Saturday was my birthday — the big three-five — and I decided the weekend prior that I had a very special birthday wish.
I wanted Sal to marry me. So as soon as I got home from a work trip on Friday, I popped the question.
Now, this was both inevitable and surprising. Sal and I have spoken about our hypothetical wedding for years, with a whole lot more discussion in the last few months. (One same-sex couple in NYC getting legally married and another getting engaged to be legally married may have spurred the increase, along with a string of opposite-sex marriages on the calendar for the Spring.)
Still, my position has been very consistent: I did not want to be married until the United States government would recognize it. Fantastic that New York State has legalized it, but I want complete legal equality before I go through with getting married. And no, that’s not in any way derisive towards my same-sex married couples, it’s just my own stubbornness. (Possibly with a touch of excuse for delaying.)
The weekend before last, however, I came to a somewhat obvious (in retrospect) realization: there’s no justifiable reason to delay an engagement, a formal and public (read: Facebook) announcement to the world that I’m serious about my intention to one day marry Sal. Getting officially engaged doesn’t mean I have to get married on Tuesday; it just means that I’m confident that it’s going to happen, and that I want everyone to know it.
So delighted was I with my impromptu decision that I gleefully posted a teaser on Facebook, opining that I thought August 31, 2014 had a nice ring to it. (Subtle, no?) Granted, I did this while sitting next to Sal at a jazz club, knowing full well that there’s no way he’d be checking Facebook while there (and indeed, he may have been cranky that I was on my phone, though if he noticed he didn’t chide me) but I wasn’t going to be too bold. I deleted it before we left, just in case.
The cat was peeking out of the bag, so I took the plunge and made a few quiet announcements of my intentions to family and a couple of mutual friends. Reaction was pretty much universally good, though I did have a couple of debates with well-intentioned friends on the subject. (More on that in future posts.)
As I said, I was gone for work Tuesday – Friday. I had originally planned to ask him at my birthday party on Saturday, or perhaps at dinner beforehand. I eventually decided to ask on Friday night instead, for two reasons… First, I wanted it to be a private moment for the two of us to savor (and for me to subsequently tell the world about on GatorUptown.com, of course). And second, I was too anxious and couldn’t bear to wait a moment longer than I had to.
I’d even thought about surprising him at work and asking him at the end of the night, but every scenario I imagined was ripe with failure points. At the bar? If he burst into sobs (of joy or horror) he probably wouldn’t want to do it there. At the bar where we had our first date? Sentimental, yes, but full of drunken strangers and not exactly a a romantic locale. At the spot outside a restaurant where we first saw each other? Midtown street corner. ‘Nuff said.
No, in the end, it had to be in our home. And it had to be as soon as possible — so much so that I planned to surprise him by flying home early, and then had to confess my planned travel changes to convince him not to go into work early. I had to ask him as soon as possible — I couldn’t possibly wait another day.
So I did. And I’ll tell you that story tomorrow.