How I Nearly Let Crohn’s Ruin Our Engagement
It was a dark and stormy night. Seriously, it was. The weather matched my mood, exactly. I was not feelin’ the day, and if I had my way I would have stayed in bed for the rest of the afternoon and nighttime. Fatigue had fallen over me like a heavy blanket, along with the intermittent pangs of barbed wire in my guts and searing joint pain, I was a hot mess. To make matters worse, my boyfriend wanted to throw himself a birthday party at our friends’ home. Read on to see how I almost ruined our engagement.
It truly sounded like he invited himself and the rest of our friends to a home that was not ours, all in the name of his birthday. Our friend kept telling me it was cool because she and her husband preferred to have everyone over rather than go out. I totally understand that feeling.
Sometimes We Need a Little Tough Love
It was time to start getting ready. By this time, I was going on 40 minutes of negotiating with my body to get out of bed and get dressed. I kept saying, “Five more minutes.” It became a chant. Looking for moral support, I group texted two of my favorite people who live many states away. One was giving the “Tough Love” approach, “Get yourself together woman, it’s his birthday! Do your hair, makeup, and get dressed.”
The other was more empathetic, “Maybe you should tell him to go without you and you’ll meet him there later.”
The Tough Love-giving friend went in for a second round of, “You’ll feel better once you get there. Now, go!” [And then promptly texted our other friend what was about to happen and to help her persuade me to go get ready.]
Tough Love-friend was right, it was his birthday and he deserved to have a good one. I pulled it together and grabbed the first thing in my closet. In retrospect, I wish I would have paid closer attention to what I was going to wear, but I had no idea pictures were going to be taken.
Don’t Cry Over Spilled Sauce
Oddly enough, my mother started to get in on the “Tough Love” action. She began to prod me out the door. This is when she dropped a crockpot full of meatballs on the kitchen floor. The sauce was splattered everywhere, but the meatballs remained in the pot. How does that even happen? Immediately knelt down to start helping to clean. It wasn’t long after that it felt like I was wearing a garlicky Eau de meatball Parfume. The smell remained in my nose for the rest of the night.
Hopped in the car and headed toward the boyfriend’s home. When I got to his place, despite it being his birthday, I was in such a craptastic mood over the meatballs. I felt horrible for it, too. When we walked in, the smell of Italian food was all around me. I apologized to our friend if I smelled like garlic, to which she replied, “So does the rest of the house.” She was cooking Italian food too. I was still oblivious.
Our friends were scattered between the living room and the backyard. Another storm rolled through and thunder boomed in the distance. More friends went outside, even the dogs followed. Thunder boomed in the distance. The rain was a matter of minutes away. Then his voice bellowed from the yard and yelled, “Babe, you should join us.”
“Eh, it’s lightning, muggy, and it’s gonna’ rain [I have curly hair], I’m good here, thanks!” I replied.
He asked a second time. It was his birthday, after all. So, I made my way outside still trying not to focus on the pain and burning roiling through my entire body. At first, I was standing under the patio’s overhang, but before I knew it, we were standing mid-backyard with our friends.
It Was Planned. I Was Oblivious.
From out of nowhere, “Mister Invited Himself Over to Throw a Party” decides to make a toast. You can tell I was still annoyed at that point in time and was internally face-palming. He thanked everyone for coming and said a few nice things about their friendship. He then shifted his focus to me. “Nooo,” the little voice in my head repeatedly sputtered. Today is not the day I want attention. In general, no day is that day.
But then it happened.
He got down on one knee and kept on talking.
Somewhere between a handful of, “Shut up!” and “Oh my gods,” I said, “Yes.” According to video replay, I thrust my hand out before ever saying, “Shut up,” or “Oh my god,” or a, “Yes.”
Suddenly, my parents appeared and the Italian food made even more sense. Mom nearly ruined the engagement meatballs! At least I know where I get it from. And he never invited himself over. Tough Love friend, she was in on it, too. It was all planned, and I was oblivious.
The takeaway lesson I learned from this day, and every other time I’ve begrudgingly attended a social gathering, is to just, “Do the damn thing!”
Nine times out of ten, I’m happy that I went and participated and was present for something. It is hard sometimes to ignore that little voice in your head telling you that you can’t. That’s when you need to remind yourself, of all the good reasons of why you should attend.
Now you know the story of how I almost let Crohn’s disease ruin our engagement.