- 5 years ago
- Wedding: October 2014 - UK
First off, I want to say thank you. I got a surprise proposal a couple of weeks ago, and apparently in the planning, J, my partner, spent a lot of time researching and planning, and apparently you guys were the most sensible, most helpful lot he found. You helped him pick a ring, and plan it all out, without ever once knowing he was there. So. Thank you.
And then you helped me out after the proposal as well – you helped define what I was feeling, and research it more.
So. I thought I’d join and give something back – I figured it might be nice to let you all know exactly what you’d help achieve! I wrote a fairly detailed post about it on my personal blog on LJ (linked in my profile although the post itself is locked on there), and I’m going to replicate that here, because reading it again it expresses my feelings more adequately than I can reproduce.
On Saturday, I was at J-con, a day-long convention which I actually really enjoyed. My expectations had been pretty low, and it was an early morning and predicted to be a long day, so when I found myself chilling out and having a good time, I was pleasantly surprised. I also bought some art from the extremely talented Echosilver – two originals, and a gorgeous little print of a watercolour to go on my desk, for the princely sum of 14 of your English Pounds. I was very pleased.
Then I headed home – to the promise of a roast dinner cooked by J, because it’s getting towards that time of year and we’d both been starting to think that it was time to head into Winter Mode (Roasts, PJs, Red Wine etc etc).
And I was greeted by this:
Yes, candles, candles we have had before, those were nice, but not the bit that got my attention. Focus on the important part.
J had tidied the dining room.
I was delighted. That place had been a shit-tip for weeks, because it’s the first room you come into, and it’s become a natural dumping ground for crap – coats, shoes, bags, stuff we need to take out of bags that we don’t have time to put away right now, junk mail, real mail etc etc.
And the candles were pretty too. And scented, so the sort of dampish smell that we sometimes get from the laundry was all gone.
So J dished up the dinner (minted lamb – yummm!) but then scurried off to get drinks, and reappeared with a bottle of rose champagne.
HERE is where my alerts came on. I asked what this was all for, and he grinned. Then a look of horror and panic came over my face as he fumbled for whatever-it-was in his pocket, and that made him panic and thrust it towards me with
“It’s a hat!”
This was not an inaccurate statement.
Inside the hat, however, was this:
Well. I rather felt like I’d had a comedy piano dropped on me. I said yes – there wasn’t much else I really could say. And then I swore at him. And then we drank both bottles of sparkling wine and I swore at him some more.
He revealed that he had a dozen tiny cowboy hat jewellery boxes, because they could only be bought in bulk. He’d been researching rings for months – it’s gold, tanzanite and diamond (and matches my Graduation Ring perfectly – also gold, tanzanite and diamond). And it nearly perfectly fits – he stole my Graduation Ring without me noticing to get my ring fitting – unfortunately, that goes on my middle finger and not my ring one. But it’s near as dammit a perfect fit.
“It’s your birthstone,” he told me.
“Is it?” I said. “I thought my birthstone was Topaz.”
“Well, there seem to be a couple for each month. But Tanzanite is definitely one of the birthstones for December.”
“My birthday’s in November.”
Yeah, he swore a lot. And then he admitted that the flowers he bought – carnations – he’d thought were roses, and hadn’t realised until he got home and read the label.
And then one of the candles which he’d put the used match in flared up and singed the cabinet we’d inherited from my Granny.
The next morning I woke up with a hangover and a case of the Screaming Meemies.
My initial reaction when he’d proposed was to keep it quiet for a bit, which he’d agreed to, but the more I looked at my shiny shiny ring, the more I wanted to wear it. And he said I wasn’t allowed to wear it out the house until we’d told our parents, because it wasn’t fair for other people to find out before them. Which I guess is fair enough.
But because I liked my ring so much, I then decided to bite the bullet and tell them. Well, by tell them, I mean, take a photo of the ring and send them an email saying
“FYI – no big deal. For dissemination as you see fit. :)”
I’d rather expected between both my parents one of them would have been on the computer during the day. J called his family and told them, but I didn’t want to do that – I was getting stress-and-terror-induced stomach cramps every time I thought I saying the word ‘engagement’ or ‘proposal’, and the words ‘getting married’ were being shot on sight any time they wandered near the higher functioning parts of my brain.
But, J got it over with.
7 hours later, no response from my parents, I remembered that Mum had gone to Liverpool for the weekend and had no internet there. And she checks her mail more than Dad does. So in the end I called her. I said it.
Then I regretted it and wished I could put it all back in the box and hide away forever and ever.
The next morning I was still feeling wonky and not right. I was dreading reactions to the news – I wasn’t expecting bad reactions, quite the contrary, but just having to cope with overwhelmingly positive reactions and people making it a Big Deal – and god forbid, asking about dates – made me want to lock myself in the bathroom.
But I liked the ring so much – I mentioned that, right? – that I took it into work with me on Monday, little cowboy hat and all. And at lunchtime, I screwed up my courage and put it on. And three days later, only one person has clocked that it’s an engagement ring, and I think only two others have clocked it at all, but haven’t asked about it. That normalcy has helped. I guess the figure if I haven’t made a big announcement, then it can’t be an engagement, and I’m figuring that I’m not going to tell them unless they ask, because I still don’t like saying or writing the word engaged. It sends fear-tremors through me.
The fear was not quite overwhelming, but certainly staggering. It made me queasy and I wanted to just hide away and not be me. But the reasons behind it were so inexpressible and intangible. I couldn’t say why I was scared and anxious, only that I was. It wasn’t to do with J, or with getting married – of course we’d talked about it, and as far as we were concerned, we’d been ‘unofficially’ engaged for a while, waiting for the right time and so on.
I’d expected it to be in a couple of years, J was apparently on a slightly faster timescale.
And I had the Wiggins.
I was suffering from what is apparently termed as ‘engagement anxiety’ – J googled it, and I’m glad he did, because I knew I was worrying him getting all upset, and that was making it worse. I read a few articles on it, and that made me feel better. Although some of them weren’t helpful – they were all “you’re questioning how much you love him” (no I’m not) and “What will make you feel better is having a bachelorette party” (no it won’t) etc etc.
J spoke to his Dad, and apparently his Dad understood – he left it a week before telling anyone but his parents.
My mum didn’t quite get it.
“Well, you want to marry him don’t you?”
“Yes, but that’s not it. It’s just… a BIG thing.”
“Oh don’t be silly.”
So. That was a bit of a disappointment. I mentioned this to J, and he said “It’s just because we’re more introverted than her.”
And I thought about that for a bit. And realised that he was right.
What’s freaking me out is that I’m terrified of our relationship being put on public show for however-long-it-takes. We’re private. Everything about us is pretty self-contained. And this ring is like a great big beacon saying “THEY ARE NOW PUBLIC INTEREST”. And that’s fucking terrifying.
But knowing why I’m freaking out has helped me calm down a bit. I’m rationing thoughts of the Big W. No more browsing wedding-themed websites for this week, because it was winding me up again.
But we just updated our facebook statuses. Sounds stupid, but we had to work up to it. And like Pandora’s Box, we can’t put it away now.
I wrote that… on the 19th September. Today, I’m feeling more… equal to the task and ready to start poking my nose through again.
But I wanted to say thankyou. So. Thankyou.