My husband and I have been married a little over two years now. We aren’t the typical couple. We aren’t cuddlers, nor romantic, no surprise gifts, we don’t celebrate Valentine’s day, we have yet to celebrate our wedding anniversary, and I’ve yet to receive apology flowers. In all fairness to the nonexistent bouquets of I’m sorry flowers, it’s because my husband knows I’d prefer a big yummy cheesecake in exchange for a dozen roses.
Despite our lack of typical couple romance, we knew after being together for about two years, that we wanted to get married and that it would be something we would do in the future. A year later we bought our first house together, and discussed that once we are settled into our new home, we will get married. A year goes by, and it seemed everyone I knew was getting married except us. We were two people who genuinely loved each other but we didn’t need a piece of paper to define that. In the back of my mind, I wanted to be a wife, a real wife, by legal marriage. I wanted to be referred to as Mrs. and not continue to introduce him as my boyfriend, it felt so highschoolish after we had been together for so long.
Even though we discussed marriage, I still wanted the proposal, I wanted him to ask for my hand in marriage, and finally say the words “Will you marry me?” I waited, and continued to wait, because it didn’t change what we meant to one another, it didn’t change what he meant to me.
Christmas 2010 was when the waiting finally turned into a question that consisted of options. It was a typical Christmas morning for us. My husband was wide awake early in the morning, and I slept in with our sweet dog. We always bought presents for our dog to open on Christmas day because we don’t exchanged Christmas gifts. Again, we are certainly not in alignment with the typical traditions of modern day families. I woke up Christmas morning so excited for our dog to open up her presents! She tore the wrapping paper to shreds off each and every gift, ripped open treats, and started playing with toys instantly. It looked as if wrapping paper vomited on my living room floor.
After our pooch exhausted herself, it was time to clean up the mess. I grabbed a big thirty gallon trash bag and start collecting the bits and pieces of rubble. Then suddenly, I kneel down to pick up more trash and my husband sitting in his favorite chair while I am embracing a heap load of garbage says “Do you want to invest in the hardwood flooring next year like we planned or do you want to get married?” Who would of known my proposal would have option a, or option b? It was pretty funny, because I actually really contemplated what I wanted more. Like most people, we bought the home with expectations to upgrade once we moved in and those projects just sat on the backburner waiting to be plucked off the list of to-do’s. We actually discussed the pros and cons of each option but in the end, we both agreed marriage would be a great investment for the New Year to come. It was time to stop holding off and invest in each other, we deserved that. There was no ring, no jittery tears of me crying in shock saying “Yes!” The proposal was US, just the way we are.
Fast forward nine months when the time came for the rehearsal and planning of the “I DO” portion of our wedding, our pastor asked, how did you get engaged? The shock and combination of smiles on his face told us this was the first he has been presented with a DIY home renovation project versus marriage. He found it humorous and he felt it was important to share it with all of our guests on our wedding day, and he sure did as we held hands to prepare to exchange our vows. We all laughed, the guests, the groom and bride to be, and even the pastor. It was a great moment in time during that special day that I will cherish the most.
Two plus married years later we still do not have hardwood floors, but we are still happily Mr. and Mrs. on our way to reaching our seventh year of being together. The best part and irony in our proposal story is that marriage is like hardwood flooring. It requires tender care and continuous maintenance to maintain such craftsmanship or otherwise there will be scuffs and scratches that can’t be fixed. Just like hardwood flooring, marriage takes investment in each other to sustain the quality of your love for one another. I appreciate my bleached stained carpet much more now knowing that in exchange I have my Mr. Forever, scuff free.