Friday Fluff: Popping the question

My boyfriend and I recently made the engagement official, which is the sort of thing families like to make a fuss about, so we expected a lot of questioning at Thanksgiving. What we didn’t expect was the incredibly entertaining crop of meeting and proposal stories that followed (mercifully taking the spotlight off of us). A few highlights:

  • One cousin built a proposal machine — a sort of Rube Goldberg contraption that popped up some photos and finally lifted a can to reveal the ring. This is the only time my boyfriend has asked if we could have do-overs.
  • Another was so nervous after asking his now-wife to marry him that when she suggested they go to dinner to celebrate, he said “we can’t go out to dinner, we’re engaged!” She had to gently point out that you can be engaged AND eat dinner.
  • My great-aunt met her husband at a party; he was standing with a friend when she walked in with one of hers. Apparently he turned to his friend and said “I get the chubby one.” She later let him drive her home, gave him her number, and said “call me when you cut your hair.” (He called the next day.)
  • My grandfather’s proposal speech was so typical of him that my mom and uncle had memorized it, and recited it for us: “There comes a time in a man’s life when he must get hitched.”
  • As I’ve always known, my mom never got engaged per se. When my dad picked her up after winter break in college, she said “I kind of told my parents we were getting married,” and that was that. (My mom, bless her, also used to leave out the “married a handsome prince” parts from stories when she read them to me.)

I want to hear your personal and ancestral stories of meeting and mating, Shapelings! The people above are all heterosexual couples, but of course I’m not just talking about proposals of heteronormative dating and Republican-sanctioned marriage — I’m talking about any amusing love connection, from the sweet to the subversive. If you’re dating, did you meet cute? If you’re engaged or married or otherwise perma-partnered, how did you or your compatriot pop the question (or, as in my mom’s case, break the news)? How did your parents and grandparents meet, and what did they do when the time in their life came when they must get hitched?

If you’re single, what’s your fantasy proposal? And, single or partnered, what’s your opinion on proposals in general? (I didn’t have one, personally — we made a decision together like grownups, and then bought a cheap ring off the internet for semiotic value.) Are you in favor of engagement rings, or do they make you retch? Do you participate, or plan to participate, in the institution of marriage if/when it’s legal for you and your chosen one, and why? (This one can get a little heavy, so let’s keep it respectful.) Do you have horror stories to share of meetings or proposals gone wrong, or weddings that were just so ostentatious or saccharine that you could never forget them?

Break out the diamond ring champagne flutes that I wish I were making up, and tell us your best story!

183 thoughts on “Friday Fluff: Popping the question

  1. First off, CONGRATULATIONS! :D

    Well, my husband and I sort of mutually agreed that we should get married at some point, but it wasn’t official or anything. One day I was getting a little tired of the questioning from the family, so I asked him if he was going to ask me, so he conferred with his therapist, and a week later he was in the tub and popped the question while I was sitting on the can. No lie. The phrasing was very sweet and vulnerable even though it had already more or less been answered, but…I was on the can. Everyone else in my life gets the story that I was in the bathtub with him; this is a Shapelings super-secret special (because I know y’all will get a good giggle out of it)!

    We went and picked out wedding rings together, but nixed the engagement ring for a couple of reasons, not the least of which was that they were gnarly expensive. I wanted a low-profile ring and none of them were really very pretty to me, but the wedding band is lovely.

    My husband has a good friend who is a minister, and he agreed to perform the ceremony privately, so we went to his office on my husband’s birthday (which, that year, was a Thursday). The Sunday thereafter we had a barbecue with our friends and families as a reception. Low cost, high fun. I had visions of grand matrimonial bliss but didn’t have a matching checkbook, and, as my husband said, “I’d rather not ruin a marriage to have a wedding.” :)

  2. My now-husband and I had been living together for about 3 years. For about 6 months previously, we had been kind of talking about marriage–tossing the idea around–but that was it.

    One day, we were sitting talking, and he said, “I think we should get married. Is Saturday a good day for you?”

    To which I said, “Okay. Saturday sounds good.”

    (We were married in a civil ceremony)

  3. Yes indeed, Congratulations FJ!

    My husband isn’t really the romantic sort. But, he did propose to me on Christmas morning. He actually attached the engagement ring to our little Jack Russell’s, Mick, collar. If you’re familiar at all with the breed, you’ll know that the plan on parading him out and then proposing didn’t go as smoothly as my husband planned. He actually had to drag the dog to me and then hold him still while he proposed. Mick completely blew his chances of being the ring bearer at the ceremony.

    I am not sure how my father proposed to my mother, but I am quite familiar with their first date. I guess my dad wore cut-off jean shorts, hiking boots with knee high socks and suspenders. This outfit made quite the impression on my mom and they’re still together 35 years later after a “courting” of only three months.

    Finally, my beautiful younger cousin married a big, burly, bald headed, cop. He proposed in a resturant. He had a label special made for a wine bottle asking for her hand in marriage, at the end of dinner the waiter brought the bottle of wine out….the rest is history.

  4. Yeah! Congrats. As a single person, my dream proposal isn’t a proposal at all. I’d probably be totally turned off by the surprise down on 1 knee thing. Then again, I’d never date anyone who thought that was cool. I’d be much more the type to say, “hey, let’s stop by the courthouse later today”

  5. My parents met on a Sunday. It was dinner with my mother’s aunt (who was my father’s boss). My mother didn’t want any part of it and spent the evening in the kitchen, reading.

    For some reason, my father wanted to see her again. They made a date for the following night, and this time she got into it. She brought her stylish younger sister over to do her hair and makeup. But my father didn’t show up until he was 4 hours late – his car had broken down.

    For some reason, my mother wanted to see him again. So they went out on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and on Friday they decided to get married. They were married three months later and just celebrated their 40th anniversary.

  6. Argh, you guys are making me jealous. I kinda wish we would have just gone to the courthouse, but we wanted to have a party. It’ll be an awesome party and totally low-key, but the spontaneity is really appealing.

  7. Congratulations, FJ! Oh, god, this post is sure to knock the comments out of the ball park. Before Dan Savage, one of the most popular posts on my blog was the one on wedding dresses!

    My husband and I met online, and for a long time I tried to blow him off. He kept pestering me to meet him in person and I never would because I thought he’d be turned off by my fatness and reject me. I finally told him that if he didn’t like fat women, to look elsewhere. He told me that he didn’t care what I looked like and the rest is history. I have a nauseating blog post about it here.

    My husband and I didn’t waste any time in becoming serious. I spent the night at his house four days after we met, and practically lived there for the next two months until I finally and officially moved in. When I told my sister, who is now 20, that we were moving in together she asked, somewhat incredulously, “He has an extra bedroom?”

    I’ve never been the traditional type, but we did the engagement and wedding rings thing. But my ring is made of moissonite, a synthetically-created, eco- and social-friendly gemstone. Brandon bought a generic ring because his real ring won’t be ready until January. It’s a wooden ring that is hand-carved by one man, who collects exotic twigs and branches to make them, so that they, too, are eco-friendly.

    We were going to have a Buddhist lesbian officiate the ceremony, but then we ended up running off to get married on Mackinac Island. Buddhists, let alone lesbian Buddhists, are a scarcity there, so we had to have a Christian minister. He was cool about it, though, and agreed to conduct a non-religious wedding.

    Oh, and I kept my name when I got married. Based on the responses to a NY Times article this week on that subject, that’s a whole other can of worms.

  8. We met online and had a long-distance relationship for a while. He proposed over the phone and the ring arrived at work via FedEx.

    We got married in a park by a judge.. then we had to tell everybody.

  9. I was proposed to on Chrismas Eve, which I guess isn’t that weird, except that both me and my now ex-fiancee are Jewish.

    Anyway, he got down on one knee, while his family respectfully waited in the next room, he receited some lines for an Italian love song and pulled out a $300 ring he got that day from Walmart (which his father paid for). I said yes and we kissed, it was actually kinda cute, but very cheesy and pretty sort lived.

  10. My hubby planned to take me on a romantic cruise and pop the question on the boat.

    Yeah. The “romantic cruise” included a loudspeaker-delivered tour guide prattle about all of the exciting sights on the nearby shoreline. Including the past site of a horse-rendering plant.

    We’re both animal lovers.

    It was still wonderful.

  11. Oh man… this might be long. It’s kind of complicated. But remember, FJ, you asked for it!

    My husband and I met on the internet in 1999. (Ya kinda need this information for most of this to make any sense.) We were in a chat room that no longer exists, although the site itself does (MSN’s Zone – the games site). It was late, I was sick and tired of hormonal 12 year old boys IM’ing me and asking me to “cyber,” so I basically said something along the lines of “if you’re OVER 21, and have something remotely interesting to say, feel free to IM me. Otherwise STFU.”

    So he popped up on my screen.

    The next day, he seemed to be waiting for me to log on. And the next day. And the next. And the next.

    Barely over a week after we started talking, I was chatting to his uncle, whom he lived with at the time. The uncle kept telling me that all B (Hub) could talk about was me. What I’d said to him, what he’d said to me, how long it would be before I logged on again, etc. Basically, the uncle was trying to convince me that B was in love with me.

    Actually, I didn’t buy it – although I’ll admit a slight tingle when I realized what the uncle was trying to say. So later, when they switched and B had his turn at the computer, I told him what his uncle had been saying. I was in the middle of typing a long sentence that said basically “of course you don’t love me, that would be insane, but that’s okay” when he typed back “actually, I DO love you”. Mouth, meet floor.

    About three months later, we were chatting and talking about how much we wanted to be together, but living on other halves of the world made it difficult. B said something along the lines of “the only way I could move there is if we either got married or I won the visa lottery” (referring to the random way limited amounts of visas are allotted). I piped up “well, I’d marry you.”

    He didn’t say anything at first, but then he asked if I was actually asking HIM to marry ME. I thought about that one for a minute. That wasn’t ACTUALLY what I was trying to say, but when I thought about it I realized that I had absolutely nothing to lose. If I asked and he said no, I would be right where I was that moment. But if I asked and he said yes?

    So I said something along the lines of “yeah. Why not? Okay. Will you marry me?”

    He asked if he could think about it. What? Leaving everything and everyone you’ve ever known to move halfway across the world and marry someone you’ve never even seen in person is a decision you can’t make in an instant? :lol: Obviously, I didn’t have a problem with him needing to give the matter some serious thought.

    Within half an hour, he came back with a yes. :D A month later, his uncle gave him the money for the plane ticket, and he went to the US for me. We were married two months later. *insert sappy in-love face here*
    ********************
    I have to admit, though, that I absolutely love romantic proposals. Especially very unique ones, like a guy asking his flying-mad girlfriend to marry him 20,000 feet in the air. I’m a total romantic at heart, so stuff like that really puts a soppy grin on my face.

    Although I see nothing wrong with the “well, why don’t we get married?” talk, either. I just like the romantic proposals better.

    Hey, as long as it ends in a (relatively) happy ever after, that’s all that really counts. :D

    (P.S. Congrats, FJ!!!! :D )

  12. Congrats!

    My husband and I worked together at an unamed printing store from the seventh layer of hell, trying to scrape out tuition. He was the night supervisor and I was the day supervisor. He was also the biggest asshole I had ever met.

    He would come in two hours early for his shift every single day and nitpick through everything I had done. I would go home everynight and bitch to my roommates about how much I Hated (with a capital T) this bozo I had to work with….

    And then one day he has the nerve to come in one night, sling his arm around my waist and say “So, are you going to ask me out yet, or do I have to lay it on thicker?”

    Needless to say, I was too shocked not to. He came over one morning after his shift was done, and I basically haven’t let him leave since. *Awww* I found out later that he fell in love with me the minute he saw me, but had no idea what to do about it, because after 16 years of life and 6 different girlfriends, he had never asked anyone out on a date. Apparently being a jerk was the next best option :)

  13. My husband and I planned on getting married for some time, and came to the idea mutually rather than him proposing and me accepting. This never bothered me, but my husband is pretty sappy about these kinds of things and I think felt like things weren’t official without the grand gesture. On Dec. 23, two years ago, I had three of my best friends coming in from out of town. My husband called about two hours before everyone was supposed to come over and said “I’ve got a present for you, but you can’t open in in front of everyone, so you should open it tonight as soon as I come home.” My response: “Why can’t I open it in front of people? Did you buy it at a porn store or something??” (I know, I’m a romantic).

    When he arrived home, he gave me a wrapped present. I sat on the floor in front of our christmas tree and pulled it open — a ring box was inside. I immediately put it on my finger and he said, “Don’t I get to ask you to marry me first?” Despite knowing in advance that I would say yes, he still got to do the traditional ring/propose bit, and I think it made him very happy. The best part was that my best friends were on their way over, so we all got to celebrate together.
    It wasn’t elaborate, but it was perfect. We got married in September of 2006 (and lived happily ever after….)

  14. Moissanite is nice, I like the fact that it’s Made With Science. Unfortunately it’s also beyond our price range! I think my ring cost like $150 with shipping, which still makes it the priciest piece of jewelry I own by far. (If we were paying for the wedding, there wouldn’t be one!)

    I was kind of excited to change my name — I like his a lot, and I’m not crazy about mine — but I feel conflicted about how patriarchal it is.

    We’re getting wedding rings with Morse code on them. Haven’t decided what they should say, though. Any ideas?

  15. *delurk*
    I was out of town on buisness for a whole week just before x-mas and was feeling kinda crappy about it. Much to my surprise, I found a big stack of envelopes in my suitcase, each one with a day of the week on it, and instructions to open each on the day prescribed. So, for a week, I got one love letter a day, telling me how much he missed me, and how much he loves my company. On the last day of my trip, the letter had a short poem and a clue for a sort of scavenger hunt. It said that when I got back to my car at the airport, to look in the glove compartment…there was another short poem and instructions to drive straight home. When I got home and unlocked the door, I saw that he had replaced all of the ornaments on the tree with 6 dozen beautiful red and white roses, and was waiting for me with one more poem and a ring. Not a bad way to end a business trip. In our state, you don’t have to have an officiant, so we just got the license, went out to dinner and signed the form. Very intimate and just what we wanted. Congrats to you, Fillyjonk!!
    *relurk*

  16. Awww, all this sounds so romantic! My husband and I just sort of fell together. I even picked out my own engagement ring. And while I think he’d like to think him asking me was a suprise, I totally knew it wasn’t. Wedding was maddening, I could have done without all that crap.

    But! We’re proof that chubbies do get hubbies ;-D

  17. I’m a feminist. Therefore, I’m not inalterably opposed to Popping the Question. I’m also not inalterably opposed to him doing it. Or both of us just simultaneously going, as FJ and her fiance did, “OK, now.”

    But I don’t expect any of it to happen until I clean up my credit, which is all kinds of bad. (Psych disorders can do that to you. Even if you’re on meds for them. Argh.) Right now we’re renting, but eventually we want to buy, and there’s no way I could qualify for a mortgage in a kazillion years with the crap on my record. I don’t want my past garbage to affect his perfectly sparkly credit rating.

  18. My husband and I met at FootLocker the summer I graduated from High School. It was not love at first sight but he told me later that the first thing he thought when he saw me was that I had a great ass. Nice.

    He proposed around Christmas with an exciting clue trail that lead from my house to his parents house to a place where he was housesitting. When I got there he did the traditional thing of getting down on one knee. I don’t remember what he said, but I do remember what I said, because he won’t let me live it down. In response to an incredibly sweet proposal and a box with a ring, I said, “Are you serious?!” I doubt he will ever let me forget that.

  19. FJ, I haven’t changed my name because of all the paperwork involved and laziness. My husband gets ticked off about it when he has time to think about it.

    The thing is, my last name is unique and difficult to pronounce..and I always had fun watching people look at it and then pause, process and attempt to say it. My husbands last name is short and to the point.

  20. Best wishes, FJ!!

    The DH and I met online, through what we fondly refer to as a “fat girl dating site.” After slogging through a whole variety of set-ups, dating sites and actual dating services, I figured the place I was most likely to meet a guy who not only liked who I am as a person, but what my person looks like, was there. I was right.

    We exchanged a couple of emails, had a couple of phone calls and met for lunch (we only lived about 1/2 an hour away from each other). The lunch date lasted about 9 hours. Four months later, he moved in … and at that point, it was pretty well understood that we’d get married. I do have an engagement ring, which we picked out together in grown-up fashion and which is your traditional (and I suppose not-very PC) diamond and platinum deal. Once he got the ring (and we got the insurance for it), he did do the whole “get down on the knee” thing … but it was in our living room. On a Wednesday. We got married 6 weeks later, about 8 months after we met .

    The wedding itself ended up being small; too many people in the family who “had” to be invited if we’d started asking others. In the end, it came down to a choice between the immediate family or a wedding for 200. We went with the former. We did invite the whole family and our friends to a party a couple of weeks later, and I think that we’ve been forgiven for not inviting the clan to the wedding.

    We were married by the mayor of the town where we had the wedding, in what was apparently a pretty short ceremony. We did it ourselves, as even the civil weddding had a bit more God than we were comfortable with.

  21. I love all these stories, but Phledge, I don’t think anyone’s going to beat yours. I lolled for real.

    The nauseating story of how Al and I met is here.

    I have my grandmother’s engagement and wedding rings, which I intend to use if I ever do get married. That simplifies things a lot. They’re pretty and very traditional (diamond solitaire in platinum and platinum band with diamond chips), but nobody has to spend money or agonize over what kind of ring to get or worry about how the diamonds were obtained. (These might be blood diamonds for all I know, but at least we’re not paying for ‘em.) Also, they’re not HUGE like so many are today. I mean, if you’ve always dreamed of a huge ring, and you end up getting one, more power to you, for real. But some of the rocks I’m seeing these days blow my fucking mind. How can people stand wearing something that big?

    Interesting bit of trivia: the rings I have were bought 8 years after my grandparents got married. My suspicion is that that’s because they A) couldn’t afford good ones at first and B) were married prior to the DeBoer’s campaign in the thirties that created the “You must have a diamond engagement ring!” trend, but my dad also recently told me a story I’d never heard (even though these were my mom’s parents)… apparently, when my grandparents got married, my grandma had a job, which she couldn’t have kept if she got married. (!!!!) So they just got married without telling her employers, and she didn’t wear a ring until she quit.

    I actually don’t know my parents’ story… I should call my dad. (Otherwise, J., do you know?)

  22. But I don’t expect any of it to happen until I clean up my credit, which is all kinds of bad. (Psych disorders can do that to you. Even if you’re on meds for them. Argh.)

    *cough* that might be why I’m not expecting to have a proposal story any time soon, too *cough*

  23. Awww, how can I not congratulate you!

    I’m enjoying reading all these lovely stories =)

    I met my fiance on an online dating site. It was supposed to just be a casual fun thing, as he was supposed to be leaving to go to school in France in a few months. But after six dates, he realised he didn’t want to leave me. So… he didn’t. =) As for the proposal… we’d been talking about marriage for a few months, then he started asking about rings. I told him what I liked, and he picked out a beautiful one and bought it. He took me up to this really romantic spot where we have this amazing view of the city (and we were both so nervous, haha, even though we’d already pretty much decided to get married) and proposed. We’re going to have an outdoor Jewish ceremony (I’m not Jewish but he is) and a big party. Some of my fondest family memories are from weddings of family members, and I want to be able to return the favour by having them all at mine.

    As for my parents… after my parents had been dating for a while my mom asked: “Aren’t you going to ask me to marry you?” He thought they should live together first, then after a year or so of living together he just asked: “Want to go look at engagement rings?” Haha, such a romantic guy.

  24. I never even thought about debt with my last serious boyfriend… we assumed we’d get married despite his 50k of debt and the fact that HE WAS ALREADY MARRIED.

    Boy, thank goodness that one didn’t happen! We broke up on 2001 — I’ve gotten a little more sechel since then.)

  25. Congrats, FJ! :-D

    Well, since I’m extra single(heh), I’ll tell you about my mom’s and stepdad’s ( affectionately called Ole Man by me) engagement.

    Mom went to Florida to visit some college friends. It was shortly after my (maternal)Grandma’s death, so she needed a change of scenery. She’d been there maybe 2 days, and then I get a call at my(paternal) grandma’s house.

    Her: So, you spoke to (Ole Man). How do you like him so far?

    Me: He seems really nice (I had not met him in the flesh as of yet).

    Her: That’s great! So, how do you feel about us getting married?

    Me: *crickets*

    Heh. See, the two of them dated in college, but since he couldn’t…eh…keep himself…to himself, they broke up. So this proposal was a long time coming. It’s one of the stories I keep in hopes that someone’s gonna want to marry me one day. :-)

  26. My sister in law gives me credit for her and my brother getting married. They didn’t tell anyone they’d been dating for a long while and we thought he had a crush on his roommate. So when he brought her to my parents’ anniversary party we all thought she was just a friend. At one point in the evening, I make a comment about how my brother was like me in not being able to settle down to one person for life, not realizing my foot was entering my mouth :-) When they got home she confronted him and asked if it was true, because she had other plans in her life. The next morning he proposed! And boy did I have some ‘splainin’ to do :-)

    For myself, I’m not attached to the idea of marriage, but I like my friends and family too much to elope. My dream wedding would be at a State Park on Lake Michigan in summer. The ceremony would be on the dunes at sunset followed by an all-night bonfire and drum circle in the group camping area. Everyone brings a bottle of something and a dish to pass. That sounds like so much more fun that a stuffy overpriced extravaganza full of relatives I’ve never met, no one’s comfortable and some cut-rate DJ is playing bad bubblegum pop.

  27. Well I’m not engaged or married but I am co-habitating with a man. I have told him that if he is ever inclined to propose I would like him to repurpose the diamonds in my grandmother’s ring, which were themselves repurporsed from her wedding ring and 25th anniversary band after she and grandpa divorced. I’ve also shown him where this ring is in my jewelry box, should he like to surprise me with it.

    We also plan on getting married by a judge and then having a big party on his family’s farm just outside of town. I’ll make my dress, we’ll have some kegs and a bbq, it will be good.

  28. FJ, I just saw your post about the “patriarchal” nature of women changing names. Unless you’ve got your mom’s last name (which you might), the last name you’ve had from birth is also patriarchal. As a few people on that Times post pointed out, you’re changing a name you were given for one you chose.

    My parents didn’t give me a middle name, so when I got married, I changed my last name to his and my old last name became my middle name. It felt more like I was adding something on, rather than giving something up. But YMMV.

  29. Heh. See, the two of them dated in college, but since he couldn’t…eh…keep himself…to himself, they broke up.

    My dad and stepmom also dated in their late teens, then married other people, didn’t see each other for 40-odd years, and eventually got back together!

  30. Unless you’ve got your mom’s last name (which you might), the last name you’ve had from birth is also patriarchal.

    Yup, that’s pretty much how I justify changing my name — if I get a patrilineal moniker either way I might as well take the one I like. I’m not particularly into Name as Family Birthright anyway, since all my forebears got them changed at Ellis Island.

    We don’t actually LIKE the Hislastnames. I don’t care about meeting them (besides his Nana, who’s very sweet — I haven’t met his father, though, and don’t plan to) or considering them part of the family. And I suppose if that really bothered either of us, we could take his mom’s maiden name, or my mom’s maiden name, or both take my name — someone we did want to ally ourselves with. But his name is iconic — he’s one of those guys who’s always referred to as Firstname Lastname — and easy to pronounce and I really like it. I like the idea of having one name for our household, and there’s such a good one available, you know?

  31. I don’t plan to change my name. Because I’m attached to it. It’s part of my identity. (And I’m also one of those people who’s referred to as Firstname Lastname… not sure why!) But I don’t think it’s necessarily anti-feminist to change your name, as long as you’ve thought about why you want to change it, and it’s not something you’re being pressured into by your husband.

  32. FJ, I just saw your post about the “patriarchal” nature of women changing names. Unless you’ve got your mom’s last name (which you might), the last name you’ve had from birth is also patriarchal. As a few people on that Times post pointed out, you’re changing a name you were given for one you chose.

    Without wanting to open this can of worms (really), I used to make that argument, but I feel differently now. Harding is not just my father’s name; it’s MY name, after 32 years. The fact that it came from a patriarchal tradition is something I had no control over before I was born. But taking my husband’s name would be making a conscious decision to participate further in the same tradition, which doesn’t sit right with me anymore. For ME. (Really truly, this isn’t a big feminist issue for me, and I don’t want to fight with anyone who intends to change their name or already did. Least of all Fillyjonk, ’cause she’s scary in a debate.) Just explaining the distinction I make where that argument is concerned.

    FWIW, I’m also into giving the kids something other than just the father’s name, to break the aforementioned tradition. My brother was the last Harding boy until he had two boys of his own, and he seriously agonized about whether the name would “die out” with him. Why should it have to? Why can’t I give my kids Harding as a last name? And then, on the other hand, why should a name be such a big deal when the genes and family traditions continue on, and that’s the important thing? Right now, my favorite idea for a last name for any kids we may or may not have is “Harverson.” Kinda gets right to the point. (But the paperwork might be too much of a bitch to bother.)

    HOWEVER… when it comes to the kids’ last names, I will say my mind was changed somewhat by lesbian friends of mine. One of them gave birth to the baby, and he got the other’s last name. When it’s two women, I think that’s sweet and equitable — a public acknowledgment that they are both this kid’s parents. So why not when it’s a woman and a man? I mean, obviously, there’s a lot of nasty history there, but I’m not as convinced as I used to be that giving a kid the man’s last name is playing right into the hands of the patriarchy.

    Also, as a crazy person when it comes to names, I will totally throw all my feminist principles out the window for the “I like his name better than mine” argument. There’s that.

    And yeah… I totally opened that can of worms. Sorry, Fillyjonk.

  33. re: last names

    I have my biological father’s last name, since I don’t speak to him and am not close with his side of the family I’m not really attached to it. I thought about changing it to my stepdad’s last name but his last name is Smith, so you know *yawn*.

    If I were to pick a last name from my lineage it would be my mom’s maiden name because it’s cool and different and her brother is the last line of it and he has no children to pass it on to. I also like my grandmother’s maiden name (mom’s mom) because we can trace that line of my family back to the revolutionary war and I think that is Teh Cool.

    But I won’t be doing that, and I’ll probably take my future husband’s name due to my “meh” attitude about my own name.

  34. I got married this past St. Patrick’s Day, but I will never forget the day my husband proposed to me. I was in New Mexico at a conference and he met me out there afterwards to spend a few days exploring the area. One day we went to Bandolier National Monument and on our way back to the car, we stopped in a wooded area and sat on this big rock. He pulled out the rung, got on one knee and asked me to marry him. I cried and the rest is history. Of course, it had been a long time coming. We had been dating for about 6 years, but it was still wonderful.

    As for my parents, I don’t know all the details. All I know is that my dad went to pick up my mom and thought it would be cute to put the ring box on her car seat so she would see it before she got in. Apparently, she definitely did not see it and sat down on top of it. My dad then had to tell her that she was sitting on her ring and that was it.

    Congrats on the engagement. As far as the name change, I had difficulty with that decision as well. I like my last name and I’m an only child and didn’t want to lose it, but I also liked the idea of taking my husband’s name. So I decided on hyphenating. Somewhat unfortunately, our last names sound very similar, so saying my full name now sounds kind of silly, but I’m getting used to it.

  35. I was engaged once about 4 years ago – to a guy that I met on an MSN Cities chat room back in ’99, nuckingfutz – though we lived in the same town and met that night. We’d been living together for several years, my family didn’t like him, but after a family visit that went tolerably well I basically said “OK, I guess we can get married now”. Thankfully I broke that one off a few months later!

    Now I’m seeing someone really wonderful, who I also met online, though this time eHarmony. We’ve been dating about a year and I’ll be moving in at the end of February. I think he’s about to propose. We’ve been talking a lot lately – “hypothetically”, of course – about where we’d like to get married, who’d be in the party, what kind of wedding to have, yadda yadda. He’s even admitted to having several proposal dreams lately. He’s a real romantic – the kind to show up with a dozen roses and my favorite ice cream for a shop across town when I’m stressed – and fairly traditional, so I suspect I’ll have a good story to tell sometime in the next few months ;) I can’t wait to see what he’s going to do, and when.

  36. Heh. I just thought of another one. The story of my grandparents.

    Grandma met Grandpa when she was 14. He was supposed to go on a date with a friend of hers, but said friend couldn’t go (I can’t remember why) so she sent my grandmother instead.

    Grandpa liked Grandma so much that he never asked the friend out again (friend wasn’t too pleased about that one!!!), and kept pestering Grandma until she agreed to go out with him again.

    When she hit 16, he started asking my great-grandfather if he could marry my grandmother. Great-grandpa wasn’t too keen on that idea (he wanted Grandma to actually finish high school) and said no every time.

    Now here’s where the story gets iffy. We don’t know if it was a true accident or if Grandpa was being slick, but Grandma got pregnant (with my father). She was so naive that she didn’t even KNOW she was pregnant until she told Grandpa how she’d been feeling (tired, sick, you know… morning sickness). So Grandpa went to Great Grandpa and basically said “She’s pregnant…. NOW can I marry her???”

    Personally, I’m inclined to believe he was being slick. Lord knows he had a genius evil streak in him. ;)

  37. Best wishes FJ, and congratulations to your soon-to-be-husband!

    I’ll be getting married in about 2 weeks and since we didn’t tell people about it until after Thanksgiving (with the exception of parents, they got told in June) now I find I want to tell anyone who brings up such topics. So thanks for giving me a good excuse.

    We met in our book club. He was the only available guy there (the only other guy is in a relationship and gay, so that’ made it easy), although in the beginning I barely noticed him as I was just extricating myself from a long-term relationship that went sour. Then we unexpectedly ran into each other at a beer festival and that sparked an email exchange which led to drinks and dinner. The best part is that at the beer festival, neither of us was sure of the other’s name and we had to figure it out through our email addresses.

    We’ve been dating for 2 years and living together for over a year and one night in May, he started talking about wanting to be with me for the rest of his life. This from a guy who had warned me that he wasn’t all that interested in marriage at the beginning of our relationship. I was skeptical about ever getting married myself, but that night we discussed it and came to the conclusion that we did want to be married to each other.

    So, to make it official, I did ask him to actually ask me. Which he did a few days later, as we were sitting at my desk, watching Heroes online. It was touchingly awkward (no kneeling), as he sort of leaned towards me during the ad they play at the beginning of each online segment.

    No engagement ring, because I grew up in Germany, where they don’t have them at all (well, the concept seems to be creeping in now) and I don’t really see the need. And shouldn’t he be getting a present too, if I get one?

    But we do have some nice simple wedding bands, with a song text from the Magnetic Fields, and we will be getting married on a beach (his idea) in Key West (my idea) with only our parents there and a non-religious ceremony . Then we’ll be having a small party for our friends here at home in January.

    I can’t wait. Oh, and I’m keeping my name because I like it and most Americans can’t pronounce it. He admitted it would be nice if I took his name but he really doesn’t care. So we avoided that conflict. Until his parents find out anyway.

  38. Yeah, my sweetheart and I decided together and then bought a cheap ring off the internet for semiotic value TOO!

    We were just lying around one Friday evening – I don’t remember what started this particular conversation. We’d known, at that point, that we were going to get married someday, but that there was no rush.

    Anyway, this particular night, we were talking about parties or food or some other such thing, and he said, “how would our wedding be?” So we played out a hypothetical: a big wedding, all the family and friends invited, outdoors, a friend officiating, in the summer, of course, because it’s outdoors, oh, maybe in August so your family in France will be on vacation and it will be easy for them to come.

    What day in August?

    At that point I pulled out my calendar and saw that the 17th, which we celebrate as our monthiversary, is a Sunday in 2008.

    He said, “Yeah, let’s do that!”
    I said, “Okay!”

    Then we were both very quiet for a moment. I can’t speak for him, but I got tingles.

    I said, “Are we engaged?”

    He said, “Yeah, I think so!”

    I said, “Let’s sit on it for a day or so. Oh my god.”

    When we finally felt ready to announce it to the world, a couple of days later, I pointed out that a ring might make things easier – a good concession to convention – so we went interneting and bought one. It’s made from melted-down submarine, my ring is!

  39. I met my husband on craigslist. That’s where he found my ad in casual encounters: Poly, Pierced, and Plush. It’s been over six years, but I can recall my ad in its entirety: Fierce, articulate bi-dyke with big tits seeks caring, confident man who won’t bore me. We both make conscious choices about our atypical sex lives.

    That’s it. A friend helped write it, I posted it, and 57 responses and 39 penis shots later, I received a thoughtful response, with complete sentences and everything! We corresponded for about a month (pictures came about 3-4 messages in), and then arranged for a tryst. It went so well that we arranged for another, and then another. …

    After about a year and a half of pretending that we were still a casual connection, we finally admitted to each other that we were kind of headed in the together-forever department. The engagement itself was a multi-part discussion, not a single question or event. (I think that’s actually true for most people.) He had to disentangle from an almost-engagement that his mother was arranging (being from a culture and class where arranged marriages still happen a lot), and I had to disentangle from a LTR that was not actually open to being THAT open. The process was not very romantic, and in fact it was pretty emotionally draining, but I eventually followed him to Boston, where we lived in sin for a year and then tied the knot at the City Hall.

    His mom sent me a red & gold sari to wear, which I could only wear with someone’s help (now I know how to put them on myself). He wore his best dapper-dog suit, and we exchanged rings (“But they’re aircraft-grade titanium!” he exclaimed when he showed them to me on the Internet. What a wonderful geek!).

    Eight months later we went over to Bangladesh for a month, where his mom got to throw all the parties that she missed doing before we got married. Gave me a glimpse of how the engagement and pre-wedding time COULD have happened, even in the States. I’m just glad for the quiet, no-nonsense way we did it ourselves.

  40. *also delurking*

    FJ, congratulations!!

    My partner and I were engaged for 7 years! We’d already discussed our desire to get married, but I proposed formally on Dec. 31, 1999– the big crazy millennium New Years’ Eve. I wrote my proposal out in a journal, gift-wrapped it and gave it to him at dinner, at our favorite Indian restaurant in Pittsburgh. He cried. And then, since we both had colds, we went home, slept, woke up at midnight and were vaguely disappointed that nothing weird happened.

    We waited till graduation to tell our parents, then kept putting the wedding off due to lack of funds. Finally, last April, we just said screw this waiting, let’s do a super-low-budget wedding! We got married in a justice of the peace’s living room, surrounded by a few of our closest friends and my mom. Then we had a *great* little party at a funky coffee shop nearby. Our friends paid for our favorite Indian food as a wedding present, and my BFF made us a case of amazing homebrew to supplement our keg. SO much fun. We saved two bottles of her beer, aged them and drank them on our six-month anniversary, instead of saving cake!

  41. Really truly, this isn’t a big feminist issue for me, and I don’t want to fight with anyone who intends to change their name or already did. Least of all Fillyjonk, ’cause she’s scary in a debate.

    Hee! This isn’t really one I would argue with you about — I think all your points are extremely cogent, and my personal stance boils down to “but I LIKE his name!” And since I don’t actually think that feminism means supporting women in every choice they make even if it’s antifeminist, I have no illusions that that’s really a good justification.

    It’s sort of the same thing with getting married in the first place. The arguments against it are excellent. Only, I want a pretty dress and a party. (Something, incidentally, that I never really wanted before and certainly didn’t grow up wanting. I do care about dresses a lot more than I used to now, though.)

  42. It’s sort of the same thing with getting married in the first place. The arguments against it are excellent. Only, I want a pretty dress and a party.

    Dude, I hear that.

    And like I said, “I like his name better” is totally the best reason for doing it, imo. :)

  43. JMars, you are correct that, way down in the nit-picky, a woman’s last name is either her husband’s or her father’s (for the most part). That is because of patriarchy in the past. However, the thing that I find to be patriarchal about name changing at marriage is this: men are granted the assumption that they can keep their name for their entire lives, but for women it is assumed that their name will change. Why can’t I keep the name that I was born with, which has always been my name? Is it because women are so much weaker than men, that when the 2 of them get married, she becomes a part of him but not the other way around? It is not that choosing to change your name is better or worse than not changing it, it is the last of reciprocity.

  44. re: names

    I agree with Kate – regardless of whether your last name came from your mother or father, it’s YOUR name that you’ve had for a couple decades or so by the time you get married. When I was younger and didn’t have any particular reputation attached to my name, I might have been more willing to take my husband’s name, as patriarchal as that may be. But at this point (in my mid-30s) I’ve developed a professional career, a reputation, and a publication record in my name. If I change my name, I’ve lost all that. With women marrying older and holding careers, I suspect this is a more common issue today.

    Some friends of mine – a heterosexual, married couple where she kept her own name for feminist & professional reasons – came up with what I thought was a fair way of dealing with their childrens’ last names: they alternated. The eldest child got her last name, and the second got his. I also know a couple who planned to give any female children her last name, and any male children his.

  45. It is not that choosing to change your name is better or worse than not changing it, it is the last of reciprocity.

    This is one of the problems with the engagement ring thing as well — the woman gets marked as “taken” and the man doesn’t.

    I struggled with that one, but in truth my ring has done so fucking well at its only two jobs — giving relatives a focal point so they don’t pester us too much, and getting overzealous admirers to back off — that I wouldn’t trade it. I actually think of it as a patriarchy forcefield; it keeps family from heaping expectations on me (the ring satisfies and distracts them) and men from seeing me as a mark. I shouldn’t need it, but it works damn well.

  46. Bigmovesbabe, we are also escaping a giant Indian wedding. Hence the run to Key West and having just the parents there. If we had tried to get married without our parents, I fear there would have been murder and mayhem.

    As it is, his mom is planning a post-wedding lunch for us to celebrate with pretty much everyone his family knows in India. There will be saris too.

    And I like the sound of Jessica’s submarine ring.

  47. I also know a couple who planned to give any female children her last name, and any male children his.

    You know, I would totally do the alternation thing (though it means banking on more than one), but this drives me a little nuts, because I am just this petty and insane … Why do the GIRLS have to get HER name, which still doesn’t have as much cultural cash-value as the man’s name, and is more likely to be changed down the line? I would totally say the boys get my name and the girls get his (unless we just alternated, which is probably what I’d go for), just to stick one more knife in patriarchal naming traditions.

    Like I said, petty and insane. I’m not claiming otherwise.

  48. Congrats, FJ!

    My grandparents met on a picket line. And they honeymooned at Coney Island.

    My mom and dad moved in together a week after they met, and they didn’t get married for another… four or five years, I think. And that was mostly because of the legal rights that go along with marriage – otherwise they’d have just cohabited forever and I’d be an illegitimate child. (Which is why they’re staunch supporters of gay marriage.)

    On names: my siblings and I all have Mom’s maiden name as our middle name and Dad’s as our last. Mom hyphenated when she got married. I’ll probably keep my name if I ever get married, though. I like it, and I’ll be using it for publishing my work, too. I like what a friend of ours did with her kids, though; she kept her name, and their older kid has the dad’s name and the younger has hers.

  49. My husband and I have done everything in the wrong order, and it’s worked very well for us. We got legally married May 26 2006, he proposed (with a low profile peridot ring – my favorite, and one that won’t tear open latex gloves – i work in a lab) on Dec 24 2006, and we had our wedding August 18, 2007. The wedding was amazing, it was in a barn, with a full fireworks display, mini pigs in blankets, chocolate cake that we smashed in each others faces (I had some in my ear), and scottish cows swimming in the lake. we did a bouquet toss even though i had lots of problems with it, but a gay male caught the bouquet, which made it just a bit subversive. as the night wore on, karaoke started (unplanned) when that friend decided to sing “i want your sex.” The night ended with all of my friends drunk and singing songs from Hedwig. It was great.

  50. I fall into the “but I LIKE his name” camp. I had no strong professional attachment to my own, and owing to the nature of our relationship, I have deeply held personal reasons for doing it this way, anyway. And honestly, my inner monkey-wrencher loves the fact that now my name confuses the merry HELL out of people.

    Marina Wolf Ahmad

    “Hmmm, I wonder where she’s from? Oh, god, what if I have to pronounce it myself!”

    “Wait, why does that big, tall, blonde lady have a Muslim last name?”

    >*head implosion*<

    Yeah. It’s pretty amusing to be able to actually see the wheels go ’round.

  51. oh, and i kept my name and decided that if we have kids we’ll hyphenate. if they want to change it later in their lives they’re welcome to, but we don’t need to make that decision for them.

  52. Congrats!

    Our meeting and engagement stories are here, on the wedding web page

    Another good one: Grandpa knitted Grandma a sweater as an engagement gift. He’s originally from the iron range in northern Minnesota. Back in the day, everyone (men and women) used to knit during the winter in order to stay occupied.

  53. Congrats!

    My fiance just proposed to me, too. He replaced the DVD for “The Princess Bride” in the case, and then one night suggested we watch the movie. As I took the case from the shelf and started to open it, he got on his knees infront of me and proposed as I opened the case and realized it was an engagement ring in the case instead of the disc.

    Of course, I said, “As you wish”

  54. You didn’t get all the set-up for that inner train of thought being derailed (I used the wrong punctuation symbols)…

    (upon hearing me on the phone)
    “Hmmm, I wonder where she’s from? Oh, god, what if I have to pronounce it myself!”

    (upon meeting me)
    “Wait, why does that big, tall, blonde lady have a Muslim last name?”

    (upon meeting me in the company of my husband, who stands 8 inches shorter than me, 10 if I’m wearing heels)

    >*head implosion*<

    Yeah. It’s pretty amusing to be able to actually see the wheels go ’round.

  55. You KNOW what speech you have to have at your wedding now, thenevis.

    And iiii, I LOVE Godawful Wedding Crap!

  56. Fillyjonk, congratulations!

    My husband is the brother of a good friend of mine, and when he first asked me out, I said no, let’s just be friends. And he was fine with that. He kept coming out with our gang, and we’d always wind up talking alone in a corner. I was secretly crazy about him. After about 3 months of this, we were out in a group one night when a good-looking girl walked by and he almost fell out of his chair staring at her. I asked HIM out the next day. Two kids and 14 years later, we’re still chugging along.

    Kate: I believe Mom and Dad met like this… Bill Waters and mom’s friend “Moose” were going to double date with Dad and some other woman who got sick. Mom was her stand-in on the double date. Something along those lines anyway. There was a switcheroo involved.

  57. Yeah, I actually knew the meeting story, J.*, but I wondered about the proposal story. I don’t even want to tell you what Dad said the one time I asked.

    But I will…

    Me: What made you decide you wanted to marry mom?
    Dad: Well… sex was important.

    AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!

    *I also know it was on that date that Mom wore a top or dress monogrammed on one side, and Bill Waters said, “What do you call the other one?” She never forgave him.

  58. Best wishes, FJ! I wonder if you feel, as I did, a weird change in your relationship since you got engaged? Not a bad change, just the strangeness of relating to the person who was formerly “boyfriend” as “fiance.”

    I can relate to so many of the stories here. My husband, Joe, and I met when he read an article I had written for a psych netgroup regarding the nature of fantasy in relationships, meaning, the role that a person’s past emotional history has in forming their understanding of what their partner means when he or she speaks. He wrote me an email, I wrote back, we discovered we lived 20 miles away from each other (I’m downtown Chicago and he was from Burr Ridge), we met a few days later for an 8 hour date during which marriage was mentioned and we hardly spent a minute apart after that first meeting.

    We got engaged about 16 months later when he proposed to me on his birthday saying my agreement to be his wife would be the best birthday present he could ask for. It was a very vulnerable, sweet proposal and my response makes me wince a little now because it was so formal and sappy all at the same time.

    Because of family issues, we decided to get married at the Cathedral in Nassau, Bahamas and flew four friends down to be our witnesses. My mother and her husband came too. It was a very intimate, beautiful wedding made more so by Joe who hired a full choir to sing a formal mass for me. Being an ex-Episcopalian, I was just totally addicted to the Baroque and he did everything he could to enhance my experience.

    We also threw a big party at our home a few months later, but, unfortunately, the family issues remain.

    At least we have each other. :)

  59. I kept my name when I got married. He had no problem with that. He wished he didn’t have his father’s last name either — not because he hated the sound of it as such, but rather because the two of them didn’t have much of a relationship at all (they weren’t even biologically related, as he was adopted at birth). At one point we talked about both of us adopting the surname of his uncle, who was a wonderful man who saved both of our asses on multiple occasions, but we split up before it ever became a reality.

    But I should say that my “name” wasn’t really “my” name, either. Not as you see it on my birth certificate. It was Meowser Middlename Lastname, and I never liked my last name. It had an onomatopoeic sound and was mockable for other reasons and I was constantly taunted about it all through school, so I ditched it in my 20s (before I met the hub) and simply became Meowser Middlename, and remain so now.

    I’d consider being Meowser Middlename-BF’s last name, though. I kind of like how it sounds. I don’t think I’d just take his name flat-out, though, because it’s the same as that of a rather famous songwriter (who wasn’t born with the name either) and I don’t need people giving me shit about it.

  60. Mine, the huz and I went driving in northern AZ to take pictures of fall foliage. He had me pose on a rock and when he knelt down to take my picture, he popped the questions instead. We’ll be married 17 years this month… still as cornball in love as when we were highschool sweethearts.

    My sister – her geekazoid hubby loves to “make backup copies” of movies and she thought they were putting in some movie and it was his proposal burned to DVD. I do believe he asked something like, “Can I be the one to take out your garbage for the rest of our lives?”

  61. “I also know a couple who planned to give any female children her last name, and any male children his.”

    My friend did this in reverse order for the very reason Kate mentioned. The son has his mother’s last name and the daughter has her father’s.

  62. Well, I don’t intend to get married, but I do have a legendary coming out story. I went out to dinner with my dad and my stepmom (who had unknowingly met my gf on a visit to my college), and I said very nervously, “So, do you remember my friend X from your visit? Well, she’s not just my friend, she’s my girlfriend.”

    Stepmom: “She’s a lovely woman, and I’m very happy for you.”

    Dad: “Girlfriend like boyfriend?!”

  63. Congrats FJ!!!

    I also just recently got myself engaged. We’ve been living together for three years, which was just fine with me. However, my family wasn’t too comfortable with the whole “living in sin” thing (as they call it). For a while, my boyfriend had been casually mentioning that, you know, we could get married. Finally, I was thinking I would pop the question to him. I had it all planned – I was going to take him to his favorite sushi restaurant and do the whole down on one knee proposal with a ring. There was one problem – I had no idea what his ring size was. I had been thinking about this problem for a while, until one day we were driving to the grocery store and just started talking about marriage. The mood seemed right, so I told him what I had been planning, and we just decided when we got to the parking lot that we’d go ahead and do it. Sounds terrible, but somehow it ended up feeling really special.

    We chose rings at a little vintage jewelry store. Mine is gorgeous – a small diamond with ruby hearts on either side, from the 1940′s. I don’t know much about ring ettiquette, but I plan on just keeping this instead of getting a second one once we’re married.

    He is the best guy I could ever imagine. Before I met him, I had a history of not eating to keep my weight down. He is very into food (and of course has the genes to eat whatever he wants, not exercise, and stay super-skinny), and I started gaining weight after we’d been living together for a bit. One day, I was freaking out about the new weight and slipping into the whole starving myself phase again. He talked to me, figured out what was going on, then held me, looked into my eyes, and told me, “I will love you no matter what size you are. Please don’t hurt yourself like this.” Since then, he has been extremely perceptive in noticing when I’m slipping back to that mode of thinking, and always is able to pull me out of it.

  64. Dad: “Girlfriend like boyfriend?!”

    BWAH! Gotta love the dads. (Well, gotta love him if he quickly recovered from that. Don’t gotta love him if he actually had a problem with it.)

  65. men are granted the assumption that they can keep their name for their entire lives, but for women it is assumed that their name will change

    Actually, this reminded me of my uncle. My aunt is pretty well-known in her city within the business area she works in. She didn’t want to change her name because she knew she was going to have to look for work shortly after the wedding, and she wanted to keep the “wow factor” that her maiden name gave her in her chosen field.

    My uncle, a TOTAL hippy (the man’s 50 and hasn’t cut his hair since high school!!), had absolutely no problem with that. But when my aunt JOKINGLY asked him if he’d change HIS name?

    He was actually all for it! :lol: He was seriously willing to change HIS name for HER. When I found that out? He instantly became my favorite uncle. :D

  66. “Girlfriend like boyfriend” is and always has been my favorite coming-out story ever.

    We should do a FriFluff about coming-out stories!

    (And yeah, SM’s dad recovered pretty quickly.)

  67. Kate, he recovered very quickly, no doubt with the help of my truly wonderful stepmom. It was really hilarious. :-)

  68. It was actually kind of a brilliant way to do it… you got them to like her first, so it softened the blow! (Not that I imagine there really was a blow, not for your stepmom anyway.)

    The part that I thought was so funny about that visit was remember when my mom was SO ADAMANT that my boyfriend had to stay on the first floor while you and me and C. slept in the basement? I was like, Mom, you know they HAVE SEX, right? She totally refused to believe it was the same thing!

    (If you’d asked me, I wouldn’t have thought I was still going out with that boyfriend when you were dating C., but I must have been, because I def remember being so simultaneously frustrated and amused by that.)

  69. Congratz, FJ! Now, you need to get down the “nod-and-smile” and “thank you for your input, we’ll take that into consideration” for all the wedding advice and demands you’ll get.

    My husband and I had been dating a while when we came into a windfall of money. We decided to go on an international trip – he traveled a lot when he was younger, but I had never left the US. It was ’99, so we thought we’d do something really cool for the “fake millennium” and we booked a cruise to Antarctica (like my screenname – I love penguins). Just after midnight local time, he took me out on the deck – in the freezing cold and midnight sun – and asked for my hand. I joke that I had to drag him to the ends of the Earth to propose!

    We got married a year later, at midnight on the “real millennium” in a small ceremony in Santa Monica, CA. Now every year on New Year’s Eve, we pretend the whole world is celebrating our anniversary. :)

    That’s what really happened… but later, my husband told me that what he really wanted to do was take me to Rome, propose to me in the Vatican and get married the same day in the Sistine Chapel. He’s such a romantic.

  70. First of all, congratulations!! I’m so happy for you.

    Here’s my story:

    My partner, Jeremy, and I had known for quite a while that we wanted to be together forever before we got engaged. In fact, the first time I met him, I knew we would get married, and my whole life I had known that there was something special about the name Jeremy. We thought for a while that he would propose to me, but it ended up that that way of doing it didn’t really fit our relationship that much. So, I had an idea that we could have a ring ceremony, with just the two of us, where we exchanged rings and did other fun stuff.

    So, we set the date for the ring ceremony for our two-year anniversary, and it was wonderful. We went to our favorite park (which we always go to), and sat on a blanket and had a little feast. One of the magical things was that there was a sprinkler near us, and the ground was wet near the tree we were sitting. So, there were robins going around and picking worms out of the mud, and bringing them up to their chirping babies. Neither of us had ever seen that in person, never mind only a few feet away. It seemed like a very good sign for our life together. We each wrote things to say to each other in our notebooks, and then read them aloud to each other and finally exchanged rings. It was so beautiful. Also, a pigeon landed on top of a tree near us, and we never see pigeons at that park. One of my best friends from when I was a child was a pigeon my family nursed back to health. So, the whole things was just magical and wonderful and touching and beautiful and US.

    We’re not sure if we’re having an actual wedding; we’re thinking we might elope to a beautiful area, and then come back and have a party with our families and friends.

    We were definitely entertaining the idea of not getting legally married; we don’t think the government should have any place in such a personal commitment. Actually, being anarcho-tribalists, we think that government, and civilization, is harmful to people. However, now we are thinking that we would want to get married legally at some point so that we may be able to see each other when we are ill in the hospital. As tribalists, our family (meaning Jeremy and I) is very important to us; however, we continue to fight against harmful systems in myriad ways.

    Anyway, that’s my loooong story. I love reading all of these comments. It’s kind of like the indiebride kvetching. :)

  71. My high school boyfriend and I dated on and off for a long time in a very tumultuous and silly way. The (second-to-)last time we broke up, I was so crushed I thought I’d never love again, but we eventually started talking and became friends again the following summer. My mom bet me $20 that he’d ask me to marry him within a year. I laughed – no way was I ever going to get back together with him after the last time, no sir. I told him about the bet anyway, though, because it was pretty hilarious.

    That winter, we got back together. Two weeks later, we had his apartment all to ourselves, and he told me to sit on the couch and close my eyes. He put on our song (which, I’m embarrassed to admit, was Aerosmith’s “I Don’t Wanna Miss A Thing,” but HEY we started dating in 1998, ok?), and when I opened my eyes he was on his knees holding a $20 bill.

  72. *delurks*
    Just let me say, first, that I discovered this blog fairly recently, but have subsequently read pretty much everything on it. It is so beautifully written, and I have laughed, and cried, and been furious, but most of all I have been grateful to have found a place where people are so intelligent and just plain awesome. So thanks, Kate, fillyjonk, and sweetmachine!

    Anyway, on to my proposal story:

    My husband and I were in college when we started dating, and both had roommates and little to no privacy. Our college was on a river with a trail along it, so we would often go for walks along the river, just so we could have some time to ourselves. Anyway, the night he proposed (almost 3 years later), he asked me to drive over to campus and take a walk along the river with him, even though we hadn’t done it for ages. It was freezing cold, but I agreed, because I thought it was sweet that he wanted to do something so nostalgic.

    We were walking along when he suddenly stopped. I stopped too, and he started talking about how much he loved me and loved our relationship, and then he said these words that I will never forget, because they meant so much to me, “I can’t imagine a day of my life without you in it.” He pulled out the ring, got down on one knee, and asked me to marry him. I said yes, and we got married a year later, and had a truly rocking party.

  73. I met my husband in graduate school. I got dragged to play softball because the team had lost their pitcher. He was the catcher(I kid you not). We were in a couple of the same classes for our MBAs and had a test the next week in statistics(which I sucked at then and now) and I went downstairs to the kitchen to study – he was cooking his dinner, which consisted of throwing a can of tuna into one of those boxed macaroni and cheese dinners – he offered me dinner(which I refused because frankly, it looked like dog food and smelled worse). We started “keeping company” and the first weekend in December, after a friend’s birthday party, he said, “So, would you marry me?” and I told him, “Well, of course, I would.” We were married the next summer and spent the next year of graduate school living on boxed macaroni and cheese dinners and PBJ (because that was all we could afford). That was 30 years ago.

  74. and when I opened my eyes he was on his knees holding a $20 bill.

    Oh, hilarious!

    I’m glad you didn’t marry him and everything, but that’s a class act right there.

  75. Congrats, Fillyjonk!

    I actually proposed to my husband- it was February 29, 2004- and there’s an old Scottish/British tradition that Leap Day was the only day that women could ask men to marry them. We’d been living together and in love and stuff for a while, and we joked around about it some… then we bought my engagement ring together (a sapphire)… then I crafted a cunning plan!

    Last Leap Day was on a Sunday, which was Pub Quiz day at our neighborhood bar – a friend of mine was hosting and I conspired with her to let me ask a round of questions. So I asked a round of questions about Leap Day, and at the end, I was all, “And I have a special bonus question for Tom…” and I rambled a little bit in a pub FULL of people until finally I got it together enough to ask him to marry me. He came up to the microphone, said yes, and we made out with everyone cheering.

    So much fun! We lost that pub quiz big time, but I feel I still came out on top there.

    We eloped in Vermont, which was total awesome fun- I wore a red dress, we got married by a retired economist, and we drank beer and ate cheese all week long.

    I kept my name because… I don’t know, it’s mine. It’s a bit cumbersome but I sort of love it for that. Also? Extremely lazy.

  76. My hubby and I met on Halloween in a bar on Rush and Division in Chicago. (For those not from Chicago this is one of the bigger frat boy/meat market areas of the city.) I was dressed as a beer wench, and he was wearing some sort of robe/dress thing.

    I walked up to him and said “I lost a bet I need to kiss someone.” He said “Whaaa???” And we kissed. And then he asked for my phone number. And the rest is history.

    My dad was my mom’s physic’s TA in college. He managed to walk out of the lecture hall with her every class for a whole semester. And she got ALOT of help with her labs. He asked her on a date something like a week after the semester ended. They’ve been married for 40 years. :)

  77. Congrats, FJ!

    When my husband proposed, he handpainted a plate to read “Megan, Will You Marry Me?”. He then bought an assortment of pastries from my favorite bakery and put them on the plate covering the words and popped them into the fridge. His plan was for the words to be revealed when we had dessert after dinner that night.

    But I am a great big surprise-killer, so when I got home and opened the fridge, I immediately noticed there was a plate in there that didn’t match any of ours. So, I quizzed him about the mystery plate until he caved, moved the pastries, and proposed. I said yes, because I am a sucker for sweets.

    The plate now hangs on the wall in our bedroom. The pastries are long gone.

  78. And as for marriages that go wrong – I went with my parents to the wedding of a daughter of a friend of theirs. It was a Christmas, in a historic home out in the country near us and it was all very beautiful…except when things started to go wrong. There were these stands on the floor with hurricane lamps in them, and as the bride walked down the aisle, one of them exploded right behind her. And although this place was beautiful it really was not that big, so in order to get the tables set out and done for the reception, we were all herded into the front room for an open bar. Which lasted a long time. There was a lot of liquor and wine served with the dinner, too and the caterers had not brought enough dishes, so they started using the industrial washer in the kitchen to try to clean WHILE they were serving out. This lowered the water pressure in the bathrooms so none of the toilets would flush. And, oh, I forgot – it was an evening wedding, so the men were in tuxes and the women were in gowns. So there we all were, filled with liquid and no bathrooms, so several enterprising guys ended up out behind the barn doing their thing, while the women just stood around looking in pain.
    Needless to say, we left early.
    This family had a history of bad luck with weddings – they held their first daughter’s wedding at their house and before it was over, the father of the bride, the father of the groome, several guests AND the rabbi all ended up in the swimming pool.

  79. I’ve told my boyfriend that if he ever proposes it has to involve dancing rhinos. I think he could pull it off if he really put his mind to it.

  80. First, Congratulations!

    We met on the internet in about 1991 on an online game that still is around today. (Yes, the internet existed way back then, just very few people had heard of it or had access.) It was considered very weird and dangerous to meet people that way back then and alarmed our families, which is why I’m terribly amused that it’s considered so mainstream today.

    The main reason we started talking is that he was already in a real life relationship, as was I. I was getting tired of fending off guys who wanted to “talk” when they really meant something else, so I made a decision that I would only hang out with guys who were otherwise involved.

    Of course, you know how life works. Eventually he broke up with his significant other and I broke up with mine. And we realized that we had something going here…which was confirmed when we finally met in person. As others have written, when I met him I just knew that unless something really surprising happens, this is the one.

    We’d discussed marriage in the abstract, but I made it clear that even though I’m happy to hold doors for everyone, I wasn’t going to be the one to propose. So he did, on Christmas Eve, after we’d been living together for about a year. He just asked “will you marry me?” and I said “yes”. Simple and effective :). We went ring shopping the next week – I didn’t want a diamond, I wanted a tanzanite (that was before they got trendy and expensive), which I still wear. I like it.

    We married in a small and sort of semi-traditional ceremony 11 months later. We just celebrated our 13th anniversary.

    I kept my name for various reasons, but like pretty much all of marriage, this is an intensely personal decision, and I think each person needs to do what’s right for them.

  81. Mom and dad were introduced by my aunt (who was dating dad’s oldest brother at the time). We don’t know how (or if) he actually proposed because his version of the story is that his National Guard unit was informed to get ready for active duty during the Berlin crisis, and one night Mom asked him weren’t they getting engaged or married before he went off to die. He says that he figured since he wasn’t going to live very long, “why not?” He is always sporting a large, evil grin while he tells this story.

    Mom’s response to this is usually to smack him lightly about the head and shoulders and tell us that that IS NOT TRUE. However, when we’ve asked for her side of the story, she just giggles and refuses to say anything except that he did ask her not the other way around.

    What ever actually happened they’ve managed not to kill each other for about 46 years now, and they still laugh at each other a lot. So I think it worked out OK.

  82. My story is really embarrassing- but I’ll share it anyway.

    My partner said she had one more gift for me but I had to close my eyes. She went into my dining room and was taking a really long time- finally I said really loudly, ” What?!? Are you putting on a strap on or something?!?”

    She started laughing and it broke her nervousness- then she could ask. She got down on one knee and proposed. Classic.

    That was 15 years ago this Christmas. I can’t believe how time has flown.

  83. ” What?!? Are you putting on a strap on or something?!?”

    BWAH!

    Seriously though, engagement strap-on? Would that be awesome or what?

    (And mazel tov on your almost-anniversary!)

  84. First, CONGRATULATIONS FJ!

    Second, I am immensely enjoying everyone’s stories.

    Third, I met my fiance at work. He was a client of mine, based in MA. I was in NJ. We always had a great working relationship, but we were both married to other people. After I left the company, we stayed in touch and ended up getting divorced around the same time — it was great to have someone to talk to in the same boat as me. Over time, we got closer, started dating, I moved to MA, we moved in together, etc. He has an 8-year-old daughter who lives with us 50% of the time and we are getting married in April.

    Full engagement story here: http://like-seriously.blogspot.com/2007/09/no-witty-title-for-this-one.html

  85. Congrats!

    I’d been married once as a very young woman, and believed I didn’t want to get married again. So my now husband, round about our 4th year together, said one morning: “I know you don’t want to get married, but if you should ever change your mind, I hope you think of me before looking around for the groom.”

    2 years after that, we had our first baby. A week post-partum it was Valentine’s, and I was bleeding, puffy, milky, sweaty, feeling just gritty and gross. My husband brought me two Valentine’s cards: one romantic and loving; the other very sexy.

    I proposed to him right then. While nursing.

  86. CONGRATULATIONS, FJ!!!

    Having never been married before (but engaged twice in very uneventful ways) I don’t have a proposal story to tell.

    But I DO have a story about how my current boyfriend and I got hooked up.

    The voices (yeah, seriously) in my friend’s head told her that she needed to introduce me and S. So she invited us both to karaoke. Two days later S and I had a wonderful first date at a soap box race and the next night, went out to dinner and the movies. Date three lasted for 26 hours (not including sleeping) and we’ve barely been apart since.

    Like Kate, I was also stunned when my friends and family, who usually hate anyone I date, absolutely loved S right away.

    We plan to move in together in a few months.

    I think he’s the man I’m going to marry.

    *squee!*

  87. When my now-husband and I got together, I’d just broken an engagement to someone else. I was looking for a nice friendly fling, and we wound up going for the long haul. So several years later, when DH and I were talking about getting married, I was really against the notion of doing some big ol’ engagement.

    So we just sort of made a committee decision, and just told our parents that we’d ‘chosen a date.’ The next ten months were a trip, with people constantly inquiring where my ring was, how he’d proposed, etc. and us constantly going, “Oh, we’re not engaged. We’re just getting married.”

    The night before the wedding, at the rehearsal dinner, DH and his brother ran late because they’d had to run an errand or two first. So everyone was sitting down when they walked in. Caz walked up to the table and made a big show of checking a list, “Got the officiant, ordered the flowers, ordered the cake, have tuxes, bought rings, hired a DJ… oh man! I can’t believe it! I forgot to ask the girl!!” So there at the restaurant, with one knee on a napkin thoughtfully provided by one of the bridesmaids, he asked me to marry him, I said yes, and then 16 hours later we were married.

    I’m sure other people might not appreciate it, but I thought it was perfect.

  88. I met my boyfriend on nerve. He initially liked me b/c I “got” his Silver Jews related tagline (awesome band, btw). We met for a movie at our local indie theater and had this awesome conversation over a lot of awesome wine afterwards. We liked most of the same bands and movies. We laughed at the same jokes. We found out that we lived across the street from one another. We were both slightly high on the “nerd” scale (I will be forever indebted to him for introducing me to the Buffyverse). Heck, we even had the same Gucci specs.

    So at the end of the date, I was like, “I had a great time. See ya later.” I went home and called a friend to discuss the date. He said, “Cool, how’d you end it?” When I told him what I said he told me I’d blown it. Apparently there’s some blind date rule that if you say, “see you later,” you mean, “see you never, sucker.” Of course, I shot off a semi-frantic email to explain that I was clueless to the rules of blind dating.

    Fortunately, he thought that was pretty funny, so (insert elapsed time of 3 yrs) now we live together.

  89. Oh Thorn, I think that’s lovely. I can’t really get my mind around the idea of being engaged, or referring to the guy as my fiancee, so we just say we’re getting married. I don’t know why it seems odd to be engaged but I just don’t think about it and him in that way.

    But I like the idea of proposing and then immediately getting married.

  90. Luckily nobody has been telling me what to do (yet). I don’t talk about wedding planning much, and some of our friends might still not even know we’re doing it! And maybe I’m just an intimidating person. People have asked me about stuff, but usually out of genuine interest, not as a foot in the door so they can tell me what to do.

  91. I’m not engaged yet, and we met wrongish rather than cute (he was dating someone else at the time . . . three in a row, actually), but I still want to comment . . . As un-environmentally responsible as it is, I want the damned diamond and white-gold ring. (I’m not going to insist on an entire month’s worth of his income, though.) I’d prefer recycled gold and a Canadian diamond, though, which would make me feel better: no blood diamond and gold with less dirty cyanide-y taint.

    Also, I always said I wouldn’t change my last name unless his was something like Papavasilopoulous or, you know, equally long and Greek or Italian or something. You know, demonstrably more awesome than any other name EVER. It ain’t, so I’m sticking with my last name (which begins with a Z, so that makes me feel special). My bizarre world of feminism. :)

  92. I’m not engaged, but my delightful boyfriend and I met during the first year of law school, when we were in the same section. I didn’t like him; I thought he was pompous and talked too much. When I saw him at a deli in my (not-that-close-to-school) neighborhood, I was like “this guy?” I expressed my dislike to my friends.

    A couple weeks later we had a get together of people who lived in that area, and he showed up having come from the symphony, wearing a jacket and being very vulgar and funny. My dislike started to fade, and eventually I realized that I had had poor judgment, and he was actually rad. We were pass-you-in-the-hall-say-hi friendly for the next year or so, and then took a class together where we started talking a lot and me and my friend got him to be in our research group.

    He had a girlfriend at the time; I was trying to get him to get his friend to date me. We started to become pretty close friends, and stayed so for the next year or so (I didn’t date his friend). A couple months after I broke up with the guy I was dating, it became clear that we had a spark between us. We started doing more things just the two of us instead of in a group, and finally one night at a diner at 3 am after a show he confessed he was into me.

    Turns out he’s, like, the most fucking awesome dude ever. Word.

  93. Stephanie, you might be interested in Green Karat, which uses synthetic gems and recycled metal. (They raise some questions about Canadian mining; I haven’t looked into the validity of these questions one single smidge, however.)

    Not sure you can get a synthetic white diamond, though, if that’s what you have your heart set on.

  94. Congrats, FJ!

    I’m delurking to tell my grandparents’ story, because I think it’s awesome:

    She was a 35 year old Methodist minister in the wilds of Canada, about to become engaged to an older man back home because she thought she could do god’s work better as a married woman. He was a 20 year old alcoholic, whose sisters went to my grandma’s church, and he saw her one day when he drove his sisters to services. He asked her when the next church meeting was, because he was instantly attracted to her, and she replied that it was the next evening. So he came to the church the next evening (a big thing for him in those days) and discovered that the meeting was for the Women’s Missionary Auxillary, which was populated entirely by women. He stayed for the whole thing and drove her home afterwards, and 3 months later they were married. He never drank again, and they’ve been together 60 years.

    As for me, I met my partner in grad school, but we didn’t get together til a year later in a bar, when I got VERY, VERY drunk. Best night’s drinking I ever did! Now we live in sin very happily, with no marriage plans.

    PS: I love this blog (been reading for months), and perhaps now that I’ve delurked I’ll start commenting like a proper Shapeling :)

  95. Okay, here’s mine. My then-boyfriend and I had talked about getting married and had then picked out a ring together (my mom even gave us a diamond from one of my maternal grandmother’s rings, so it was no big surprise what we were planning), but we both wanted an official proposal. We had made plans for our two year anniversary to go to dinner and a Broadway show. I’d been anticipating the proposal for about a month, so I thought it would happen at night. He didn’t propose at dinner. He didn’t propose when we got to the theater. (Theater is like a religion to me, so it would have been appropriate.) At intermission, I actually turned to him and said, half-jokingly, “Why do you hate me?” Yeah, he’ll never let me forget that one.

    After the show, he asked if I wanted to take a cab home and I said sure, but he flagged a pedicab instead of a car. He whispered to the bicycle guy where we were going and I didn’t know until we got there – the Empire State Building. He had pre-printed tickets and everything. It was a beautiful May night, and he proposed when we were on the observation deck, looking out over the lights of eastern New York and Queens. I was afraid to take the ring because I was afraid I would somehow pitch it down 86 stories. :) Then we bought cheesy souvenirs and went home and watched the season finale of America’s Next Top Model. :)

  96. I forgot to say congratulations, fillyjonk! About your comment about just going to the courthouse: I had that fantasy, too, but I have to say that one year later, I have no regrets about having a wedding with 100 guests and all that jazz. It was really amazing to be surrounded by all that love from all these people in our lives, and to say things that meant something to us in front of them. And then, of course, to have a kickass brunch reception afterwards. :)

    I believe my dad proposed to my mom in the car, on the way to visit his parents, with something along the lines of “So, you wanna get married?” :)

  97. On the last name thingy: we have friends who took each other’s names and hyphenated. So they’re both Flores-Leventhal*. I thought that was a neat way to compromise if nobody wanted to drop their names. I personally didn’t like my own name and so took my husband’s.

    *Names are fabricated to protect the innocent.

  98. Best Wishes!

    Ok this is so embarrassing it’s funny:

    I met my husband online in 97 (as TropicalChrome said back when it was considered risky and weird). I lived in WA and he lived in NJ. He flew out to WA to meet me and I knew INSTANTLY he was The One. After he went home I told my friends if he didn’t propose within a year I would. Sadly even after moving to NYC to be closer to him and our relationship being great I chickened out on the asking him thing (I’m not terribly self confident now, but at 21 it was WAY worse). We moved in together and had been together for almost two years.

    It had gotten to a point where EVERYONE, friends, family, acquaintances were asking when we were getting married and I was getting SO tired of saying “I don’t know”.

    We were driving home to South Jersey one night after he had hung out with the guys and all the girls had done a Girls Night thing and I had been asked again (and again) the dread question I was feeling a bit down about this and was therefore uncharacteristically quiet. The dear man asked me what was wrong and I gave him the “nothing” answer several times.

    We’re still in the car driving home and finally he said “I know something’s wrong, what is it?” and I turned to him and said (and this is the exact quote) “I’m getting tired of saying ‘I don’t know’ when people ask me when we’re getting married”. Patience, NOT my strong suit.

    He turned WHITE and had to pull over to compose himself. Then he proposed. Right there in the Molly Pitcher rest stop in the NJ turnpike! I kid you not.

    Turns out he had been planning to propose but was trying to figure out the “just right” way to do so.

    We went ring shopping together and it took over a dozen stores (no joke) before we found a sales clerk who could THINK when presented with “We want an engagement ring, no yellow gold, no diamonds” in NJ in 99 that was unheard of. My lab-created sapphire in white gold “fashion ring” is beautiful!

    We’ve been married 7 years now and in February we’ll have been together a decade.

    Oh, I asked the husband and he says we went to 19 stores before finding my ring.

  99. My father uttered the undying words: “I guess we have to get married then.”

    Mom elaborated that they were in a point in their relationship where you either get married or split up, and he expressed it in this poetic way. She wasn’t pregnant, so they didn’t literally “have to”, it was just a pressing need, I guess. Actually, since Dad is more liberal than Mom, he might have preferred living together to marrying her, but she was conservative and demanded a ring in her finger. This is my own analysis, not what they told me.

    Actually, their getting together story is fairly romantic, because Mom had hit her head and gotten this enormous bulge on her forehead that went black and blue. She had to stay in bed for a few days, and Dad brought her chicken soup and Asterix comic books. They had known each other for a while, but that was when they fell in love. I always thought that was very sweet of Daddy. :)

  100. I met my now husband on the internet, in a band chatroom. It’s okay, cos my parents met through a lonely hearts ad my Dad placed.

    We met when I was 16; we got engaged on my 17th birthday. He told me after 3 months I was the girl he wanted to marry, and when it came to an actual proposal we were sitting on my bed and he whipped the ring from under the pillow.

    Awww. I love him.

  101. I was in college and a few months away from my 21st birthday when I moved into the house where my future partner lived. He lived in the basement, I lived upstairs and I didn’t really meet him for a couple months. We “hit it off” one night and ran into one of our 7 roommates on the stairs on the way back up to my room at 5am the next morning. That was it for both of us.

    Neither of us felt a need to get married, but after we had our daughter, it seemed like an easy way to set a lot of legal protections in place (super romantic, I know). While we were working on taxes one year I realized that I wasn’t going to be applying for financial aid any more and commented (flippantly) “well, we can get married now.” There was a couple seconds silence and he said “why not?” We went to City Hall with a bunch of friends and family (including our 2 year old) later that year and tied the knot, retiring to our house for mimosas after. I can’t imagine it being more fun.

    No engagement to speak of (our relationship was obviously long-term from pretty early on, though we never talked about it). No engagement ring, no real wedding ring (the ring I used in the ceremony was a neat sterling one he bought me years ago). I don’t think they don’t matter, but it’s a cool symbol. It’s been 11 years and I can’t imagine being with someone else. He’s amazing, supports me in ways I never imagined possible, and is committed to continuously creating as egalitarian of a life as possible.

    My parents eloped because they didn’t want to deal with family craziness. They went to the beach afterwards, where my dad spent most of the night in the bathroom following some disagreeable Mexican food.

  102. Well my mom married her first husband (my father) after she got pregnant (with me) They eloped to Taho, but she had really wanted a big wedding but it was his second marriage so that was, you know, bad or something.

    My stepdad proposed to my mom 3 months after they had met and they got married exactly one year after they met (at a hotel bar, how cute!) That was 1994 and they love each other just as much today as they did then.

    My boyfriend and I knew each other in college, his best friend hung out at our sorority all the time in a really platonic way (we called him sister Andy) but My Boy kind of dated around the house. I thought he was cute but lot’s of other girls had called dibs on him and I didn’t want to get into that. Then a year after school we ran into each other at a bar I gave him my number and didn’t return his call for over a month (oops). He still jokes (four years later) that he’s just stringing me along to exact revenge for my not calling him back.

  103. My mom got engaged on Mother’s Day to my step-dad. They had been living together for several years and in a drunken stupor he asked her to marry her the night before. Mom, thinking that he didn’t know what he was talking about (he had had some VERY bad marriages, including a wife that threw boiling water on him and a wife that he married right before Vietnam and then returned to find her pregnant, not by him), told him to ask her again when he was sober. She didn’t think he would actually do it. Well lo and behold he did the next morning and they got married a few months later. It was the second most wonderful wedding ever (second only to my own, lol) and I got to be the maid of honor and sing as my mom walked down the aisle. I will never forget that day as long as I live. RIP Bill!

  104. Before I ever met my husband, I had an interesting dream with a very handsome man in it that sparked an idea for a short story.

    Fast forward to the beginning of my second year in college. I was heading out of the library to go to the very first meeting of the atheist organization on campus. As I walked down the steps, I looked up and locked eyes with a man sitting outside preparing a sign for that same atheist meeting. He looked so similar to the man in that dream. I mean, the man is HOT. Plus, I knew right off the bat we had something in common. (Of course later I learned he’s a big geek like me, super smart, and witty, and caring…)

    I had to take care of some financial business before the meeting, so I couldn’t stop to talk to him then. An hour later I was in the meeting place with a bunch of other students waiting for the meeting to start. My dream man finally arrived, breathless and sweaty from taking the stairs, and introduced himself as the founder and president of the organization!

    We were an exclusive couple a month later, and a month after that I knew I wanted to spend the rest of my life with him. We were living together by the start of the next semester – we had been inseparable anyway. By that time he had told me he started the organization with the hope of meeting someone. He can by sly, that one.

    We had already made a lifetime commitment, but after three years as boyfriend-girlfriend, we decided to get legally married because of the legal benefits.
    We knew a friend of ours who is an ordained minister through that online thing would be at a regular gaming night at another friend’s house. So we got the marriage certificate, went over, and were married in about 10 seconds. We didn’t tell any of the people there what we were going to do, so the best part was surprising all of them. Our hostess was like, “Ohmygod, people just got married in my house! Awesome!”

    We told our families later. They were all cool about it.

    Kate Harding: I feel the way about my husband much the way you describe your feelings for Al in your meeting story. I can’t believe I found a guy who is so truly awesome.
    One time when I asked my husband why he likes me, he listed some characteristics, but then he said, “Most of all, you just get it.”

  105. I met my hubby at V-con in Vancouver BC May 1993. Funny thing was, I went up planning to spend the weekend at the con with someone else. One thing after another, I ended up with hubby (long story I’ll keep it short) for the weekend.

    He lived in Vancouver, I lived here in Moscow, so we started emailing and I traveled up as often as possible to visit (every other weekend). Several months of this, late one night I get an email asking if handfasting was legal in Idaho. Me being the usual clueless twit, emailed back what amounted to a legal dissertation on the subject (for the record, at the time Idaho had common law marriage, so handfasting was legal).

    Not even an hour after I hit send, I get a phone call and the voice on the other end said “That’s not what I meant!” and he proceeded to ask me to marry him :D

    I of course said yes and we talked and the next day I called my parents who were at the Scottish games in Stone Mt GA if they would be available to attend a wedding end of Oct. My mom preceded to ask about his clan affiliations (luckily no bad ones, so he was acceptable LOL).

    The first time my folks met hubby was the morning of the Vancouver BC wedding. I had two, one to satisfy INS and one because there was no way in heck I was going to be denied my walk down the aisle on my daddy’s arm in my dress and the whole nine yards :D

  106. My sister and I have a bet on that my boyfriend will propose to me in norway this christmas…

    Im actually really hoping he does. I know hes the one, and ive kindof known ( as you tend to, just inexplicably) we are going to be married someday since last november. At the time, we were best friends but he had told me that he had absolutely no feelings for me in that way at all. Everyone else was either convinced we were a couple, or were warning both of us of the dangers of spending too much time together and hurting each other through it.
    It was painful, being friends with him when i clearly wanted more, and he knew i did but refused to give that to me. But it was also so awesome, i have never felt so at home with anyone else.
    Eventually i got to the point were i was actually, finally, happy to just be his friend and nothing more, and he turned around and told me that he was in love with me!!

    He wasnt a jerk about all of this, he was just extremely unsure. He’d never had a relationship and he’s also one of these guys that overthinks EVERYTHING. He also expected the big flashing neon sign saying ‘SHE’S THE ONE!!’ above the head of the girl he was supposed to marry, instead he fell slowly but surely in love. WITH MEEEE!

    He’s the most loving, kind, generous and HAWT man i have ever known, and i love him to tiny little pieces. He’s just everything ive ever wanted. Intelligent, talented, beautiful big brown eyes..

    and norwegian. and im going to marry him and live in the norwegian mountains in my norwegian house with my norwegian husband, norwegian cat and alaskan malamute.

    we can all dream, cant we?!

  107. CONGRATULATIONS!

    When my parents started dating, my mom was actually dating another guy. My dad knew about the other guy, but the other guy didn’t know about my dad (shock!) Go mom! I’d guess it was because it was my mom’s brother’s (my uncle) best friend. My uncle was dating my mom’s best friend too.

    Anyway, when the other guy found out about my dad, he actually punched my dad in the face OVER my mom’s head (she is short). My dad took him to court and won… and also had to have a his nose set.

    When my dad asked my mom to marry him, she said no like four times. He kept asking (bless him) and she finally said yes. They will be celebrating their 25th Anniversary (married) in the summer of 2008.

  108. My sweetie and I aren’t married, and maybe we will get married, or maybe we won’t, but he is definitely “The One.”

    Back in time to 2002: I was a passionate young thing, looking for excitement and adventure in Europe. I was an active poster on an internet message board and had a massive crush on one of the Brit posters. I flew over to London from Chicago, met some of the other Brit posters and actually got together with my crush boy. I was smitten. But it just wasn’t working for some reason.

    One night we went out and I was totally trying to get it on with Crush Boy, but this other guy who was friends with Crush Boy just would NOT leave! I was annoyed but it wasn’t til the next day when this other boy brought me a CD he’d made that I thought, “Hmmm.”

    So, I went out for a friendly evening with the other boy. By the end of the night we were totally making out. But I still wasn’t over crush boy. I went to Brighton, a seaside town, with crush boy for the day, and it was then that I realized he wasn’t really for me.

    I’ll never forget coming back to London, walking to The Other Boy’s apartment and knocking on his door. I knew I had made my choice. He let me in and really that’s when it all started. I

    went back to Chicago a week or so later and as soon as I got home I spent 8 hours on AIM talking to him. I used to rush home from work because of the time difference so we could talk. My parents started to think I was addicted to the internet but really I was just in love!

    Three months after that I flew back to London and into his arms and we haven’t really left each other’s sides since. That was almost 6 years ago and I hope we have a lot of time left together.

  109. *delurking*

    Congratulations! I love your blog and thank you so much for being witty, insightful, informative and all around awesome.

    My parents have a story. My parents met at a party in college. SEVEN YEARS LATER my father calls my mother to ask her on a date. Not joking – the man was sweet and kind and wonderful, but no sense of urgency. And he was painfully shy. So he calls and my mom goes “. . .” My grandfather, however, knew my dad; my dad was an orphan working his way through school and worked with my grandfather. My grandfather said “you should go out with him; he’s a good guy, hard worker.” My grandparents were excited; they thought since my mom was 25 and fat, that she would never get married (the fact that she had boyfriends escaped them). So my dad comes over and they make Pizelles (Italian cookies). The next date they go the beach together for the weekend. My mom was always quick to point out (to our smirks) “we went with his Methodist fraternity. . .seriously. . .not as fun as it sounds.” And they got engaged on the way back. They were married six months later. They said that they just “knew”. My parents showed me that acceptance is key; my mom kept her name in the 1970s, worked fulltime when no other mother did,and showed me that being a woman, being fat or being anything that wasn’t “normal” not only wasn’t an issue, but should be appreciated. My dad died after they had been married 26 years. My mom died 3 years later. They were best friends and I gauged every relationship I ever had by their happiness and their commitment to making it work through some harrowing ordeals. And when I found it; I just “knew”, too.

  110. My now-husband and I met in high school, ten years ago this year. We had a mutual friend who bugged the crap out of us until we finally agreed to meet each other. I thought he was a dumb jock; he thought I was preppy. We reluctantly agreed to go out on a group date with the mutual friend and her friends and totally hit it off. On the way home, he was showing off in his car and hit a telephone pole. We each blamed ourselves for it and were convinced the other one would never speak to us again, so it was a week before one of us called the other again. The rest is history.

    We got married a few years after that. He’d just graduated college and I had a year to go, but [insert long story here involving insufferable parents] I ended up choosing not to wait the extra year. I got a friend to drive me to his university one day. I went to his apartment, woke him up and told him we should just get married that summer. After he actually woke up, he agreed to it, so we were married a month later in a nice small ceremony at my parents’ house. (I was good and did NOT kill my mother, who didn’t have a wedding of her own and thus turned into Mother-of-the-Bride-zilla.)

    When he proposed (a year before we got married), we’d stopped at a local restaurant with a good sky view near the local minor league baseball stadium. They were doing 4th of July fireworks and a bunch of people go to that parking lot to watch the show. He meant to propose to me during the fireworks finale, but got nervous and ended up doing it early.

    We’d been sitting on the hood of his car, and he went down on one knee in front of it to propose. When he stood up and we walked around the car to get back in it, there were a bunch of people looking at us strangely. We’d both been sitting there, then he disappeared for a while, then we both appeared with crazy grins on our faces. Oh my. ;)

  111. Awww, congratulations, that’s so cool! We’ve been married just over a year and it’s so awesome. Really.

    It’s such a cliche, but I met my husband at the coffee shop where I took my paperwork when I didn’t have to be at rehearsals (costume designer). I’d been seeing him there for a few weeks before we actually spoke and I was interested because he appeared to be so severe. I’m still unclear as to why potential (and as it happens, non-existent) severity turned me on.

    We got married at the courthouse in Brooklyn, after a proposal set to the sounds of our two cats hoovering their dinner; the scent of Meow Mix now makes me nostalgic *flicks tear away.* The clerk was running late and wanted to get out of there (it was a Friday afternoon) so she had everyone line up like we were in a deli, right outside the door. We were second. No rings, our cokehead neighbor as a witness, probably took all of 30 seconds. My parents hosted a small dinner party six months later, once my mother-in-law unwadded her big-girl panties.

    I would heartily recommend getting married in exactly the way you want. People may act like it is the end of the world if you don’t have a wedding like Martha Stewart says you should, but they will get over it.

  112. Oh, I totally forgot. If you haven’t already, check out indiebride.com. The Kvetch message board has a tremendous wealth of resources.

    Congrats again!!

  113. Re: Names

    I always thought I’d take my husband’s last name. That was always part of my plan. However, at 37 still unmarried with a boyfriend who’s ex-wife has the same first name as me. I’m thinking, the world doesn’t need another Patty X (or Pattie X even). I like my name, it’s that Firstname Lastname concept you all have mentioned. It’s me, and has always been me since day one.

    So, should boyfriend ask me to marry him, I’m keeping my name. Plus, my brother will never have kids so it’s an opportunity for my Dad’s name to live on (mom’s name is living on through her brother’s 4 sons).

    If we have kids we’ll figure out the names then.

  114. Oh, I’m all over IB, lucizoe. Not to give too much away, but if there’s a thread about body image I’m probably on it pimping SP. (Not the weight loss threads, though, I stay away from those.) There’s at least one other Shapeling there too, keeping me sane.

    Mostly IB irritates me as much as any group of women only some of whom are feminists. But as wedding resources go it is absolutely indispensible.

  115. I prefer offbeatbride.com

    My partner and I have a lovely story, which I don’t feel like typing tonight, but may put on my blog tomorrow.

    He hasn’t proposed yet, but we are already planning the wedding. He is unsure about proposing, and an engagement ring, since he feels that it is promoting heteronormativity.

    I tell him I love ritual and tradition, and I want a ring.

    We will see what happens. I am keeping my name, having already changed it a couple of times. I have been married twice already, although my last husband (and the boys’ father- he is fairly cool) took my name and we both hyphened, Long-XXXXXXX (It is the boys’ too, so I try to keep it off the internet)

  116. 2am is probably not the best time to try & recall all this, but I’ll try.

    1) My parents started dating when their mutual high school friend, Boo, asked my mother (M): “So, if J asked you out, do you think you’d say yes?” M thought about this. J was the class president, all A’s kinda guy that everyone liked. “Yes,” she told Boo. Later as school got out and the buses were loading, Boo yelled across the whole school parking lot “HEY J! M SAID SHE’D GO OUT WITH YOU, SO JUST ASK ALREADY!” He did. They were 15, and they got married at 18. I made them a little iMovie music video of slides for their 30th anniversary last year.

    2) My grandparents met when my grandma W, modern woman that she was back then, was working in a meat packing plant as a buyer. My grandfather came in to sell some chickens that he’d raised, and he asked her out. There are pictures of them at the beach, and she’s wearing a bikini & posing on a 1950-something convertible. The scandal!

    3) My husband proposed on my parents’ wedding anniversary, over a flaming boat of sushi. I took his name because his last name is really cool, and people don’t forget it. It’s fun to say.

    4) Coolest engagement story I know: I went to a school called Harding University. Among the sororities there, there is a tradition called a “ring ceremony”. When a girl gets engaged she keeps it quiet, telling only her sorority president. The president gets a white candle and takes the girl’s ring, and then puts up flyers all over campus, saying “[Sorority Name] Ring Ceremony, [Location & Time]“. All the girls of the sorority (& the “beaux”, honorary male members who’ve had that title bestowed upon them by vote) show up and stand in a circle, usually singing something, while the candle is passed around, lit and with the ring placed on it (as though the taper candle were a finger). It goes around until it reaches the owner, who blows out the candle and we all mob her like crazy. Usually she gets tossed in a fountain. I was not happy about that for myself, as I got fountain-tossed on December 3rd.

    A week before my own proposal, our club had a ring ceremony called. We all showed up. Candle was ringed, lit, and passed. It circled once, twice. Everyone just KNEW it was me, but I knew it wasn’t, so I was honestly, completely at a loss for who it might be. After FOUR rounds (unheard of! ^_^), it stopped at Theron…a BEAU. He blew it out, walked across the circle, and went to one knee in front of Betsy. I think you could’ve heard us all the way to Little Rock. They’d been officially “just friends” for years, I believe because of some issue with a member of Betsy’s family. This was the first time they’d ever even hinted that they might be more. She said yes. ^_^

  117. Congratulations Fillyjonk!

    I read here a lot, but rarely comment. Couldn’t pass this thread up, though.

    One of the few advantages of not being able to get “legally” married, is that you can get married a bunch of times. My partner and I have had three (count ‘em 3) weddings. The first was during a full lunar eclipse, alone, on the top of a dormant volcano, the second, a ceremony with our five closest friends, and the third, a ceremony with both our families and MANY friends in our backyard. (the second and third were on her birthday and my birthday, respectively).

    For the first year we were together, we asked each other every day “Will you marry me?” and hearing the answer “Yes” was a complete thrill, so even after we tied the knot, we continued this practice. I get proposed to at least once a week, and so does she. For the last six years.

    May you be blessed in your marriage, and always adore your beloved as I have and still do, and be adored by your beloved, as I have been and still am.

  118. Congratulations Fillyjonk! And I love reading all these stories.

    The best meeting-story in my family happened when my maternal grandmother, a teacher from London, was accompanying some evacuee schoolchildren to rural Wales at the start of WWII. On arrival, one of the smallest boys went missing. She ran to the local church to get help with finding him, and the young curate rushed back to the station with her, and as they were searching the two of them got talking…

    The missing boy was found safe and well. He had understandably found the journey somewhat stressful, so had hidden in his own suitcase.

  119. My fiance and I got engaged shortly after my naked six year old brother climbed into bed with us “to warm his feet”.

    We plan on tormenting my brother with this story in later life.

  120. I love reading these stories. My own isn’t that exciting, but my grandfather went to my grandmother’s 8th birthday party (he was 7 at the time) and came home and said, “I’m going to marry that girl Edna”. And about 12 years later, he did. We will gloss over the fact that she was 3 months’ pregnant with my father at the time, and they had to move away shortly thereafter for her to give birth in an other town (this was 1935, after all)…

    To add my 2p-worth on the name-change debate, I’ve never really got with my married name – I changed it, kind of, half-and-half, and have to say that it would be a LOT easier to do one or the other. Either keep it or bin it, but don’t try to embrace both as it just gets complicated (I always forget which name I’ve booked things under and often sign the wrong name on credit-card slips, for example).

    Anyway, I kind of did want to change it, but it’s soo different from my maiden name and, as Kate (the original) said earlier, my maiden name (which is incidentally a much more unusual name) is ME – I lived with it for nearly 30 years before I got married and Mrs Somebodyelse just isn’t who I am. (I’ve been married 7 years so I’ve had to time to (not) get used to it).

    Also, and this is TOTALLY random, but at school we were always streamed alphabetically and, having a surname that begins with R, I never knew/associated with those people at the beginning of the alphabet. They were strange, foreign, early-alphabet types. So to change my name to something beginning with C, thus putting me in the early-alphabet category, just seems too odd.

  121. What completely cool news! Many congrats!!!!

    Well, my husband and I will hit ten years of marriage in June of this year. He proposed to me on the 4th of July at a fireworks show. The problem was, I didn’t hear him but the lady next to him did and got very excited.

    I said, “Huh? What did you say?”

    She said, “OH my God, will you marry him?!!!”

    I said, “Sure. Yeah.”

    So the joke is that this random lady at the fireworks show actually proposed to me.

  122. For the first year we were together, we asked each other every day “Will you marry me?” and hearing the answer “Yes” was a complete thrill, so even after we tied the knot, we continued this practice. I get proposed to at least once a week, and so does she. For the last six years.

    PD, I LOVE THAT!

    Also, hi! Good to see you!

  123. My husband and I met on an internet dating site (a free one! Eat that, eharmony) and on our first date he brought me the book I’d been talking about that I couldn’t afford to buy until it came out in paperback (college, you know?). He took me to an Italian place because I’d confessed to him that I was a noodleholic, and he seemed really pleased that I didn’t even ask where we were going because I like surprises. We were supposed to go see a movie but decided to walk around a local park instead, which was deserted since it was after dark in October, though when he kissed me a jogger decided to come by. Our Friday date turned into a weekend-long date, and by Saturday night we’d exchanged the L word. Sunday I started to get a bad cold and was the last night we spent apart without one of us being out of town or something, even though I was sick for the whole week following. Sometime during that week he asked me, “So when should we get married” and we started talking dates and making plans. The week after that I went to “family night” and met his mom and aunt and etc. Then I went home for a weekend to see a concert and let it slip to my parents that I’d met a guy and yeah it was pretty serious. He came to Thanksgiving with my family and that was that. I don’t mind not having had a proposal (especially one that might have been in public…I really don’t want that much attention and particularly not from strangers in a public place!)–it all happened so fast for us that there wasn’t really time for one! :)

  124. Congratulations FJ!

    My “hubby” and I aren’t actually married or engaged (among other things, his divorce won’t be finalised until January).

    But, I always refer to him as my Husband or “other half” and we both wear matching silver Celtic wedding rings (on the right finger)…so we probably confuse the hell outta everyone, lol.

    I honestly don’t know if he’ll ever ask me to marry him for real, but we have said if it ever happens, it’ll be a quiet almost elopement type wedding. We both hate fuss.

    (Though God knows where we’d hold the ceremony…he’s an ex-Baptist turned Athiest and I’m an ex-Catholic, ex-PaganBuddhist turned Anabaptist…)

  125. I don’t know… I thought I wanted to get married, but now I’m not sure. I don’t want to spend the rest of my life cleaning up after a man. And there’s the inherent danger of having a man in the house in the first place. I used to think that if I had a man, he’d scare off all the other men who might hurt me. Turns out he just gets to be first in line. It’s safer to be single.

  126. Those are wonderful stories, and congratulations on your engagement. But where was your story? Did I miss it?

    My engagement was not very romantic. My boyfriend got kicked out of the US by immigration (he hadn’t done, or planned to do, anything illegal…it was just random bad luck) and while we were standing in front of the immigration offices — me crying and getting snot all over his shirt — he said, “Well, you wanna get married?” I guess I was 19. We got married a few months later — in Canada :)

  127. Congrats!

    I proposed to my fiance, and if I havn’t recieved the FUNNIEST LOOKS every time I tell people about it. Everyone asks how he proposed, but get all aghast that I proposed to him. I’ve even recieved the responses “Oh, you poor girl, he didn’t want to ask you??” OR “Why?”

    I get a kick out of it most times, but occasionally, I wonder what happened to the whole “Whatever you can do I can do better” thing went.

  128. Hey Kate,

    My daughter has both her father’s and my last name, but not as a new name. The paperwork to give your child any name is the same. You just fill out the birth certificate. Really you can name your child whatever you want. My child has a very long name, but at three can say the entire thing. She likes that she has one name from me and one name from her dad.

    No proposal stories here. I’m pretty sure I don’t want to get married. But I like reading them!

  129. Family legend goes that my maternal grandfather was the worst proposer in history. Apparently they were out shopping one day, and he said, “Well, if we’re going to get married, you better buy a dress.” So she did, and they got married. My mother still has the dress, wrapped up in a box. It’s not a typical wedding dress – it’s blue with a matching cloche hat.

  130. One of my older sisters got engaged in this way:

    She was training to become an American Sign Language interpreter and she and her now-husband had been together for something like 6 years already. He learned how to sign “Will you marry me?” without her knowing, took her out to dinner, and proposed silently. She also answered in sign.

    I’m not married myself, but I am with the person I intend to spend my life with. When people ask how we met, we tell them that he was saving me from ninjas, but the truth is that we met on Myspace (shhhh).

  131. I lack an amusing proposal story (our entire proposal: “I’m buying you a ring.” “Okay”), but nothing could ever top the first time I met my (then-future) husband:

    At the time, I was dating one of his friends, and said friend brought me over to husband’s house to introduce me. We walked into the basement, where husband was lying on the floor listening to music; when he saw us, he (I swear) jumped about three feet in the air and yelled, “DAMN, dude, you told me she was ugly but you didn’t tell me she was THAT ugly!”

    I, unlike any other woman he’d ever met, found this hilarious and had a crush on him for years afterward. (Stilll do, actually….)

  132. PD, your story got me all misty!

    (Although my god, do we need to do some gay outreach over here? Yours was one of like three non-het pairings — I had no idea we were so straight at SP!)

    Dani, that is truly one of the great meeting stories.

    Peggynature, I don’t have a proposal story… we discussed whether we wanted to get married before or after he finished his dissertation, decided on before (I can’t remember what the thinking was as it now seems backwards), discussed ring semiotics for a while, and then found a cheap one on the internet. When it arrived we thought maybe we ought to pretend it was a big event, so we went out to dinner, but only after I went to water aerobics.

    I do have a pretty good getting-together story, though. We’d been friends for a long time because we were both popular regulars at a local coffeeshop that (at the time) had a very strong core of customers who were all friends and practically indistinguishable from employees. We went to a “singles night” event there, just to check in and help out and because we were expected. It was pretty crowded so we decided to go get some food, and were on our way out when the day manager and her husband, who lived behind the shop, came by to share their Ecstasy-fueled euphoria with us. The manager took me aside and said “maybe it’s just because we’re rolling, but you and Firstname Lastname [I told you!] should get it on.” So we went to get food and I said “S. and K. think we should get it on” and he said “they’re probably right” and I said “they’re probably right” and then we went and made out in the TA office, the end.

  133. Lollydee, I totally got engaged at the fireworks and will be married ten years in June! I’ve never met anyone else who got engaged at the fireworks. We had taken a friend’s ten year old to fireworks with some friends, and halfway through he ran me up a hill, spun me around, kneeled on the slope below and asked if I would

    We met on the internet before it was the web, on a bulletin board. Someone made a stupid argument and we replied with nearly the same words simultaneously. I sent a “great minds think alike” instant message to him, he replied, and we had a glorious written courtship while we were too busy to date in real life and lived a thousand miles apart. I didn’t tell my parents that we met on the internet until after the twins were born. :)

  134. YAAAAAAAY FILLYJONK! *does the Kermit flail*

    This is my grandma’s story; I still have to ask my mom.

    Okay. Gram was married to my biological grandfather, and Grandpa was an IRS guy in the same town. My mom went to school with… well, I guess he’s her step-brother, technically. Gram and Grandpa met because he was doing an audit or… something. So they hit it off and they would go out together for walks in the local state park and spend as much time as they could together. But they were both still married. Ahem.

    After Mom and my uncle graduated from high school, Gram got a divorce from biological grandfather and moved down to the bigger city, and Grandpa followed. Even though he was still married. Eventually he got a divorce and then they moved in together.

    They lived together for SEVENTEEN YEARS before they got married. I wasn’t supposed to know they weren’t married, but I did anyway.

    Gram says Grandpa is her soulmate, and I love him like crazy. He told my mom once that he wishes he’d married Gram first, but he was glad he hadn’t because then he wouldn’t have known Mom. He used to take care of my little brother during the day when Mom was at work, and he would make us stuff in his shop, like play swords.

    He’s my real grandpa.

  135. JB came home early from work one night and told me he’d been talking about me. That he’d told a co-worker that he wanted to spend the rest of his life with me. So he figured he’d better tell me that, too.

    No real proposal. No ring – I wasn’t sure I wanted one, and we certainly couldn’t afford it. We have beautiful matching wedding bands engraved with the tree of life: http://tinyurl.com/yrm9ga

    We met online in 97, in an MSN chat room. I was in WA and he was in NYC. We’ve been together 10 yrs and married 8.5.

    He’s remarkable and I’m lucky.

  136. Alyce, I love stuff like that. I’ll never forget, one of SM’s and my first days at college, another woman from our house came into our room and said “I was just talking to some other people about how cool you guys were, and I thought I should come and tell you too.”

  137. CONGRATS!

    My story isn’t remarkable, but somewhat cute and I’m in a sentimental mood so I’ll tell the “How my boyfriend and I got together” story.

    I was in my senior year in high school and I was leaving C’s house one night with a bunch of friends and he hugged me goodbye as always and out of no where, gave me a quick kiss. The next day we were hanging out watching a movie when he kissed me again, This time I had the presence of mind to kiss back and after about 10 minutes of making out I totally ruined the moment by going “So, does this mean we’re dating?” To which he replied “Well, I don’t make out with my friends this way…”

    Two and a half years later, the relationship ended as we grew apart at different universities. But we stayed pretty close friends. Then two years ago we were both home from our respective schools for winter break and he had surgery. I spent a lot of time at his house keeping him company since he couldn’t go anywhere. When it came time for us to go back to our schools, we ended up visiting each other every weekend. Somewhere along the line I looked at him and we had the following conversation:
    Me: We’re dating again, aren’t we?
    Him: Is that ok with you?
    Me: I guess so. The distance is kind of annoying. (at the time we lived 2 hours apart)
    Him: Yeah, but you’re graduating soon and you have that job in Baltimore.
    Me: Yeah. Should we wait till I live there to make it official?
    Him: Sure. That’ll work.
    Me: Ok then.

    I can only hope that when I am proposed to it will a) come from C. and b) be far more romantic and memorable than the start of our relationship!

  138. Hoo boy. The way my current and I met was far from cute. He was my ex’s best friend, and I was…well, my ex’s girlfriend.

    On the “Hey! I’m not an asshole!” side, my relationship was already falling apart (for the best, as it was, I believe, borderline emotionally abusive and on its way further) and he and my ex had already more or less terminated the friendship, but I did definitely break up with the ex the day AFTER I hooked up with the current for the first time.

    We’re only 19, and he’s my third (I’m his first) serious SO, so marriage is certainly not in the cards right now (and possibly not ever, though we’ve sworn to remain friends, as we were really close–possibly even best friends–before we got together), but he does say some sweet things sometimes.

    “You make me want to get a job” i.e. drop out of school and marry me
    “You’ve got me so bad–and say no, please–I would propose to make you happy!” (He definitely got down on one knee in State Street in downtown Chicago during this speech–people gasped
    “I have an urge to take a knee.” (I shook my head and he said, “I won’t,” but you know, it was really nice still)
    Also, there was a speech about “you’re it” and how no other entertainment/no other person could suffice.

    What can I say, I go for saps.

    As for my parents–my dad worked incredibly hard to get my mom to go out with him; after cooking her an amazing dinner on New Year’s while watching the fireworks over the Boston Harbor out his huge windows, he gave up. She called him a couple months later and asked him to a movie. Five years later, they had been dating/living together for, well, five years, and one day he rolled over in bed and asked, “Hey, wanna get married and have kids?” They had me eight months after the wedding (and no, I was NOT premature.)

  139. Still single. Once engaged. Nothing exciting about the engagement. But two funny “how we met” stories.

    One woman I dated I met through a couple of friends. A bunch of us rented a van and drove to D.C. for a demonstration. On I-70 in Ohio in the van on the way back to Illinois in the middle of the night I was sleeping and she happened to be sitting next to me, sleeping. Suddenly, at 2 a.m. I felt her hand fall on top of mine. I looked up–she was still sleeping. Her hand didn’t move. Neither did mine. Over the course of maybe two hours our hands remained there and turned imperceptibly slowly, with me falling back asleep and waking up again at least a couple of times during the process, until finally our hands were actually clasped. Then we stopped at a rest stop. All of us got out, went to the bathroom, and when we got back, she sat next to me again and we clasped hands again. All of this without saying anything–at least until the next morning. We dated for nine months. (This was actually the second relationship for me that started on I-70 in Ohio in a van in the middle of the night on the way back from a political event.)

    Two weeks before we broke up (for the last time) my roommates and I held a party. My soon-to-be-ex was there. One of my friends brought her roommate. My roommate fell head over heels ga-ga in love with her and later asked her out. After maybe their second date he came home and announced to us that he was now in a relationship with her. This seemed more than a bit fast, and I suspected that this sentiment might not be mutually felt by the woman he was dating, and this was confirmed when shortly thereafter she stopped returning his calls. By this time, my girlfriend and I had broken up. A month after that, I decided to ask out the woman my roommate had pursued. Our first date was seven hours, our second was twenty-one hours, and we dated three and a half years and were engaged a year and a half before we broke up.

  140. Over the course of maybe two hours our hands remained there and turned imperceptibly slowly, with me falling back asleep and waking up again at least a couple of times during the process, until finally our hands were actually clasped.

    OMG, I just barfed a rainbow. That’s awesome.

  141. Many congrats, FJ!

    My own hubby asked me to marry him about two weeks after we met. OK, well, I found him through a personal ad so we’d actually been writing to each other rather longer, but anyway…We used to meet up roughly halfway between us, which was London. On this particular Saturday, we were heading for the Natural History Museum – the one with all the dinosaurs – and when he popped the question, we were halfway across the Cromwell Road. Literally. When I’d dragged him to the safety of the sidewalk and told him off for shocking me in a place where I was within inches of falling under the Putney Bridge bus, I said yes.

    (Actually getting married took a great deal longer, and was complicated by a bunch of stuff – we’re pagan, and not only is this not legally recognized in the UK but it’s not personally acknowledged by anyone in our respective families. We ended up having three separate ceremonies. But that’s another story entirely.)

  142. This is my sister’s story, but what the heck.

    She and her now-husband had been living together as common law spouses for about 25 years. Then her husband’s father died. Her job (at which she’d been toiling for more than 25 years) wouldn’t give her even a day off for the funeral because they weren’t legally married (in Quebec, where she lives, spouses get 3 days off to mourn for inlaws). That day, she said, “We’re getting married. I’m not putting up with this kind of crap again.” And so they were married the follwing week.

  143. Mary: Sorry for the late reply, but I LOVE that story. And twins? Yikes, I’ve got two – four years apart – and they drive me nuts. Wow, many kudos to you!!!!!!!

  144. My now-husband and I first met when he was 15 and I was 21 on an old BBS back before the Internet was widely available to people outside of the government and universities. We chatted back and forth for a bit before meeting each other face-to-face, and when we did, my reaction was that he looked like a baby geek, and he couldn’t believe how big I was. Those impressions didn’t stop us from becoming friends, however, and over the next 6 years we got to be pretty close. I really thought of him as kind of a kid brother, and I could always see inside of him this really wonderful, special person – he just needed a bit of polishing, which I was happy to help him with. I knew that he would one day make some woman extremely lucky, but I NEVER thought it would be me.

    Fast forward to 6 years later, and he’d been coming over to my apartment to help me out while my wrist was recovering from surgery. We were relaxing and watching TV, and he was giving me a nice, relaxing backrub. I kinda started to fall asleep and, apparently, as I was doing so, reached up, pulled his head down toward mine (he was on a chair and I was on the floor in front of him) and the next thing I knew, I was awake and we were kissing. I’ve always joked that our first kiss was somewhat accidental :) We decided that maybe we could try dating, but it would need to be very casual. 2 weeks later we said “ok, so it’s not so casual” and a month after that, we were sitting around watching TV again, when he got this really interesting grin on his face. I asked him what he was thinking and he said he was thinking of how nice it would be if we could just spend the rest of our lives like that. I murmured an agreement and before I knew it, he was up, jumping around, whooping and hollering something about being engaged. When I figured out he meant engaged to ME, I was like, ‘Oh, ok. That works….” mainly because I was too stunned for anything more complicated than that. Once he finally calmed down, it sort of hit me and I got all excited. We got married a year later and have stayed that way for over 13 years.

    One very funny thing happened when we told my parents about our engagement. He’s 7 years younger than me, and when we made the announcement, my mother’s initial reaction was “Isn’t he a bit young for you?” It took everything by dad had to not break out laughing – because he’s 11 years younger than my mom!

    Speaking of them, all my life, my parents had told me how their age difference was a big concern to my mother when dad asked her to marry him. She told me she spent a lot of time trying to decide if she really could be comfortable married to a guy that much younger than her and that they talked about it a lot, but that she finally said yes. Well, while we were planning my wedding, my dad made a comment that made me realize that my parents had met in June – and had gotten married – not just engaged, but married – by September. To this day, I want to know where all this “lot of time trying to decide” and “talk[ing] about it” happened!!!

    They’ve been married for 44 or 45 years now, though, so apparently it worked, even if their courtship WAS pretty brief :)

  145. All these stories made me feel warm and fuzzy inside. <3

    Okay, so I’m nineteen and single, with no prospects due to a lack of non-heterosexual girls on campus, but I can tell the story of how my parents got married.

    They met in Florida when my dad was stationed there. Slept together, kinda clicked, and she went back to North Carolina with him. Few months pass, and it’s “OH SHIT, WE’RE PREGNANT.” So they get married, despite his family’s protests at him marrying an “Army whore” (my mum, who already had one kid from another man who was born out of wedlock), and seven months later I was born.

    At some point I guess they fell in love with each other, because they’re still together twenty years later. They have to ask how old I am and add a year to figure out how long they’ve been married though.

  146. Late to the party, as I was studying all weekend for my final final.

    My DH and I met at a Renaissance faire. I was performing; he was visiting. In a kilt. Since I had been performing for years, I knew that no man arrives in costume alone. He is either with friends or a woman, usually the latter, so that makes them a good mark for flirting as they won’t take it too seriously. For the first time in my long career, I was wrong. He was NOT with a woman and told me so. (eek! Panic!) He spent three days respectfully talking to me and asking me to dinner at the end of the day. I refused all three invitations because I did not date patrons; they tend to want you to be your character instead of who you really are. I did take his phone number, as he was a very nice young man and I thought we might be friends.

    Well, he was also a very persistent young man and over the next six months managed to convince me, via letters while he was in boot camp and phone calls and letters while in other training, that we should at least give a relationship a shot. I finally let him come visit me for a weekend. On the second day, we were sitting on the couch when he said “I know you’ve said you aren’t interested right now, but if you ever decide that you do want to get married, I’ll be here.” I told him that might be a few years and he reiterated that he would be there in a few years, too. Then I told him that it was really unfair to ask me to marry him. Then we talked about the kind of house we wanted and eventually he looked at me and said “did you just say yes in a really roundabout way?” And I had to admit that I had. We were married six months later. We had never lived in the same state. But I had never been as comfortable in my skin as I was when with him. Fifteen years later, we’re still together.

  147. Kriselda’s story reminds me of a friend of mine who is one of several women in her family to marry younger men. She likes to tell of her great aunt who, when a friend in a melancholy mood mused one day “Whatever happened to our youth?” replied “I don’t know about you, dear, but I married mine.”

  148. I was very active on indiebride when I was engaged. I also found it a strange combination of indispensable and irritating. :)

  149. Long-time reader, first-time poster, and very late to the party.

    Congratulations, FJ! Allow me to third (perhaps fourth?) the indiebride recommendation. I found it to have the highest percentage of sanity of any bridal site.

    My engagement story is fairly boring — After several months of me trying to figure out if he was anti-marriage or just afraid of marriage to *me*, and him being convinced that I was trying to pressure him into marriage, he proposed to me in bed one day.

    Him (in the middle of a conversation): Will you marry me?

    Me (an oblivious idiot): Yeah, sure.

    Him (jumping out of bed to retrieve ring): No, I mean *will you marry me?*

    Yes, I really am that oblivious.

    The story of how we got together, on the other hand, is adorable. We were both on the fencing team in college, and both coming out of relationships right around Valentine’s Day. He asked me to play with shinai to get out the frustrated on that sappiest of sappy days (shinai = bamboo practice sword. The fencers liked to fight with them in parking lots). Afterwards we warmed up inside (it was February in upstate NY). We repeated this for several weeks, with the shinai becoming less and less central to the evenings. Eventually we dropped the weaponry and replaced it with snuggling, and the rest, as they say, is history.

  150. Congratulations! And oh YES, indiebride. In fact, I think most of my story is there, but I’ll put it here to because I’m a gloryhound like that.

    We mostly decided together, but we were long distance at the time, and I wanted to have a specific Question and Answer, to make sure that we were thinking the same things on this. (It was going to be a long engagement because of the LD thing – how awful if we’d misunderstood one another!) On his next trip out, I asked him one morning while we were in bed. Later, we realized that it felt weird to have an Asker and Askee, and then he counter-proposed in a coffee shop. (We wanted it to be a time where he felt moved to do so, not just a tit for tat thing.) We each got engagement rings off the street vendor nearby, and they’re our wedding rings now.

    As for the legal marriage thing, we’re not, though he’s a guy and I’m a girl – I’m bi, and getting legally married in the US would feel like pretending to be a white person and going in to eat at a segregated lunch counter, when in reality I’m mixed. That’s what it would feel like *for me* – since we had our commitment celebration, I’ve officiated at the legal wedding of a male/female couple who are very close friends of mine, and it was one of the most moving moments of my life. I use the lunch counter example not to evoke images of straight allies and queer folks barricading marriage, but because it’s the closest analogy I have to the discomfort I imagine I’d experience if I were married here.

    We’re really privileged in that powers of attorney can approximate most of the rights we care about having, and we’re financially ok with the repercussions of not being legally wed. When we start to pursue adoption, things may get dicier, and if either one of us gets sick, then we’ll have to make sure that our doctors honor our wishes. On taxes, we’ll just be hosed. When marriage becomes legal here for me without the stipulation of a Y chromosome, then I’ll consider re-proposing, though.

  151. Late to the party, but I just got engaged last night, so here it goes:

    We went to a Hall & Oates concert last night as one of my Christmas presents. During the concert, M slipped away and passed a note to security to take backstage. It said, effectively, “I’m a life-long fan and I want to propose to my girlfriend tonight. Can you please play our song?” They played it for their encore(!). He got out into the aisle (which I was sitting right next to, thank goodness!), got down on one knee, and popped out the ring. I hardly let the words come out of his mouth before I was nodding, kissing him, and jumping up and down all at the same time. *grin*

  152. Congrats!

    My husband proposed to me at our housewarming party, conveniently in front of most of his family and our friends. I squealed and hugged him, but forgot to say yes until about 6 hours later. We were laying in bed and all of a sudden I realized I hadn’t answered. So, relatively out of nowhere, I said “oh, by the way, yes.”

  153. Late to the party as well, but I had to share.

    First, CONGRATULATIONS. *raises wine glass* Here’s to many great years in front of the both of you!

    Now, here’s my lame little story.

    My husband is from Green Bay, which means (for the non-football initiated) that he bleeds the green and gold of the Packers.

    We go up there every year to visit his family and to go to a Packers’ game, and four years ago while tailgating, I found it suspicious that nobody would let me run to get more beer. My guy said, “Hey Sara, look up there.” And there was a plane, flying a banner that said, “Sara, Will you marry me? <3 Sean”. Hehe. I said, “You’re an asshole,” because I thought it was a different Sean and Sara and he was being funny. But he wasn’t.

    He whipped out a box with a ring in it, and the first thing to tumble out of my mouth was “No fucking way.” I must have said that five times. I was reacting that the ultimate bachelor was proposing to the ultimate bachelorette. Then, my friend Michelle said, “You can’t say ‘no fucking way!’” And I finally was able to spit out “Yes.”

    Later that evening, I found out that EV-ERY-BO-DY in his gigantic family knew and that the plane had been photographed and videotaped by no fewer than three family members each. His gesture was so unconventially romantic, just like him. Aww. *puke*

    We got hitched in Vegas where 30 of our closest friends and family members followed us. Here we are, two and a half years later, and we’re still pretty damn happy.

    Best wishes on your future together.

  154. single and playing the field, not into relationships of the permanent/monogamous/cohabitative kind, but, i like telling stories.

    i met my current makeout buddy in august 2007 when i started working at a vegan restaurant of which he’s the baker/general taskmaster. we hit it off almost immediately, we’re both shy nerdy types with very quirky senses of humour. it felt really good to be making friends; i’d ended a long term emotionally abusive relationship that spring and had promised myself i’d do a lot of soul-searching and stay celibate for a while to truly heal. i’m a little socially dense and had no idea he was interested in me beyond a ‘cute fun happy friendly’ level, i was just thrilled to have a job i loved and have people to talk to who appreciated my dumb jokes.

    fast forward till october, after spending 6 hours of every saturday together. i arrive for my friday night shift and see him there unexpectedly, he was covering for my usual co-worker so he could spend time with his kid. makeout buddy lives about an hour away by car, so he’d arranged to crash at another co-worker’s place to get back on time saturday morning. i live about an hour away by public transit, and when it seemed like i wouldn’t make it out in time to get home (it was a busy night) i asked if i could also crash at the other co-worker’s place. other co-worker only had a small narrow couch, at first we were lying there at opposite ends, frequently making sure we weren’t kicking each other in the face. at one point he turned around and rather apologetically asked if we could cuddle, and i consented because i’m way into platonic cuddling. we had a brief conversation about what the other smelled like, then drifted off to sleep. in the morning we were still cuddling, and when he buried his face in my armpit and said it smelled like coffee grounds and started stroking my hips and belly i realized it wasn’t platonic.

    about a week later he asked me out (while we were loitering around the neighb and kissing in other people’s driveways), but, atypical of me, i told him i’d like to take things slow and get to know him better. we’re still having happy cuddly funtime, mindblowing outercourse, and a good coworker relationship, and though there’s no commitment or whatever, this is definitely one of the most lighthearted and comfortable sociosexual encounters i’ve had in a long time.

  155. Congratulations!!

    We met through eharmony three years ago. (Yes, that crazy site, but that was before we knew they were crazy…Don’t quite know how/why they matched us up since they don’t seem to like interracial couples and we are interracial). Moved in together after dating for 2 years and about 6 months later had one of those ‘Soooo are we going to do this or what?’ conversations and decided we were. We went and chose the ring together. This was right around valentines day and he said that there was no way he was going to propose on valentines day, so I figured that I’d have to wait a while.

    On Feb 13, I walked through the door and found a bunch of photographs of us strung up with ribbon. I followed the ribbon around the house. The last photograph was of a neon sign that said ‘Marry Me’ and as I walked into the room he whipped his shirt off to reveal a white T-shirt with a big red question mark on it…. Except since I had spent the whole day teaching and was a little brain dead I didn’t realize it it was a question mark and my response was ‘oh my god, you’re bleeding!’ Eventually, I did remember to say yes… but given how unromantic we were about the decision this was a complete surprise

    This is also the man who’s seen me gain quite a bit of weight and has always found me beautiful… he’s a keeper.

  156. I said, “You’re an asshole,” because I thought it was a different Sean and Sara and he was being funny.

    the first thing to tumble out of my mouth was “No fucking way.” I must have said that five times.

    This is so how I expect any proposal I might get to go.

    Except since I had spent the whole day teaching and was a little brain dead I didn’t realize it it was a question mark and my response was ‘oh my god, you’re bleeding!’

    BWAH!

  157. Congratulations, Fillyjonk!

    Ok, this is long, but worth the hilarity. I promise. I lived with some really crappy roommates my first year in grad school. One night, my buddy A. was giving me a ride home from the pottery studio and mentioned that he was looking for a 4th roomie for his house, the other slots being filled by two guys he knew from his department. I said “yes!” immediately, because A. is a decent person and my other roomies were REALLY crappy. 2 months later, A. arranges for us to have lunch with B. and J. the two other guys, which is the first time J and I meet. I totally offend him by being all “balls out” and requesting that if the guys were to look at porn while we live together, they should please do it in private and they should please also not leave the magazines in the livingroom after they are done. He thought it was rude of me to assume that he would be so uncouth. I explained that Current Crappy Roomies left their Maxims in the living room, and that I didn’t care if he did look at porn or didn’t look at porn – I just plain didn’t want to know about it.

    And then suddenly, at TA Union meetings, J and I are hanging out at the keg kind of a lot. We all move in in August. After a long September and October of lots of drunken making out and non-drunken conversations, J tells me as we’re heading home from a party in November: “I kind of told everyone before you got there that we’re dating now.” tres romantique, non?

    Fast foward to the next october. J and I have established that we are Very Happy and Very Serious. We want to move in together (alone) next year. We are dreamy-eyed about being “together for always.” We kind of make my cynical side puke, but I don’t tell J, because he is a gooey romantic.

    One night we are cuddling.
    Me: I wanna marry you. Do you wanna marry me?
    Him: Yeah. Yeah, I wanna marry you. Will you marry me back?

    We go to our local coffee shop and get a cupcake to celebrate. (The cupcake is stale.) We can’t really believe what it is we have just sort of maybe decided to do. We keep asking eachother “really?” and blushing all night long.

    A couple of weeks later, we go to a jewelry store to pick out rings. We decide that one ring each is enough, and get unique, non-matching gold bands (mine is carved, his is hammered). We exchange them one night over sushi, and wear them immediately so that this wedding-crazy (but awesome!) colleague of mine will get off of my back about what kind of engagement ring i am going to get.

    We got married in a park by a JOP. We made the food ourselves, and “hired” good ol’ DJ IPOD. it wasn’t the prettiest of weddings, but it rocked. also, it did not require anyone to take out a loan.

  158. Ok, just to split it up, here is my take on names:

    My mom gave me her maiden name as a 2nd middle name, not as a second last name. My last name is my father’s Lastname. So i have 4 separate names. Ravenkim Middlename Moredifferentmiddlename Lastname. All my names together are ME.

    I could not jettison either my father’s name or my mother’s name for the sake of adding Husband’s Lastname. And I certainly am not adding Husband’s Lastname to the big long string of names, with or without a hyphen. This upset him a little at first, because he wanted us both to hypenate. But when I explained how silly that would be for me, he relented. our cats have a last name that is a combination of both of our last names. If we decide to have kids, they will get 4 names like me, and we will alternate as to whose Lastname is the middle name and whose is the last name.

  159. My boyfriend would periodically steal my cellphone and change my banner to various adorable messages. Two days after Valentine’s, lying in bed and watching I think Stepbrothers, of all things, he hands me my cell. And then changed the banner again to reflect my positive answer.

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