This series of text is loosely based on a conversation I had with a woman who considered herself an “emotional whore”. Though funny at times, this piece is part of a larger conversation about identity, self-love, childhood trauma and mental health.
Dumbfounded. I must have stared at him for at least 2 hours with the same stupid look on my face. He was just kneeling there in front of me, with a smile on his face that quickly turned into a frown after a couple of seconds of me just standing there. Simply dumbfounded. I mean, who does that? Just propose to their girlfriend in front of their whole family? Seriously? Why would he do that here, out of all days and all places?
Okay, so obviously, I was being irrational. Of course his proposal was perfectly timed and justified. I just couldn’t believe it. I couldn’t believe he felt we were at this stage of our relationship. I had a gift of always getting myself into awkward situations and getting away gracefully, but this time, there was no escaping. There was no batting my eyelashes and laughing it off. For once, I had to face my problems. Fast.
Cameron was starting to look at me weird now, and so were his mother, his sisters, his aunts, uncles, cousins and whoever the hell else that came to the event. Damn it! I thought this was a family reunion, not a damn surprise engagement party! I knew I shouldn’t have come. I don’t even like these people. I barely like Cam- I mean, I love Cameron, I just don’t like his… Ugh, whatever.
For once I was actually looking forward to this day– just enjoying a nice barbecue party, with some good summer weather and some good laughs with people that weren’t phony… I was actually planning on spending the entire day with his grandma– that’s about the only person I could say I truly love –and him of course.
I mean, I get that we’ve been seriously dating for about 2 years now –maybe more, but who’s really counting– and we’ve been over the whole “I love you” phase. I’ve met all of his family and friends, and he’s met my people. We’ve pretty much done all the things serious couples do when they’re serious, but that shouldn’t have given him the right to propose to me. Not now, not today.
The only thing distracting me from this painful awkwardness was the stunning ring that was shining like a diamond in front of me. Of course, it was shining because it was a real diamond. I wouldn’t have expected less from Cam and his expensive tastes. He was carrying a gorgeous ring with diamonds actually mounting the main diamond. Geez, even the ring was pretentious. Beautiful, but pretentious. At that moment, I knew I had to do something. And the only thing that came to my mind was “Fake it ‘till you make it”. My best friend’s favorite quote, and by experience, words to live by. So I went down memory lane and tried to remember a time when I had to get out of a tough situation. And there it was, 8th grade middle school, Mrs. Jennings’ class.
“Ahem, love. Is this a yes or a no?”
“Oh Cam, it’s a –”
And slowly fake a faint and you are golden baby!
“Oh my gosh, baby! Are you okay? Baby, answer me!”