Tuesday, February 18, 2014
Charlotte and Beau Get Engaged!
Yup, we did it. Beau and I got engaged and we told the world.
We'd been planning to wait for a bit longer but it was Valentine's Day and I was feeling full of love for Beau, so I called him and said we should just go ahead and do it, right here and now. It just kind of felt like the right time: we'd just found a wonderful 1949 home, it was Valentine's Day... Why not?
True, getting engaged on Valentine's Day might be a bit cheesy, but what the heck? Getting married will be the most "mainstream" thing I've ever done so I might as well do it all the way, right? sparkly red hearts and all.
I really honestly never thought it would happen for me. After all, I'd reached middle age without finding that special someone. I didn't mind being single. I did not feel the need to have a partner, though I was not averse to it.
Plus, to be honest, I thought I was too emotionally damaged by the abuse I endured in my childhood to ever be able to love or be loved in any kind of a healthy way.
But, when Beau came along, well, he was just it, pretty much right away. I think I knew before we even met in person.
We met online, if you can believe it. He was drawn particularly to two sentences in my online profile: "You are iconoclastic but not allergic to theists," and, "I appreciate a man with a large vocabulary." I'm a bit cheeky. (He actually didn't get that joke about a large vocabulary until later. Can you believe it?)
When he wrote to me, I thought he was too young and too hot for me; he's all of four years and eight months younger than I am but my self-esteem was very low then. I thought he'd take one look at me and think I was too old and too fat for him. That's not what happened.
We met in person for the first time in this cafe, and we hang out here a lot, so it's fitting that this is where we ended up taking photos for our engagement. We hadn't really planned it. We just said we'd meet for coffee to talk about whether we were sure we wanted to announce our engagement on Valentine's Day. Without having discussed it beforehand, we both dressed up. Sympatico?
Two years ago, on that first date, the first thing that appealed to me about Beau was that he really truly listened when I spoke, and responded thoughtfully. He had a lot to offer in a conversation and was fully engaged (ha ha) in our discussion. He was clearly very vibrant -- intellectually, spiritually, and emotionally questing. This was not a man with whom I would stagnate.
I was right. We have both helped each other grow and change a lot since we met. Everyone remarks upon it.
This being our neighbourhood, a very friendly place indeed, and our local hangout, we had no trouble finding friends to take these photos. We just handed them my phone and said, "Go for it." This accounts for many of the photos being a bit blurry but that's okay. This was a rather spontaneous thing, after all.
The couple who took the photographs had brought their little granddaughters, both in pretty red dresses for Valentine's Day. Their older granddaughter was transfixed by the idea that we were getting married and wanted to give us a present. She came up to us and held out her treasured pack of gum, offering us some.
The above images are of me realizing that Beau was rather conspicuously chewing said gum while we were being photographed. He stopped. The photograph session continued.
Beau and I have known for almost a year that we plan to get married so I was surprised by how making this fact public made me feel. I thought it would be no big deal, but I was very excited, nervous, and even shy. I wasn't expecting that at all.
I could now take this space to intellectually ruminate on all sorts of things I thought about that day: marriage, engagement, culture, heteronormativity, the role of marriage in the mainstream... blah blah blah. No doubt, in future posts, I will do just that.
But, for now, that's not the important thing. The important thing is that I'm very very fond of Beau.
Even after two years, I can't believe my good fortune in having found him. It still feels like a fairy tale: too good to be true. I love him more and more as time goes on: his tenderness, his intellect, his silliness, his questing nature, his handsome face and tall frame...
In short, I'm in love with the man, so I want to marry him. It's pretty simple, really.
And he's pretty darned fond of me too! Lucky me!
We're a very good fit. We work well together.
We're both brainiacs, we're both very sensitive, we're both introverts...
... we're both kind of geeky and never really fit in, nor had any particular desire to do so.
We both have similar leftie ethics and do our best to live lives of integrity. Our lifestyles match. Our beliefs match.
So we're getting married.
It's as simple and astounding as that.
Labels: My Neighbourhood