It took a while to find an appropriate photo for this post, a nice one of Shawn and me together (this one is rather silly, but that just might be fitting). There is a surprising dearth of pictures of us, given the amount of time that we have been together. What I did find were hundreds of pictures of places we have been, pictures of me holding his little nieces and nephew, my own little niece in his arms, infatuated. Pictures of his family folding me in and mine his, friends, too. I found pictures of our apartment when it was new, lovely and bare bones, and our old apartment cramped and packed full. Stunning landscapes. Farmers market veggies in the sun. A goldmine of terrible pictures of yours truly lolling about the apartment, making ridiculous faces in a variety of beautiful places, pictures I would never want to share, a testament to the fact that Shawn must really, really love me to think such moments are lovely and worthy of documentation. Ah love.
After all my big talk about Valentine’s Day, platonic love, being content to be single and surrounded by love on that day, after sticky buns and ruby rosas (my version of the mimosa — pink grapefruit juice and prosecco instead of OJ and champagne — holler if you have a better name for this beverage) and afternoon coffees, Shawn suggested that we walk across the Brooklyn Bridge before dinner. Always happy to walk, I jumped at the offer. The light on the bridge was crazy — bold and golden coming in off the harbor, stormy blue over Manhattan — and I made him stop to snap a few photos as we walked. When we got to the first support towers, the Brooklyn side, he asked if I minded stopping. It was very windy. It crossed my mind to suggest moving to the other side of the tower where we would be more shielded, but I did not get the words out. Even I was able to pick up on social cues and realize that it is impolite to suggest moving when one’s boyfriend is getting down on bended knee, fumbling in his pocket for your great-grandmother’s ring, asking you to be his wife.
I was not a little girl who dreamed about my wedding day. I have always been rather opposed to the wedding industry, the vast quantities of money spent on one day, couples starting married life in wedding debt. And yet, and yet…the past 10 days have been a flurry of phone calls, emails, DIY blog-reading, general daydream scheming. I am super excited. This will be a hippie, crafty, DIY affair. It may be a potluck, because I love potlucks, because I believe strongly that food is love, and because I want my people involved.
Time will tell. Crafts will be documented. I will do my best not to turn this here blog into a forum about how I’m obsessed with wedding planning (I vow not to go Bridezilla, but I can totally see how that happens now). But some people have been wanting a story, and this seemed as good a place as any to lay it out. So there you have it. After 4 years of co-habitation, 5 years of being together following less than a year (but my oh my did it feel like more) of being new BFFs (the kind where the boy was secretly in love with the girl), after baby-faced travels, hundreds of small adventures, amazing and heartening lessons learned, Mr. Shawn and I are opting to hold onto this relationship, this feeling of home and boundless support, this love, for the rest of our lives.
And that, my friends, is where my head has been.