Monday, 12 July 2010
I realised, after reading a few other blog posts about engagements, that I've never written here about mine/ours.
The reason it took so long is basically because it contains a rather unique detail that would mean I would be instantly unmasked if anyone I know were ever to stumble on this blog.
So here's a disclaimer. If you read the story below and think you know me in real life, please do not mention it to me. Just read on, chuckle to yourself and don't tell me. I don't mind you reading my blog, but don't let me know.
Insane disclaimer over. Now for the story.
I've been with Mr Bunting for nearly nine years now. When we got engaged, it was during a weekend away for our ninth anniversary.
We'd talked so often about getting married, and he'd never wanted to. There had been a time when I desperately, passionately, wanted to be his Mrs. He was away a lot for work: I wanted to be something legally; his next of kin. I wanted to be official.
But he didn't see the point, and I completely came round to his view. It's ok: we were a modern couple and I a modern woman. We didn't need it. In fact, I started to embrace this mindset a little too eagerly, I think, for when it came, I was in this completely 'other' state of mind.
But to rewind. I had booked a hotel for our anniversary; the first time we'd ever celebrated it with something other than a steak or a takeaway. Two weekends into the future, we'd be going away for a weekend with both sets of parents. Then a week after that, we'd have a Christmas party with all our friends. Once proposed to, I immediately thought he'd seen an opportunity too good to miss, but he maintains this fortuitous set of future plans never entered his head.
He'd had a few hard weeks at work. We'd spent many days talking quietly, having long walks, helping him feel better.
When we went away after this, he was shifty. We walked around the new Ashmolean and I kept feeling his clammy hands, which he blamed on the air conditioning. I didn't twig.
Later on, he wanted to walk along the canal. I said I wanted to go around the shops and look at the Christmas lights. He acquiesced: unusual for a man who hates shops.
Two hours before we were due to get our train, he dragged me to a pub. We sat outside at a creaky table in the corner, raised on an odd sort of decking pedestal. His behaviour got more odd and his eyes misted up as he reached over to his bag, got down on one knee and produced a beautiful wooden box, and inside...
a hula hoop. Salt and vinegar flavour.
He was down on the floor and I was, I think, hyperventilating. Oh yes, very much the disinterested modern woman. I had thought he didn't want to, and I couldnt' quite understand what had just happened. Then I started laughing. It took me about 20 minutes to say yes while I hyperventilated and he cried and told me that it was the past few weeks that had changed his mind.
I didn't believe it until I asked if we could buy a ring the next day. Until then, I thought he meant 'let's get married at some indeterminate point in the future'.
That night, we went back to the hotel and got amazingly drunk together over a lovely dinner that I can barely remember eating. I found out that morning he'd ordered a bottle of champagne to be sent to our room when we got back, and told the hotel of his plans to make sure he wouldn't bottle it.
I told work colleagues on Monday, but just one friend (the only other engaged one) before telling our parents together two weeks later (a lovely secret), and our friends at the party.
And yes, I still have the hula hoop: ring #1.