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No Matter How You Toss The Dice
Beaker asked me to marry him last week. Three and a half times, in fact.

Were at his apartment, sitting across the table, cracking and eating stone crab claws, plus macaroni and cheese.

I read him my horoscope, which says this would be either a good day to get hitched, or to meet the future Mr. Jamie. He says hes game, and suggests doing the deed later that afternoon.

I dip a chunk of crab into the melted butter.

Me: Hmmm. Let me see nope, I have a mid-afternoon appointment, followed by an interview. Not today.

Him: Besides, I have to ASK you, right? And get you a RING.

My mouth was full of macaroni and cheese, so I just rolled my eyes.

He stops cracking the claw hes eating, walks around the table, bends down and looks me straight in the eye. Then, in this odd, high-pitched voice, he goes, Jamie? Will you marry me?

Me: You cant ask me what the hell is that squeaky voice? Its like getting proposed to by Mickey Mouse. Do I have MINNIE written across my chest?

He stands up, clears his throat, then asks again, but uses a fake deep voice this time.

Me: What is with the funny voices? What is wrong with you?

He tries again, this time using his normal voice.

Me: Now you have crab meat hanging off of your lip. You cant propose with FOOD on your FACE.

You know we were just joking around, right? At least I hope he was kidding. Otherwise, what a bitch!

He accused me a few weeks ago of having marriage on the brain. I thought about it for a couple of minutes, scared that I was turning into one of THOSE women. Finally, I realized it wasnt me. Weddings were EVERYWHERE. On TV. On the radio. At the bar. (This is what happens when you live on a resort island.) Among our friends.

And since I tend to ask a lot of questions (hello, journalist!), and lots of them are hypotheticals, based on whatever is going on at the time well, you do the math. I pointed this out, and he agreed.

But I am thinking about some stuff. Serious relationship stuff. Were moving in together in - wow, less than two months. Were excited, especially him, since hes never lived with a girlfriend before. Im flattered that hes fantasizing about it Oh, Ill get this, and well do this and that on Sunday afternoons, I can see it now but Im also a little freaked out. My last (and only other) live-in relationship screwed me up in ways that I can still feel.

I guess it was because living together felt more committed, but I cant believe the shit the last one put me through. I look back and remember and am embarrassed. I thought I was beyond that stuff, but I guess I wasnt.

What if Im still not?

I trust Beaker, but sometimes he just doesnt know he grew up here, hes not a reader, and he mostly only talks to a few people his handful of friends, the guy he works with, his parents. Im his first girlfriend in 7 years or so. There are times when I cant believe the basic-relationship-stuff he doesnt know or understand not because hes stupid or a jerk, but simply because its never been presented to him before.

Hell occasionally parrot some things he heard a friend say, and I can tell no one has ever challenged those chauvinistic ideas before. Like in the beginning, when he used to make comments about women drivers I could tell hed never thought it through. He was just saying what his friends always said. He doesnt do that anymore, though. Lucky for him, hes open to discussing and learning otherwise, Id have no patience for it.

But a few days ago, I was crabby for like, 5 minutes, and he was harsh back at me for a good two hours. I didnt even know what to talk to him about, but when we finally did discuss it, and he told me why he was being a dick I got scared. Is he going to punish me for my mistakes like Neal did? Make me pay and pay, for WAY too long? Keep me vulnerable and apologetic, all the time, just hoping Id eventually say and do the right combination of things to fix what I did?

I dont think so, but Im nervous.

I guess its time to take a risk again, though. Does he make me happy? Yes. Do I think hes a good person? Yes. Do I love him? Yes. Do I trust him with my feelings?

Almost. But it might not be his fault.

The Realm of Monkey Love
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