Last night on my way home, I called Red Beard so we could confer about dinnertime. We were both craving pizza, which made life easy. I was feeling worn out and my head was pounding, so Red Beard offered to pick up the pizza and some Gatorade on his way home.
On my drive, I called Turkey to find out what his holiday schedule is. I figured that, whatever Red Beard and I do, we need to coordinate with the siblings so that we don’t have one set of parents suffering a dearth of children on the holidays. Turkey still doesn’t have his ducks in a row on that front, but he reminded me, “It’s October 2nd. I don’t know of anyone who has their holidays planned yet.” Fair enough.
I told him that Red Beard and I had gone for a home buying consultation on Saturday. Turkey asked, “Oh yeah? How’d that go?”
I recounted, “I think it went pretty well. The realtor encouraged us to save a little more money for our down payment, so Red Beard asked if we took another six months to save dough, would we be negatively affected price wise. The realtor thought we could actually benefit from another six months, because she said at that point, the area where we’re looking to buy will have come down some more. So we’re thinking March or April, we’ll be ready to pounce.”
Turkey inquired, “And what about a ring? You shouldn't buy a place without a ring. Have you had this discussion yet?”
I told him, “Yeah, like I’ve told you before… we discussed it before I moved in, and the plan is to take a little time to live together, and if nothing changes, then yes, we’ll get engaged. We haven’t veered from that path. And after six months, if we’re not close to getting engaged and we’re still hell bent on buying, then we’ll have a contract.”
Turkey asked, “And what will that contract entail? I doubt any such contract is going to hold a lot of water.”
I got annoyed, “Why wouldn’t it? People go in on investments all the time and they have binding legal agreements. What the hell are you talking about, ‘It wouldn’t hold water?’”
Turkey revised his approach. “I just think it would be a really bad idea for you to get involved on such a level if you aren’t ready to march down the aisle with this person. I think it would just be more pain than it’s worth to make a move like sharing real estate when you’re not 100% positive you’re going to share a life. How do you feel about this guy? Are you crazy about him?”
I got riled up, “Yes! Yes, I’m crazy about him! I want to lick his arm pits! He smells like maple syrup!”
Turkey retreated, “Okay, that’s a little more information than I would have wanted. I’m glad to hear that. Just be careful, okay?”
I agreed, “Well, you know, a lot can happen in six months. If we’re not any closer to engaged after six months, yet we’re still happily looking at real estate, then I think some alarm bells are going to go off in my head. I would be pretty surprised if he were unwilling to talk about an engagement, yet determined to mingle our finances. I just can’t imagine that’s his modus operandi – to get financially involved without a commitment. He’s been open to talking about commitment in the past. I can’t imagine that he’ll hinder any future communication about it. The last we talked about it, he had said he intends to spend the rest of his life with me, and it doesn’t seem like anything has changed since then.”
Turkey said, “Okay, good. I just want you to protect yourself. It’s great that you’re in love and that everything is going well, and I don’t care if you guys buy a house next week. But don’t let him use the excuse that he can’t buy you a ring because he needs money for the down payment. When Blondie and I found our house, I gave her the option of getting engaged first, with the prospect that we would find another house we liked just as much after I bought a ring, and she opted to buy the house first and get the ring later. These are conversations that you need to be prepared to have, and you should be the one who decides. Otherwise, he’s just stringing you along for the investment value.”
I responded, “Okay. I think you’re being a little cynical, but I’ll take your advice.”
He drove it home with, “I’m not cynical. I’ve been through a divorce. I’m just a little smarter now for having had the experience and I don’t want to see you going through essentially the same crap without even having been married.”
My call waiting was beeping. “Listen, Boy is on the phone; I gotta run, and I know Blondie is waiting for you to go work out. We’ll chat later.” I talked with Boy a bit about girls and politics while I walked in the door of the apartment. I lay down and put my feet up while we finished our chat.
When Red Beard walked in the door, I was swooning on the couch. My head hurt and I felt slightly nauseous. I sat up so we could have our pizza feast. At 10, I hopped into bed and turned out the light. Red Beard followed me in after watching a little more television. As he slid into bed next to me, he drew me in for a cuddle. He noted, “You’re so warm; that’s very unlike you. Are you alright?”
I agreed, “Yeah, I just don’t feel right. My head’s been hot all day. My body is all outta wack.”
He said, “I’m used to warming you up at night, but right now you don’t need it. I don’t feel very useful.”
I corrected him, “You’re useful! You brought me pizza! And Gatorade!”
“Oh yeah,” he said, “I guess that was somewhat useful.”
I snoozed on his chest for a few moments before conducting our nightly ritual. I said, “Gimme a kiss.” He obliged and said, “I love you.” I reciprocated, then fell asleep and started snoring. He woke me up and I rolled over. Then he started snoring. And so it goes.