Wednesday, July 31, 2013


...I got engaged. And below I'm gonna gush and talk about real life stuff. So. Ya know. Feel free to skip if you're not about the feeeeelings. Which I'm not even usually about.

Mom, "It's good you got your nails done!" "It's WHY I got my nails done!"

Yeah. I'm as shocked as you. And slightly terrified.

Maybe more than slightly? Maybe terrified is the wrong word. Anxious? This is BIG. Awesome. Wonderful. Wanted. But big.

In between the moving and the new job and the regular life stuff, I went and, like, fell in love and crap. And then he went and asked me to marry him because he is an insane person who for whatever reason wants to put up with me for the rest of his life. To the point that he's willing to move from the metropolitan city of Vancouver to the decidedly not at all metropolitan cow town where I currently reside so maybe we should check in on his mental health status? (Also: if you have immigration tips, those would be appreciated.)

All being flip aside, he's incredibly wonderful and I'm excited about this.

More real talk: I never thought I'd get married. I was perfectly fine hooking up and having wonderful friends. I'd made my peace with that awhile ago. I never thought anyone would want to put up with *waves hands* all this. Which, again, was fine. I'm a royal pain in the ass. I don't want to put up with me most days. This wasn't even on my radar. And then...

I also didn't think anyone would put up with internet me. I had kept it separate in my past relationships. There was real life me and internet me and never the twain did meet. I didn't think whoever I was with would "get" it. And I honestly didn't trust whoever I was with at the time enough to share that side of me. (Probably dooming those relationships from the get go, but that's a different ball of wax.) A lot of the internet writing is raw nerve endings and real world me is a little more reserved. The place where I share all my feelings doesn't have my name attached (unless you dig a bit, I'm sure) and the place where everyone knows my name doesn't have feelings attached. My mother oft laments that I never share anything. (Which, uh, hi mom I'm dating a nice Canadian boy and we're getting married!) I didn't see a lot of ways, or even attempt to, reconcile those two halves.

Unexpectedly, this person who knows errrything became the one I ended up with. And I trust him completely. He has never once disapproved of my behavior or scolded me or suggested I act differently. He knows every drunken story I've ever published and laughed with me and been amazing about it. It's...comforting, to feel that completely accepted. Well, almost completely accepted. He's not sold on romcoms or spas and has trepidations on high tea (which makes no sense, being as a Canadian he's practically British). Though in fairness I may have 'never have to attend a Rush concert' written into a prenup. We all have our lines. (Though live tweeting a Rush concert seems like an amazing opportunity for snark. (Sorry, babe!))

A lot of people are going to ask how we met. There's no real short answer to that, but I'll try. My former internet guy BFF Andy was friends with Andrew through some blogging they did. Andrew and I had some twitter exchanges, which because he followed us both, Andy witnessed. Based solely on Andy's vouching for Andrew to me as one of the nicest guys he has ever known, I told Andrew if he ever wanted to make our exchanges more than 140 characters, he could do that and gave him my gchat name. (I was likely tipsy when I did this, but just a guess.) And thus began a very polite gchat friendship. Early on I remember frustratingly asking Andy if Andrew liked me as a girl or just wanted to be friends. I wasn't necessarily interested, I was just interested in attention. What? I'm human. I think Andy did whatever the internet version of shrugging is, I figured out I didn't care, I dropped it and continued our friendship. Which mostly meant me blabbing endlessly about the various messes I got into and him being polite and Canadian and listening to me.

I followed the internet version of never making the first move by never IMing him first. Which would turn out to be hilariously ironic as he always thought he was bugging me and didn't want to IM me too much.

Our friendship went on for almost three years. Me, being older, would encourage him to get into all the trouble. And as with most guys I know, he would demure and say it wasn't his style. (Oh yeah, there's a not insubstantial age difference that gave me pause for a bit. But I get to have a hot younger husband forever so GO ME!) I encouraged him to try online dating. I also realized I couldn't encourage him to do something I wasn't doing, so I signed up. Again.

Then one night we flipped a switch. I had been at the LSU alumni crawfish boil day drinking. And then a bar with friends night drinking. I'd bought a growler of Abita at the crawfish boil from the mermaid looking bartender. After I dropped my friends off at their house, I had the growler tucked on the floor of the back seat of the car. And as I took a turn I heard the lid pop and my car fill with the smell of beer. I blame entirely my engineer friend for not securing it better. But it would be a serendipitous mistake. 

I arrived at my dad's house and switched to whiskey. And began an eight hour conversation that ended after dawn with Andrew. But for the switch to whiskey, maybe none of this happens. Remember that internet dating thing? We got into a conversation about that and how awful it was and what little luck we were having, and in, his words, "the least dirty version of 'I'll show you mine if you show me yours'", we exchanged profiles to critique. After small talk about that, I looked closer and realized that it said we were an 84% match based on whatever algorithm they run, while also recognizing to take it with a grain of salt. I laughed and shook my head at the irony of it. At which point he said, "Well. It's not exactly wrong?" To which I guffawed heartily.

Because gchat archives everything, it was hilarious to reread the conversation later. It goes something like this: "Wait, are you saying you're interested in me?" "Yes." "AHAHAHA why didn't you say anything for YEARS?" "*shrug* you said you wouldn't date younger guys" "Self defense mechanism! We can't do this anyway. You're in Canada. This is a horrible idea. Long distance is awful. The worst. You have no idea. I've done it. Nope. Never." Several hours pass. "Well. But. Maybe? When do you want to visit?"

And that was it. Even before Andrew and I got together, I had been out sowing my wild oats and avoiding relationships because I knew that whatever came next was going to be big. And I knew how much responsibility relationships were and that I didn't want to have to tread lightly and not be a jerk because of someone's feelings. I still freak out every so often. Right before I gave myself food poisoning (see previous post), I'd given some big dramatic speech about how even though I loved him, I needed to be MY OWN PERSON! before he could move here. I may have immediately changed my mind and wanted nothing more than him here after puking my guts up for the better part of a day. I am incredibly fallible.

And on that: we're pretty role reversed from your standard sitcom fair. I'm the freaked out commitmentphobe while he's slow and steady and so very very sure, all of which, when he gives me time to buck like a horse being broken, I eventually come around to. His patience and understanding is really quite phenomenal and so unexpected. I'm the reformed wild-ish child while he's seriously every mother's dream, though he'll argue that point. (Sorry, I'm gushing...Oh, and I have a very obviously broken emotions chip, which he has no problem with.)

So after an entirely too short time dating by most conventional standards and WAY less by everyone just lives together forever in SF standards, he asked me to marry him.

I did my best to ruin that, as a naturally suspicious observant person. Thanks, cop parents! We went to a nice dinner in cow town one Friday night. Because he was being squirrely, I went through his jacket when he went to the bathroom and found the ring box. My friend Nick, when I recounted this story yelled at me, "WHY YOU GOTTA BE THAT WAY!? Why girls gotta ruin it!? Just GO WITH IT! Even if you know it's coming!" Nick made me laugh. I immediately, upon finding the box and with Andrew still in the bathroom, texted my friend Irene and said, "Andrew's in the bathroom & I just went through his jacket & there's an engagement ring & I'm gonna diiiieeeeeeeeee." Her response was, "Holy shit! That's what you get for looking!" Which. That's pretty on point.

He then took me to a park in cow town. Because he is ridiculously sincere and Canadian he didn't realize that parks a) close at night and b) close at night because they are full of sketchy homeless people even in cow towns. (Canadian friend's husband on going to Canada with her, "The only thing black here are the squirrels. No wonder you're so naive.") He also, unbeknownst to him, knew my office was near said park, but didn't realize on the bridge we were standing, I was spitting distance from it. Nothing says romance like being right by the office!

All of which doesn't matter at all when a guy actually asks you to marry him under an almost full moon over a creek. My adrenaline was of course pumping so I asked him later what I said. He said, "You laughed, said yes, and then yelled at me for just handing you the box and not opening it." I had to laugh. That sounds about EXACTLY like what I would do. Seriously, I'm an asshole and that anyone wants to deal with this forever is BEYOND me.

I would continue to be a selfish jerk by mentioning my vague disappointment at getting engaged in cow town and not either of the gorgeous metropolitan cities with sweeping seaside views that are our hometowns. Do you know what he said to that? DO YOU!? "Well. That's fair. But. This is the place where we're gonna start our lives together so it feels appropriate." D'awwww. I was like the Grinch when his heart grows three sizes that day. Real real talk and OMG I'm gonna have to pull this post because way too many 'I have feelings' admissions but: he really does make me a better person which is just so phenomenal in so many ways.

So. Now we're here. And I HATE weddings and cringe at the mere thought of planning one so whatever happens next is gonna be the opposite of any of those Say Yes to the Dress type shows I only have cursory knowledge of. (Truly. I don't do wedding shows, for all my romcom watching.) (Though I'd be lying if I said I hadn't been randomly perusing Pinterest lately, that bastion of all things girly, and liking a lot of things that have purple and gold wedding themes. It's an illness.) (My dear friend David said he wouldn't come to an all purple and gold wedding. I immediately cringed at my choices. But also realized he was right. I can't have it looking like a tailgate. Accents. Very few accents.) (Yes, I realize the confusion in "I hate this...but here's what I think!" I confuse myself. Often.) /girly admissions

Now my two cents on love because I'm a goddamn expert now: I think through whatever media you look at, people expect fireworks and flashbulbs and intense, burning desire. That burning sensation is chlamydia. This is a slow, steady smolder. And it's fantastic. It's not a need, it's a want. (Mostly. I spend a lot of time saying things like, "I miss you! And I hate you for making me having feelings!" I'm telling you: broken emotion chip.) It's having someone you can have intense conversations about a myriad of topics with and engage in discourse with, without it being fighting. It's disagreeing about small things, which sometimes turn into big arguments, but being able to compromise easily. Girls who follow that trope that you have to date an asshole: don't. Stop. You have no reason to. There are genuine nice guys who will treat you amazingly out there and if you have enough sheer, dumb luck, you may stumble across one like I did. (Not that I think I followed that trope. Mostly.)

Now, for more on the above part about fear, which goes with the love too: it exists. I worry about him being younger and changing his mind. I worry about me with a horrible track record of getting bored and changing my mind of doing that. I worry about the several differences, including cultural ones. (Canada is weird, you guys. True story: The toilet paper debate made so much sense to me once I read that blog. So did the constantly tripping over shoes left by the front door.) I worry about a lot of things. But then I don't worry at all. It's a risk I'm completely willing to take. That I somehow know I'm with the right person and that whatever happens next will be fine, and likely better than fine. 

So. Yeah. That happened.

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