The moment, through Chickadoodle’s eyes

Tuesday, July 15th, 2014, 5:30 PM

My team has exercised its constitutional inability to have meetings run on time or for the prescribed length of the meeting. I tear out of the office, hitting traffic and every single [censored] red light, and then, I’m home. The boyfriend and I are headed to the nice little Vietnamese restaurant a few blocks from our apartment to get dinner. It’s been exactly three and a half years since he first asked me out, and we figure that’s as fine an occasion as any to get dinner.

Tuesday, July 15th, 2014, 6:30 PM

After a wonderful dinner and the best freakin’ limeade on the face of this planet, we head back to our apartment to watch some Avatar: the Last Airbender. (I still haven’t seen the entire series. Don’t judge me.) I’m raring to get my laptop, but the boyfriend steers me towards the couch, insisting that he has something to give me.

I am handed this little book. I thumb through all 50 pages, feeling warmer and fuzzier with every one. Cuddled as we are, I notice that the further in I get, the more the boyfriend’s heart picks up, if only a bit. Upon reaching the end, I flip to what should be the final leaf, noticing that it’s sticking up a little bit. On it, there is a sticky note. “And now, I have something I want to ask you.”

Oh.

My.

God.

I glance between the note and the boyfriend once or twice, the meaning of it dawning on me.

I’m not entirely sure whether I say “Well?” or just manage some sort of strangled, vaguely questioning noise.

You can guess what happens next.

You can guess what my response is. Thankfully, one word is all I needed to manage.

It’s perfect—the proposal I never knew I wanted.

(We also did watch some Avatar, by the way. I mean, isn’t that what all newly engaged couples do?)

Tuesday, July 22nd, 8:00 PM

But now, a week afterward, just what I’ve signed up for is dawning on me. Not the “spending the rest of my life with him” part—that, I’m incredibly excited for. No, it’s that there is a wedding to be planned, and knowing that is far different than how I’d imagined. I have to understand things like makeup (people wear makeup at weddings?!), food (people eat at weddings?!), venues (people need a place for their weddings?!) and, well, people (PEOPLE ATTEND WEDDINGS?!). Thankfully, we’ve a while to get this all sorted.

Right now, I’m just enjoying life with the fiancé. It’s not really any different, except that the happiness is on a completely different level. It’s more than I know how to put into words. Thankfully, most of the time, I don’t really need them.

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Chickadoodle bucks tradition

So, if you came here from Facebook, it’s likely no surprise to you that the boyfriend is now the fiancé.

What might be a surprise to you is that I not only don’t have a ring (maybe you’re thinking that it’s been less than a week, so maybe I’m getting it re-sized?), I don’t want a ring.

This has already caused raised eyebrows on most of the people I’ve told. That’s no surprise–engagement rings are ingrained in our culture as part of the package. I’m okay with that; I just don’t want it as part of my package.

The next obvious question is “why”?

Well… a lot of reasons.

I’m not a huge fan of the diamond industry. The moral objections have been stated again and again. They’re pretty sensible and widely-known. That’s not to say that I think people need to melt down their rings and turn their diamonds into drill bits, or that anyone should feel guilty about wanting diamonds. There are certainly moral ways to obtain them. And, more importantly, they’re shiny! Who doesn’t like shiny things?! Which leads me to my next point…

So why not another stone?

They’re expensive, or at least they tend to be. I know the wedding ring I want, and it’s already pretty expensive, at least to my sensibilities. (I’m also picky about style. Never mind two rings–it was luck that I came across one!)

So why not a cheap ring?

Because I don’t want to have to justify a cheap ring, for one. (And I know I would have to.) Even if it was something I loved, I have a short enough temper that handling any obvious judgment (which I’ve already gotten for not having a ring) would result in unpleasantness.

And really, in the end, I never really got why an engagement ring is such a big deal. (Well, I get it, it just seems far over-hyped to me.) I mean, if you want one, that’s great, honestly! If it’s important to you, I certainly won’t complain. It just… doesn’t mean so much to me that it’s something I even want. I didn’t know what an engagement ring was until I was ten, and it just never really stuck in my mind as something that I wanted. Honestly, I’d rather have the money that would have gone to a ring spent on something else that is more important to me–wedding, honeymoon, house… things like that.

And maybe this is the most selfish part of all of this, but I don’t want to have to explain and justify it every time. I get that I can’t really avoid that, given that engagement rings are such a large part of at least American culture. I just wish that not having one wasn’t as big a deal as it’s already proving to be.

I know that most people don’t really judge me for it, and that it’s just sort of an unexpected thing. I guess I can take pride in novelty, and what the fiancé did give me (a little mad-libs-style book of the things he loves about me–I’ll write about the proposal later) has already made me so happy. And he’s made me even happier by knowing that a ring just isn’t something I think is necessary, and going with that. And he’s made me happiest by being the man I’m going to marry.