Bathroom Tears

September 10, 2009 at 10:31 am 1 comment



It seems to be a trend.  I didn’t elaborate in my proposal announcement- but the one thread that runs through Mr Pretzel and my engagement journey is I will hide in the bathroom if I need to cry.  Funny I know.  But I want to elaborate on it- because LOVE is not all fairy tales and perfect- and my perfect imperfection is that when my eyes start to water I retreat to the bathroom to have a good cry.

So here it is from the beginning.  *warning it’s a long post!*

Before starting to date Mr Pretzel, I turned 30- not so much a big deal, but Mr Pretzel is 4 years my junior.  Being 30 and him still in his twenties I felt like the “older woman” and I definitely didn’t want to be the “pushy older woman.”  You know, Marisa Tomei in my Cousin Vinny with the foot stomping and clock ticking?

In our courtship I got to places before Mr Pretzel- I knew he was exactly what I was looking for and what I needed early on, I said I love you first, I new he was the man I was going to marry first (or at least I thought so).  He always got to that same place right behind me, but it stuck in my head that I got there first and it made me a little self conscious *read I was really worried I was “that older woman”*.

It was that last one (realizing that he was the man I wanted to marry) that lead to my first bathroom crying incident.   After a vacation with his family I knew he was the one whose hand I held in a nursing home but I didn’t dare say anything about it or bring it up.  I wanted to be patient and wait for him to get to the same place before I brought the subject up.  Plus I really thought we should be together a full year before talking about marriage.  So I didn’t say anything and neither did he- I assumed the thought of marriage had never crossed his brain (I greatly underestimated him).  Fast forward to Valentines day, I was getting a little antsy to talk with him about this and while we were shopping (I think at Target) he got a phone call from his baby brother.  FBIL Pretzel had just bought a ring for his then girlfriend and couldn’t wait to share the info with his brother.  I was so happy for them but at the same time my heart felt heavy.  I so desperately wanted him to bring the subject up. I wanted to talk with him about our future.  I felt distant the rest of our shopping trip and fought back tears.  When we got back to his apt I went into the bathroom and let myself cry.  Silly I know.



I came out, tears streaming down my face and Mr Pretzel held me tight and asked what was wrong. I told him I was happy for his brother but I was frustrated that he hadn’t even thought about our future (I assumed) and I wanted to talk about it but I didn’t want to be the pushy older woman.  He tilted my chin towards him and said “you greatly underestimate me”  This started our conversations about our future.  He found it funny that I was trying so hard not to talk about it that I bottled it all up until it exploded in tears… in the bathroom.  We laugh about it now, but coming out of the bathroom with tears streaming down my face was a big turning point in our relationship.

Fast forward to last Wednesday, the day he proposed.  My heart was set on being engaged while visiting my family in New England.  I don’t see them often anymore and I wanted to celebrate with them.  Mr Pretzel and I had already started the wedding planning- we had a date set, the venue, the photographer… it wasn’t a matter if “if” but “when”.  I thought I knew when he went to buy the ring- an unaccounted for Saturday where we didn’t see each other all day- and when he picked it up- another unaccounted for Saturday right before our trip.  I was certain that he was going to propose at the airport, or on the trip.  But Mr Pretzel really wanted to surprise me and thus he had to throw me off his trail.  He knew I knew.

He started dropping hints to let me believe he didn’t have the ring.  He started to indicate that I shouldn’t go into the trip expecting to get engaged – because I might be disappointed.  He was so convincing that when he dropped one last hint at the airport on Wednesday I was convinced- and crushed.  I did a quick pat down of his person and then I knew- or I thought I did- that he had not gotten the ring.  I got mad and sad all at the same time.  I was mad that he had “wasted” those Saturdays- the perfect opportunity to pick up the ring.  I was sad that we wouldn’t be able to announce our engagement and celebrate with my family.  I seriously could not look at him without being overwhelmed by those emotions.  We went through security, sat down at the gate, Mr Pretzel went to sleep and I went to the ladies room to have a self indulgent cry (a short one).  I straightened myself up and went back to the gate in time to collect Mr Pretzel and board the plane- where he promptly fell asleep again.

Bathroom site of cry #2 on our trip- Midway airport

Bathroom site of cry #2 on our trip- Midway airport

I tried to talk myself into getting over it- I didn’t want to land in NH and still be mad/sad.  The self talk worked a little, but a few tears streamed down my face as we flew- and Mr Pretzel slept.  In Chicago we got off the plane, Mr Pretzel started to wake up and he started to notice that I was upset.  I scurried off to the bathroom- trying to get a grip on my emotions.  After a short cry I tried to clean myself up but my eyes were oh so red and puffy.  I walked out of the bathroom into Mr Pretzel’s arms.  I told him I was disappointed, upset and a little mad.  He hugged me and smiled.

“I’m upset! Why are you smiling?” I asked.

He said, “If you knew what I knew you would be smiling” and squeezed me a little tighter.

My heart lifted a little- but I didn’t want to let myself even get my hopes up.  It worked though, I was calmer and ready to have a great vacation- even if we didn’t get engaged.  So his plan had worked, although he didn’t foresee that I would get so upset and cry, he had disarmed my suspicions and primed me to be surprised.  Later that evening as he was down on his knee looking up at my face asking me to marry him, I was so happy that he had thrown me off his trail.  Bathroom tears- well they are just my thing.

Did you have a hard time with your emotions before the proposal?  Did you share it with your SO or hide your tears?

Entry filed under: Background, proposal. Tags: .

I said Yes! Keeping Miss Pretzel Honest!

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