Emily Engaged Getting Engaged (Is Not Like The Movies) Emily Dubinsky

As a proud owner of a brand-new 2011 fiancé, I’m here to tell you the truth: getting engaged is not like the movies. Or if it were, it would be less like [insert romantic movie here] and more like [insert drunken party movie here]. You know how it goes: nervous Boyfriend gets down on one knee and time slows down. He eloquently expresses his feelings to captivated Girlfriend, who gets just teary-eyed enough not to ruin her make-up. They share a perfect kiss before a multiple-carat rock is gracefully slid onto the hand of Girlfriend, now Fiancée.

In real life, at least for me, it was more like being a tiny bit drunk. I was so shocked that I wasn’t fully processing the situation. I knew he was saying important things but as soon as I saw the ring box, I couldn’t hear his actual words. I remember being more in my own head (“Here? Now? What do I do? How do I say ‘yes’ in a cute but not cheesy way?”) and less in the moment than I would prefer. I regret being so distracted by surprise that I didn’t memorize exactly how his face looked when he asked me to marry him.

Before I knew it, I said yes. Passersby cheered and the obligatory post-proposal picture had been snapped. My memory of it is Sunday-hangover hazy, like being vaguely aware of the fact that I memorized the steps to Robyn’s ‘Call Your Girlfriend’ video in that one guy’s kitchen, but not remembering enough to pinpoint how it all began (hypothetically, of course).

The proposal was kind of awkward, and involved a stuffed monkey and fried Kool-Aid (we were at the LA County Fair). We were both insanely nervous; he had to confirm that I said yes and I had to ask him to put the ring on my finger (he wasn’t sure if that was a “thing”). I consider it a small miracle that I didn’t pass right out. But, reflecting on our three-year relationship, some of our best moments have been the weirdest ones, so why should this be any different?

So, you know, it may not have been a perfect movie moment, but I think that’s okay. The fact that I’ve found a perfect movie-watching partner—that leaves me pretty happy about the whole situation.

Image via Heather’s Glen

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  1. Fortunately, my fiance is not of the eloquent variety and forgot his speech and then made due with “I love you. Will you marry me?” But I totally agree…I was totally shell shocked for an hour or so.

  2. Cannot wait for that!!!!!

  3. Thanks everyone! It’s so nice to know that I’m not the only one who felt this way. :)

  4. First Off Congratulation~and I agree with you~we need to stop associating our relationship to Romantic comedies because they are not~that’s all~ I am happy for you~:)

  5. I’m that way too. My husband proposed to me at home on our couch after a night out, right after midnight (so it was my birthday). I barely remember the things he said, it was more about being shocked. So the next day, we’re with my family celebrating Easter, and my grandma asked him what he said when he proposed. I thought, thank god! I totally didn’t remember some of the stuff he had said until he told her about it. Thanks to grandma, I could put the pieces together. :)

  6. I am SO relieved that I’m not the only one who couldn’t hear the actual words. Also, my husband will never live down the fact that he took me to IHOP for dinner before he proposed. :)

  7. My fiancé also didn’t know that putting the ring on my finger “was a thing”. He gave me the box and I asked him to put it on, then he tried to put it on my middle finger… There needs to be some sort of class or instructional book for these guys (and for us too).

  8. I can’t remember a single thing my husband said! I kind of thought I was being callous, I’m glad to see other people had the same reaction. :)

  9. One of my good friends just got engaged, and this is the video her now-fiance made to do it.

    It warms my icy heart.

    http://vimeo.com/29196564

  10. You are soooo right. I mean, really. I was exactly like this. My fiance proposed to me earlier this year after dinner at my sister’s. We were on a bridge in the middle of the city, and that’s all I really remember. He tells me that he said really sweet cheesy-pie things, but I don’t remember them. Thankfully I do remember saying yes, and I remember the huge grin across his face. Anyhoo, I love your blogs. :]

  11. Awww…congratulations! I was proposed to in a White Castle parking lot, but then got a do-over when he got the ring. He proposed to me on the rooftop of the museum where we were planning on being married. I was totally shocked with that one…the only surprise that has ever been pulled over on me. I wish you both lots of love and happiness, and just enough hard times to make the good ones even better.

  12. Congrats! Have a blast planning! And remember that a marriage isn’t about the day, its about the future. :) (and that everyone is going to give you advice too!)

  13. 0h, the whole wedding thing goes by like that too unfortunately. concentrate on having fun with your planning and less on making everything perfect and it will be awesome. congrats!

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