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Friday, January 30, 2015

I guess all my other boyfriends have been losers

"So then what happened?!" I leaned over, spilling some sangria on my leggings in excitement.

"Well.. nothing, really. That was kind of it. And I don't know when she gets back from vacation," Curtis gave me his signature half-smirk. Except he looked a little bit more dejected this time.

"I cannot imagine that she wouldn't want to hang out. I mean, she hasn't seen you in what, like 20 years?" I flopped back and kicked my legs up on the new coffee table that I'd just watched Curtis assemble.

"Uh, yeah. I don't know. We'll see." I rolled my eyes at Curtis. His pessimism was so irritating.

"Well, stay positive." Curtis made a grunting sound, and got up with his empty glass. He'd just told me that he'd had a chat with this woman who he used to date in college (i.e. lost his virginity to, lol), because she'd found him on OkCupid after 20some years. They both lived in Chicago now, and had gone to school in South Carolina. Small world!!

I had this mental list formulating that I'd been trying to stick to more often when it came to social interaction, and one of the things on the list was: be more encouraging and try to be nice about it. Sort of goes along with the whole "trying to make new friends" thing, even though Curtis wasn't really a new friend. And I'm pretty sure we'd never hang out if I never initiated it, but whatever. I need practice.

We'd been hanging out and watching Breaking Bad (since I never finished it with Patrick, bastard), and kind of aimlessly bullshitting. It was much less awkward to have something on TV and not have to worry about filling the conversational gaps. The whole endeavor sort of depressed me, though. I was really missing my friends. And Curtis was really nice, but it wasn't the same under any circumstances.

When I was leaving to go home from his condo, I started texting Matt out of the blue. He actually answered, which was surprising (Matt hates phones and technology and has gone through at least 4 iphones because he's dropped/smashed/run over a bunch of them). He told me that Helena's visa had expired a few weeks ago, and that she'd gone home to England. They'd gone through this a few times before, the eventual plan was to move to England but Matt was waiting to finish his PhD first. We were just kind of bullshitting, and the conversation eventually tapered off, but my hopes were buoyed up, and it put me in a good mood for the rest of the night.

Johnathan and I spent the evening like we spend most evenings, drunk and watching movies.

"What do you want to do for Valentine's Day, baby?"

"Uhmmm.. I dunno. I've never actually done anything before," I hesitated, letting my voice fade out.

"What?! How is that possible? You've never dated anyone who wanted to take you out?? Or do anything crazy and romantic?!?" John was so aghast. It was like I told him I had a secret family or a third leg or something.

"Sort of. I've never really been into it. It just seems corny." This was about half true. John was right about the other half, though. I guess all my other boyfriends have been losers or pessimists.

"It is kinda corny, yeah, but I love it. I always do something. I want to make up for all the years you never got to celebrate or do anything awesome."

"Umm.. okay. We can do something, if you want. We don't have to go out on that day, though, I know it's crowded," I hate crowds.

"No, we should go out that night. Or else it's not Valentine's Day. I want to do this right, babe."

"Okay. We'll go out that night, then," I shrugged. He sort of had me there.

"So what would you like to do?"

"Dinner? And you have to drink while we're out." This was a new rule I made after the last time Johnathan and I went out to dinner and I drank a bottle of wine by myself and the waiter kept bringing a second glass and wouldn't fucking take the hint that John didn't want any. John grinned.

"Done. Anything else?" He looked at me expectantly.

"Well, what else do people do? Am I supposed to buy you something? Do you want anything?"

"No, honey, you don't need to get me anything. I just want you." I feel like people always say this but they don't really mean it? Although I don't think he was lying, for what it's worth.

We didn't talk about it anymore, but he agreed to make reservations someplace nice (I sent him a list of places that I've wanted to go, I know that's bratty but y'all shouldn't be surprised about that by now), and we retired to the bedroom and had really loud drunk sex that made Doug pound on the walls and I should have been embarrassed but I don't really care about it anymore.

It's so weird to be dating someone who goes out of their way to be kind and do nice things for me, like it's a totally foreign feeling. I'm used to really autonomous relationships. Not that a lot of people have treated me badly, per se, but I was always the one trying hard to make things work or be sweet, if either person was trying at all. I try to have a lot more patience with Johnathan than I used to with other boyfriends, but it's easy because he's so good to me that it's really hard to be mad at him or upset with him. When I get depressed, this is why I feel like I don't deserve him.

Work was really hectic on Monday, and I didn't really have any time to read the news or email or anything. I normally have a little bit of downtime during the days, but someone was out sick so things were crazy and I felt like if I couldn't account for every moment of my time, things would be even worse. When I was waiting for the train home, I was checking my gmail (for like, the first time that day) and I saw that I had an email from Matt, just a couple of lines asking how things were going. It was nice, I guess he remembered after we'd been texting over the weekend. I got home and wrote him this crazy long response since John was working late and I had extra time. I talked about getting married (in less than three months, holy shit) and asked how things were in DC and told him to tell Helena that I miss her, and also that he should come out and visit for the wedding if he can, even though we're not really having a party or anything.

The weird thing was, he didn't write back immediately (Matt's really good with email, that's how we used to make 99% of our plans). I kind of wrote it off though, I know he's really busy and also very scatterbrained, so I didn't take it personally. Besides, I was the one who had moved and hadn't really made much of an effort to speak with him in months.

When Matt did write back, it was pretty shocking. It was one of those bad tv moments where you see a girl reading something intently on a laptop and mouthing along silently, and then slamming it shut, like she's afraid of whatever she just saw, or scared that something's going to come through the screen and eat her.

"hey lauren, 

sorry to be weird about this. i'm writing as a favor to david. he brought you up the other day, and wondered how you were doing. i told him that you'd moved a while back, and he's going to be in chicago soon, and he wants to know if you want to see him. i told him probably not, but his number is [redacted], if you want it. he's really sorry about everything, he talks about it all the time. i think he's grown up a lot. it would be great to see you guys talking again. 

cheers,
matt."

Ughhh.

I don't think I've talked about him before because it's never come up, but David is The Ex That Broke My Heart. He was a grad school friend of Patrick's and Matt's, and I'd met him at a bonfire in 2010. We'd had that instantaneous, almost psychic-feeling connection that Johnathan and I had. At the bonfire, we were playing Mafia, and I was given the Mafia card, and I picked David to kill because I wanted him to notice me. We dated twice, for about a year each time, with a break of maybe 4 months in the middle. The first time, I broke up with him because he got really clingy really fast and it freaked me out even though I was super in love with him. Honestly, the same thing probably would have happened with Johnathan if I'd been 22 instead of 26 when we started talking. The second time, he broke up with me for someone else, and for other reasons (remember, no monogamy until recently). It absolutely devastating, and I cried for months and did tons of dumb crazygirl shit, like texting him whenever I was drunk and emailing him that I still loved him and that I missed him. I wouldn't have said that I was "over" him until I met Johnathan. So, not really a new feeling. Although his number has been blocked on my phone for a while (since before I met John. Progress!).

David is also the reason why I fell in love with Chicago and decided to move there. He's from Glen Ellyn, and we used to go visit (and to Chicago, by extension) during his grad school breaks and during the summer. He's the person who showed me the city and took me to all the really iconic places downtown. The last time we were in Chicago together, I was still addicted to painkillers, and I remember we went to this bar and drank too much beer and then Pizzeria Due and I passed out in a booth and we got in this giant fight because he was worried about me and I was pissed off at him for being worried.

The other reason that David broke up with me is because I had a miscarriage. He maintained that it wasn't true, but I know he was lying. He got me pregnant by mistake, and we had an appointment for an abortion (after agreeing about it), and then I miscarried before I could have the abortion. I actually didn't know I was having a miscarriage until I went to the bathroom and saw all this blood and gunk in my underwear. It hurt a lot, later, but I was okay in like 2 days, and David thought my fast recovery time was "suspicious", and thought I was keeping something from him. We got in a fight about it, and he told me he was done, and that was it. Later I found out he'd had another girlfriend (which would have been okay; we weren't monogamous, he just lied about it) the whole time, and she hadn't known about me, and he picked her in the end because she was "easier" and I was "too difficult". I was furious, and I reamed him out and told him he was a shitty human being and a bad boyfriend and to go enjoy his life without me. It's one of the only times I've ever been really really tremendously angry in my life.

After all the fights and the breakups and everything was done, I kept remembering all the things I loved about him, like the way he would wrap his coat around me when we were outside and it was cold, and the way he used to bring me soup and crackers when I was sick, and the way he used to tell me I was the coolest woman in the world because I drank scotch, and the way he used to connect my freckles together with a pen, like constellations, and then make up stories about them. He worked for NASA, so he was good at that shit.

Just writing this is giving me anxiety, seriously.

So I haven't answered Matt's email yet. I know I'm going to at some point, I just don't know what I'm going to say.

Ugh.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

i only had six glasses of wine and one shot, why am i hungover??

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Things were fine on Monday when John got home from work--he was still kind of upset, and we lay down for like half an hour and snuggled before getting up and fixing drinks and hanging out in the living room. He's been in a pretty depressive state on and off since then, but I know he's got a lot going on, and he made it explicitly clear that it doesn't have anything to with me/us.

It's kind of strange being with someone who has the same kinds of mental issues that I do, and watching how they manifest. Like, when I'm depressed I can usually function in society but I can't shake that feeling of bleakness. I get a lot of panic attacks and cry for no reason and nothing makes me feel better until eventually, it passes. I'm starting to see that John is the same way, except he has more anger than I do. I usually just feel worthless, but his depression seems to come out in more external ways. I guess overall, it makes me feel better, since I know he won't think I'm crazy when it's my turn to have these bouts. He's definitely put up with more than any of my other boyfriends have so far, though, and that's a really comforting feeling.

It felt like such a goddamned long week even though I was only working 3 days--Monday I'd had off, and then Friday, John was having surgery so we were both out of work. Work was kind of stressful, but I was excited because on Thursday, we were going out for a coworker's birthday. I love John to bits, but he doesn't really like "going out"--we go out to dinner a lot, but he hates drinking in public. He's really self conscious about people seeing him drunk, which is kind of ridiculous considering how retarded I act under the influence. John's also one of those people who really acts sober even when he's hammered. The only time I ever knew he was blitzed was one night we stayed up late, and he just sort of stood up and staggered off to our bedroom and said, "I have to go to bed," and fell down on the bed and started snoring. He's probably what you would consider a "good drunk".

Normally I don't really dress up for work--I'm in a really casual environment, with not much client interaction. Occasionally clients will visit and everyone wears business casual, but for the most part I just wear jeans and boots and a big sweater. I wanted to look nice for Thursday though, so I got up really early to do makeup and my hair and wore a nicer outfit than usual, but still kind of sloppy: gray motorcycle leggings, oversized black sweater with dark gray lace trim, and my over the knee suede heeled boots. Everyone kept saying how nice I looked all day, and it made me feel kind of bad, like okay obviously you all think I'm really lazy, I get it. It was like how when you look like shit, everyone just tells you that you look tired.

After work, I met my coworkers at Parlor, and then we went to The Girl and The Goat for dinner. The girl, Jordan, whose birthday it was, kept insisting that we do tequila shots. I did a couple with everyone, and then kept drinking wine. I was really trying to pace myself because I knew I had to get up really early the next morning to go with John to the hospital, so I kept drinking water. I wasn't all that drunk, but I did have that kind of overly warm feeling and I knew I was being louder than usual. After dinner, half of the group split, but I went with Jordan and three other people to Haymarket. Jordan and I started drinking faster and we were taking selfies together and she was telling me who to watch out for in the office and who would take any chance to stab me in the back. It was so crazy, I thought my work was relatively normal. Jordan was so fun, though. I want to be friends with her in real life but I'm so awkward about things like that. I feel like after college, making new girlfriends has always been really hard. How does one make platonic friends, exactly?

I really wanted to take an uber home after Haymarket, but this guy we work with insisted on driving me and he was being really bossy about it so I said yes. The drive home was kind of awkward: I think he's kind of creepy and oblivious, and that's definitely how he was acting in the car. I was happy that I wasn't completely bombed, but he didn't try anything, and when he got to my neighborhood, I leapt out of the passenger seat and ran to my door before he could say anything. No wonder people think I'm a weirdo.

John was still awake when I got in, but he was curled up in bed with his laptop. There was a bottle of vodka next to him on the nightstand, but it was mostly empty.

"Hey baby," I went over to kiss him while I was tugging my boots off. He put his arms up and hugged me.

"I missed you, I'm glad you're home," He was slurring a tiny tiny tiny bit. I was a little worried, otherwise it would have been funny.

"Of course. Can you still eat? Do you want me to make you something?" It was around 11pm, and I didn't know what the deadline was for him to eat before anesthesia the next morning.

John hiccuped in response, and lay back down. I went into the kitchen and made him a bagel with lox and cream cheese and grabbed a big glass of water. When I gave him the bagel, he gave me this look like he didn't understand what I was doing, but then he wolfed it down while I yanked the rest of my clothes off and got into bed.

"Do you have an alarm set?"

"Yeah," John hiccuped again. I leaned over and set one on my phone, just in case, and took a sleeping pill.

We both slept really terribly--I imagine he was quite freaked out about the surgery, and I was feeling really nauseous and sick and gross and also worried. His mom picked us up outside the next morning at 5am, and I crawled into the backseat so John could sit up front. He kept holding my hand through the partition in the seats. When we got to the hospital, they told us that I could go sit with him in the pre-op room, so I gave my coat to his mom and told her I'd meet her in the waiting room. I had to wear one of those white lab coat things and one of those fabric shower caps. The nurses and anesthesiologists came pretty quickly to give him an IV and pain meds, and he just kept telling me how pretty I was and I kept laughing because I was wearing that dumb cap and I probably looked really dumb. I think everyone else in pre-op probably wanted to kill us. Eventually, John's surgeon came in and introduced himself to me, and explained what they were doing, and then they wheeled him away. I wasn't really scared until then, but I got really freaked out and almost cried. I was really glad to see his mom again in the waiting room. We talked for a while, and then she kind of sighed and pulled out her Kindle so I got my book out and started reading.

The hospital had a screen with all the patients' numbers, and then a status, like "in surgery", "in recovery 1", etc. We weren't there for a horribly long time, only about 3 hours or so. Eventually, a nurse came up to us and told us that he was in the second recovery room and that one of us could go see him. I told his mom to go first, since I'd been with him before, and I was really trying hard not to be selfish. She said she'd be back really soon, but she was gone for like 40 minutes and I legitimately started to panic. She's a nurse, and I started thinking that something had gone wrong, and that thought kept snowballing in my head, but eventually she came back and said I could go with her.

Johnathan was in this armchair-recliner-type thing, in a gown, with a weird little scrub cape thing around him. I guess the cape thing was because the gown was open in the back? I almost cried, just because he looked so puffy from the IV fluids and he had these massive dark circles under his eyes. I went up and kissed him and said I'd never been so happy to see him. After that, his mom went down to the cafeteria.

"So we just have to wait for my surgeon to come check in with us, and then we can leave."

"Oh baby, that's awesome. How are you feeling?"

"Not bad. Kind of numb. They gave me a spinal anesthesia and a morphine drip,"

"Is that like an epidural?"

"Yeah, I think so," he shuddered, "not very pleasant." I pulled a face, and then sat down in a chair next to him. After the surgeon came and gave us aftercare instructions and prescriptions, he said we were fine to leave except that John had to pee first.

"Shit,"

"What?"

"I can't pee right now. I can't feel anything below the waist."

Again, I would have laughed, except my hangover was coming back and I probably wanted to go home more than he did. We sat there for another hour, and he kept hobbling up and down the little hallway in hopes that it would make feeling come back so he could pee. He also tried to bribe me to pee for him, except instead of a cup, it was one of those plastic L-shaped things and I told him that I physically wouldn't be able to do that without creating a huge mess.

Eventually, he finally was able to pee, and we left. His mom dropped us off at home, and I went to get his prescriptions and stuff for dinner. Amazingly, he said he felt fine and wasn't in any pain. He didn't even take Tylenol. I couldn't believe it. I'm such a baby with pain. I also used to have problems with prescription pain medicine, though, and John knows that, so he probably was trying to be considerate. We even went to the grocery store this morning, and I lifted all the heavy stuff, but he was fine to be out and walking. If I'd had surgery the day before, I would probably want to be so spoiled. The rest of the day was just quiet--we napped, and I made dinner so he wouldn't have to get out of bed, and we watched The Newsroom until he was tired enough to go back to sleep.

John's out filming right now, and I'm going to go over to Curtis's and make sangria.

Going out with my coworkers was so fun on Thursday, I think probably because it reminded me of how much I miss my friends. I've been texting with Anna and Patrick a lot, and I've Skyped with Patrick a few times, but I want friends here, too. In all seriousness, how does everyone make friends now that they're out of college? Just through work?

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

no post on Friday

Hey y'all

No post on Friday--John is having outpatient surgery this week (he'll be fine), and I won't really have any time to write until the weekend. Sorry, I know it's frustrating, but sometimes things come up.

xxx,
Lauren

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

playing catch up

January 19, 2015

"I'll be in front of your building in 4 minutes" I texted Johnathan, as I scurried past the eyesore of the Trump tower. Johnathan works in the Tribune building now, he was at a different law firm than he had been back in October. While he didn't exactly love his new job, he seemed to be doing much better there than he had been at the other firm. There were no more allegations of mail fraud, at least. He'd been unemployed for about 2 weeks, which was rough, but we'd gotten through it and things had been pretty good lately.

I was meeting John for lunch today, I think it was the only day that I'd had off work and he didn't. We never met for lunch during the week because my building is almost a mile away from his, and we work different hours. He didn't have too much time, and I was worried that I was going to be pulling him away from his job. That morning in bed, I'd offered to meet him and he'd said yes, and then I'd actually fallen back asleep until close to 11. I was debating not going and just telling him that I didn't feel well and was staying in bed, but I knew I had to go to the grocery store anyway so I wound up getting up. Now I was slowly pacing in front, waiting for him to come outside. It would seem that we have an odd tradition of me meeting him at his workplace.

When Johnathan finally came outside, he looked miserable. He walked up to me and I kissed his cheek as he rested his face in my neck, pulling me close.

"Where do you want to go?"

"I don't know. I don't want anyone to see me and I'm not hungry,"

"Well, I'm following you. You know this area better than I do."

John led us to this little courtyard to the side of the building, near one of the river bridges. I guess a restaurant uses it for outdoor seating in the summer, but it was empty today. We sat down on the marble side of a tree planter thing, and he basically collapsed onto my shoulder and started sniffling. I wrapped an arm around him and pulled him into me, so the people walking past couldn't see. One good thing about cities is they seem to be uniquely apathetic to crying people.

"Baby, what's wrong? What can I do?" He was actually crying now, and kind of hiccuping into my giant plaid scarf from Madewell. I could see teardrops beading on the sleeve of my parka. I just kept rubbing his shoulder, and slipped my other hand into his open coat to rub his chest through his shirt.

"I was so afraid you wouldn't come. I hate hurting you. I never want to hurt you again. I'm so sad during the day, when I'm not with you. I just want to be home with you. Please don't ever leave me," he was dissolving into tears, and he just kept apologizing and saying how sorry he was. I just kept rubbing his back and kissing his hair and holding him and trying to shield him from having anyone see. I hate crying in public, and I felt bad that he was probably embarrassed.

We'd had kind of an interesting weekend. Friday night, we took LSD and stayed up until 6am listening to music and talking. We'd also gotten in a gigantic fight, about something really stupid (the idea of going on vacations without each other: I said no, he said he might want that sometimes, I was really hurt by that, and it escalated quickly), but it got ugly fast. That was kind of the way we fought: we'd be having a discussion about something that would slowly get more and more argumentative until one of us got upset (usually me) and the other one got mad and started being mean (usually him). Granted this had only happened 2 or 3 times in the whole time we've been together (about 5 months? ish?), but they were exceedingly painful to go through. He's a Leo, so he has this awful temper and a lot of arrogance and doesn't really give in. I had woken up Saturday at 1pm with a drug hangover and I was still hurt, even though he'd wound up caving. And then, last night, we'd started talking about it again and I was just so emotionally exhausted and sad and hurt and fucking done with the subject that I didn't want to deal with it anymore so we put on a movie and went to bed.

And now he was sobbing into my shoulder and begging me not to leave him as we sat on a bench on Michigan Ave, traffic blaring past us. At least it wasn't 5 degrees outside anymore. I felt bad that he was so upset, but in a way, it was almost vindicating to know that he was feeling as bad as I felt all weekend. Admitting that makes me feel pretty awful.

We sat like that for about half an hour, until he stopped crying, and said he had to go back to work. I stood up and held him and let him go. I felt bad that he was still upset, but I didn't want him to get in trouble at work so I shut up and didn't say anything.

When I got back to our neighborhood, I went to Whole Foods for dinner stuff and wound up spending $200 and I can't even figure out why except that I bought some wine that was in cute pink bottles and that's probably why it was so expensive.

The holidays were really nice; I'm not sure what happened on Thanksgiving but it was like a night and day change with John's mom. She was so warm, I couldn't figure out what happened. I'm still not exactly sure. I wrote her a card thanking her for the heirloom ring she'd sold to give money to me and John for my ring, but I have a hard time believing that the card transformed her like that. I was all stressed about the holidays for weeks, 'cause I knew we'd be at her house, and all my coworkers were teasing me about it, but it wound up being so lovely and not stressful at all. Christmas was even better, and she told me I could call her 'mom' if I want to. I kind of do want to, but I feel like it will be awkward so I've just been using her first name. Johnathan and I didn't go crazy spending a lot on each other; he'd just given me the engagement ring a little while before Christmas so I didn't want to be a complete brat and ask for jewelry (which is something I would normally do). He gave silver and garnet earrings, which was really sweet, because I didn't even ask for them (and I'd spent a lot of time talking about how much I miss all my jewelry--it's still in storage) and these awesome sheepskin slippers. I'm one of those people who always has cold feet.

One of the only other fights we'd had was about our wedding. The more we were planning, the more I was getting freaked out and stressed and panicked. I can't really even put my finger on why. It just seemed so dumb to spend so much money on one day with so many people, when we were a pretty private couple. I also felt really horrible about making all my friends travel from DC and get a hotel, because I know not all of them could afford that very easily. John was SOOOO into the planning, and I was pulling back and pulling back until I kind of had this mental breakdown and snapped and said I couldn't do it and that I wished we could just elope. So that's kind of what we're doing: we compromised with sticking to a City Hall wedding on May 2nd, and then we're going out to dinner with my parents and his mom and a couple of friends. And then in September, my parents are throwing us a belated reception out in DC, so my friends don't have to travel, and his friends can travel if they want. His friends are also having a party for us here a few nights before at some bar, so he gets his big Leo celebration and I don't have to worry about trying to make sure everyone is comfortable since I'm not involved in it whatsoever. We're going to Amsterdam for our honeymoon (I bet no one is surprised about this), but we're not going until later in May, closer to June.

My parents were out here at the beginning of this month, and that was really stressful. I actually wasn't worried about them liking John, I was just worried about being around my mom for more than a day or two. She's very high strung. It actually went okay, we all went out to dinner a few times and my mom and I went wedding dress shopping and she bought me a gown and a headpiece, which I think is kind of retarded considering we're just going to City Hall, but she made it clear that it was really important to her so I caved. I didn't even go to my high school prom (or my college graduation, I was too hungover so my friends and I skipped it and went for pizza), so she'd never bought me a big dress before. It's pretty, I'll probably post a picture of it when we get married. It's an ivory tea length gown with little short illusion sleeves, and lace details. I'm freaking out about shoes; I really want royal purple ones (John's going to wear a purple shirt), but I haven't found any that I like enough to buy yet yet.

I'm bringing this up to present day because it was kind of exhausting to write about past stuff without worrying about saying anything too revealing in the comments, or whatever. And also there's a lot of stuff coming up that I want to be able to write about while it happens so I remember it more accurately. Also, someone in the comments (Reese), agreed with me or mentioned that writing her blog has also provided a lot of insight with how she behaves. That could not be more true. Since I started writing this, I feel like I'm doing a lot better with whatever issues I have, especially with my tendencies to be passive aggressive or bitchy. I also feel like I'm more aware of my insecurities now, since I basically have to confront them twice a week. It's sort of like free therapy, and it does force you to be very honest. The only bad thing that's happened since writing this is that I've almost called my fiance Johnathan like, a million times. His name does start with J, and he goes by the full version, where most people would use the nickname, but I'm going to have to watch out, ha.

I'm kind of nervous for him to come home now. I just want things to go back to normal.

Friday, January 16, 2015

all kinds of brattiness




October 31, 2014

Johnathan and I were snuggled on the couch, with 3 bottles of wine, open boxes of pizza and cheese breadsticks, and various ends of blunts on the coffee table in front of us. We’d had plans to go out to a gay club with Zan, but she’d cancelled after it had gotten really cold and started snowing in the middle of the afternoon. After I told John than Halloween was one of my favorite holidays, he told his comedy group that he couldn’t film that night, and since then, we’d been ensconced in blankets: smoking, making out, cuddling, watching bad horror movies from Johnathan’s endless collection. He’d bought stuff to make shrimp fried rice for dinner, but around 9pm we realized we were too drunk to cook and ordered Pizza Hut instead. I felt incredibly happy, and very full, and just all around content. I leaned my head back on John’s shoulder as some girl died a horrible and very predictably bloody death on screen in front of us.

“I love you,” when drinking, dialogue was noticeably less complicated. I felt Johnathan smile into my hair and wrap his arm around my shoulders, pulling me closer. He kissed the top of my head, and I felt his fingers petting the edges of my short hair. After realizing how dead my ends were and how sick of my long hair I was, I’d cut the majority of my hair off into an asymmetrical short bob. Well, actually, I’d cut most of it, and then freaked out because I couldn’t get the back to look even. Johnathan had come home and found me crying in the bathroom, and then he’d gently taken the scissors out of my hand and used his beard trimmer to shave the back of my neck so it looked like I’d actually cut it on purpose. It’s weird, but I never felt like I trusted him as much as I did when he was shaving the back of my neck. I'd been cutting and dyeing (blonde, pink, blue) my hair since I was 14, after an unfortunate incident where an awful bitch gave me a terrible cut, so trusting someone else with my hair was a Big Deal. It’s funny the things we choose to be important to us.  

“I love you, too, princess.”

“I told my mom that we’re getting married,”

“Oh yeah? How did that go over?”

“Very well. She was happy. She wants to meet you.”

It had gone well, surprisingly. I’d called her last weekend when John was out filming and I was a little drunk (I always have to be a little drunk to be on the phone with my mom—we tipsy dial each other pretty frequently), and it had slipped out. To her credit, she wasn’t really surprised since I’d been talking about him nonstop for the past 2 months. She asked all the Practical Mom Questions, which only made me realize that we had quite a bit of planning to do. Picking a date, deciding if we were going to have an actual wedding, reception, etc. It was kind of overwhelming, especially now that I was picking over it again in my drunk brain.

“She wanted to know if we had a date in mind,”

“Well, do you?”

“Not really. I guess whenever is the most socially acceptable timeframe without making people think that I’m pregnant.” At this, Johnathan snorted.

“What’s the first weekend in May?”

“Uhmm… hold on,” I pulled out my phone to check, “it’s May 2nd-3rd.”

“Oh, honey, perfect! May 2nd  for sure. It was my dad’s birthday.”

Johnathan’s dad died of brain cancer when he was 20. He’d been a lot older (30 years) than his mom, so it hadn’t exactly been unexpected, but it had really really really devastated John. He said it taken him about 5 years to be able to cope with it, and I knew he would never really get all the way over it. They’d been very close. I wasn’t immediately thrilled with the idea of our anniversary being on a family member’s birthday, but after I saw how much it would mean to Johnathan, it made me much happier.

Picking a date seemed to renew a lot of our energy. I went into the bedroom and brought my laptop out, and started making a Google doc with a guest list and ideas for reception. We decided on a city hall ceremony with just my parents and John’s mom, and then a party for 80 of our friends. I started emailing people and asking them for their address, which felt kind of weird. All my friends back in DC and I had talked since I’d moved, but not very often, and they were probably going to feel blindsided getting a Save The Date in the mail. We spent the rest of the night working on wedding planning, and it was fun, but I was already starting to feel really overwhelmed. I’m such a perfectionist about some things, and the idea of hosting such a big party was really stressful. Johnathan was really excited though, and even got his own laptop out to start looking at venues and bakeries. We had a pretty sizeable list of things by the time we went to bed. I guess I should probably consider myself lucky that my boyfriend got so into wedding planning, although his enthusiasm was making me really anxious.

That Sunday, John went to go hang out with his mom for a few hours while I read and got a manicure. He’d told me before he went that he was probably going to tell her that we were engaged. I was nervous about her reaction, even though things had been a little better. We’d gone to the movies a couple of weeks ago, and then out to dinner last weekend at Spiaggia. Dinner had actually been fun even though I had really been nervous over it, she’d been more chatty than usual and we’d gone through a couple bottles of wine. Maybe the secret to making her like me was making her tipsy?

It did occur to me way later than it should have that she probably just has the same social anxiety problems as I do, and she’s very introverted. I actually felt embarrassed for thinking that she didn’t like me before, even though we weren’t exactly the best of friends now.  

I didn’t get any texts from Johnathan letting me know how it went, but he was home by the time I got back from the salon. We settled in a little bit, and he still wasn’t saying anything.

“So, did you tell her?”

“Yup."

"Well... what was her reaction?"

"She didn't really have too much of one, she was pretty calm about it." Uh oh.

"Does she hate me?"

"No, baby. Not at all."

"Do you think she was just surprised and kind of stunned speechless?"

"Maybe,"

"Was she excited?"

"Not outwardly, no. But she wasn't upset, hon. She offered a family ring to us, actually,”

“Oh, wow. That’s really nice, I wasn’t expecting that,”

“Yeah, but she’s going to sell it and give us the money for a new ring. It was the ring I gave to Laura,”

Cue awkward. Laura was John’s ex-fiancĂ©e, the cokehead sex worker who left him about 4 years ago. I hated everything he’d told me about her, including the fact that her name was oddly similar to mine. No fucking way was I going to want that ring. At least she’d had the decency to give it back? Although from everything I’d heard, I wouldn’t have been surprised if he’d had to ask for it.

“So… does this mean you haven’t bought one yet?” I wasn’t accusing at all, just curious.

“I have not, why?” I blushed.

“Uhm.. just because. I saw something online I really liked,” This was excruciating to admit.

Earlier that week, I’d seen a post on Refinery29 featuring "unique" engagement rings. A lot of them were really weird looking, but when I was idling flipping through it, I realized that I really didn’t want a normal ring. I don’t wear a lot of jewelry—usually just stud earrings and my college signet ring on my pinky. I have a Monroe piercing, and I change the jewelry occasionally (usually have a silver stud with a pink opal), but that’s about it. I feel like something really fussy or normal would look weird on me, and I’ve also always felt self-conscious about diamonds (which is why I originally asked for a sapphire) for ecological/scary blood diamond reasons. And I do feel like a lot of women want big rings to impress other women, and that’s not really the kind of present I’d want a guy to give me. It’s fine with shoes or bags or whatever, but I think jewelry is a little more personal. Plus if I'm going to be wearing something every day for the rest of my life, I want to be absolutely obsessed with it. Duh. 

I guess I could have saved a lot of trouble by just saying “I’m really picky”. Johnathan is really really really good at humoring me, though, why is probably why I’m going to marry him.

“Hm? What did you see, baby? Do you have a picture?”  Scrolling through my phone, I pulled up the page online and showed him. The ring I’d become suddenly obsessed with was a vintage Art Deco ring from 1920 in 18k white gold, with a transitional cut diamond and two trillion cut sapphires on each side, set into a lacy filigree that went all the way around the band. I looked at it online probably 10 times a day because I’m horrible like that. I realize it’s probably pretty fucking tacky to pick out your own engagement ring, but when have I ever done anything I was supposed to do? Probably never. Writing this blog is making me realize what a brat I actually am in real life, lol.

“That’s really beautiful, Lauren. That’s much prettier than what I was looking at. Would this make you happy?”

“You make me happy, not things. But I would love this. And it wouldn’t need to be resized,..” I felt like a kid begging their mom for a snack. Not entirely in a bad way. Johnathan just had a way of treating me sometimes that came across as very protective. Like, he likes to feed me pieces of whatever he’s eating and he keeps his hand on my back when we’re out in public together.

“Well then, my dear, this is what you shall have.” I squealed and started kissing him all over his face and neck and chest until he stopped me and took my chin in his hands, and stared at me without blinking, the way he used to do all of a month ago. It still didn’t make me flinch, I loved how intense and serious he could be. Without breaking gaze, he started unbuttoning my sweater dress and slipped it over my head. We kept undressing each other in silence, and he sort of pushed me on my back and got between my legs. Without saying anything, he took both of my wrists in one hand and held my arms over my head, while leaning down to gently bite at my nipples. I felt myself get wet, and I wriggled my hips around until he grabbed me with his free hand and thrust inside, hard. The whole time we were having sex, he didn’t break eye contact. It made me feel so completely naked and exposed that it was almost shameful, and I came with a hard sob against one of his shoulders. The day had just been a huge reminder of everything I loved about him, but a small part of me was still kind of afraid that the other shoe was going to drop, just because everything seemed too perfect. 

Is it too bratty to post a picture of the ring? Or should I just not care and do it anyway?

EDIT - 9:59 am, 1/16/15:  ok, brattiness aside, here's the ring:





NOTE:

I’m really trying to get this into the present so the posts will probably continue to skip a little bit of time. Next Tuesday’s post may be short, as I know I probably won’t have much time to write over the weekend.