Monday, January 03, 2005

Will you marry me?

I woke up with my stomach in knots New Year’s Day. And not because I had a grand old time squeezing blood and other disgusting crap from my old man’s drain bulb attached to his ankle. It was because I still didn’t know when or how I would go through with proposing to Jasmine.

I phoned the jeweler on the drive and had made arrangements with a client of mine who is a gem appraiser to let me drop by her house with it for an informal appraisal, just in case I needed to quickly go back and whip the son of a bitch’s ass for butt fucking me with a handful of CZ’s.

The ring was in a red leather box with a snap on top and opened via a split down the center with the two halves falling to the side. I pulled it out and felt my stomach flip upside down. This isn’t just a ring, this is a physical representation of my word to her that I will never leave her. A multi-thousand dollar icon of a life I can’t even imagine. It’s also a symbol of what could potentially be a very awkward and humiliating moment I will never forget.

When I got home Jasmine was lying on her belly on the living room floor flipping through a magazine. I had the box in my pocket and tried not to look like I was up to something. I watched a little TV, took a shower, ate a sandwich, stalled, stalled, stalled some more. Twice I said, “Jasmine?” just to finish with something stupid like “You hungry?”

I checked email and got one that strongly advised me to speak with her father beforehand. Shit. Talk about facing the dragon. They live too far away to drive so I’ve never met them and only spoken to her mom a few times. Let’s just say they aren’t vibrating with excitement about their older daughter being in the current predicament that she’s in. You know, all knocked up and living in sin.

I hate that. He’ll think I’m doing it to do the right thing. Most people will. Fuck ‘em. Fuck ‘em all. I know why I’m doing it. I got myself good and pissed off and took the phone into the bathroom.

“Mr. Jasmine’s Daddy? This is Jay.”

He sighed. Shit. “What can I do for you, Jay?”

Just like that. No foreplay, no easing into it. “Sir, I’d like to ask your daughter to marry me. Jasmine.” Jesus Christ, you didn’t think he’d fucking know which daughter you were talking about? Moron. “I’d like to tell her we have your blessing.” Damn! What is this, 1868? Is he going to give me 40 acres and a mule along with her? No, I am the mule. What the fuck am I doing? I’m making a goddamn ass of myself, that’s what I’m doing. Did I ask his permission to muddy his family tree with own genetic dysfunctionalism? Hell no, and don’t think he’s not aware of that shit, either.

“May I ask why you want to marry her?”

Holy mother of Christ, there’s a fucking pop quiz! Shoot me now.

“Sir…” think, motherfucker, think, “since the day I met your daughter in January…(was it 2002? Yeah, that’s right)…three years ago…I’ve used her…(bad choice of words, you dumbass!)…I mean, I’ve thought of her as the status quo for every woman I’ve gone out with since.” Whew, that was smooth. Sort of. Now you sound like a man whore. Fuck off. Why isn’t he saying anything. Hahahahahaha! He’s waiting for more. Pony up, bitch. Shit. “It took me over two years to get the nerve to ask her out on a date. I don’t want to lose another two building up the nerve to propose.” That was good, man. Need a tissue? Shut up.

Several seconds passed. I heard, “Hmmmm.” Then a few ticking sounds. What the fuck is he thinking about? Several more seconds, a few audible exhales and then finally, “I appreciate the gesture. She’s declined quite a few offers. I trust she’ll do what she feels is right. Good luck, son.”

What? She’s declined quite a few? Ah, hell! I hung up the phone and realized I was actually sweating. Damn bathroom has poor ventilation, is all.

I changed shirts and went back into the living room where Jasmine was standing, adjusting her pony tail. Oh, god, here goes nothing. My heart was slamming so hard into my ribs I could feel my whole body shaking from the impact. What if she declines me, too? Wouldn’t that be awkward now that she’s moved in? What if she says no because she doesn’t trust my sincerity or reason or because she has her own reasons for not accepting a proposal while pregnant? What if she thinks I flirt too much and though I’m date-worthy I’m not husband-worthy? What if she laughs? Or what if –

“Jay, do you feel ok?”

Uh…no. But that’s beside the point. I took her hands…and so fucking slowly knelt down on one knee. Now would be the time for her to run and spare me the upcoming humiliation she could very likely impose upon me.

“Jasmine…” I proceeded, in less than eloquent terms, to say to her what I’d just said to her father a few minutes before. I can’t recall if she spoke at all during it or what her reaction was to anything I said. She could have farted and belched for all I noticed. I was in my zone. I finished my mini-speech, pulled the ring box from my pocket and fumbled with the motherfucking snap until I could pop it open for her to see the ring inside, then dropped the bomb. “Will you marry me?”

The Earth revolved several thousand miles by the time she responded. “No. Way. Yes!

No? Yes? What? Did she accept? Dude, stand up. She’s laughing. At me? No, stupid! Fucking snap out of it and stand up!

It was a yes! I needed a drink.

She was excited, I was exhausted. The whole weekend has been a bit euphoric. We’ll talk this week about when and where. Don’t get your hopes up for a wedding. She’s already mentioned the JP and banking the cash. My kind of woman.