Dalia was a beautiful artist & belly dancer who made her life seem almost magical. She had wonderful friends, a supportive family, a great career… and a boyfriend, who just wouldn’t marry her.
Although a bit of a feminist and fiercely independent, Dalia still couldn’t escape the clutches of those childhood dreams. The fantasy of Prince Charming sweeping in on his horse and whisking her away to a beautiful castle where they would be happily ever after. She, like most women, had spent a large portion of her life thinking, dreaming, and fantasizing about being married. On a certain level she knew how cheesy it was to think like this, but on another level it felt inherent and expected.
Unfortunately for Dalia, the dream was a bit of a nightmare. At 35 years old with all of her friends married with kids, they all sort of looked at her and wondered if she’d ever get married. Some wondered if she was damaged goods. Dalia always acted a bit of a free spirit, as if it didn’t much matter to her, and that she didn’t think about it. She would go with the flow and see where life took her.
The truth is, she did think about it. And she felt slightly embarrassed each time she introduced her “boyfriend” to one of her married friends, feeling that it was juvenile for someone of her age… that surely something must have gone wrong in her life to be (gasp!) 35 and unmarried.
One day she jokingly looked at her boyfriend and said “soooo are you ever going to ask me to marry you? Because if you don’t I just might.”
She chuckled, and winked at him who was White as a ghost.
The joking nudge turned out to be a 10 part series on WHY HE’S NOT READY and began to drive a beautiful wedge between them. Not quite the fantasy she had envisioned.
Dalia decided to go for a 2 week vacation by herself to Antigua where she could spend some time alone, catch some rays and think about her life and relationship. She didn’t want to be with a man who couldn’t bring himself to marry her. Her daddy taught her much more self-worth than that. And after all, she’d already had marriage proposals from men who weren’t with her even a fraction of the time, or who didn’t even know her very well.
One day while out on a catamaran the instructor looked at her and smiled, he said “you are very beautiful, but you have a lot on your mind don’t you?”
She laughed and said “yeah, how’d you know?”
“It’s in your eyes. He said.”
“That predictable huh?!”
“Maybe you should think less and enjoy being here. Look around you. You are in paradise. What could be more beautiful than this?” he asked
“Sharing it with someone” she said
The instructor looked out across the water with an understanding of what she’d just said. He knew she was right. He felt a certain sadness in her statement.
Suddenly the catamaran tipped up on it’s Left side while Dalia hung on for dear life, her face grazing the warm water. She laughed nervously and screamed at the instructor until he set the catamaran down again and they were once again cruising.
“Why did you do that?” she screamed
“To make you stop thinking about your troubles” he said
It had worked. For a moment Dalia was completely taken out of the horrible head space she’d been reluctantly living in for months. She felt ALIVE for once. She actually forgot why she was there and just enjoyed feeling free and happy.
When Dalia left Antigua and arrived home, there were a dozen roses waiting for her on her doorstep with a note that said “I’m sorry. I just couldn’t do it. I love you, always will.” Nice way to bow out she thought.
Instead of wallowing or getting all dramatic, Dalia smiled. She was happy to find out before an expensive mistake had been made. Those two weeks were the best thing she’d ever done… and besides, she never wanted to drag a man down the aisle kicking and screaming. How tacky!
When she got inside her apartment, she flipped through all of her mail, turned on the TV and ate the remainders of some Häagen-Dazs while she daydreamed about the instructor in Antigua.