Yesterday was my 21st birthday. It was also the day that every girl dreams of from the time she first sees a wedding happen. Before she dreams of the dress, or the flowers, or the violinists playing a french lullaby, she dreams of this moment. When he looks her in the eyes, and she knows. She just knows. She can already feel the heat in her face and the tears pushing past the corners of her eyes. She knows, because he's holding her hand so tight, and his palms are moist. Because he won't break her gaze. It's going to happen. He's going to ask her to marry him. My God. He's going to propose.
For me, because I'm shanita (and because God thinks it's funny) it was slightly different. I was standing in the freezing cold in south minneapolis, in a metro transit stop that smelt of urine and ciggies. And the groom? Oh, we hadn't previously met but he was a handsome chap. About 5' 6'', mexican, mustache el grande. He began the conversation with these words. "Hey senorita? Ch'ou gotta daller?" Immediately, I searched my pockets. I am one of those people who gives money (call it ignorant). This day however, I only had a bus pass, and sadly, I explained this to my new friend. Understandingly, he nodded and muttered about my generousity, and how the Lord should bless me, but then, he got another idea. A brighter one. "Hey, ch'ou wanna marry me?"
What? The question came again. "Ch'ou wanna marry me? you know? Marry me?" I had no words. Blink Blink. My fiance, smiling from mustache curl to mustache curl starts to walk away backwards, down the icy street. "Ch'ou so beautiful!" He yells getting further and further away. "We get married!...... [unclear, possibly spanish] .....babies!"
And just like that, gone. The bus came. I got on. Rode home. Sigh. Yesterday was my 21st birthday. It was also the day I got proposed to for the first time. I didn't even get to answer...