I recently read a book admonishing women who have been proposed to more than twice of being careless. I thought about it, since I happen to fall into that category, and wondered whether I was really careless, or just someone who likes to see how far she can get the guy to commit, before she has to extricate herself from a relationship she knows she doesn't want to be in for the rest of her life.
My first boyfriend, whom I loved madly, didn't really propose so much as capitulate to my incessant pressure. Luckily for both of us, he conveniently forgot the entire episode.
A few boyfriends later, I was proposed to again. But we didn't get along very well, and I ended up breaking one of his teeth with my killer aim. He blackmailed me to stay with him, threatening to press charges for assault and battery if I tried to leave. That was a charming relationship that I look back on quite fondly.
There was the boyfriend who was nice, fun, loving, Jewish...and poor. I got thrown out of the house for dating him. And I vaguely recall my mother threatening that if I didn't leave him, she would make my life so miserable, that when I cried (which she guaranteed she would make me do), I would cry blood instead of tears.
I called him, distraught, to break up. I didn't know he was planning on proposing in only a few days, on the 4th of July during the fireworks. But since I was adamant we had to break up because our Jedi training hadn't fully prepared us to fight the forces of Satan, he ended up asking over the phone. Needless to say, family pressure forced us to split months later.
Then, my ex-husband, who proposed on my friend's boat. He used a note in a bottle that he'd hidden in a bathing suit pocket and pulled out as he was coming out of the water. We celebrated all day on the boat, and all night with friends. It was a halcyon day. Really, just the beginning of the end.
And now, my Greek boyf. He didn't use the M word, but asked in what amounted to as a proposal. He knew better than to use the M word; he knew I wouldn't respond positively. I also don't think his mouth is capable of forming the M word and he feared his vocal chords could cramp and choke him to death.
I said, "How about a year? If we're both still alive, and neither one incarcerated or in a mental institution, we'll take it from there."
Love, is about baby steps. Giant leaps can leave you careening off the side of a cliff and splattered on the rocks below. Bob knows what he's talking about.