I thought Tom was going to propose at least two times before he actually did. The first time, he took me to Dublin. Not the most romantic European city but I wasn’t going to be picky. I had been dropping hints for months. Beyonce’s song, “Single Ladies,” was really popular at the time so I made it a ringtone on his phone. Every time I called she’d sing: If you liked it then you shoulda put a ring on it…
It was perfect. I got a manicure right before we got on the plane.
We spent four days in Ireland drinking Guinness, visiting islands that made me understand why we wear green on St. Patrick’s Day and eating fish and chips for every meal.
I waited patiently for him to drop on one knee and pop the question. One time I thought it was going to happen, but it turned out he just had a stomach cramp from all the fish and chips.
The second time, he took me to Paris! Paris! I had visions of him
asking begging me to marry him while the Eiffel Tower glowed in the background and an animated rat, voiced by Patton Oswalt, served us ratatouille. I even bought a hat at a tourist booth so I’d be camera ready for the big moment.
But nope. Nothing.
So by the time he was ready to do it, of course I assumed that he and his mistress were plotting to kill me. Who wouldn’t?
He was acting weird for weeks, asking me random questions like, “What’s your social security number?” and “How much do you think they’d miss you at work if you were gone for a bit?” Once he even smiled slyly and said, “I’ve got something big planned for you.” Then he kissed me on the forehead like Don Vito Corleone.
On more than one occasion I walked in on him while he was whispering to someone on the phone. When he realized I was in the room his posture would shift and he’d say something generic like, “Oh sure, I’ll drop that off first thing Monday morning.” It was obviously code for, “Yes, I got the gun! Stop asking. Just move forward with the plan as we discussed it.”
Anyone who’s ever spent a weekend holed up in their apartment with a Hallmark movie marathon and a bag of Reece’s Peanut Butter Cups knows that these are the telltale signs of someone plotting to murder their significant other. To be honest, I really couldn’t blame him. He spent hours that year coaxing me out of the bathroom after every “I can’t believe they got engaged before us!” argument. Even I wanted to kill me.
It was a cold and stormy night when he put his plan into effect. Of course it was! All of the most gruesome murder stories always start on a cold and stormy night. If he really wanted to surprise me he should’ve waited for a warm and sunny morning. Nobody ever expects an axe to the head while they’re eating an omelet.
I left work early to meet my friend Michelle. She wanted to hock the engagement ring her scumbag ex-husband gave her. So I was in the perfect mind-set to be murdered by my boyfriend and his obviously ugly girlfriend.
I had plans to meet her outside of Radio City Music Hall, just a block away from my office. I waited for at least three minutes (a record for me) before I noticed Tom standing on the sidewalk. I screamed like a girl—partly because I was startled, but mostly because I am a girl.
“What are you doing here?” I asked. “And where’s Michelle?”
“Michelle’s not coming,” he said.
I looked down at two packed bags and thought how pissed she would be if she knew he needed two suitcases to stash her body. Unless the other one was for me! That would be better. I wouldn’t want Michelle or me to die at the hands of a madman knowing that we were too fat to fit in just one suitcase.
I wanted to call him out on it, right there in the middle of the street. But I was savvy enough to know that this is the part in the movie when the heroine pretends everything is normal.
“Oh,” I said, “So, where are you going?”
He held up two airline tickets and smiled really wide. “We,” he corrected me. “Where are we going?” The look on his face said that he was either super in love with me or that he was contemplating what to eat first when we landed.
I inched closer to a guy standing next to me and spoke slowly and with lots of detail, as if I were speaking to a 911 operator from under a bed. “Ok, 30 year-old, 6’3”, white male boyfriend of three years from Long Island, New York, where are you taking me, Diana Davis, while you’re wearing that gray hoodie and I’m wearing this super cute pink shirt?”
“I don’t have any change, Ma’am,” the guy said as if I were the nut. Actually, I think I was more pissed that he called me Ma’am.
“We’re going to London,” Tom said.
“Holy shit!” I blurted. “You mean like Jack the Ripper London!”
“Yes, Jack the Ripper London,” he said.
“Wait, why did you call it that?” I asked.
“Call it what?”
“Jack the Ripper London.”
“I didn’t. You did,” he said.
“No, you just did!”
“But you said it first.”
It was a long plane ride.
When we finally landed, I hadn’t slept in more than 24 hours. My hair was matted to my head like someone dipped it in a deep fryer (foreshadowing, perhaps?). The super cute shirt I was wearing looked like I pulled it out of a dog’s throat and I had a serious case of airplane bloat. If it wasn’t me, someone else was definitely going to die that weekend.
Tom seemed really uncomfortable when we got off the plane. He kept slapping his pockets. I was certain it was to make sure that he didn’t lose his chloroform. I’m assuming that stuff can be pretty hard to get. Then again, Wal-Mart probably sells it by the case.
“Let’s go to the hotel,” I said. The jetlag was hitting hard and I was starting to welcome death.
“No! Let’s go for a walk,” he insisted and hailed a cab to Carnaby Street.
He was already killing me.
I’m assuming looking for a place to dump the body or a place to pop the question is a pretty tough decision. Especially for a guy like Tom who spends an hour every morning contemplating if he should comb his hair up or to the side.
He dragged me down three different very creepy back alleys until he finally found a suitable location. With the right moonlight and some dry ice it would have made the perfect setting for a Dracula movie.
“I’ve been waiting a long time for this,” he said and slipped his hand into jacket.
I squeezed my eyes shut and waited for the gunshot. This is it, I thought. God, please forgive me for hating cats so much but honestly I kinda blame you for making me so allergic. And please forgive me for laughing every time a pretty girl from my past shows up fat on Facebook. I’m also really sorry for saying that the Bible was written by a bunch of potheads. To be honest, I never read it. Oh and please forgive me for never reading the Bible. I would say if you get me through this alive that I’ll give it read but that would just be a lie. So please forgive me for that too.
A few seconds later I opened my eyes. I was still alive but Tom was down on one knee, which confused me because and we hadn’t even hit the fish and chips yet.
Then I saw the ring.
Apparently, a guy on one knee draws a crowd—a big one. So that’s when I did what any newly proposed-to girl would do in this situation. I grabbed the ring and ran. But anyone who’s ever seen a Dracula movie knows that the only places to hide in creepy back alleys are behind white vans or inside dumpsters. I chose the white van. I wasn’t about to be that girl who smelled like shepherd’s pie and malt vinegar…again.
I stayed there for twenty minutes. Because, let’s be honest, the only thing scarier than thinking you’re going to get murdered by your boyfriend in a foreign country is attracting a crowd of 25 strangers taking unapproved iPhone photos while you’re suffering from airplane bloat.
When I finally came out of hiding, Tom was waiting patiently for me. This time he had that look on his face that means he’s silently wishing that “crazy” translated to boob size.
“You have it on the wrong hand,” he said and moved it to my left.
“So, can I assume that it’s a yes?”
“That depends,” I said. “Are you going to murder me and shove my body into two suitcases?”
“Nah, I think I can get you in just one.”
It was all I needed to hear.
That night we went on a Jack the Ripper tour to celebrate. It was so romantic.