Disassociating or just disorienting?

•June 15, 2012 • 1 Comment

“Happy birthday to you… happy birthday to you…” As the crowd of people is singing to me I get this overwhelming sensation that something is not right. I feel mildly embarrassed and I cannot figure out if it’s because I am a grown adult being sung to or if it’s the number of people who are staring at me intently with such big smiles on their faces; or if it’s the simple fact that I don’t even know the names of some of the people singing to me because I have just met them today.


The group erupts in cheers and some people clap as I try to figure out what to do next. There are no candles, thankfully, so I assume I need to cut the cake for everyone. Why are they all staring at me? I am not a shy person, in fact I’d say that I am fairly outgoing, but I suddenly feel awkward and out of place at my own birthday celebration.


Throughout the day I have been feeling more and more this way, in fact. As guests began arriving to the barbeque that my boyfriend and I set up, I started to realize just how many people he had invited. What I thought was going to be 20 close friends was suddenly looking like 60 people – some neighbors I had never met and other friends of his I had met once and had yet to memorize their names. I am a more-the-merry-type-person so this would not have bothered me except that so many of the people he invited said that they didn’t know it was my birthday before they arrived at the barbeque. Gee, thanks for keeping my day special, BoyfriendGuy. He had brushed it off when I’d asked him about it, stating that it was “turning into more of a neighborhood barbeque thing.” Not helping. Luckily I kept my mouth shut for once and decided to simply stay in a good mood and enjoy my birthday party.


I am brought back to my uncomfortable situation in front of the giant German chocolate cake, as I realize that a strange silence has started. Quickly I try to think of something to say and mumble out a few words. Something to the effect of, “Thank you everyone for coming today. It has been so great that you could all make it…” I trail off as some far off part of my brain registers that someone is calling to me.


“Turn around…. DoctorLady…. Turn around”


I’m feeling very confused and can not seem to make my mind make sense of what people are saying to me. I start to cut the cake and then realize what the words I’m hearing mean. I turn around, holding a giant knife dripping icing (oh so very classy DoctorLady), to find some resolve for my confusion. The confusion I’m feeling takes on another level, as if a fog has rolled in and separated my from all the people surrounding me.


I gasp and cover my mouth, likely in an overly dramatic fashion that would probably look horribly contrived had it not been for the fact that I was in actual complete and total shock. Down on one knee in front of me are my boyfriend and his twins, one on each side, holding a small box in the finest lacquered dark wood. At this point a fog seems to seep in between myself and the people around me, so that I lose where I am for a moment and barely hear what’s being asked of me. In fact, I later have to watch a video of this moment to be sure I even remembered any of it correctly.


My boyfriend’s more outgoing child speaks first, “Will you marry my dad?”


Followed by the typically more reserved son, “Will you be our mommy?”


My shock is palpable, coating my like a heavy blanket and I am shaking my head back and forth in disbelief, hands still firmly planted over my gaping mouth.


At last my boyfriend, grinning like a school boy, speaks…


“Will you marry me?”