if the rule of threes is an overarching theme that possibly ends the circular ruins that we sometimes find ourselves falling into, then this is absolutely germane to the revolution of proposals, parties and weddings that I found myself in.
I could start this story back in Omaha, cut to years later though, and I think it was the Winter of 2010 or maybe it was 2011. no, ten. I don't know. the primary point to note is that I lost my mind again. the life of my little apartment in Tampa was fading fast, and I had packed my world into boxes to move away, out to the Midwest, where again, only a very few people would know my name. I was still blonde and still long-haired then, and I thought my plans existed in a space of controlled chaos that was larger than me. if I am going to cut it straight like I have so far: I needed an escape. desperately.
if I am going to cut it even straighter than that, I thought I had fallen in love with someone, but he was none too in love with me. we had got an apartment together; I had shipped my things. but when he was supposed to come to Tampa, meet my parents' for Thanksgiving, and take me back to Omaha, he didn't. that didn't happen, and I was still without my things. when an escape falls away, and there are no other windows and no other doors to leave from, it can feel like the sky is falling, which is exactly what happened to me.
so I cut off all my hair; again, I wanted a new identity. I was so terribly embarrassed about being so publically taken down, that I did not want all my new friends: the ones at the parties, the bookstore, to recognize that I had given up on everything. this was a terrible time. I couldn't even exactly say what I was thinking, but at this time, I started writing in phantoms and the space program extensively, and listening to what everyone else thought but me.
on a particularly terrible day, I was on Davis Islands, and I called my mom; it was probably the most hysterical I've ever been. she left work and came to check on me. she told me that I needed to be around normal people, and she suggested that I see an old boyfriend because, by all appearances, he seemed the most normal. so I did, and that was exactly the wrong thing to do.
this I absolutely cannot talk about specifically because it is unfair for me to air anyone else's secrets but my own, and if I am using guilt as an overarching theme, along with the rule of threes, then I have to put this all on myself, which is definitely how his parents would want this to be. I will only say that I was never happy, and I never, ever wrote a thing because writing must retain a sense of the self, if it is going to retain anything. I will also say, that right now, it is incredibly difficult not to be specific, and for the purpose of the comedy and the direction of this story—
this is getting too long and too convoluted, so I will get to the wedding. I adamantly and absolutely did not want a wedding, but his family insisted, like they insisted about every thing. it went much in the way of the first: everyone was planning around me, choosing the specific things they felt were needs. it was to be a garden wedding (again) and at home (again) and small (again). however, my mom made me the most amazing, beautiful, hand beaded dress, in blue, because I wanted to wear it again and again and again, even though I did not want to be married.
when I told my parents' everything, they were not only supportive, but kind and proud of me. they threw everything from the wedding plans— the tree trunk cake stand, the invitations, the paper rings— into a huge bonfire, and since then, everyone is closer, and happy.
so in my life, I've received four proposals, three rings, and two almost not quite there weddings. if these were the only symbols to lead by, these alone prove that my husband, Tim, was made for me because he took me off to New Orleans to elope all on our own, and rather than a ring, that pointless symbol, he branded me.