11 April 2010

a decisive moment, or several

PhotobucketThree days after the question was popped. The self-timer on my camera snapped faster than I could run, hence my mysterious pose.

Generally, I'm an over-sharer; I'll give details that you never dreamed of asking for, and I'll answer any question you ask, but there's something about a moment as intimate as a proposal that is meant to be protected, I believe. It's almost as if the constant re-telling of the story is pulling parts of it away from me, and I want to keep the memory close and whole and mine (well, ours).

Given that we'd decided together we wanted to make things official, and considering we'd spent hours exploring antique stores before agreeing that the first ring we'd seen (which had fit perfectly on my finger and within our budget) was just right, you'd think I would have reacted to the big question with little surprise.

What surprised me was that my own emotional reaction swung from laughter to tears and back again. There must have been something about the way he chose his words (carefully, as always) the way he knelt (awkwardly, crammed between our antique trunk/coffee table and the couch - and then again, when I told him he looked too funny and asked for a do-over), and the way his voice shook, the way his eyes looked, and the complete absence of doubt in my mind that this is exactly right.

But eff, I was terrified! I thought I was going to faint, throw up, or fall over. No one talks about this (or maybe no one else is as crazy as I am) but extreme joy is often accompanied by fear. Fear of feeling too much. Fear of the rush of air and compressed time, and flashes of the future, and of every previous emotion being overshadowed by one moment. Real talk: it was scary!

But it was also awesome. 10 minutes later, after the convulsions of laughter and flow of tears had waned, I said yes.


Erin said...

So beautiful, and you are so perfect together. I am SO happy for you. Congratulations again!

And you're bang on about the overwhelming joy and fear! No one warns you how overwhelming it all is. Like you, my engagement was no surprise - a well discussed event that we were both looking forward to and so happy about - and yet, in that moment, we had the shaking voices, the tears, the laughter...a complete emotional overload. It must be a sign of things being just right - if you simply smiled and took the ring, it would mean the absence of something critical. The shaking, giddy, heartwrenching, terrifying feelings of joy and love are exactly what tells you it's meant to be. You couldn't be with anyone else in the world! It's perfect. Congrats again. xo.

alex said...


this is beautifully written, it's perfect. you guys are perfect. i am so happy for you.


Dallas said...

Erin and Alex, thank you both SO much.

Le-Xandix said...


Anonymous said...

Wow, reading this brought such a smile to my face. Congrats! I really couldn't be happier for you two!

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paiiige said...

eeeeee! this post just made me squeal with glee! exactly what alex said--what a perfect, beautifully written post. congrats congrats!