It featured a suburban apartment that I had chosen but immediately hated, hoping it would give me insight into whether I wanted to move to the country (it so very much didn’t), plus a landlord who suggested we open the oven door for heat when the furnace gave out in February, and a bonus crazy basement renter below us. Crazy as in:
1. Coming to our door on Valentine’s Day and telling us that she knew we were young and that this was a day for romance and she had her TV on nice and loud so she couldn’t hear anything downstairs (thereby precluding any possible sex that day).
2. Offering me her used lingerie, including thong underwear, smashed into little paper gift bags that she’d hang from our apartment doorknob or hand me in person (with the proviso that “I kept the crotchless panties for myself”).
3. Trying to help me relax on moving day, when the moving trucks didn’t show up and we had to use my uncle’s cube van for five trips to Toronto, by throwing a bucketful of cold water in my face: “I thought you needed to cool off!” (I managed – just – not to annihilate her.)
But. In this apartment inferno there was a bedroom, and in that was a bed, upon which I lay one day feeling particularly miserable and defeated when my now husband asked me to marry him. There was no ring (we would buy it that afternoon together), there was no view, there was no good ambiance. But the Eiffel Towers and Taj Mahals and all the carats in the world can’t compare in riches to me.
I can’t quite tell you more about it; I hope you don’t mind. Adding a newborn to our family, the three times that we’ve done it, puts some strain on our marriage. Our latest little one has ushered in the easiest transition by far, but thereare still some adjustment kinks, and my mood isn’t leading me to bask comfortably in the glow of our proposal gone right. Rely on it, yes, that I do, but no basking, nothing smug.
We’re just working at it, one day at a time. But it is nice, this little opportunity to remember how we were in those moments when we decided that we were in it for good. I think it may have demonstrated a little of the stamina and sincerity that we would need to see us through, and is kind of reassuring that way.