I never actually proposed. There was no getting down on one knee, no ring in the jacket pocket, no sweaty palms in my lap waiting to pop the question and wondering what her answer would be, and definitely no long engagement where we grew old before we even got married. Instead, there was a tacit understanding between us from the beginning, actually, regarding where our relationship was going. It was almost zen-like the way we operated from the beginning, knowing each others’ thought processes and just relying on that in order to make those plans without even speaking our wishes. In fact, at one point I turned to Heidi and I asked her:
“So, we getting married or what?”
And she looked at me like I had gone out of my mind, then she smiled and said:
“Don’t be silly.”
That was it, at least until we actually went to get the marriage certificate. What might have constituted a proposal was when we both said, virtually at the same time, after she had gotten us tickets to Ireland:
“Want to get married while we’re there?”
Seriously, too, it was almost at the exact same time, like a pastel pink lightbulb had gone off over her head at the same time that another one in matching pale blue went off over mine. And that was it. We were getting married. It’s crazy to look back on it when other people tell me their stories of long engagements, of knowing each other since high school, or of dating forever with no engagement or wedding on the horizon. I knew Heidi for a year and a half before we got married, and at any point during that year and a half we could have gotten married and it wouldn’t have been a surprise to either of us.
You see, Heidi is perfect for me. I’m not the type of person to talk about my true feelings out loud. I’m excellent at writing them out, at drafting elegant prose or poetry fit for a queen, but to sit down, to take her hands in mine and wax prosaically about our love and our life, that’s not where I excel. And she’s perfect for me because she’s not that type of person either. We work together so well because we understand each other, our strengths and weaknesses, our ultimate dreams, and our feelings. I knew all of this from day one, from the very moment she first emailed me, that she would be the one to “get” me, which isn’t an easy task. I know I’m an odd duck, but she makes me feel normal when I’m with her.
So, when it came to getting married, I knew she was the one for me from the start. It took her a tad bit longer to know that I was for her, but when she did get there, she was there 100 percent, and I knew the exact moment it shifted for her too. I could show you the email but that’s personal (at least until the book comes out). I never actually proposed because it would have been way too cliche for us, but I still love hearing proposal stories. I’m a romantic at heart, and those stories can be so sweet, but for us it would have been saccharine.
I asked my wife if she ever missed any of that stuff, the classic proposal, the epic wedding (we were married at City Hall), and all the trappings therein. She looked at me with that look that I can’t help but smile at, and she said:
“Are you kidding me?”
No. I wasn’t, but I might as well have been kidding. You see, that was never us. And I’m glad we have a different kind of story. It suits us.