His name was Nick, and he was the dreamiest boy in my preschool class.
We got married one sunny day with a mutual friend presiding. He promised to always let me have the good crayons when we colored, and I swore that he could always be the blue piece in Candyland. We shared a piece of Bazooka to consummate the marriage.
Wedded bliss came easy to us. We sat next to each other during circle time, built our home together out of cardboard bricks, and he always let me use the good shovel in the sandbox. Life was perfect – we were young, and happy, and in love. Nothing could keep us apart.
Except for kindergarten. Our romance ended the way many do – time and distance were just too much.
The second time I got proposed to, it was third grade. His name was Jon, he lived down the street, and one day, we were climbing trees in the field in our subdivision, and he said, “I’m going to marry you someday.”
I told him I didn’t need a boy – that I could do anything he could do, and that I could take care of myself. Then I proved my point by climbing higher than he could in the tree, jumping down faster, and beating him back to our bikes.
He didn’t get it.
Later that day he brought me a plastic ring (the kind that you could shoot water out of) and a bouquet of daisies and dandelions.
I broke that poor boy’s heart that day.
Yes, even at the precocious age of eight, I knew that the friendship we had just wasn’t enough. I wanted more.
In the two decades since then, I’ve had several more proposals. Most joking, a couple quasi-serious, and one that left me dumbfounded.
But at the end of the day, I stand by my independent and stubborn eight-year-old self: I want more.
More than just friendship. More than just fireworks. More than security. I want it all.
Maybe I’ll never find that. Maybe I’ll just be crazy Aunt Andrea for the rest of my life. I’m okay with that. I might not be climbing trees anytime soon, but I can still take care of myself. And if there’s something I can’t do for some reason, I have the means to hire someone else to do it for me. I’m the same girl I was twenty years ago, just older and wiser and if anything, more stubborn than I was then.
But if someone gets through? If I have my first honest-to-god, serious proposal one day? If a man gets through the layers of pigheadedness and protection and still wants to spend the rest of his life with me?
That’s when the string of proposals will end. Because when I say yes (and not as a toddler), it’ll mean forever.
*May not be an accurate photograph. SK Jen is way hotter <3