Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Popping Up: Ring Talk

Alright, I've been leaving you hanging long enough. I was hoping to have other interesting stories to share with you, too, but unfortunately, my life is pretty ho-hum right now. But you probably just want to know about the ring stuff, anyway, right? That's what I thought. So if, after reading this, you have any advice or insight into this situation, please share it with me. I'm a little frustrated and confused, as you will see.

So about three weeks ago, I was at the gym on a Saturday morning. While I was there, CN decided to check out the local flea market. While he was there, he saw a man selling Boston Terrier puppies and a French Bulldog. Knowing that I am a big fan of these two breeds, he told me about them when I got home from the gym. He asked me if I wanted to go see them. I said I would.

The puppies were, not surprisingly, adorable. And the French Bulldog was an adult female, all black. She was also gorgeous. And $600. The puppies were about $450. Needless to say, I did not buy any of the dogs for several reasons:

1. I don't know who the hell this flea market salesman is. For all I know, he could have stolen someone's dogs. Or the dogs could be in poor health.
2. I would rather get a rescued dog from a Boston Terrier or a Frenchie rescue organization. Or even a mutt. Homeless dogs need good homes!
3. I do not have the time or patience to deal with teaching a puppy to be house trained.
4. It is money I do not have to spend right now, anyway.
5. After the whole Toby thing, I really need to take my time and be 200% sure about getting a 2nd dog. It costs a lot to take care of two, not just financially, but my house gets extra dirty, it takes longer to care for them and walk them, etc. Although I love the idea of having a playmate for Sammy, it's a big decision and not one I take lightly.

But it was still fun to look at them. The adult female Frenchie is exactly the dog I would love to have, too.

Later on that day, CN and I were at Wal-Mart, and we talked about how cute the flea market dogs were as we shopped.

"Yeah, I thought about surprising you with one of the puppies," he said. (Hear those points racking up for CN? The man knows good gifts, I'm telling you. Even if it did piss all over my house, I would have been totally stoked to have a little puppy.)

"OMG, don't you DARE spend that kind of money on me! That is just ridiculous. Besides, those dogs were waaaay overpriced," I replied. (I know no men reading this will believe me, but I really was glad he didn't spend that kind of money on me. I would be racked with guilt.)

"Yeah," he replied, "I thought that I could either get you a dog, or I could get you a ring. I figured you'd rather have the ring, right?"

Well, you could have knocked me over with a feather! I was basically speechless, which doesn't happen to me very often. I just nodded in agreement and rambled something out of my mouth. I don't remember what I said!

This came out of the blue for me. Every time CN and I watched something about marriage or engagements on tv, he said every time, "WOW, I can't believe how quickly they got engaged! People shouldn't get engaged until they've been dating at least two years! That's just too soon!"

Whenever he would say this, I would sort of mentally sigh. I mean, let's face it. He and I are really good together. We are crazy about each other. We both agree this is by far the best relationship we've ever been in. And I'm a 29 year old woman. I want to get married. Yesterday.

So, based on his reaction to engaged couples on tv, I have always just sort of expected that we would never talk about this idea for a while. I have been thinking seriously about exactly how long I am willing to wait around. Am I willing to wait for 2 years? 4 years? I have been trying to avoid the topic, because I know how it freaks guys out. But I have to admit, I'm reaching that, "Ok, so exactly where is this going?" point. I have been trying my best not to bring it up.

But lately, it's been popping up. Sometimes, he brings it up. Sometimes, I start an innocuous conversation that dances around the topic. Sometimes, a conversation about our futures will turn into conversations about buying a house together, moving somewhere together, having kids together, long term financial plans...but up until a few weeks ago, nothing has been said about marriage or engagement stuff. He has felt comfortable talking about houses, kids, moving, etc. But not actual jewelry purchases or formal ceremonies involving multi-tiered cakes.

And now, we've had more and more of them. And at least 3 conversations about kids-- even down to baby names. And at least two about engagements. He emails house listings to me -- "Look at this house! We can afford this!" Maybe my coworkers' prediction is right: they have all been saying I will be engaged by the end of the year. (I personally am doubting this, at this point. Maybe next summer, at the earliest. If I don't screw things up. If he has more money than I know about. If pigs start flying.)

So naturally, I am a little excited about this, even if it's just talking and wishing. :D

But I'm also frustrated, because whenever I bring up anything about the future, he starts to make jokes about me nagging him or pressuring him or rushing things. The other day, he said, "Gah! If you keep talking about it, you won't know if I do it because I want to or if it's to shut you up and get you to stop nagging!"

Note: I am not nagging. I have not asked for anything, nor have I repeated any sort of request. I am not an asker or beggar or ultimatum-making kind of girl. Anytime the words "engaged" "ring" "wedding" or "marriage" come out of my mouth, suddenly I am a big nag. It's ok for him to talk about stuff, but I am not "allowed" to start the conversation -- only react to what he says. ARGH. He only does this to irritate me. I know it.

Although he is joking, I go ahead and just back off and change the subject. Now, I am totally avoiding any discussions about the future in every sense of the word. I am not going to let a little double standard mess things up for me. LOL

But it is a little frustrating for him to open up a door, but refuse to let me talk about it!!!! I am not known for being quiet!!!! Or patient!!!!

MJ thinks he is testing me. Feeling things out, as it were. I think he is blowing smoke up my ass. But that's my inner pessimist talking. What do you think? Is he testing me? Is he being serious? How do I handle this? I need to relax, don't I?


cmk said...

You DEFINITELY need to relax. Wait until the new year before you decide to do the 'just where is this going' talk. Remember, Christmas AND New Year's are just around the corner--he might have a big surprise for you.

I'm thinking good thoughts for you--the two of you sound great together! :)

Alison said...

I agree with CMK...he could be waiting for Christmas or New Years Eve. :) And I agree with MJ...I think he's gauging your reaction (you know guys don't want to be turned down!) but you'd think he'd know well by now that you would say YES!

How is his dad doing, by the way?

kimmykins13 said...

Aww - He's totally razzing you right now. Agreeing with the co-workers, you will be engaged by the end of the year. I couldn't be happier for you.

Remember this, if he wasn't thinking about it he wouldn't have ever mentioned the ring to begin with - and he did.

kimmykins13 said...

Oh also, better get The Czarina prepared!!!WOOT!!

Megan said...

He is just testing you...I am guessing you will have a sparkly on your finger by 2009!

Meghan (The Declaration of MY Independence) said...

I agree with everyone else. He is totally testing your reaction. He wants to marry you, get excited!

IMO, if this bothers you, you need to talk to him about it. I know I am not a very patient person and I like to know where relationships are going. You guys have a great relationship. Hes not going to run away from you just b/c you want to talk about your future. If he starts to joke with you about it, tell him he's hurting your feelings. I am a firm believer in open communication in relationships. You will be fine! And keep me updated!

Phantom Hater said...

I say, given the way things went with the last one, stay with one dog. Maybe when you and CN get your house together, you can expand the dog family.

CN is being a typical guy. When a guy wants to marry someone, he'll know it. My gut here says that I think he does, but he is probably testing the waters a little bit and wants to keep things on his own terms, perhaps with a breaking up with you on Christmas Day. haha, just kidding! I think the fact that he is so touchy about it is that it is on his mind.

You've been together long enough that you could at least start a dialog about it without it becoming awkward, although I'm the last person who should be saying that since when marriage comes up I'm as sweaty as a guy who just walked in the kitchen to see Chris Hansen from "To Catch A Predator" standing there in a suit.

sassafras said...

I think he's annoyed when you bring it up because he's already got something planned in his head and he doesn't want you to ruin it.

He would not have brought it up (several times) if he didn't mean it. So I know it is the hardest thing in the world but you need to relax about it. HAHAHA, good luck with that ;)

Anyway, I can't wait for it to happen!

Virginia Belle said...

cmk -- yeah, i'm trying to relax...but i'm not someone known for hiding my true feelings. especially excitement!

alison -- i know, right? his dad is hanging in there. thanks for asking. he's not better, but he's not worse, either. i gotta give him some props for hanging in there.

kimmykins -- yeah, i figured that he would never speak the word "ring" if he wasn't considering it AT ALL. at least, i hope he wouldn't...and as far as the czarina is concerned....let's just say she wouldn't exactly be doing backflips. i mean, she likes him, it's just that i don't think she ever pictured me ending up with someone from such a humble background. but that is a totally different post!

megan -- i am much more inclined to say that he would be more likely to pop any important questions after the holidays are over. i don't feel he's ready yet.

meghan -- i know, i am excited, but i'm trying not to get all worked up about it. i mean, for all i know, it could be another year. he isn't completely clamming up or freaking out whenever the "m" word pops up. i just think he needs time to absorb the concept, so i don't want to push him. because he IS a man, after all. and i don't really feel the need to talk about it a lot, anyway. taking that step feels like the next logical thing. commitment-wise, i'm already married, as far as i'm concerned. the rest is just a formality. but don't tell him that, or i'll never get a ring! LOL

PH, that was not a funny joke. ok, it kinda was. thank you for providing me with a male perspective. good to know i have legitimate reasons for my ears to perk up, and i'm not just "being a girl".

sassafras -- oh boy. well, i am convinced it is not going to happen this holiday season. there's no way. i can tell he's not ready. he hasn't even talked to me about what kind of a ring i want. i guess i will just have to be patient....somehow...... argh. this is not my forte, ya'll.

teahouse said...

I think that you guys are definitely thinking of the same thing, and headed in the same direction. That's great news!

Now just sit back, relax and let it all fall into place.

Yeah, if only it were that easy! I went through this as well. And my advice is enjoy every moment of every day. 29 is young. I got married at 32, and sometimes I wonder why I was in such a hurry! And still mourn my single life.

Patience, grasshopper. All will happen in good time.

Capricorn Cringe said...

I'm late to the party as usual. I agree with everyone - it is definitely on his mind. I would trust your instincts about this - you know him best.

Try to relax ... and definitely have fun :)

RWA said...

I have to agree with MJ. He's testing you.

Relax. I am confident everything is going to work out just fine.

Becky said...

1. relax
2. he IS testing the waters.