Once upon a time,
I met the love of my life.
We fell in love, immediately,
Declared our love, loudly,
In the streets,
Burst out into song,
And had little bluebirds land on our fingertips as our hands joined together to form a perfect heart.
You know better than that, by now.
The truth is,
I met my husband,
Our relationship grew,
We fell in love,
And saw a future together.
Let me just say,
Before I met my husband,
I had no intention of settling down.
I had my fantasies of getting married and starting a family, but they were in my distant horizon,
not my rear view mirror
(you know, objects may be closer than they appear).
However, as soon as we were together together, I couldn’t imagine my life without him,
And I wanted that life to start as soon as possible.
Not that I was in a rush.
Except, I kind of was.
I couldn’t wait to make things official,
to know more than just knowing that I would be his,
he would be mine,
and we would be each other’s forever.
Five months after we started dating, we made the mutual decision to move in together,
And by mutual, I mean that I probably hinted that I thought it was a good idea.
And by hinted, I mean that I probably brought it up, relentlessly, until my husband got the message.
And by message, I mean demand.
I’m not that bad.
In truth, we were ready to start our lives together in a small, yet meaningful way,
And that meant getting a place of our own.
Everyone had always told me that you never really know someone until you live with them.
Well, in that case, I not only liked what I knew, I loved what I knew.
I loved grocery shopping together, cooking dinners together,
Hanging paintings, doing our collective laundry, picking out linens,
You know, all of the small, beautiful, every day things that are so amazing when you are in love. And newly in love.
And then it came time for the ring.
No, not the engagement ring.
The Promise Ring.
When I write about the promise ring, I have a strange mix of wanting to sigh with sentimentality, and cringe with, well…cringe worthiness.
We decided to get promise rings to symbolize our promise to one another that we would be getting engaged and then married.
As much as it makes me feel a bit silly to talk about,
There was something so special and solid about being able to look down at my ring finger to see this small, thin, silver band wrapped around it.
It was a placeholder.
It holds a place in my heart.
As my mom would explain, we were “engaged to be engaged”.
So, my husband and I each walked around wearing these rings
So, whereas I looked like I was wearing a pretty, silver ring on my ring finger,
The husband totally looked married.
Hey, I was cool with it.
So, a month or two passed and my desire (read: desperation) to be engaged really kicked in. I don’t know why I felt such a strong need to make it official, but I did.
It’s like that famous quote from When Harry Met Sally. You know,
“…I love that you are the last person I want to talk to before I go to sleep at night. And it’s not because I’m lonely, and it’s not because it’s New Year’s Eve. I came here tonight because when you realize you want to spend the rest of your life with somebody, you want the rest of your life to start as soon as possible.”
On a muggy Friday that August, my husband and I made a plan to spend the next day in town, going to lunch and doing some shopping. Well, the night before our date, I decided to try out a new drink “set” with some of my friends.
Can you tell we were newly legal?
I know, child bride.
Well, these fun little sets came with funky martini glasses, special glass decorations and colorful rim sugar. I can’t tell you what kind of cocktails we were drinking that night, but I can tell you that they were plentiful and that they were rimmed in blue, sugary crystals.
I woke up the next morning feeling awful; nauseas, head-achey, tired, and with a bright blue mouth. I am not exaggerating, my entire mouth—lips, teeth, tongue, the works—was stained Smurf.
And little did I know what my husband had planned for us that very day…