The Oral Report

Standing up in front of the class was never so much fun!

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Location: River City, United States

The rantings and ravings of a mom of three wonderful girls as she finds new love while working like a dog and shaking her fist at the system. You know. Pretty much like everybody else.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Pencilling A Few Things In

Wow.

A new year. A whole new year. The calendar opened up before me like a blank canvas.

What to do with it...what to do with it.

Hey!

I know!!

I think I'll get married!!

Over two years ago, when I left my ex (for the last time), I swore...to far too many witnesses...that I'd never get married again. Been there. Done that. No interest in a repeat. Thanks, anyway.

I'd hoped that I would find someone to love. But, I wasn't looking at settling into a relationship that would lead me down the aisle again. I just didn't see the necessity in it at all.

You know what? Romance isn't always about the practical.

That's right. You heard it here first.

I'm not saying you put your blinders on. (In fact, I could name a few folks out there right now that could use some adjustments there!!) I'm not saying abandon reality and trapse into fairytale land. What I am saying is that, at 44 years old, you don't have to get married for practical reasons. You are able to live independently. You have a "system" in place for your life. At 44 years old, your priorities change and what you want out of life, and what you need out of a relationship, have a different focus than what you wanted or needed when you were 24 years old.

Sure, you want to have fun (and, yep, a sex life, too), but WOOHOO, it's 2007 and you don't need a marriage license for that stuff anymore! Needless to say, I felt comfortable pronouncing to the world, loud and proud, that I would never get married again.

Heh.

I still hear the echo in my head when I say it. Of course, it's possible that in reality it's a couple of my friends who will never run out of ways to "remind" me that I said it in the first place. (Something they've undertaken since I became engaged.) That's all right, though. It's good-natured and some day I'll have the opportunity to pay them back...;)

They realize, as I now do, too, that I hadn’t factored in a couple things when I made the statement. Sure, I’d factored in the chance that I’d fall in love again. I just hadn’t calculated the possibility that it would be with a man like Highlander. To be honest, I didn’t know real men that wonderful were out there, so it’s not my fault I made the assumptions I did.

Highlander knew, much sooner than I did, that it would be this way. In June, when we became engaged, I cautioned him that it may be years before I was ready to take things any further in our relationship. He smiled and told me he’d wait as long as it took. He wasn’t going anywhere. His confidence in "us" was contagious. His belief that we were "it" was hard to overlook. It didn't help my argument that my own observations only reinforced his thesis.

Consequently, a couple months ago, I did some serious soul searching about all of this. I learned a few things. I discovered that I was allowing all kinds of reasons outside of "us", to direct "us". And I didn’t like that. After carefully assessing the situation, I decided I wasn’t going to allow that any longer. I was going to have to decide how I felt about being married at this point in my life.

Once I had worked through that, I talked to my daughters. I’ve talked to them about their feelings about my relationship with Highlander several times. I have said before, and will say again, I would never spend my time, let alone my life, with a man whom my children did not respect and love, and who didn’t feel the same about them. (While, I’ve been told that’s not important to every couple, I’m here to tell you, it’s a prerequisite for me. ) Gratefully, in the nearly two years that Highlander and I have been seeing each other, that has never once been an issue.

But I know that things can change. Especially for children. So, I wanted to give them another opportunity to voice their opinions before I took steps to give this relationship any more of a sense of permanence. One by one, I sequestered and polled them, giving them every opportunity to tell me they’d rather I hold off or not do it at all. One by one, they dismissed my potential concerns and told me it was about time. Coming up on our two year "dating" anniversary, it really doesn't feel rushed at all.

Then it became a matter of whether I wanted to avoid it just so I wouldn’t have to eat my own words. And, yeah, it sounded just that stupid and shallow in my own head, too. So I told myself that I sure was wasting a lot of time worrying about what everyone else would think, when it was my happiness, and Highlander’s, and my girls’, that was the issue. So what if I broke some irrelevant promise to myself if it didn’t harm me? So what. Wasn't I harming myself, and my girls, and the man I loved by not taking it back?

I know this hardly seems like an epiphany, and certainly not rocket science, but I have, I suppose, become so conditioned to think about appearances and how my actions affect everyone else, that I sometimes disregard my own happiness because of that. Please don’t misunderstand, my family is pleased that I have found someone who makes me so happy and treats me and the girls so well, and they have been supportive in my decisions. Highlander’s family seems to have graciously accepted me and the girls without any hesitation, too.

So, a couple months ago, when Highlander and I were alone, I nuzzled up against his shoulder, felt his arm instinctively embrace me, and then whispered into his ear, "I think I’m ready." I squinted a little and braced for the lightning strike. Oddly, it never came.

Of course, Highlander gave me a rather quizzical look when I said it. But as soon as it came to him, his eyes lit up, his smile broadened and he hugged me tight. He’s known it was our course for over a year now. True to his word, he’s waited for me to catch up.

We’ve worked through arguments and have weathered some tough peripheral issues during our relationship. He’s seen the real me. The good and bad versions, and all the ones in between. And still he wants this. Just as much as he did the first of the dozens of times he's asked me...I'm pretty sure. I’ve run out of reasons to fight him on it.

So, pass the gravy. I’m eagerly enjoying my well-prepared crow.

And marking my 2007 calendar. (You should, too!!)

For an event in the spring that I never expected I’d be attending.

Just for the record, I really couldn’t be happier about it, either.

7 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

So, can I book a specific date now?

1/02/2007 7:23 PM  
Blogger SuperFiancee said...

I wish I could say "Yes", Nate and give you an answer right now. Unfortunately, our first choice for a date is one when the girls are with their dad and I'm currently trying to negotiate a change. We do have a back-up plan, though, and if I have to go through many more of his hoops to get a simple 'yes' or 'no' answer from him, that's what we'll do. I'll let you know something in the next couple days. One way or the other.

Thanks, as always, for your support and we're greatly looking forward to spending some time with you soon! Wait until you see the outfits I've picked out for the wedding party...;)

1/02/2007 10:10 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank God men only have to wear drab little penguin suits.

1/03/2007 4:25 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Very nice!! It's wonderful how much effort ya'll took to make this relationship work and that the kids are all for it as well.

Congratualtions and may the planning go smoothly!

1/03/2007 10:45 PM  
Blogger SuperFiancee said...

Nate -

Thank God men only have to wear drab little penguin suits.

...or so you think...;)

FH -

I suppose we have put a lot of effort into making this work. Honestly, it doesn't feel like it at all. I guess that point is significant, huh.

Thanks for the well-wishes and good luck with your own budding relationship.

1/04/2007 8:13 AM  
Blogger Opus P. Penguin said...

Maybe I have forgotten what romance is, but I'm glad you two haven't.

Best of everything!

Are you doing the whole big-dress, garter dance, throwing rice and bouquets thing? (I mean, after all, this is Highlander's first.. ;).)

1/08/2007 10:58 AM  
Blogger SuperFiancee said...

Opus -

Thanks!!

Plans are still pretty preliminary, but since it's a first for him and a second for me, we're likely going to hit somewhere in between. Anything too big would make me feel inappropriate. Anything too small wouldn't be enough for him.

I'm sure you'll see updates on here from time to time...;)

1/08/2007 11:45 AM  

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