Like a socket I can plug into at will,
And will you guess when I come around next?
I hope your open sign is blinking still.
—"Marry Me," St. Vincent
My relationship with my fiancée, Anna, is characterized by a refusal to conform to social conventions we don't actually like. In fact, this is characteristic of us both individually; putting us together has simply allowed for mutual reinforcement on the matter. As a team, we can back each other up on, say, the decision to [gasp] not have wedding colors or [lolwut?] not change any names when we get married.
I know, I know, we're so hardcore. In a perfect world, of course, there would be no pressure to conform to such standards, but in our experience, there is no limit to people's ability to be offended about decisions that have no direct impact on them. C'est la vie.
~ ~ ~
From the very first, Anna was frank with me that she was not into (1) engagement rings or (2) elaborate public proposals at restaurants, basketball stadiums, monster truck rallies, etc. And I was frank with her that I was not into them either.
So when the time came to actually get engaged, it went like this instead:
First, understand that, in general, Anna and I are good about talking about our thoughts and feelings. But when it came time for some engaging, we had a sudden, unexpected, and unusual misunderstanding.
When had talked seriously about engagement for a while (like, we were circling around it and thinking about it and even starting to wonder aloud what a wedding might be like), but we had made no formal decision to get engaged, we had a conversation in which Anna was like "So we're practically engaged already," and I was like "Nuh-uh, we have to actually sit down in person and say we're engaged" and she was like "But that's just a formality, right?" and I was like "No, I'm pretty sure I want to think about it a little bit before we do it."
While this was a misunderstanding, most of the blame for it falls on me. It turns out, talking about a wedding with your significant other will, in fact, tend to lead them to believe that you are really interested in getting marriaged and that actual engagementing is just a formality. But how could I have known?! With my mind is how.
At all events, I did my last little bit of soul-searching, realized what I knew all along—that Anna totally ruled and that marrying her would seriously rule—and then I set to work crafting my combination apology/proposal.
The preparations were as follows:
Step 1: Set in motion a chain of events whereby, after the passage of a small amount of time, Anna would come to my apartment in Chicago.
Step 2: Sometime immediately before the arrival of said hopefully-soon-to-be-erstwhile-girlfriend, clean the apartment. This would, if done properly, cause her to experience feelings of happiness upon her arrival, both because cleanliness is a thing that she likes and because knowing that things have been cleaned in preparation of her arrival is a thing that she also likes.
Step 3: Acquire at the local Aldi a tub of Anna's favorite ice cream, mint chocolate chip, coincidentally also my favorite ice cream, but during said acquisition discover that they actually have mint chocolate chip moose tracks ice cream and purchase this superior ice cream variety instead.
Step 4: Return to the apartment and prepare a meal of pasta. Set the table.
Step 5: Wait.
When Anna arrived, she was indeed pleased at the cleanliness of my abode, and sat and ate with me the meal of pasta that I had provided. We moved to the couch, where I held her close, and asked if I could interest her in getting married sometime. She answered yes and started to cry happy, relieved tears.
I hugged her, and once she was ready, I went to the kitchen and returned with two bowls of mint chocolate chip moose tracks ice cream, which we ate together, newly fiancée and fiancé. We were both very happy together, and we remain so to this day.
|This is our engagement photo, taken the next day by a friend.|