Being Engaged: It’s Not So Bad!

You might remember back in December when I was home for the holidays my mom passed down my great-grandmother’s engagement ring and I debated whether to use it for my own engagement. At the time, my boyfriend, Drew, and I were talking marriage pretty seriously and I knew I needed to make a decision about the ring soon or at least point Drew in the right direction for a different option. The family heirloom was mine to keep whatever I decided to do with it, so I brought it back to New York with me and thought about it for a few weeks. When one of my best friends — a gay guy with incredible taste — came to visit from Chicago, I showed him the ring and he all but declared I MUST use it as an engagement ring.
“You really think so?” I asked, studying it on my finger.

“Definitely,” he replied, “It’s unique, it’s eclectic, it’s really pretty — it’s totally you!”

I waited a few more days just to be sure and finally made a definition decision. I liked that the ring had special meaning…and I figured the money Drew saved on buying something new could be used towards funding a wedding, or even better, a honeymoon! About two weeks ago I gave Drew the ring and instructed him to have it sized and give it back to me when he felt ready. Sure, we both knew what my answer would be when he proposed, and we could have skipped the formality, but it was something we both wanted, something special we knew we’d always remember.

Drew and I have a tradition of meeting up right after work on Fridays for a Happy Hour drink to kick off the weekend. This past Friday, he called me up after he left the office and lured me to Central Park for a quick walk in the cold with the promise of wine at this fancy hotel bar we’d discovered when some friends were visiting over New Year’s.

“I really like the park when it’s all snowy like this,” Drew said after I met him at the entrance and we started our walk.

“Hmm,” I replied, “It’s really cold, though!”

“Well, we’ll just walk a little bit and then head over to the hotel bar,” he said, “we have to go this way, anyway.”

And then, just as we were crossing a little bridge, Drew said, “Oh, what’s that?” and I peered over the ledge and saw a written proposal in big sidewalk chalk on the ground below. As I turned back around, he got down on his knee, pulled out the ring, and popped the question. It was kind of like I was in a play or something and had suddenly forgotten my lines. Drew said it felt like an eternity, but I think it was probably, like, I don’t know, 15 seconds maybe? Finally, I remembered it was my turn to say something and, of course, I said ‘yes.’

Afterwards, we headed to the hotel where Drew had reserved a room for us with a “romance package,” which, as far as I could tell, included a bottle of champagne that the staff took FOREVER to bring to us, and a daisy in a bud vase. And the “spa-like” bathroom Drew was promised? It was a teensy bathroom with a chipped tub and a broken shower head. But, hey, when you’re brand-newly engaged and getting drunk off the bubbly, these sorts of things have a way of seeming sort of hilarious.

Anyway, the big surprise so far hasn’t been the proposal, but how much I actually like being engaged. I’m one of those people who has kind of dreaded being engaged, not because I haven’t been excited about the idea of spending my life with someone I love, but because the idea of planning a wedding makes me nauseous. Coincidentally, I read this post on Jezebel the day after Drew proposed and felt myself nodding along to most of it. Like Hortense, I’m not the kid of chick who gets excited about wedding details. But so far — and maybe it’s because it’s only been a few days and I haven’t actually done any planning yet — being engaged is pretty great. Dare I say, I might actually be getting a little excited about having a (small…very small) wedding with our families and closest friends? I don’t know what’s happened to me! It’s almost like all this love has gone to my head or something. But don’t worry, I’m sure my angst and cynicism will return just as soon as the proposal high wears off. In the meantime, I think I’ll use my new status as an “Officially Engaged Person” as an excuse to go taste some cake (and eat it, too, natch).