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