Although weather reports called for rain, it ended up being a gorgeously sunny day, with birds chirping and green mountains rolling on beside us.
After checking out some of the sculptures and sitting on a bench made of nickels, Brian and I headed onto the art center’s tram and headed for the Wall.
We got off at Roy Lichtenstein’s Mermaid. We watched some turtles ducking in and out of the pond surrounding the sculpture.
Soon after that, he pulled a wrapped square box out of his pocket. The night before, he also surprised me with tickets to see Spring Awakening. It’s funny, although there was no holiday, anniversary, or other special occasion, I also gave him some gifts the night before: a printout promising to take him to Mama’s Vegetarian, site of our first date; a pin set from Herbivore that reads, “I’m vegan and I love you;” a bamboo cutlery set; and a card congratulating him on kicking ass during a very challenging term at school. I also told him I was ready to quit my job and move to Philly without other employment lined-up because the job search I’d been conducting while working full-time was not working and my shitty feelings about it were putting a serious strain on our relationship. We just need to be together. No more trains on the weekend and talking on the phone on weeknights even though we’re dead tired.
I opened the box Brian gave me to find a heart-shaped peridot charm on a silver chain. Simple and green-colored, my two favorite things. As I took the necklace out of the box, Brian got down on one knee and asked me to marry him.
My initial reaction was disbelief. Not because I didn’t think I’d marry Brian. Who else would I ever want to spend my life with? And not because we hadn’t talked about this (he told me before our second date over two years ago that he wanted to marry me). But because I couldn’t actually believe I was being proposed to. Because a big part of me from long ago still finds it hard to believe someone could love me this much. After reassuring me that his proposal was indeed sincere, I just started crying. After a minute or so of just holding onto one another, Brian—still on one knee—asked, “So, is that a yes?” And I said yes.
Then he pulled out another small wrapped box and inside was a pair of peridot earrings. I don’t wear a lot of jewelry and never wear rings so Brian said he wasn’t sure what kind and size of ring to get me. But I didn’t care. He could have wrapped a blade of grass around my finger and I would have been just as ecstatic and surprised.
So, we’re getting married! And I’m quitting my job and moving in with Brian. I am really happy and a little scared but everything is less scary with Brian around.
Just in case you’re curious:
-- We don’t yet know when or where we’re getting married. We’d like to try living in the same state for a while before breaking out the wedding planner (although I did just purchase my first issue of Brides. Holy super ad pages!). I also really need to focus on finding another job so I should not indulge my bridal fantasies too much right now.
-- I don’t know what dress I’m going to wear. So far, I’m leaning towards a slinky, Grecian gown or a tea-length dress.
-- I think we will be one of the few people who say, “We want a small wedding,” who actually end up having a small wedding.
-- I’m not changing my last name and neither will Brian. And we won’t do a hybrid of names either (Kantorlacios? Ewww.). And I don’t like the idea of hyphenating any future children’s names (I was given a hyphenated name by my parents and it’s a pain in the ass).
-- Yes, the food will be vegan but don’t be scared if you end up coming to the wedding and aren’t vegan. I will take care of you. You will eat so well. Food is my top priority in life and in this wedding. You’ve eaten my cookies and muffins, right? They were good, right? Okay, don’t worry. Nothing weird—just simple, delicious, and amazing food.
-- Finally, at the wedding, I would like to acknowledge that if you’re not a heterosexual couple, you can’t get married and I do have mixed feelings about my choosing to get married in light of this. I like Jessica Valenti’s idea for her own upcoming wedding. I’d also like to acknowledge here that the idea of marriage is super-loaded, both socially and personally (Brian and I are children of divorce, after all). I’m incredibly happy, excited, and giddy but this is one of the most grown-up decisions I’ve ever had to make so I’d be remiss in not mentioning The Dark Side of Things. Why are online vegans so damn serious? Offline, I am usually so silly.