Saturday, May 18, 2013

Rules of Engagement (more like "guidelines", really)

This past week, Husband and I marked our 15th wedding anniversary. (Note to self: pause for cheering and applause, while casting a serene, dignified smile to the crowd, graciously acknowledging our legions of know, somewhat how I picture Will and Kate behaving...and yes, I DO have a rich fantasy life, so what?) Ahem....except on this, a milestone year, it was a great deal less "celebrate" and a whole lot more..."medicate". You see, even as we speak--um, type--Husband remains in the clutches of a nasty sinus infection. So, not only did that put the kibosh on a grown-up-night-out type of activity, it also ensured that any "congratulations, honey" hugs and smooches were of the virtual kind...from across the room, where the germs couldn't reach. Hey, we did make that whole "sickness and health" promise, just for times such as these, right? (In this case, I think they should add to the vows, the heretofore unspoken yet highly applicable "And thank goodness for prescription drugs. Amen.")

My point is (I know, I know: hallelujah, she finally got to it) that I won't be regaling you with a charming little tale of how we spent our special night (which would be a terrible story, since it can be summed up by "Husband retired early and slept downstairs in the spare bedroom, such that his horrific honking and scary snoring wouldn't prevent the entire household from getting any rest",) Rather, it occurred to me that I've never officially chronicled the Engagement Saga for posterity. (You know, "posterity"--their names are Derek and Riley...) I assume that someday in the future--after they've successfully navigated the (completely scientifically accurate...or 100% author-fabricated...your call) developmental stages of Oblivious to the Opposite Sex and Ewwww, Girls--they'll be interested in how their parents agreed to get married. (Or they will possibly leapfrog directly to the mindset of Mom+Dad+Romance=Cause to Barf. Whatever, I'm setting it down anyway. They can just keep a bag nearby...)

Here goes: after Boyfriend and I long-distance dated for two years, he moved to my town and we set up house together. (Okay, technically "apartment", but it just doesn't sound right...) Things were good, relationship-wise, and we'd already discussed all kinds of topics that fall under the heading of Hypothetical Future Plans--things like getting married, having kids...correctly folding t-shirts and loading the dishwasher... (Incidentally, these last two are still works in progress...) We'd even gone so far as to speculate about what season we'd like to hold our theoretical wedding...which leads us to one night at a local watering hole (Ah, Flanagan's, we mourn your passing...). Boyfriend and I were chatting over a few pints, when he tossed out a totally flippant remark, something along the lines of "if I ever get around to proposing..." Well. I blame it on the Harp, but I couldn't stop myself from shooting him a dagger of a glance. He caught it, and pressed me to divulge the meaning behind my glare. After briefly considering the potential ramifications, I plowed ahead (still blaming the adult beverage), "It's May now, and weddings take a year to plan. So if we'd like to get married NEXT May, as we sort of decided, time's ticking away."

In my (flawless, of course--ha!) memory, I recall his mouth hanging open for a bit as he floundered for a suitable response...then he just sort of gave up and changed the subject. We finished our evening without further incident, and nothing more was said about the issue. Then, three weeks later on a beautiful day in early June, we set out to enjoy the fresh air and sunshine while hiking at Sugarloaf Mountain. We walked and talked for a while, until we came to a scenic overlook with some convenient rocks for sitting and snacking. Boyfriend reached into his waist pack (no comments, please) and pulled out...chapstick. He stared at it thoughtfully for a moment, then began a soliloquy about how we could share the chapstick, and how he'd like to do just that, which point he pulled out and presented the ring he'd been concealing during our outdoor adventure. (He probably will be mortified that I remember any of that conversation...but I'm a GIRL, he should have known it would become Family Lore...and unfortunately for him, recorded...and shared...with the whole wide world. Maybe someone should have warned him about the perils of marrying a writer...with a computer and an Internet connection!)

Obviously, I accepted the ring and the marriage proposal. But there's a postscript to this narrative. After all of that excitement, Fiancee proceeded to get us lost on the way back to the car. We wandered around on the trail for longer than we had planned, until he got us straightened out and pointed in the right direction. I can't say that I minded, though, as I was far too busy tripping over rocks in my path every few yards...because I was staring at my own new, shiny, sparkly stone, rather than paying any attention at all to my much-less-fascinating, dusty hiking boots. Sooooo, that's the lowdown on how Irish libations greased the wheels, if you will, and led in a roundabout way to fifteen years of marriage. Given our current circumstances, we will raise a toast with a nice, warm mug of tea (to wash down the Amoxicillan)...and maybe schedule a commemorative hike when Husband banishes his bacteria...and look forward to whatever the next year may bring!

(See, boys, admit that wasn't so bad...I even left out any mention whatsoever of icky kissing. You're welcome.)

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