Admittedly, this isn’t exactly news, it’s been in the works for awhile, but on November 8th Alex officially proposed! And we’re both incredibly excited. We’ve heard the best part of being engaged is the love and warmth you experience from your family and friends. I could have never anticipated the amazing reaction we’ve received from everyone around us. I just want to roll around in this moment of excitement, joy and love. And while it’s been in the works for awhile I never would have expected to have the reaction I had.
The back story:
I didn’t think I would get married. Not because I wouldn’t find someone, but because until about 2 years ago I didn’t want to get married. I didn’t want a wedding. I did, and still do, have a lot of conflicting feelings about the whole thing, but essentially I didn’t feel I wanted to buy into an institution (or all the fanfare that surrounded it) that I felt had too many issues, too much rooted in patriarchy and the oppression of women. And while those feelings of unease still exist, I’ve come to terms with them, and we’ve decided together, that marriage is something we both want. For practical reasons sure, but also for and making our baby family official and being part of something that transcends all borders shared by the majority of humanity. And we have the opportunity to define our marriage, and wedding in our terms, throwing out all the traditions that don’t feel right for us, and only including those that reflect our egalitarian views.
And so, in spring 2012 we began the initial conversations about our life together and how marriage might fit into that. Uprooting to Dublin had something to do with the timing. While I’d up and move to a foreign country for a variety of reasons there was no denying the fact the majority of the reasons I was making this move was for us. So that we could be together. It was the first major decision we made together, and it brought up many questions of where we were going. We knew we wanted to be together for the long run. Getting married was the logical next step.
June 2013. A year after we began talking about timelines, we sat poolside at our resort in Nicaragua. We sipped Flor de Caña in the sticky humidity of the rainy season amidst thunder clouds and rain storms and talked about our future. Our hopes, ambitions, fears, and joys. It was then that we decided to get married in the next year or so. Though we didn’t consider ourselves engaged, we had a plan.
And because we do everything in our own way we planned a wedding. We knew we wanted it to be very small. Initially, we wanted to elope, but the idea of not having family with us didn’t feel right, so we decided to hold a laid back backyard wedding in Los Angeles, our first home together. It was our secret, we got to plan our ideal wedding on our own terms without the world knowing.
During this time Alex began looking for rings. Another debate I had was whether or not I even wanted an engagement ring. It feels very unfair (one gets a ring, one gets…the bill?), and I greatly dislike the societal implications and expectations regarding engagement rings. But ultimately, we decided for it, for various reasons.
Fast forward to last week. After months of trying to find the perfect ring Alex waited for the perfect opportunity to propose. I was concerned that because we had already planned the event for the most part, it would be anticlimactic, but it wasn’t. Not in the least.
The icy rain pelted our skin as we huddled together under an umbrella that did little to shelter us. It was Friday, date night. We went to see the first movie in a theater in months. After, when our dinner plans fell through we wandered towards our favorite Szechuan restaurant. But it had unexpectedly closed. Across the street was a Korean restaurant we’d gone to once before. It was packed as we waited at the bar for seats. It’s an interesting place, over the Liffey in Dublin 1 it boasts a strange mixture of patrons. Hipster Korean bartenders serve old Irish men their pints and young professionals mingled after work. We managed to grab a table and drank pints of Tiger beer, opting to eat in the dim, warm, boisterous atmosphere of the bar instead of the more calm restaurant. A few hours passed with beers, bon chon, korean fried chicken and bulgogi. We left feeling full, warm and giddy. The rain had let up, leaving a cold chill in the air. We held each other close as we walked towards home. Over the river, the air warmed up, in the typical microclimate nature of Dublin. We decided to keep walking. Friday night revelers filled the streets as we wandered past Merrion Square in city center. Down a low lit, empty street off the park, the road splits around a St. Stephens’s Church. As we stood in front of the church I turned towards Alex to find him down on one knee. He immediately proposed. I immediately started crying. I knew it would happen, I knew we’d get married, and yet in that moment I was filled with exceptional joy. It was absolutely perfect, absolutely us. And oh, the ring! It is just perfect, and like nothing I’ve seen; an asymmetrical gold setting with a sunstone. I couldn’t have been happier, I’ve never been filled with such overwhelming feelings of love and joy.
We are both just.so.happy. It’s going to be an amazing year, and I can’t wait to get married and officially start our lives together.