No, Patrick didn’t go down on one knee and profess his everlasting and unwavering love for yours truly (at least, not yet), but someone did! Dennis, whom I also refer to affectionately as my frenemy, proposed to Carly last month while we were visiting Taiwan.
You may remember blond-haired and blue-eyed Dennis as the “Golden Boy” in my family from this interview many moons ago on the trials and tribulations of undertaking the daunting task that is dating a pair of twins. We call him “Golden Boy” behind his back because he is everything Patrick is not—stable, quiet, Mr. Always Does the Right Thing at the Right Time…I mean, c’mon, who wouldn’t love this guy?!?
Well, after four years, two breakups, and lots of family drama mostly instigated by me, Dennis somehow survived and decided to jump headfirst into the deep end, finally slipping a pretty little one on my twin’s ring finger. Atop the most pristine and heavenly mountains in Taiwan, Dennis asked Carly to “be his baby forever” late one night as the stars peek-a-boo’d from the blanket of velvety night fog. *sigh*
Their engagement was and wasn’t a surprise to my family. We’ve known that something was coming for a while now but because we’ve known for so long, at one point we weren’t even sure it was coming anymore! Of course we are all thrilled for Carly and Dennis (when it was first confirmed to me he was going to propose in Taiwan, I had tears in my eyes!) but their elation can't quite mask the white elephant in the room.
“Do you feel upstaged by your sister because she and Dennis are stealing the spotlight from you?” my dad asked me sincerely after the engagement.
“Oh my gosh NO! I am so happy for them. Carly and I never compete about anything. Her win is my win,” I respond truthfully. But I knew why my dad was concerned for me since hearing the word "marriage" still gives me the hives. Because I don't know what it'll take for Patrick and me to once and for all take that leap of faith towards blissfully engaged. Because I keep telling the world marriage is a dying institution even though deep down... deep down...ugh.
|Dennis asking my dad for Carly's hand in marriage on our back porch.|
“Patrick and I are like a married couple anyway, and a ring won’t change much of anything for us right now,” I reassured my dad just as much as I was reassuring myself. You see, something very few people know about is that I DO have a ring. And a big one at that. Its hiding place changes from week to week but it’s still supposedly mine and when I feel all romantic and giddy, I try to wear it around the house.
When Patrick and I were planning our wedding that never was, he put down a lot of change for a very big ring for me. White gold, princess cut, a band of diamonds, and three whole carats, it is quite excessive and definitely more than a simple girl like me could ever wear. Sometimes when I look at it in its polished mahogany case, I wonder why I ever hinted to Patrick that I would want something as big as he could afford. I almost feel guilty he spent so much money on a ring I don’t even get to show off, money that could have been invested or saved as a down payment for our imminent house purchase. Sometimes I am embarrassed or even ashamed thinking about the prospect of having to wear such a rock in front of his family one day, scrambling to justify to them why on earth I ever had their dear son waste so much money on me.
|Ok, I lied. We don't really live here. This was during our Asia vacation.|
The worst part of it is I can’t even wear the ring right since it is almost three sizes too big for me (the ring was bought unsized). So it has been floating around in a bookcase or bathroom cabinet for going on two years now, its misfitting ways symbolizing all that went wrong and all that is broken in our relationship. There it has been sitting and collecting emotional dust, representing all that could have been and all that still has to happen for Patrick to finally say to me, “Yes, you’re it. Let's do it, girl!”
But last week, on a weekly cruise through the mall, I stumbled across a newly opened jewelry store that promised fast fixes for any jewelry or watch problem. The man behind the counter told me it would cost $50 to take my ring down to a size 5.25 and $50 on that day didn’t sound like too high a price to once and for all resize my ring. I texted Patrick to ask him what he thought and he said, “Sure, go do it.”
And so I did the very next day. I brought the ring in like a nervous high school girl in love, watching the jeweler precisely laser the band apart only to put it back together a few minutes later. I guarded the ring like a new father would his baby in the NICU, making sure every step of the way my baby was treated with utmost care. It came back to me clean, polished, and MY size. The man behind the counter slipped it onto my finger and said, “You can wear your ring now. It fits perfectly. By the way, how long have you had it?”
“Oh, um, a while…”
“That’s a shame you couldn’t wear it for so long,” he said with a twinkle in his eye. No, you don’t understand, I wish I could tell him the story. It was not mine to wear this whole time. But thank you for making it feel more like mine, and maybe I will wear it more now. But just for fun because I’m not really engaged yet.
Looking at it on my finger as I type this post that has gone on for too long, my ring doesn’t seem too big anymore. Perhaps it was wrong of me to ask Patrick to prove the magnitude of his love in carats when we first found out I was unexpectedly pregnant. But Patrick, after all we've been through, can you honestly tell me I'm not completely, utterly, MAGNIFICENTLY worth every penny you've spent?