You may recall a while back that I mentioned having picked out a ring with Dylan. I don’t have the ring yet as it’s still being made, that is to say that hasn’t yet proposed, but we’ve gone ahead with some nebulous plans and have told a small handful of people about them when they ask what’s new or how we are.
Two funny things are happening as a result of that last sentence. One, the first time someone hears it (male OR female), they clap their hands together, sprout a large, open mouthed grin, sometimes squeak, and say something like, “Oh! That is so exciting! Congratulations!” and then hug me. And every single time, I nod a sheepish thank you and hug back, usually followed by waving my hands in front of me and saying, “No, no, it doesn’t count yet! It’s not official!” and then they either tilt their heads and tell me that it pretty much IS, or reassure me that it’s still exciting then pepper me with the usual questions. I haven’t asked Dylan what he gets but I’m guessing it’s similar.
My general reaction, the clapping hands/jumping up and down/giggling shriek is, in my mind, reserved for when it’s official. If I geek out now, what happens when I have the ring and a sweet story to tell about a proposal? Being the pragmatist (and non-spring chicken) that I am, I realize that some planning or at least careful consideration is ok before the question pop. There are some timeline considerations at play here which will rush the whole thing along and I won’t have a lot of time to bask in the lazy glow of a life change. We’re aiming for late spring/very early summer. I don’t want to melt in the summer heat, nor do I want that for my guests, so July-August is out of the question, and we hope to leave for our road trip by October. We already know where we want to honeymoon and yes, aye me, I have a Pinterest board going. Ok, ok, I actually have several for everything from cocktails to cooking and baking recipes, clothes I like, graphic design I admire, and RV tips. I didn’t start pinning because of this but it’s been a nice way to pass the time and indulge my giddy side. What there is of it, anyway.
I’ve never been a girly girl bridey bride. No poofy white dress, no red roses or cute children with assigned duties that require tiny tuxedos and flower crowns (and all the prayers that they can walk in a kind of straight line without breaking down in tears or throwing up the morning of). I frankly never even really saw myself with much more than a courthouse wedding or tiny backyard garden affair. Maybe that’s the introvert in me, the idea of that level of stimulus and spotlight fills me with a level of dread I can’t really comprehend right now. I generally don’t like a fuss being made over me, it’s embarrassing. I don’t need big birthday parties or to be in a spotlight. And don’t even get me started on bridal showers, oh lord. I mean, maybe I’ll get swept up in that tide when it comes. I can’t think of any of my married girlfriends who hid from their own prenuptial events, but right now it’s hard to imagine embracing it.
But when suddenly I’m awake for no good reason at 2:30 am which happens more than I prefer, I find myself reaching for the phone and surfing Pinterest. Because of this, I’ve narrowed down the type of dress I want, the general color palette, some cute decorating ideas, and flexed my “oh absolutely NOT” muscle more than a few thousand times. The amount of fuss ladies make and expect about weddings is just plain shocking. First an $4,000 ring then a $12,000 dress, then the average wedding cost of something around $35,000 held under a rented tent or in a four star hotel? Ugh, no. No way. Even if I had Rockerfeller money I wouldn’t want something like that. It is simply not our style. What I do want at the end of the day is to marry that man. I don’t care if it’s in jeans and a t-shirt or in front of a judge as she’s about to break for lunch. Truly, I’d do it that way if it meant we could get on with it sooner. He’s the kind of man that makes me fall silent when my girlfriends complain about theirs. I almost feel guilty for the amount of happiness he brings me, let alone all the damage he’s unknowingly repaired slowly but surely. I don’t want to suffer from something my sister once said, which is that “every engagement ring comes with a set of blinders”. She, by the way, married the night of my senior prom and when I told her so more than six months before the ceremony, she said something like, “well if you’d rather go to prom than be in my wedding…” – so no, no I don’t want those blinders that seem to grow with every new name on the guest list. Not now, when I see so clearly that there is much more to my upcoming life than a one-day party.
Am I taking the wind out of sails that should be permanently inflated? I can’t help but feel like a downer about something that everyone around me gets incredibly excited about. Just last night I had two friends on either side of me do the giddy clap of elation and ask all the questions. I gave them my patented “it’s no big deal yet” move.
But a big part of me knows that’s not true. The extrovert part, I suspect.
Neither of us thought we’d ever find ourselves here. We were positive that you couldn’t have chemistry, spirituality, passion, humor, intelligent discourse, complete nerd, talent, communication, honesty and integrity all in the same person. I was sure I’d have to sacrifice at least half of those items and Dylan said he’d written it completely off for himself (as had several of his friends and family). But we don’t. We are happy, we are content, we are sure. And that, I’ve just realized, is worth celebrating, I suppose. Next time someone hears of our plans, even if the absolutely beautiful I-can’t-wait-to-wear-it ring isn’t yet on my finger, I will let out a little yelp right along with them and graciously accept the hugs. It’s been a long time coming and worth every ounce of effort to get here.