When we last left our heroine (that's me) she was sitting on a bar stool with wet feet in "Whispers," the hotel bar of the SoMa Courtyard by Marriott, happily crying at the news that her partner was finally officially divorced, after approximately four and a half years of battles.
Once I had collected myself, Kathy again pleaded with me to go to the bathroom with her. I was feeling all fond of her and squishy, so I agreed to go, despite the fact that (1) the bathroom was up some stairs, across a catwalk, and down a hallway, (2) I had absolutely zero desire to put my feet back into my soaking wet shoes, and (3) I think it's weird to go to the bathroom when you don't have to go, just to keep someone else company, especially considering that I do not wear lipstick so there was nothing to re-apply while I was in there. But like I said, I was feeling particularly fond of her, and sort of wanted to be with my divorcee girlfriend for her really long walk to the bathroom. So off we went.
As we crossed the catwalk above the hotel lobby, I felt her tug on my hand. I turned around, and she was on one knee, and pulling out a box, and ohmygod there was a ring in that box. I honestly don't know what she said, because it's all kind of a blur, but it ended with "Will you marry me?" In what seemed like slow motion to me, I said "yes" three times, grabbed the ring, put it on, and then realized I was weirdly standing above Kathy and that she was kind of on the ground. So I sat down. I know that it's weird to sit down in the middle of the hallway of a hotel, but it seemed really reasonable to me at the time. This is about the time that Kathy started frantically digging through her purse.
"What are you doing?" I asked.
"The ring. There was a ring in that box and now there's not and it must have fallen out in my purse why I am I like this!!"
"Um, sweetie, the ring did not fall out in your purse. It's on my hand already."
I have actually never seen Kathy look so relieved. "Oh. Does that mean you said yes?"
And so, we are engaged.
I felt a flurry of emotions that first night. It's hard to say which caused more elation -- knowing that she was free to be mine, or knowing that she actually was mine. Weirdly, I would say one of the strongest emotions was relief. I have known for a long time that Kathy and I would get married, when she was free to do so. But it kind of felt, at times, like that day would never come.
I kept thinking, the closer Kathy got to actually being divorced, the more likely it was that some horrible turn of events would result in her being married to her ex forever. Like they would outlaw divorce in the State of New York, or something. It had begun (maybe sometime around year three?) to feel like a massive conspiracy. It was because of this that Kathy and I had agreed that she would not propose (why did she get to propose? A topic for another post, I think.) until her documents were filed and the divorce could not be stopped by her ex-husband. But once the documents were filed, it felt sort of anti-climactic. The approval process could take anywhere from six weeks to six months. What if we set our wedding date, and then a month prior to the wedding, she was still not divorced and the conspiracy came out? Although we never discussed it, we both, independently, began to feel uneasy with the idea of getting engaged before the divorce was finalized.
But no, there was no conspiracy, and the documents were filed, and the documents were approved. In fact, they were approved only two weeks after filing. The approval was not prevented by a freak hurricane or an alien abduction or anything of that sort, which I had -- legitimately, I think -- begun to fear.
And now, we are engaged.