“You never asked me what I actually want,” I tell my boyfriend who is raving non-stop about the surprise birthday gift he has spent a lot of time and money on for me. “Well when you live with someone you kind of get to know what they want,” is his retort. “I’m good at gifts. It’s the one thing I’m really good at.”
I sigh and look at him, “but there are only three things I really want.”
“Yeah I know,” he lists them off: “a diamond, a house and puppies…it’s not any of those.”
“Then I don’t want it,” I say without meaning to be surly but probably sounding it anyway. I don’t want him spending ridiculous amounts of money on something I’m not going to appreciate and which isn’t going to get us closer to our goals (if it doesn’t actually make us break up first).
“Maybe it’s something you didn’t know you wanted,” is his confident come back. “I guarantee you you will love it and there will be tears.”
I walk away from the conversation. I know I won’t love it the way he wants me too. I know almost eerily that we are going to end up fighting over it. I feel like it is unfair of him to build up this much expectation and put it all on me over something that I’m not interested in. I tell him I am worried that he is so excited over it and has talked it up for so long that I am scared when I don’t like it at all or as much as he is expecting, that it will upset him. He seems unconcerned.
I think, without snooping which I refuse to do for the tiniest chance I actually will love it, that he is going to fly my family in as a surprise. As much as I love them, there are so many reasons I don’t want them here right now, but I am not going to get into that in this post.
I find myself in the same position at 33 as I was at 30…living with a boyfriend who has promised an engagement and a marriage but who has failed to deliver within the agreed upon time frame. I wonder how stupid I must be to be repeating this exact scenario only 3 short years later, but this post is not to discuss my (blatantly obvious) stupidity.
I want to discuss disappointment instead. I want to discuss what it is like to only want an engagement ring and nothing else; to want a token of commitment after everything I have done and sacrificed and endured. I have been waiting 9 months now based on how my boyfriend talks. Based on all the comments about how he can’t wait for me to be his wife or for us to spend the rest of our lives together or for me to become Mrs. (Insert-his-last-name-here).
So I am at the point where an engagement is no longer going to be romantic or a surprise or this wonderful sweep-me-off-my-feet-moment or the fairytale proposal I have longed for. It is now something that is a constant disappointment as it fails to materialize. It is going to start becoming a source of contention between us and break us down. He is going to spend a ridiculous amount of money on something I just don’t want right now and when I am disappointed it will be all my fault. I will be the ungrateful bitch who didn’t want this “gift”. It will be all on me even though I have clearly communicated what I do want over and over.
He told me when we met that he was unlike any man I had ever dated before. In many ways he is not, but on this front he is the same if not worse for promising not to make me wait and then failing me again and again. I wonder if I should just short cut to tears and snot and mascara in the bath tub on my birthday like the last one ended up? It is hard not to get what your heart most desires when it has been promised indefinitely by the other.