Gabriel and I aren’t the biggest traditionalists, as you might have figured out while reading the post about my wedding dress.
So when it came to our official engagement, things didn’t go quite like they do on a “regular” basis.
My engagement was a surprise…
…only in that I didn’t know exactly WHICH night it would come.We’d had the conversation many times as to when we would get married, and when we’d have children. Not that we’d planned the dates of both, but really, how can you be in a relationship and not know where your future with this person stands?
It was obvious from early on that Gabriel and I would marry, it was a no-brainer; there is no one else for either of us, but we also function on a very limited income and although we both think the best things in life are free, we also both know food isn’t, and neither’s gas.
So we had discussed the wedding a few times. Do we even have one? Weddings are expensive and we could use that cash on a new lens, or a year’s worth of camping supplies. And yet, when you’re really in love, this thing inside you wants to scream it from the rooftops for everyone to hear, and so in the end, we decided to go for a small and intimate wedding.
But before the wedding comes the engagement, and for that surprise, I just had to wait.
One morning Gabriel casually asked me if I had a ring that fit my finger.
“Damn you really put the ‘b’ in subtle don’t you?” was my immediate answer, if I remember correctly. To which he replied, “hey, you don’t know when!”
To be honest, I had no idea what to expect. We had talked about the ring though, and I’d been pretty clear:
If he got me a diamond I’d throw it back in his face
and move on to the next lad.
Now this might confuse a few of you ladies (and the guys too)
It’s real simple though, and this funny little video will do a better job of explaining it than I will:
See, any man who doesn’t consider the societal influence and global impact of his actions is no man of mine, neither is one who’ll blindly follow tradition for tradition’s sake.
We had actually spoken about getting wooden rings, though as surfers, decided it was probably a pretty bad idea. But I highly recommend them to those of you who’s hands aren’t constantly in salt water.
So why have a ring at all?
It can be argued a ring is just a symbol of ownership, but we don’t belong to each other, although we belong together. This concept might be hard to understand for one who’s never really been in love but it goes a little like this:
WE (him and I together, the unit that is US) are OURS (to him and I together, to the unit that is US)
We cannot belong to EACH OTHER because each of us is and individual. If the unit breaks, the whole thing’s off, there’s nothing left to belong to.
BUT Beyoncé did say “if you liked it then you shoulda put a ring on it” and we should all listen to Beyoncé.
No but really, while it’s important to understand that a woman cannot belong to you, or vice versa, it’s equally as important in my mind to publicly display your commitment to each other.
Sure, sometimes people will find it to be an even more interesting challenge to try to pick you up if you’re married, but as a rule of thumb, when I meet new people, I like to let them know ASAP that I’m in a committed relationship.
How many times has the dynamic completely changed when I finally found the not-so-awkward moment to tell someone I have a boyfriend, whom I love.
Having a ring on your finger lets the stress off, and I flash my Plain-Jane wedding band as much as I can, whenever I can. If you still try to hit on me after that, your beef, not mine.
(And also, I know exactly the kind of dude you are, the disrespectful kind, which makes me much less likely to take anything you say seriously, if I continue talking to you at all)
“What do you mean you flash your wedding band? You’re not married yet!”
So one fateful day Gabriel told me not to worry about dinner, he was on it. This happens often. He cooks just as much if not more than I do at this point, mostly because he’s better than I am at time management.
It had been a hectic few weeks and we hadn’t had much time to ourselves. We had actually just finished climbing Pico Duarte and were still blown from how tough a hike that was.
So when he said to me that we’d be eating dinner upstairs tonight, I thought he was planning a romantic evening so we could get back to Gaby-Jade bonding time. The bells didn’t go off.
He waltzed me upstairs where he had lined a walkway in candles, on the flat roof, leading to an adorable coffee table, set up on a towel area rug, and adorned with two little pillows for seats, two candle-lit pasta plates looking succulent in the warm glow.
“Damn he’s gone all out for this one” I thought and quickly took a pic to instagram how in love I am with this cutie pie. Unbeknownst to me, I was about to get engaged.
“Save room for desert” he tells me with a wink.
Well desert came and went with a flash and when it was over he said, “turn around, there’s something behind you, but don’t turn back around until you’ve opened it”
Well I’d lie if I said that’s not when the bells started going off, and before I even turned around I stared at him with that blushed “oh-you-shouldn’t-have” face.
Well I still had no idea what to expect and so I shook the little basket and it jingled like a cat bell.
So I opened the little basket and inside were two simple wedding bands, engraved with the initials L.P.H.
I said yes… In case you were still wondering.
Then he told me L.P.H. was for Love Peace Happiness and I said yes a million more times.
“Do we put them on now?” I said.
“Are we married?” he replied?
And so we slipped them on each other’s fingers.
So yes, I’m already wearing my wedding band, and so is he.
We’ll be officially married sometime this month, when all the paper work goes through and the big party is the 15th of April, but we’ve been “married” since we were officially together June 2nd 2012, when I handed him my pack of smokes in exchange for his undying commitment.
Diamonds are not forever
His commitment is.
Has a diamond ever kept anyone from divorcing? no.
Has a diamond ever done anything other than fill the pockets of moguls who rape the african landscape and the people who inhabit it? Yeah, the ones on my drill bit chew through sea-glass pretty effectively.
Ladies, when he asks you to marry him, you should answer based on the size of his heart, not the size of the rock. If you’re worried about your financial security, get a job.
The only thing that matters is how he holds you in his arms, everything else is what society is pushing upon your relationship. Love conquers all. As long as you are there for each other, your future is set.
Gents, you don’t need to waste your cash on a useless symbol.
Spend more time working on the real thing. If she insists, she’s not the one for you, she will forever judge you based on what her friends are whispering when you’re not around, instead of melting over what you whisper in her ear.