When I was newly engaged to Philip, two of my closest friends invited me to join them for dinner down at a new restaurant on Prince Street. I was late getting there, stopping on my way to duck into a gift shop for two important cards that would need to convey the right sentiment for the occasion. Little did I know that the occasion involved an intervention.
Along with appetizers, our meal began with questions about the state of my romantic relationship. "Too fast," "too soon," and "the one" were being cracked with pepper over our salads. "We just want to make sure you’re being smart," they’d said. I knew their hearts were pure, and in retrospect, getting engaged after knowing each other for such a short period of time is not everyone’s idea of normal. Phil and I first met in February and weren’t what I even considered dating until July, but by then, I was in love. And four months later, he was down on bended knee waiting for my yes.
And two weeks after that, I was in a card store warming my hands and willing my heart to find the right words to commemorate the occasion. I asked the woman at the register for a pen, took a moment to compose my thoughts, then I licked the envelopes and slipped them into my shoulder bag. At dinner my friends began, "we wanted to talk to you about…"
"This is totally an intervention isn’t it?" I asked.
Alex and Dulce looked at each other then back at me. "Well, yeah. We just want to make sure you’re happy."
I wasn’t just happy. I was divorced, engaged, and pregnant. "Am I happy?" I repeated while fishing out the cards.
"I mean, we know you’re happy, but isn’t this all happening kinda fast?"
I knew where they were going. They’d seen it before, my ability to fixate on ideas, to want something so much that I could convince anyone that it was the best decision I’d ever made, especially myself. But I wanted what I wanted, which never seems to change with me. I didn’t give them a chance to get much more out in the way of warnings. Instead, I handed them the cards and watched as they opened them in unison.
"Oh my God!"
"Holy shit, Stephanie!"
Then came the hugs, the smiles, the tears, and the questions. "Well, forget that," Dulce said as she wiped her hands in the air, leaving the discussion of rushed decisions in the past. I didn’t give them, or myself, the opportunity to question things. They had to be happy for me because I was happy for me. It wasn’t the traditional order of things, being divorced, engaged, and pregnant all at once, but they were supportive because they had to be. I ended up miscarrying the baby we’d toasted to that night. I then had the opportunity to look at things anew. Plans could be unmade easily if that’s what I wanted. But what I learned in that loss was what a strong and all-out supporter I had on my side. And by then, my friends were his biggest supporters, our biggest supporters. I’m still amazed that it has worked out so well. There are times when I wonder if I made the right decision; I question if it would be easier with someone else. But I imagine I’d think these things with anyone. With all the questioning and doubt, there’s also an extraordinary amount of love, the kind that survives interventions and loss and keeps us together through sickness and health.