A few weeks ago, my girlfriend casually informed me during a conversation that if I was waiting on her to give me the OK to propose to her, she was giving me the OK. After I got off the floor, I started to consider how big of a deal getting married would be. I actually freaked a little the first couple of weeks after this chat. Not that I'm running around trying to get laid like I used to, but I have gotten used to having no restrictions on me, going where I want when I want without answering to anybody, and maybe in the back of my mind, thinking that I would be free to get into something with a chick at the drop of a hat, like a bad Penthouse Forum story. ("So there I was standing at the bus stop when the hottest freckled redhead I've ever seen asked me for the time...") Getting married means that I would announce that I had no plans to get busy with any females in the entire free world except one, and no matter what, folks, that's a HYUUUGE statement to make. I have since sobered up, so to speak, and realized that I don't want to get busy with anyone else if it's going to possibly cost me my girlfriend. I don't want to lose her for any reason. Marriage is the next logical progression when you feel about someone like I feel about her.
The first few reactions were calm yet amusing. The first person that I told I was going to start shopping for a ring was a co-worker, and without hesitation, she asked the big question: "Are you ready to get married?" The enormity kinda caught me by surprise, and my answer was a nervous "I don't know!" And she said, "You're not ready to get a ring unless you can answer that question." That was the day after the conversation between me and my girlfriend, so I don't think I realized just how major this was. If asked that question by my co-worker today, I would nervously chuckle because I still can't believe that I'm considering doing it, but then I would answer, "Definitely." Another co-worker was thrilled for me. I can tell she's going to be one of those who wants every detail of every bit of planning, as if she's watching a reality show. My aunt reacted much calmer than I thought she would at first. I thought she would be a little crazy about it because no one I've ever dated has been good enough in her eyes, and she had a problem with my girlfriend last year over a harmless joke. But she seemed okay. I then informed her that my girlfriend would really like to get married down in her hometown of Memphis, TN, and she didn't take kindly to that. "We ain't all goin' down there! You got way more family up here than she got down there!" Never mind that my aunt has no idea how much family my girlfriend has down there. So that may become an issue, but I don't have to have my family at the wedding. Hell, with the economy and gas prices (driving or flying, you pay either way), I'd be hard-pressed to commit to a trip next year as well. We can always have a Chicago reception after the honeymoon for my friends and family. "Jacob," in typical guy fashion, responded to the news with, "Insert whip-cracking sounds here." And "Drew" was surprised, saying that he didn't think I was the "marrying type." I reminded him that the reason I went bonkers after finding the infamous "Karen" topless on a swingers website is because I planned to move to Milwaukee with her and maybe get hitched to her later. Wouldn't have been a smart move considering I had fuck buddies and wasn't exactly honest myself, but the fact is, I thought she was going to be The One. My sense of what made someone The One, of course, was incredibly warped. Now I know.
The next step is strolling around a jewelry store or two with my girlfriend when she visits next month so that I can get a grasp of what style rock she wants. After that, I gotta rob a bank or something to afford it, then figure a good time and place to pop the question, since that's the only elements of surprise that I still possess. Looks like big, big changes on Planet Dre brewing for 2009.