Well, not technically, but allow me my rare moment of optimistic self-delusion.
Here's the scoop. I've been thinking a lot about getting married lately--did I mention that both RacerX and HotLips got married last month? Not that that has anything to do with it..., well, perhaps a little bit....and Rover and I have been together six years now (can you believe it?!)...
Anyhow, so I've been thinking about where I am and where Rover and I are; and I realized that I actually want to be married, that I like being married. I like the security of it; I like building a life with someone; I like being obligated to and responsible for someone; I like all of it. Marriage means something to me.
The problem is, I'm with someone who doesn't "believe in marriage" and who doesn't want to get married. Knowing that, I've been struggling internally and feeling and acting crabbier and a somewhat distant from Rover. Unsuccessfully, I've been trying to suppress a resentment towards him that keeps seeping into my psyche and making me feel depressed. Resentful because I want something I know he doesn't want and suppressing it as best I can because it's not fair for me to resent something that he's been honest and open about since the get go.
But I still want it. Marriage. To be married. Ideally to Rover. If not, well, I guess to someone else eventually.
And so it hit me: I guess it's going to have to be to someone else.
I've been sitting on that realization for a while now, a week or so, I guess. But the other night, when he was working he told me that because of the heatwave the "natives were restless" and there had been some shootings in his first-alarm area. As we said goodnight on the phone, I said to him, "Please don't get shot out there."
With that, it hit me really hard that if he were to get shot or drop dead for any reason, it would be as if he had never been in my life, that my life would continue on as if we'd never gone out, save for a box of clothes and an empty chest of drawers belonging to him that is sitting in my garage. That's what you get when you're "just dating" someone. You don't get to visit them in the hospital when they're sick without permission from family, you don't get to make medical decisions for them, you don't get surviving spouse benefits. You get nothing. You're just like anyone else.
And that's not what I want from him. From my guy. I want, and it's taken me a long time to be able to admit this, to be taken care of. I want to know that I'm a part of his life and recognized by society as someone who matters, as someone who counts. I want that protection and that power. I want the remnants. I want it all.
And so I told him. Not vaguely, in the roundabout way I've told him in the past. I just said it.
When he asked me last night during a lull in our conversation, "What are you thinking about?"
I said, "I think you should marry me."
And instead of getting defensive or angry or huffy or whatever he's done in the past when we've talked about it....
He wrapped his arms and legs around me, smiled and said, "That doesn't surprise me," and he hugged me even harder and more completely.
And I didn't say anything for a while until he said, "I love you and I want to be with you and I guess I'm just going to have to marry you some day."
And I started to cry and was very happy. And I am.
So I'm not engaged, there's no ring and no date, and he didn't ask me to marry him. But I know him, and he means what he said. So I'm going to savor this moment for now, for a while. Because I need to and I want to. And I believe him and I love him and I'm happy.