Remember that post from last Monday, where I talked about how much I hated it when people asked me when I was going to get married?
Well, when I said I would probably get engaged sooner rather than later, it turns out I had no idea how soon. On Wednesday evening, H. surprised me by popping the question. We’d talked about getting married, of course, but I had no idea he was going to propose then, on a Wednesday night, right after I got home from work, while I was still wearing my coat. So it was a complete and total shock, and all of a sudden I went from girlfriend to fiance. I’ll spare you the whole engagement story, but it involves H. building me a bookshelf with a special drawer where he hid the ring (that’s it in the picture at the top of the post). Yes, he built a bookshelf and proposed with it. It was the perfect proposal.
Since H. and I had been dating for so long, I assumed getting engaged wouldn’t change that much. As it turns out, I was very wrong. Getting engaged made me become ridiculously emotional. All of a sudden, the things that normally seemed like everyday activities now seem like sentimental traditions. Instead of going shopping, we’re shopping as a couple. Instead of just making dinner, I’m cooking dinner with my fiance. It actually does feel different, which makes me feel both lucky I have this opportunity in my life and sad that not everyone in our country is afforded the same liberty.
The other weird side effect of getting engaged is that I seem to be turning into another person.
It’s insane how quickly The Wedding Machine took over my life, and I am not a Wedding Person. I truly don’t care about weddings unless I’m close friends with the person getting married. I know nothing about rings–cuts and carats? It’s a foreign language to me. I’ve never imagined myself wearing a big dress and I’ve definitely never entertained any fantasies of being a princess. I’m ridiculously cheap and I hate people staring at me. And, yeah, this is a really buzz-kill, annoying thing to say, but I do find like half of wedding traditions to be really patriarchal and gross.
And yet, basically the second I had that ring on my finger, I found myself shouting “I’m engaged!” to everyone while holding out my hand, which is something I always said I wouldn’t do. For the past few days, I’ve barely slept because I’ve been spending my time thinking about what sorts of bridesmaids dresses I’ll choose. I’ve been visiting wedding blogs instead of writing. “You should try thinking about something else for awhile,” my mom suggested, and I think she’s right. It’s crazy how easy it was for me to get caught up in wedding frenzy, but I really need to step back and realize that it’s just one day. A fun and special day, hopefully, but one day just the same.
So, Welcome to Ladyville readers, I hope this is another fun thing we can go through together. Just like that time I was a maid of honor, I’m going pretty far out of my comfort zone. Hopefully the lessons I’ll be learning the hard way can help you out.
Here’s what my wedding goals are: to throw a fun party, with my family and close friends. To be surrounded by the people I love, and to cry a lot because I’m so happy. To have one of our best friends marry us, because you’d better believe we’re not getting married in a church (I’ve seen way too many ceremonies that involve a weird speech from the pastor about wives serving husbands. No thanks!). To spend time with my mom, mother-in-law, and BFF crafting cool, cheap wedding decorations. To not spend time or money on anything that’s unnecessary or just for show. To have a truly dirt-cheap wedding, not just a cheap-by-modern-standards wedding. To incorporate as many special keepsake projects into the ceremony as I can. To actually enjoy the process and use it as a chance to spend precious time with my loved ones, instead of it being a source of stress.
Oh, yeah, and to focus on this being the beginning of a caring, equal partnership with the love of my life. Well, not the beginning, really–we have been dating for 7 years! But a formal commitment, in front of everyone who loves us, that we’ll care about each other and help each other through happy times and shitty ones. Because that’s the point, right? I mean, the wedding is one measly day. I want it to be a great day, of course, but I plan on having a whole lot of other great days in my life, too. A marriage is a crazy commitment that lasts a whole lifetime, and I’m pretty sure when we’re 80, we won’t be thinking about what food we served at the wedding or whether or not the centerpieces looked good enough.
So that’s what I want to share with you guys! I hope you’ll be at least semi-interested in my weird wedding journey, and I promise to try to bring you some practical advice. Some not-totally-lame books and websites, some do-able craft projects, and tips for other ladies like me. Ladies who want to plan a cool, fun wedding but who don’t want to go crazy or go into debt or lose sight of their humanity in the process. And, most importantly, ladies who realize that weddings aren’t all that important in the long run, and that no one deserves to have some insane, magical day. I mean, I’m getting married, not winning the Nobel Peace Prize. I hope I can keep my sense of perspective throughout this process.
And, in case you wondered, I stand by every single thing I said in last Monday’s post! It’s lame when people butt into your life, especially your romantic life, and project their values on you. Now that I’m engaged and people can’t ask me about that anymore, I’m sure they’ll find new and inventive ways to judge my life decisions. That’s just the way of the world. I mean, several people have already mentioned children to me, so, you know.
So, you guys, I’m excited. It’s great to be engaged to a dude who proposes with a bookshelf, because woodworking is very “Bill Pullman in While You Were Sleeping,” and we all know how I feel about him. I promise to not turn WTLV into a wedding blog (I will be sharing another engagement story tomorrow, though. Sorry!), but hopefully you won’t be completely grossed out by a few wedding posts here and there.