Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Getting Engaged, what a trip

In November I experienced the fascinating transition from living-together-couple status to engaged couple status. The proposal itself was pretty low-key. I had an inkling of what was coming when Mike asked to borrow some money and didn’t want to pony up any of the reasons. He finally spit something out about working with my mom on something followed by a quick, “Now don’t ask any more questions!” On the night of the proposal he asked me to make dinner for him (he does most of the cooking in our house) and we were having a nice time sitting together when he got up and shuffled around in his messenger bag. He came back to the table with a goofy look on his face and I made some lascivious comment about getting to touch him now and he said, “Nope, now it’s time for you to say yes or no!”

We spent the evening sucking on cough drops (both of us were under the weather) and giggling and poking each other and day dreaming about what we wanted our wedding to look like. I couldn’t stop smiling and laughing and saying, “You want to marry me!” Much joy and giddiness. As we daydreamed I learned that there is no end to getting to know someone. I wanted a small wedding, he wanted big. I wanted no bridal party, he wanted us to have a bunch of folks stand up with us. He wants a tux. I don’t want to wear white. On and on. Some things were surprises and some I expected. It was fascinating to hear about these things since we’d really not talked about any of it before. I asked him why that was and he replied, “You can’t give all of your cards away, you’ve gotta play some of them close to the chest.” What a funny response and what an accurate portrayal of parts of our relationship. I don’t know that we will ever know everything about each other but I look forward to learning as much as we can.

The best part of all of it? We get to be funny old people together! Almost immediately I wanted to start calling him my husband but first we have a few things to take care of. Like deciding who to tell first, and how. And we get to plan this big party.

One our watercolor rainbow splash invites. These were a lot of fun to plan and design!

As joyous as our engagement is, it comes with the necessity to share our news sensitively. Mike was married before and J’s mom will always be part of  our life. I’ve invested a lot in having a good relationship with her. As we discussed sharing news of our engagement J’s mom was second on the list. (J was first!) We didn’t want her finding out from our kid or on some social media site. Mike shared our news and once we knew that she knew we were able to share with the rest of our family. Like my mom.

As it turns out, I hardly needed to tell my mom. I learned that my mom and Mike worked together to have my ring made. My mom lives in NJ, we’re in MN. When Mike asked about any family rings my mom offered up the stones from a ring that my father had given her. The ring was a gift purchased when my dad won a pretty penny in the lottery. Having something sentimental is bigger for me than anything. My mom has a jeweler friend who helped turn the old ring into a new one with all three of them in cahoots unbeknownst to be. When I called my mom the day after the proposal she heaved a huge sigh of relief. She’d sent the ring via certified mail and Mike had been so full of nerves waiting for it to arrive that he couldn’t wait to give it to me, thus the casual at-home proposal. We talked a lot about how sneaky they’d been.

I sent a picture to my best friend with the question, “Want to go for a manicure tomorrow?” and the rest we mostly let happen as people “noticed” things. I look forward to sharing some of the oddness that is being an engaged couple. Like how everyone wants to know about the ring and how big it is. Or how much you plan to spend on the wedding. Or the questions, the constant questions, about what the wedding will be like. What about the marriage? The wedding is a day, a big party and a lot of money. With the wonderful goal and result of actually being married. When I’ll be able to actually call him my husband. And in the words of our kiddo, “Now you’ll be my real stepmom!”

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