Ohhhhhh, Tumblrs. It’s been a while, eh?
So, how ‘bout I tell you a story. A story about the time Alex made an honest lady out of me this past weekend. Sound good?
Our story begins with a long, romantic walk on the beach…
(No, just kidding, this is from when we were in Santa Monica earlier this summer. A proposal story that starts with a walk on the beach sounds like something I would hear about from the girls I grew up with in Tennessee who got engaged to their high school boyfriends when they were 22. Not that there’s anything wrong with that - except, meh, there kinda is. But I needed a picture of us so here is a picture of us walking on the beach. Now simmer.)
Anyhow, our engagement story begins with something much better than a long walk on the beach: it begins with salami!
Yay, salami! And cheese! And Belgian flags!
Here’s the thing about getting engaged at the ripe old age of (almost) 31: you don’t want it to be, like, this super-cliche “that’s so two thousand and late” spectacle reminiscent of something you would have read about on The Knot back in the early ‘00s when you used to stalk your aforementioned high school peers, something redolent with personalized poetry and Bible verses and scavenger hunts and so much painful earnestness that you have to sign onto AOL Instant Messenger immediately in search of the one person you’re still friends with from high school, who is - thankfully - a snarky gay man who will understand. But perhaps I digress with this walk down memory lane…
I guess what I’m saying is – the jig is up, you know? And I think it was a challenge, given my age and life experience and general overly-self-aware judgy-pants-ness, to find a way to get engaged that was special and meaningful in an un-cringe-worthy way. (ALSO - HYPHENS!)
That said, it’s a challenge Alex accepted nobly and then decimated. Because, you guys, it was perfect: we went out for Belgian food and beers, and I ate salami and a lot of cheese, and although I knew a ring had been purchased and a reveal was imminent, I wasn’t reeeeeeeally expecting anything that night, certainly not after we walked in the door of our apartment and everything was normal and I shuffled off to the bedroom to put on PJs so we could lounge on the couch and watch the last half of the women’s Olympic gold medal soccer game…
… only to be met by this.
(True story: a couple of the friends who helped Alex set the scene live in the building next door - the one with the bright blue pyramids you can see in the background. After they finished their very thorough, many-candled elf-work and returned home, they realized they could see the blaze through the window… so they sat around helplessly for the next hour or so, waiting anxiously for us to return and hoping they wouldn’t see the candle-blaze become an actual blaze. Woulda been a buzzkill, no?)
Then before I knew it Alex was calling me all my nicknames (because we are a couple of many, many nicknames) and proffering some VERY SPARKLY ICE and asking me to marry him.
And I said yes and we called family in America and friends across the world (the soft launch of the engagement) and plotted our Facebook reveal (the hard launch, because relationship status change or it didn’t happen) and laughed and cried and watched the US women’s soccer team win Olympic gold!
Then in the morning I woke up and stared at fiancé – and, let’s be honest, my ring – in many different lights and angles:
Does it sparkle like this? How about like this?!
And we discovered a number of hilarious nuances that our elf-friends had left the night before, such as a strategically placed Post-It note covering the eyes of the African Barack Obama wall hanging that faces our bed:
We also received outtake footage of my two incredibly wonderful - but oh, so very blonde! - girlfriends, to whom Alex had granted artistic direction for the operation:
Thankfully, he granted proofreading and photography duties to their husbands, and hence we have frame-by-frame documentation of their “MERRY ME” blonde moment: first, such pride! Then, such shame!
And then we spent our second night as an engaged couple celebrating with some of our Dubai BFFs, drinking margaritas and eating tacos and spilling queso on the head of one slightly overweight sleeping pug.
So that is the story of how I came to be engaged to this amazing man:
It’s okay to be jealous.