A few days after my ex-girlfriend broke up with me, I got engaged. I bought a ring: it's multi-colored and silver, and it was made in Nepal. I bought it for $13.50, plus tax, at the First United Methodist Church of Germantown bazaar (whose out lesbian pastor was recently defrocked).
I wrote out a whole series of commitments I was willing to make -- to myself. I decided to marry me.
This was not my idea. The first person I ever knew to marry herself was the best friend of my ex's. She had a ceremony and vows, and when I heard about it, I thought it was a great idea. What better way of expressing your love for yourself?
Except that I'm not ready to walk down the aisle yet. I didn't want to jump into anything too quickly. So I'm having a long engagement.
I've given up my dream of being in the New York Times Style section with my (currently non-existent) beau. It really wasn't so much of a dream as another achievement to tick off of some list in my head. But the list wasn't my own, so I've been trying to get rid of it, one by one.
The engagement's been a rocky road: I'm not the easiest person in the world to have a relationship with. I steal all of the covers. I sleep diagonally. I take long showers. I often leave my shoes in the middle of the floor, or don't do my laundry for a couple of weeks. I sometimes get grumpy, and can't figure out quite what to do to un-grump. I take a long time to make decisions. I am a perfectionist. I need time alone to check in with myself and re-connect. I have a hard time asking for what I need, though I am getting better at it.
But I make up funny songs, and poems, and like to draw and write, and be outside. I like to smile, and laugh. I bake great chocolate chip cookies and brownies, and make delicious hot fudge. I am well-read. I'm passionate about politics. I try new things and places. I care about being a better person, and knowing myself better. I like being connected to the world around me. I have a long list of things that I want to try or learn, and I don't ever plan to be bored. I am affectionate. I like touch. On my best days, I am gentle, and sweet, and caring. I am learning to take good care of myself.
I'm taking it slowly, and when the time comes, I'll get married on the beach, in shorts and flip-flops, to myself. I might have a couple of guests, and maybe we'll drink champagne or dance under the stars. Or maybe, I'll just smile to myself, happy to be my own best friend, happy to know the big secret: that I'm the only one who can make me whole.