Let me start by saying I should have known sooner. As the saying goes, the signs were everywhere. She made it through the gambit without a blemish so to speak. My friends approved unanimously. Most importantly, my sisters all gave her the thumbs up. Which up until that point had never happened. The signs were there, EARLY.
As many couples that have been together any extended period of time, there are going to be rough patches in the relationship. Two years in and we were going through it. A home full of awkward silence, empty pecks on the cheek…rough. Rough to the point where she gave me an ultimatum, which didn’t sit well with me and was out of character for her. She wrote me a two page letter outlining the things that needed to change but the jist of it was essentially, either I change certain ways or the relationship was over.
For the commitment-phobe that I was, to cut bait and split was my immediate thought. It didn’t work, take it as a loss and keep it moving. I can definitively say at that point in time, this was a life changing moment.
Walk away from a woman that I care for and who is head over heels for me… or I could put my pride aside, recognize that I was wrong and desperately needed to change my ways.
To have a woman that believes in my dreams, pushes me to be better and do better, is a blessing. For the woman I love, change it was.
Now, jump forward about a year. We were sitting in our one bedroom condo, all 800 square feet of it (and that’s being generous). The patio door was wide open; the Florida sun beaming through it. I was sitting on the floor watching television. She was in the kitchen prepping a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, with extra peanut butter.
We were simply talking about life goals; where we individually would like to go. A conversation we have had many times before, but this time something felt different. She was considering pursuing teaching opportunities overseas. I stated that I would be totally totally fine with being a stay at home husband, if so. Keeping the house tight and working on my writing sounds over the top amazing!
I desperately wanted to get away from the sales environment that I was trending toward. Over the past three plus years that we had been together at this point, I had worked a miserable position at a rental car company… had quit another sales position without a backup plan and was working for $8 an hour at a local fitness facility. All that led to an extremely mentally unhealthy Eric.
Amazingly, what she said during this conversation wasn’t anything that blew me away. They were words that she said many times before and I believe that each time before, I completely dismissed them and shook it off as everyone has said that to me before. But, on this day, when she said “I got your back 100 percent”, it held MAJOR weight. Suddenly, my heart began to race. It felt like it was about to jump out of my chest. My palms began to sweat so I ran them through my hair a couple times. That did no good. I lost all focus on what I was watching on TV. I think I was a lot calmer making my first start against the University of Illinois. Seriously!
When I say knew right then, I knew! I’m talking without any doubt whatsoever. No second guessing. No funny looking faces to the ceiling like I am searching for an answer during a chemistry exam. It was a switch that went from off to on within a millisecond.
When that moment of what was probably the most awkward look ever passed, I texted my boy:
“aye bruh I’m gonna ask Jules to marry me.”
His reply: “word!” I proceeded to text my other good friend. I then fake like I have to get something out of the car to call best female friend, who somehow already knew it was coming. That always puzzles me, but that’s for another time. It was by far one of the most entertaining moments of my life I will never forget.