tis the season…

…to get engaged. It’s the holidays and everyone is celebrating with their families, so naturally now would be the time of year for boys to become men and get down on one knee for their girl and make an honest woman of her. The whole family is there and everyone can celebrate the joy of two people so in love about to take the next step.

So what about the rest of us? Those of us who are going through life and this holiday season without a ring on the finger have a whole other set of emotions to deal with. You congratulate our friends on their new engagement and while you try to sound happy, you’re really feeling that twinge of jealousy. You do the girly thing, jump up and down and hug and scream in each other’s ear.  You reach for her hand and gasp as it sparkles, you try not to drool. Your ring finger begins to burn and you start shooting your partner the look of death because they haven’t taken the plunge.

Oh please, you know you’ve done it.

Then there are some of us who aren’t even close to the ring because we don’t have anyone to give us one. Yup, holidays sans significant other can sometimes be brutal. Dear Aunt Pearl means well when she asks about your love life and tells you that you’re becoming an old maid. Still, you can’t help but feel a little lonely and somewhat desperate.

One night I was bitching about this exact subject to my friend Dan. He showed me a clip of from an episode of How I Met Your Mother. In season 4 episode 23, Ted is having a hard time seeing all of his friends in love and is tired of waiting for the girl of his dreams.

Ted: Okay, I’m going to say something out loud that I’ve been doing a pretty good job of not saying out loud lately. What you and Tony have, what I thought for a second you and I had, what I know that Marshall and Lily have… I want that. I do. I keep waiting for it to happen, and waiting for it to happen, and… I guess I’m just tired of waiting. And that is all I’m going to say on that subject.
Stella: You know how I talked my way out of a speeding ticket?
Ted: Really?
Stella: I was heading upstate with my parents, I was doing 90 on the country roads, and I got pulled over. So this cop, gets out of his car, swaggers over and he says, ‘Lady, I’ve been waiting for you all day.’ And I said, ‘Sorry Officer, I got here as fast as I could!’
Ted: For real?
Stella: No, it’s just a joke. [pause] I know that you’re tired of waiting. And you may have to wait a little while more but, she’s on her way, Ted. And she’s getting here, as fast as she can.

Stella is right. No matter how long you have waited, the one for you is coming. Some journeys are slower than others.

It can be hard to find a way to ward off the emotional and mental vampires and truly enjoy the holidays with all of this new love surrounding you. But that’s just it. Take in all the love that is surrounding you and breathe it in. Feel it in your heart and know that it will happen for you. Getting engaged is a passage in life that you don’t want to do with just anyone.

Your person is out there. Believe it and it will happen. But until then, have an extra helping of Gramma’s green bean casserole and a couple more ginger snap cookies for the road.

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