“So as far as rings go, you have three option: the nice and kinda-expensive one, the very nice and very expensive one, and the ‘sell a kidney’ package. Which one would you choose?” said the old mustached jeweler. “You look like a well-endowed fellow, and don’t think I didn’t notice you eyeing that expensive emerald ring…” he continued. “Well, that would match the color of her eyes perfectly.”
I’ve been with Ronnie for the better half of a decade. Just when I started working upon finishing collage, I had accidentally arrived half an hour too early to a meeting of my friend group. She was apparently in a very similar situation. We talked for a bit, and been together ever since. She was always my exact type. Her eyes have this pale green hue to them. Her hair was just a bit below her shoulders, very straight with a pale almond color. Even though we were very much different, it feels like we were made for each other. She’s vegan, I’m an avid meat eater. She really likes dogs, I’m allergic. But for some odd reason, all those things captivated me and made me all the more attracted to her.
I just knew now was the right time. If I don’t purpose, somebody else might take her away from me. I can’t let that happen.
But I’m terrified. Never in my life have I been so sure of myself, and so ready to do something, and yet, this huge feeling of doom clings to my body like a parasite. What if I’m not ready? What if she says no? What if we’re too different? What would my mom think?
And through all of this, I prepared the perfect evening. I booked us a table at this really good Italian restaurant (with great vegan options). Tonight’s the night
“What’s the matter? You seem upset.” I asked Ronnie.
“Nothing… it’s just… you know. I don’t feel like talking about this out loud. I might have to finally let go.” My best guess is that she’s probably talking about her hair.
Something I learnt a few months after we started dating, is that Ronnie has Alopecia, and that she has had it for about a year before meeting me. It was nothing serious at the time, just a few smaller patches in the back of her head. I was never bothered by it and she respected me for that.
During the last few months, it started getting a lot worse. Now it was bigger chunks of her hair that were missing. Some hair was once left in my hand during sex. And she was getting more and more conscious about it. Her confidence plummeted, and no matter how many times I told her she was beautiful, with or without hair, she never listened.
“Okay. Huh, it seems like they updated the menu.”
I ended up not purposing at the restaurant.
When we arrived home, she told me we needed to talk.
“Is it about the hair?” I asked.
“I’m afraid so. It’s just out of control. I can’t deal with this anymore.”
And then, I said something that could’ve ended our relationship then and there. “Why even keep it at this point?”
“What? What do you mean? Do you WANT me to be bald?”
“I’m just saying, if it’s such a hassle, and it’s been hurting you long enough, why won’t you just shave it? I have my beard trimmer right here. We can use it.”
“Are you out of your fucking mind?” at this moment I knew I fucked up, because she never cusses. “Do you think my parents would want a bald daughter? Do you think my company would want a bald employee? What would my colleagues think? Would you want a bald girlfriend? Who will ever want a bald wife?” Jackpot.
“Well, I would want a bald wife.” At this moment, I got down on my knees and pulled the engagement ring out my pocket. “Would you marry me?”
In one of my favorite scenes from How I Met Your Mother, Ted talks about how the silence from the moment you ask that question to the moment you hear the answer is the longest silence you will ever experience in your life. Boy oh boy was he right.
“Good. I’m going to get the trimmer.”
Now in the bathroom, mostly naked, she was shaking. What the hell was I thinking? I can’t do this to her. She’ll resent me for the rest of her life.
“Just do it quickly. Please.” I turned the trimmer on. Fuck. What do I do? Don’t we need to like cut it shorter before shaving it?
Her shaking just got stronger. Fuck. Whatever, she already said yes.
I turned on the trimmer, and took it straight up mu forehead.
“What the hell are you doing?!” Ronnie screamed. “Well, I can’t exactly let you be bald all by yourself.” “But your hair can grow back,” she said while the top of head was mostly hairless, “mine will never grow. Do you really want to start shaving your head each morning?” “If that’s what it takes in order for you to not be lonely, then I am willing to be bald forever. My hair was doomed to decay from the first place. I mean, have to seen my dad?” “Sweetie… you missed a spot, here, let me.”
“…and done! What is it like being bald? Is it cold like they say?” Ronnie asked. “What’s the point in even asking if you’re gonna be bald like, right now?” “Wha-” I took the trimmed up her forehead. It’s first victim were her bangs. Goddamn are her eyes beautiful. “This feels… weird. It’s like my whole head vibrates.” “You get used to it.” I moved on to her sides, then the back (which was mostly hairless anyway).
At the end, we stood there, two grown bald people. “You know, I think people might compliment me. It really make my beard pop.” “Oh stop. Your head literally looks like a penis.” “Yeah, a very manly penis. At least I don’t look like I just helped Thor chop my step-dad’s head off.” It was that moment I first noticed her smile the entire evening.