My subconscious is a jerk

I woke up this morning thinking I was engaged.

That’s a new level of crazy, even for me. Dream-engagement. Nice. Here’s how my twisted little subconscious apparently envisions me tying the knot:

I’m sitting with my boyfriend (the one I don’t have in real life) near the harbor of my hometown, overlooking the water. He points out over the horizon at a ship, or a bird, or something, which I then squint at for a few seconds trying to spot. I’m unsuccessful, probably because there was nothing there to begin with, so I turn around to tell him I can’t see it.

He’s sitting there, on these wooden steps, legs apart like he’s giving birth, with a gigantic, vacant smile on his face. He looks like he just orgasmed, basically. And he’s holding out to me- as an offering, the way a toddler plucks a dandelion and hands it to his mother, with so much pride, joy, and caring put into the action- an engagement ring, which he has strung on a measuring tape.

He is holding the measuring tape between his sprawled out legs and smiling. He says nothing.

Even in my dream head, I am thinking, “Aw, come on, is this seriously the “how did he ask” story I’m going to have to tell?” But I say “Oh my gosh, yes!” and slide the ring off the measuring tape and onto my own finger. He’s still smiling vacantly.

Later on, I’m on line at the bank, obviously to deposit my paycheck, because in my subconscious that’s what everybody does on a Friday afternoon. It is THE place to be. I’m standing in a line so long that it coils through the building and through the parking lot outside, and I’m in the outside part. It’s okay though, because my friend comes to stand in line with me (she has to deposit her paycheck, too, of course).

In real life, this friend just got engaged to her longtime boyfriend and I honestly could not be happier for her. They even bought a house! I swear to you, despite the following being evidence to the contrary, that I’m purely happy for her and not a bit jealous. I swear. (Really. Please believe me.).

As we are standing in line, we’re chatting and she says something about her fiancée. I take the opportunity to show her my ring and proclaim that I have a fiancée now, too! And we shriek and jump up and down. Because we’re girls, and that is how we express two emotions: happiness over something really girly that just happened, or sheer unadulterated fear that the house centipede running across the floor is about to sink the fangs it surely has into our feet. In this case, it was the former.

But then I notice how perfect her ring is and I get really, really jealous. She’s trying to hold up her end of a regular conversation while, unbeknownst to her, this just became a competition of “whose engagement is the realest” and I am hell-bent on proving that this totally fictional, made-up, crap engagement with the “It was a package deal at Home Depot” ring is totally, like, the best thing that’s ever happened to me. But I don’t get a chance to prove that, because though we are standing next to each other, her line moves faster and soon she is out of sight.

Now I’m standing on line alone, and I notice that the setting for the solitary diamond in my ring is loose on two prongs. Then I notice that the ring is made of silver, and it’s tarnished and scuffed. And the diamond is cracked right in the center. A big spider-web crack, the kind you get when you hit a line drive at shatter-proof glass. I am also able to identify my “diamond” as being a quartz crystal, which is basically the same thing as glass, only less clear and not even a little bit sparkly.

My crap ring and I make our way to the teller, deposit our paycheck, and contemplate parting ways, but decide to stick together anyway. Mostly because the hairy redneck at the counter next to me just touched my ass. And I’m hoping that my $10 ring will show him that I am clearly already taken.


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