Do you run?

He dropped to one of crooked, screwed-up-from-basketball knees. I could hear his knee come crashing down like an elephant running away from a safari tour. He’s such a bull in a china shop. Always hitting things. His pants instantly wrinkled at the abrupt change of level. He wore those dress pants you see on sale racks at Macys. Not too nice, not too ugly. Just the right amount of blah for a CPA.

It was at that moment that I noticed how much gel was in his hair. Why would he use so much gel for hair that was so unevenly cut and starting to bald? Does he think he needs to look like Ross Geller, circa 1996? Tragic, I tell you. And why was his collar undone? What kind of person leaves their collar undone to propose? Is this really happening?

Then he pulled out a box. A velvet box. A red velvet box. Those kind of tacky boxes you see at  places like Zales and think, “Well, I hope I never get one of those.” And then you do. It’s right in front of you, piercing your thoughts and crippling your relationship like weeks-old flowers. Your under-dressed, too-gelled boyfriend looks like a lame loser with a Zales box. And this is your life.

So do you run?

He opened the box to reveal a plain diamond on a plain band. Well, just what I wanted. Blah, you know, like my CPA boyfriend. But it’s not what I want. It’s lack of interesting detail makes me sneeze. Or maybe it’s the gel. The sparkle is nonexistent. The band seems scratched, even from my distance. I have taken several steps back. The whiff of gel is too much to take. I cannot even hold his clammy hands anymore. It’s too much.

This is not my engagement ring. This is not my life. I turn my Converse sneakers around on the concrete floor. I look at the window, the drapes covering too much of the top. It needs to be fixed and not be so blah.

So do you run?

I run.

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