Joel and I have talked about getting married for a while.
We actually started talking about it five weeks after we met, but we ended up buying an abandoned monstrosity of a brick schoolhouse instead. Once we were waist deep in Milton, well, the practicality of a wedding was a little non existent. I don't think the thought was ever far from either of our minds. I never thought such a thing could happen, but we both knew within the first two weeks of seeing each other that we weren't going anywhere without each other ever again.
We knew we needed to get married, but with the schoolhouse to tend to- we just didn't have any time. Or, a place. I remember sleeping on the floor of our now bedroom in a sleeping bag, even before we had the electricity turned on in the building, chattering away about what rooms and areas we'd use for our wedding.
For the last two years, we've talked about the wedding subject. We've went to jewelry stores and thought about what style it should be in and who should play the music and what food we should feed everyone...with each excited conversation ending in the disappointment of reality: Milton wasn't ready for a wedding.
All of this is leading up to "The Proposal Story". I guess its the first thing everyone wants to know- all of those prefab "wedsites" have a specific tab for "The Proposal Story", gosh darnit. When I first told my girlfriend we were getting married, even she asked, "How did he propose?"
I honestly thought about lying. A friend of mine from college also recently became engaged- evidently, he flew his lady to a tropical island and while they were out hiking the beauties of nature, he popped the question on top of a mountain with a flowery rehearsed scripted about being her servant forever and pulled out a huge diamond.
Unfortunately, my girlfriend knows us a little too well, so when I opened my mouth to say, "One day, we were hiking in the marvelous tropical jungles of Belize..." what really came out was, "Um...he didn't."
I know, I know. So, you're thinking, 'how the hell do you know you're actually getting married?' Thus, I say, "He didn't. Well, not really. It was Valentine's Day..."
"Uh huh..." she's suspicious, but giving me another chance to spin some tender story about romance and passion, something with soft camera edges and candlelight glow...
"...our second anniversary, actually."
"Uh huh...did you go out?" A string quartet? A waltz? A poofy Cinderella ballgown, perhaps?
"Ummm....no...we were actually in the living room." I hastily added some slight inaccuracies to soften the blow, "but we were sitting on the bed."
We don't really have much furniture, so it wasn't too much of a stretch,
"And Joel looks all nervous and fidgety. He takes my hand and begins to softly stroke my fingers as says to me, 'I really wanted to have something special for you tonight.' I look up at him with anticipation, he blushes and looks down. 'But, honey, the only ring you said you really liked is online- and, I don't know much about computers...and....I didn't realize....there weren't any left.'"
" 'Joel,' I said sweetly, "The shop makes the rings after you order them. The photos in the shop are just examples.'
'I knew you weren't going to have a ring here in time for Valentine's Day. I...have a confession to make. When you contacted the jeweler about the rings, you were signed into my etsy account. He responded several days ago that he'd be happy to make any rings you wish.'
'He did? Why didn't you tell me?'
'Because...I was so excited, and I thought you wanted it to be a surprise....and I didn't want to ruin it....but...'
'I did want it to be a surprise. I wanted to do something really romantic.'
'Well, guess what? We're going to be together for a very long time- so let's get those rings ordered and you can do something surprisingly romantic when I least expect it.'
So, we sat down at the computer, looked through rings for about an hour- and ordered them together."
Silence on the other end of the phone. Finally, I get a "Well, I'm happy for you!" I think she's trying not to laugh, out of consideration for my "lack of proposal story" quandary.
Hey, I'm just so happy to be getting married, one way or another. And happy to tell someone about it.
However, I'm going to have to put the thinking cap on and come up with some super romance novel inspired BS for all of his female family members who will be asking me the same question very, very soon.