As quickly as I obtained engaged, one thing began occurring…
Everybody wished to know “the story.”
The Engagement Story™ is a selected breed of story. It might contain something from a Jumbotron to a flash mob to strategically organized rose petals. Generally there is a component of shock, the place buddies or household may play roles. Different occasions, it’s a quieter affair, one thing between two folks in a spot that’s significant to them.
Engagement has lengthy been a milestone laden with stress. Previously, I’ve written about how I felt when seemingly everybody was pledging this membership however me. Nowadays, there may be the added expectation to spin it right into a PR story, neatly packaged for social media. You share your engagement story not solely verbally, however through smartphones, typically with a beaming picture (or 5).
Each time somebody asks for the story, I’m by no means fairly sure what to inform them. I’m a author; nobody appreciates a narrative greater than I do. However our engagement story doesn’t match right into a neat field. What is going to do it justice? The place does it start?
For one factor, I used to be not shocked.
Marriage was one thing we mentioned for a while. As one pal wrote in a card, “We’ve been ready for this information for some time.” Per one other pal, “What the f*** took so lengthy?” We got here to the desk with baggage, and it took a minute to unpack. Although we by no means questioned our relationship, we had rather a lot to debate when it got here to expectations for the longer term, points with the establishment of marriage itself, and a bevy of queries that had been not possible to reply and not using a crystal ball.
Final summer season, we cleared the ultimate hurdle, lastly overcoming any lingering trepidations. In the future, whereas sitting on the sofa, my boyfriend turned to me, and mentioned, “I’m prepared.” Like an oven that had simply reached 450 levels.
“Prepared for what?” I mentioned.
“To get married! I believe we should always do it.”
“Okay!” I replied.
We had been, I suppose, type of engaged.
It felt good to be taking this huge step collectively. Over the approaching weeks, we began to share the information. We had been excited! So, naturally, we anticipated different folks could be, too. However as quickly as I informed anybody about our plans, their eyes instantly made a beeline to my left hand.
“The place’s the ring?” requested the not-so-subtle.
“What’s the date?”
“Isn’t he speculated to, like, ask you?”
To me, our conversations felt like a dedication. (We’re low-key people — a flash mob may ship us again into our dwelling, by no means to emerge once more.) However folks continued asking.
Then one night time, we had been strolling to dinner once I observed my boyfriend doing one thing bizarre. He was carrying a sweater straight in entrance of him, like a bridesmaid holding a bouquet fabricated from laundry.
“It was extra tucked in my arm,” he later protested, once I shared this a part of the story.
This isn’t so.
“Properly, I suppose I moved it round!” he says. “I nearly dropped it at one level.”
After dinner, we sat on a bench close to the water, the 2 stars seen from NYC glistening overhead. Then, he grew quiet. Like, very quiet. (“I used to be nervous!” he remembers.) He rummaged round within the sweater and pulled out…an enamel frog. (A Frog Prince field procured by my boyfriend’s mom as a not-so-subtle trace the prior yr. I had seen it arrive within the mail, however had no concept what it was for. And now, right here it was! Reemerging in all its glory.) Contained in the frog, there was a hoop. The ring now lives on my finger.
“You’re engaged!” mentioned everybody.
For years, I bemoaned one thing I referred to as “two-headed jewellery monster” — like a lovable muppet with two heads, ring(s) prominently displayed. Actually everybody I do know has taken some model of this picture when asserting their engagement. (Hell, now I’ve finished it.) I’ve been joyful for all of them. However I additionally bear in mind the way it felt to be a single particular person, glimpsing solely this small slice of the image. For that motive, I’ve been reticent to share it on the standard platforms. Some issues are usually not simply summed up in a caption. And there may be typically extra to the story.
No matter form our nuptials wind up taking, we’re excited to determine it out collectively. We love the concept of the dog in a tiny formal gown — I’m fortunate to have discovered somebody who’s equally on board with this — and gathering family and friends in a technique or one other. It doesn’t matter what we do, I do know it should really feel like us.
Our engagement expertise has confirmed what I all the time believed, which is that on the subject of private milestones, everybody ought to do no matter is greatest for them. It’s your story to jot down as you select.