L. and I got engaged two years ago, in the rain, at Ikea. (It’s a whole story–ask me sometime and I’ll tell you.)
It wasn’t a storybook engagement, or probably even romantic to anyone but us, but for me, it was perfect. It was both its own thing that reflected us so completely and the complete opposite of my failed engagement years earlier. (I say failed, but I should probably say successful, in the sense that breaking that engagement was one of the best decisions I ever made.) When my ex asked me to marry him, there was no joyful anticipation, no surprise. I vividly remember thinking, ‘no, don’t ask me this, don’t ask me this, don’t ask me this’ as he went down on one knee. But he did, and I said yes, because isn’t that what you’re supposed to do when someone asks you to marry him?
Don’t worry, I’ve learned a lot since then.
Saying yes to L. was a completely different experience, and it preluded an entirely different engagement period. I headed off to Europe for a couple months soon after that, and we spent a good chunk of the next year separated from each other by the Atlantic ocean, eight hours of time difference, and 5000+ miles. In some ways, I was saying goodbye to my old life as I was making plans for my new one. And sometimes (often), it’s hard to be so far away from friends and family and a culture that I love and miss dearly.
But meeting and marrying L. felt like coming home, and for that, I would happily travel thousands of miles more.