He calls me Sugar and I call him Biggie (Baby Baybay). He gets me tickets to see Jill Scott and Maxwell every time they are in town, without me having to ask. He brings me fruit roll-ups whenever I have a bad day and he truly loves and accepts me completely as I am. I burp loud, I drink like a fish, I wear weaves, wigs and a natural (sometimes at the same damn time) and he could care less. He makes me laugh and gives the best hugs since my Aunt Ruth. My family and friends adore him and I could not be happier with the man God gave me.
Well…actually I could.
He’s also stubborn (West Indian) and he is slllloooowwwww. I move fast. He takes his time with everything. This should have been an indicator of how this whole engagement process was going to run. During our first six months of dating (four of those I paid him no never mind) he would say he wouldn’t get married until after his 30th birthday. I would roll my eyes and say under my breath “ninja please.” At the time, he was 27 and I was 31. Ain’t nobody got time to be waiting three years to get engaged or married. You better go to the sto’ with that (Ice Cube voice).
But it took every bit of three years–three and a half years to be exact, before we got engaged. Why so long, you may ask ? Well, life happened. The recession hit, jobs were lost and money became tight. How could we think about getting married with no form of stability? When I was out of work, he picked up the slack financially. We did not live together, but in terms of making sure I had what I needed, he would provide and vice versa when I went back to work and his job was eliminated.
Here is a piece of information: When a man is out of work, it messes with his head. A good man wants to provide. The inability to do so at the level he is accustomed will test not only his self-worth, but will also test your strength in encouraging him and dealing with mood swings. It will test your relationship.
So after three years of dating, several bouts of unemployment and relocations to Harlem on both parts, we finally started having those talks about seriously looking at rings. We went looking together only once. He wanted to be certain I liked what I had shown him on the computer, AND I DID! He never told or hinted at when he would give me the ring and I didn’t pressure him to. Well, not initially. Again, he takes his time and researches everything thoroughly so I gave him that because I knew I would love whatever he gave me. I was happy with the road we were both on.
That was until he took a job out of state.
He knew I was not going to join him. I expressed my displeasure with him moving and even me joining him. He knew I was not going to entertain anything until I had my ring. So naturally I believed I would get my ring before he moved. WRONG!
I sat on my couch, crying as he pulled off for the 15-hour drive. No ring, no idea what was going on, all I knew was he was gone and I was not with him and I was devastated. He promised me everything was going to work out and I wanted to believe him, but it was hard. He came back to visit two weeks later for a family gathering and his official going away party.
I couldn’t help but think, THIS IS IT!
Wrong again. While it was a very nice party, tons of family and friends and no engagement. I was livid. As I drove him to the airport, tears and snot flinging everywhere he promised me this would be the last time he would be leaving New York without me. Those words were promising, but did not sooth me.
My birthday was right around the corner, he said he couldn’t make it up because the tickets were too expensive and I had already booked a flight to visit him the following week. We agreed to wait until then to celebrate my birthday, but I was disappointed. As a last ditch effort, I called him before heading to my birthday dinner to see if he was just joshing me. If it went straight to voicemail then I KNEW he was on a flight, and I could adjust my attitude.
He answered the damn phone…
Oh well. Plan B. Get drunk.
Long story short, I had a fabulous dinner with my dearest friends. We laughed, drank, talked sh*t. Hey, even my best friend and some family from out of town showed up!
I received a text message from him and it was a picture of the Brooklyn Bridge. I have never jumped up and ran so fast. There he was, standing in between the Manhattan and Brooklyn bridges waiting on me. I ran straight into his arms and would not let go. I was so very happy. He started talking some jive Jodeci laced lyric talk, but it all sounded like Charlie Brown’s teacher. He pulled out a box, got on one knee and asked me to marry him.
I GOT MY RING!
Now what ?
About the Author: She holds multiple degrees, is a natural born socialite, a business owner, an extreme exerciser of faith and a realist. After 3 years of dating and a year of being engaged, she is ready to tell the truth about what to expect when you are transitioning from being a single woman with no worries to a future wife. For the sake of these articles, let’s just call her Nina. After all, that was here “Club Name” for over 15 years….so yeah, introducing Nina.
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