My husband and I recently celebrated our first year of marriage. It’s our first year of wedded bliss, but our twelfth year of dating. Our love is as old as a sixth grader. We met in high school at our church youth group. I’m pretty sure he initially came to meet girls, but ended up getting romanced by the LORD ALMIGHTY. (He has since ended this relationship btw.) Meeting me was just an added perk.
Homeboy slid into my DM’s—what we older millennials knew as MSN Messenger, the only way an introvert might have some semblance of a social life at the turn of the century. Flirting on MSN Messenger is a fine art. My technique was to have a cute screen name, stay hidden until I saw my boy target sign on, and then casually sign on ten minutes later. My screen name would pop up in a light blue box on the right corner of his screen, and the trap is set! He wouldn’t be able to resist.
He’d message me, “uh...”
“i was trying to click on something, and you popped up. and i clicked on you instead.”
YEA RIGHT. That’s how it’s done, ladies.
He asked me to be his girlfriend in front of a dumpster at youth group.
…which is why I was mildly concerned he might continue the theme and try to propose to me in front of a dumpster when the time came. I had a feeling he was planning on proposing to me when he bought a new camera and was frantically testing out all of its settings the week before our 10th year dating anniversary. Hmmm. I wonder what could he possibly want to record so badly that we might want to look back on with fondness in the future?
He had a whole day planned out for us on our 10th anniversary, and he was recording the whole thing. It started with a visit to the aquarium, then to an outdoor park, then to a lovely dinner with a waterfront view. After dinner, he suggested that we go to the beach. I was like, “Okay, sure.” And then I looked directly at the imaginary camera with a knowing smile. This man is so obviously trying to wife me up.
We arrived at the beach at sundown. He walked me over to a log and, under the pretense of wanting to take a photo together, started setting up the camera on a tripod. Camera. On. Tripod. It's about to go down. Those MSN Messenger tactics have finally paid off ten years later. Good things happen to those who believe, y'all.
That’s when he proposed. Not a dumpster in sight. Even though I had a feeling it was coming, I was still shocked when he got down on his knee. I laughed at him. I said yes. I slapped him and called him stupid.
Now you might be thinking, "Girllll, you waited ten years for him to conclude that you're wifey material?" An understandable reaction. But the truth is that he came to that conclusion a long, long time ago. He was just waiting for me to give the OK that I'm cool with giving in to this societal norm that is really just a piece of paper signed at your municipal court, and yea, it's true that it feels more "official," but who's to say that we weren't "official" before, and anyway, am I REALLY wifey material? I can only cook like, ... 3 dishes, and I hate doing laundry, and as far as I know, those are the main tenets of wifey material, so ... what is life.
Anyway, we hung around in newly engaged rapture for a bit, agreed that the beach was too damn cold in Washington, and started for the car. He asked me, “Did you have any idea?” I earnestly tried not to laugh. I said, “Babe, that camera was a dead giveaway. Dead giveaway.” And I sang the “Dead Giveaway” song. (Please look it up on youtube. We eat RIBS with this dude.) He laughed at me and said, “Damn, I thought I was being slick.”
Okay, I'll give it to him. He was pretty slick, maybe like 67% slick.
It definitely made up for him asking me to be his girlfriend in front of a dumpster. We’ve been through a lot over the years, and he still makes me smile. Like the other day, I was positively tickled to find that he had ever so carefully folded my panties in half when he had done the laundry for me. Never mind me being wifey material, MY MAN is WIFEY MATERIAL. So happy one year anniversary to my mr. husband. Thank you for responding to my MSN mating call years ago and insisting on calling my landline even though it was midnight (in a pre-cell phone era with an all-sleeping household and no silent mode available). Thank you for liking it (my mind, heart, and booty), and for putting a ring on it. I love you a little bit less than I love our cat.