In Her Shell
Sunday, April 23, 2006
  Marriage Proposals I've Received
Over the headset while Assistant Stage Manager at a summer stock theater at the Jersey Shore, I agreed to a safety net proposal by one of the crew members. I was 19 at the time, and if neither of us is married by the time we are 39, each has a ready spouse in the other. Soon after sealing that deal, everyone else within earshot (i.e., everyone wearing a headset) became engaged to everyone else within earshot. If the first deal falls through, I now have a backup for every following decade, though we'd have to go to Massachusetts or Hawaii for at least one of them. I think only the first agreement is binding, though, because it was later sealed with a candy ring.

Wandering through London's SoHo on my 21st birthday, a homeless man with an Irish accent asked me for some change. I shook my head and said, "Sorry, I don't have any," walking on. He shouted after us, "Will you marry me then?" "I'm too young!" I shouted back. Later that night, I performed my final exam for a Comedy class: a 10-minute stand-up routine in a club. Floating on the laughter of the crowd, I was offered another gig and several free drinks and cigarettes, and my mates and I spent the wee hours drinking beer and eating Greek salad in my professor's flat.

On the phone with my on-again, off-again boyfriend during grad school, once again having a state of our union discussion, I tearfully told him that he was the only guy I'd ever seriously considered spending my life with. After a pause, he told me about a vision he'd had, one of those random flashes of how your future might play out. In it, he was walking down a lane near where he grew up, and I was walking towards him, holding by the hand a beautiful three-year-old girl. "And I knew she was ours," he told me, which is the closest to a sincere marriage proposal I've ever gotten.
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