months later we had broken up. Rule number one…always pay cash for your ring so you don’t owe on it so you can follow rule number two…always give them the ring if you break up. In truth it’s much easier that way. The ring loses all value and meaning once you end. Get a clear head and give it to her. But, I can only tell you that because I gave a ring. I never got one back.
The next time I asked a woman to marry me makes for a much happier and loving story. But, it’s a story for another day. Take this into consideration for those of you planning an engagement. Are you doing it for the right reasons? Are you and she truly both emotionally mature and ready for such a thing? Promise me this, if you ever propose and get a bad feeling, take a really solid look at yourself and the other person. Better yet, have an adult conversation with each other, plan it together, talk it through.
Next time I’ll share the proposal, that led to the engagement, that lead to the planning, that’s leading to the wedding. Just don’t forget…PAY CASH FOR THAT RING!!!!
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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!