Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Pre-Engagement Is Apparently A Thing (WHO KNEW?)

I certainly did not, at least not before today.

I spent a lot of time on APW today, just bouncing from blog to blog, depending on what caught my fancy. I started with the most recent posts, and wandered leisurely from there. For whatever reason, I tend to not browse any of the categories, but today, my mouse scrolled over "Dilemmas" and there, as though waiting for me, was "Engagements & Proposals" - I hadn't even known the tag existed, but I am so very glad I found it.

Apparently, to be Pre-Engaged is to be in the restless limbo that lingers after you've discussed The Future in excruciating detail with your significant other, but before he has actually popped the question (or, before you have popped the question - in my case, I have had moments where I've wanted to propose to him, but we discussed it, and it was very much something that he has been looking forward to doing). Whether or not you've been ring shopping seems to vary depending on the individuals involved, but it seems like most of us have at least expressed a style we like.

I've been ring shopping since October. And that is an entire post in and of itself, but I wanted to wait until I actually had the ring to post it. Regardless, I picked out a ring (several times...) and just last week he ordered it. I think it was shipped today, which means we will (hopefully) get it soon. I won't know, because he had it shipped to his parents' house (I can't decide if this is more or less maddening) so he'll be able to hang onto it for as little or long as he wants.

Logically, this is ok with me. He - unbeknownst to me at the time - went down to Maryland this past Saturday to ask my dad for his blessing, and it went about as well (maybe even slightly better) than we had been hoping. And that was such an integral part of this process for me, that really everything else feels like it wall magically fall into place.

Emotionally, I'm kind of a mess. Because I'm the kind of girl who would be perfectly happy if, one evening while we're cozy on the couch watching a movie, he put his arm around me and asked me then. No fanfare, no production.

But he has a plan. And I am desperately trying to respect this because I know it's going to happen Sometime This Spring, so really I've got, at worst, two and a half agonizing months looming ahead of me - he taunts me on occasion about Spring continuing through the Summer Solstice. And because The Proposal is something he's been thinking about, probably for years, I want to let him have this. So I have to be patient, and let him orchestrate whatever production he wants.

But it's hard.

I'm more at peace with it now than I was this morning, but I still have a long way to go.

We were at dinner for his mom's birthday when he told me he had gone to Maryland that morning (I thought he was having a boys' day with his pals). And I sort of - froze. I went through the motions the rest of the evening while we were at dinner, but once we got home I kind of...shut down. And I felt so ashamed and so worried that this was some kind of Sign, and so panicked because suddenly, after eight solid months of really discussing this, it was becoming real.

I'm lucky, because he told me that we could wait to get engaged. That I could take all the time I needed. But it wasn't that I needed time. It was just the overwhelming emotions that come with such life-altering transitions. And I am at peace with that, thanks to the ladies of APW.

There is a story about one girl who vomited when her boyfriend proposed. Meg was giddy and then burst into sobs - like, ugly, heart-wrenching sobs.

And there are more stories of women reacting in ways that we aren't supposed to react. Or at least, society would have you believe. And because of that, they felt shame. They felt like something was wrong with them. And I felt like something was wrong with me, and he hasn't even proposed yet.

Lucky for me, I read all of these comments and blogs prior to The Proposal, and I mentioned to him that my reaction, apparently, appears to be somewhat universal (perhaps moreso than the giddy, perfect euphoria we're told we're supposed to experience?), and that when he asks, while I will most certainly say some variation of YES OF COURSE OMG FINALLY, he must not be deterred when I undoubtedly go quiet and distant, and at worst, sob ugly, heart-wrenching sobs.

Lucky for me, he trusts me enough to believe me :)

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