Here’s how I thought being engaged would make me feel: OLD. Here’s how being engaged really makes me feel: like I’m in on the funniest inside joke ever. Two of the most opposite people on the planet, at least on the surface, are in it for the long haul. Who would have thunk it?
I’m not going to go into the details of my engagement because I don’t think it matters, and, besides, wouldn’t that be a bit braggy? The truth is, as elated as I am to be taking the next step in my relationship and as spring chicken-like as I still feel, thank God, I wasn’t always so convinced that marriage was for me.
I’ve been with my boyfriend…er, fiancé for four years now. We met at a New Year’s Party. After overhearing this cocky idiot loudly proclaiming to a group of people that he would never “date a girl who lived in Brooklyn,” I chimed in with my own loudmouthed remark about his idiocy. Fast-forward two hours, and we were making out. Fast-forward five months, and I was living in Brooklyn. With him. Did I mention I rarely lose a fight?
I’ve always been a bit of an independent spirit. I like seeing movies alone, adore solo nights sitting on my couch watching America’s Top Model with a bottle of wine and a bowlful of mac ‘n’ cheese, and really don’t consider myself much of a team player. Being part of romantic “team” never really worked for me, until I met someone who made me want to play hard, but nice.
Since almost the beginning of our relationship I’ve been mentally preparing myself for getting engaged -– not because I’m the type of chick who has kept a wedding album filled with clipped photos of fancy ball gowns and blush and bashful-colored roses since I was 12 -– but because I was totally terrified. I’ve got the usual baggage to explain my fear –- parents who divorced when I was in college and a general mistrust of men and their motives, not to mention a lil’ bit of a doomsday perspective on never-ending happiness in general—the proof is in the therapy bills!
My fiancé is the opposite. His parents are wonderfully, happily married. Like me, he has a short list of trusted confidants, but his trust is 100 percent, whereas mine has always hovered somewhere between 80 and 99 percent. He also has an admirable faith in me and in our future. It sounds cheesy, but early on in our relationship, whenever we’d hit a roadblock (different outlooks on family, location, and, gulp, politics) and I would express my fear that maybe we wouldn’t work, he would say, “Don’t worry. I know this is going to last.” To which I would reply, “Yeah, but how do you know?” because my nature is to demand solid evidence to go along with any emphatic statement.
“I just do.”
I didn’t think being engaged would change any of that. But it has. While I was never sure that marriage was for me, I am now a million-percent sure that he is and that whatever unforeseen circumstances may arise, I can trust in his faith as much as I didn’t quite trust my own. And at the end of the day, as traditional a step as marriage may be, ours will be as for us as possible—and that will apply to the wedding, too. You know, when I get around to planning it.
Original by Amelia McDonell-Parry