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Some years have passed, so I can talk about this now.
Many many moons ago, I started dating this very cool girl. We hit it off right away, had lots in common, she was smart, agressive, cool and funny. And hot. Really hot.
So we dated for a while, which became a year, then nearly two. I figured she was it. We worked together on decisions, but I followed my passions and she followed hers - both career professionals, both creative, and both ready to kick this town for a Carribean cottage if the thought ever struck us. Adventure. Romance. Lots of Sex. All was right with my world.
So I did what I figured I should do - I went out shopping for a diamond ring.
That was the biggest mistake I ever made.
I can't really put my finger on the exact change, but over the years, I've cometo summarize it this way: I went from being the guy she loved and wanted to marry to the guy who didn't match up with her fantasy about getting married, in about 24 hours.
She started acting as if I was completely incapable of making any decisons on my own, in spite of the evidence to the contrary. She criticized everything I did. She tried to make me look like some idiot, Homer Simpson type. Now, I'm not splitting atoms in the basement or anything, but I was Fulbright kid for a year and graduated cum laude, and I have a tendency to avoid dumb shit like telemarking scams, computer viruses, STD's and, well, white slavery rings. Let's just say I'm no Homer.
Then the wedding planning started, and HO LEE SHIT. We were doing alright, for sure, but she had put together about a 45K day for us in a matter of a week or two. When I objected to some ridiculous expense (bunting? WTF?), I was told I was wrong, or "didn't know what I was talking about" and, unless I wanted a big fight, I shut up right there. Trust me, when I balked at the cost of flowers, I was nearly decapitated.
Nearly all of this, I was told, was "What she always wanted".
Well, I always wanted 15 playboy bunnies oiled up on a water bed in the horniest state known to womankind, which I think might have actually cost LESS, but I was pretty sure it wasn't going to happen.
I hit the ceiling when I saw the guestlist. 225. I barely know 225 people, let alone want to feed them and watch them get drunk while my savings account cries to me over the phone "You have ZERO dollars and 22 cents". Who is this? That? A bartender you know? I don't even LIKE that girl!
One night, I told her this: You know what, you're going to have about as much fun, possibly more, if I don't show up at this thing.
So I bailed. Yup, I packed my shit and hit the door, a good 4 months prior to the date of my pre-planned, ever-priced, heavily adorned demise. I called it off, packed my shit and left. And I have never looked back.
Oh, we had a big talk. It was about as much fun as you'd expect. I got my hair blown back for an hour or so, but I was already numb. She'd been yelling at me about this and that for so long, I couldn't tell anymore when she was mad or not.
Maybe the hardest part was that I was having incredible sucess, in lots of things, while all this was happening. Musically, professionaly - things were really coming together for me. And she couldn't be pleased. In the end, it's her loss, but I've always wondered what the fuck she was thinking.
The moral to this story?
Engagement Ring - $3800.00 (never got it back)
Non-Refundable Deposits - $5200.00 (all my money)
Moving Expenses - $750.00
Being Single again - Priceless.