The Non-Proposal (Continuation Of This Is Us Story)

Jay said he was gun shy of marriage because he had witnessed the traumatic breakup of some of his friends’ marriages.

I was terrified of marriage, having had an unsuccessful marriage before.  I never wanted to be married again.  

Jay knew marriage was a delicate issue.

So, over the course of two years, he first said a sentence with

“If I ever got married …”

Time passed.  Then one day, he said,

“When I get married …”

Time passed.  Then one day, he said,

“If we ever got married …”

Time passed.  And then the day came when he said,

“When we get married …”

Since I had grown accustomed to all the other versions, this one almost slid by me.  And then I realized what he had just said.

With a kind of a deer in the headlight look, I said, “I didn’t know we were getting married.”

He looked puzzled.  Then he said, “Well, I thought we would!”

I was frozen or at least I thought I wanted to be.  All the “todays” of being with him had been the highlight of my life.  But would all that change … would he change … if I was “just a wife” instead of the girlfriend, who could run away if she felt insecure?

And yet, the very real possibility that he would move on with someone else, who was more secure, frightened me.  

I pictured my world without him.  Him driving away with no hope of return.  The smell of his aftershave eventually gone.  No phone calls.  No more smiles or laughs or snuggling or …

In a rush of words, I said, “Of course, we will.  Let’s pick a date and I’ll throw something together.”

He said, “Well, I want to get you a ring. I’ve got one picked out at the store.”  

Now that was truly amazing.  Jay had never been one to plan … and yet he had dared to dream that he would be able to buy that ring and put it on my finger.

But there was one more hurdle to get over before I would wear that ring.  We went to the store for me to see it and get it sized.

I had what I can only describe as a “post traumatic stress panic attack.”  I thought of how horribly all had crashed and burned in that first marriage.

My hands started shaking.  I threw the ring on the counter and said, “I’m sorry.  I love you, but I can’t do this.”  I then ran from the store.

He found me crying in the parking lot.  He didn’t say anything.  He just held me.

Eventually I spoke.

“If we get married, will you still be you?  Will I still be me?  Will we be us?  Can I trust you?  Can I trust me not to want to run away?”

He said, “That’s easy.  The answer to all those questions is yes.”

I said, “Why do you want to marry me?”

He said, ” I found the one person I want to spend the rest of my life with.  That’s you.  And I’m hoping you will want to spend the rest of your life with me.”

I said, “So is this a proposal?”

He laughed.  “Well, before we get married, I would like to get you a ring.  But I’m hungry now.  Wanna go to McDonalds and try for it again tomorrow?”

And so we did … go to McDonalds.

And we did … go back the next day and get a ring.

And we did … start planning a wedding for September 25, 1977.

And what a wacky wedding it was!


Cinderella was a little off balanced without her slipper … but she knew she had found her prince … and he knew not to give up on making her his bride.

(And to this day, Jay still calls me his bride!😍)

About carolynpriesterjones

Follower of Jesus, Seeker of Truth, Commentator on Life, Light Bearer, Water Carrier, one of God's Creations still under construction

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