Kitty Blackadder

A Scottish blog about making art, too much eyeshadow and becoming a grown up.

Tuesday, 6 October 2015

10 Thoughts About Getting Engaged

It's been about a month now since Kenny popped the question and I've had so many thoughts whirling about in my head about the whole thing that I just wanted to get some out here. These are of course just my personal thoughts and experiences and maybe nobody else can relate - though I seriously hope some people can or clearly things are a bit cray here...

 I don't really have photos relating to this, so here's some foliage.
 1. It changed everything

It possibly sounds ridiculous, or incredibly naive, to say that I didn't thing getting engaged would really change anything - I always thought of it as a stepping stone to marriage rather than a unique stage in itself. Kenny I live together, we bicker like an old married couple, we know everything about each other - what could getting engaged change?

It's hard to explain, really it is, but from the moment Kenny proposed, so much changed between us. There was a new grown respect for each other and a certain strange feeling of loyalty and duty - that makes it sound like we were a horrible couple before, not the case of course, but certainly things have been more caring and secure since we made this commitment. A really pleasant surprise - although I am constantly waiting for him to pull some almighty prank, having lured me into a false sense of security...

2. It changed nothing

The flip side of the above is that, the day we got engaged I was experiencing super intense, gushy, glowy romantic feelings and visualising the ol' Disney-style riding a horse into the sunset number but for the rest of the world, it was a Wednesday. Don't get me wrong, Kenny planned a lovely day and was kind enough to propose at the start of my week off work (meaning I had six full days to stare at the ring on my finger and weep giddily...), but at the same point, you have to buy milk and fold the laundry away. It's really a bit surreal - normally on big, momentous days like this there is something external to mark it; Christmas time there's all the trees and lights, birthdays there's big badges and banners and things, but when we got engaged, I was wandering around having one of the most special days of my life... and everyone else was just having a Wednesday. (Note, this feeling may have been exacerbated by the fact we popped into IKEA on the way home...)

3. EVERYONE has an opinion

Now of course a marriage and a wedding is a big deal - it's something to celebrate and it's a date to be marked on the calendar for not just the couple but a whole family, I get that. I was expecting a lot of questions and excitement from those nearest and dearest to us, and it's lovely chatting away to everyone about their weddings or what they see for us. What I hadn't anticipated was that every single person you tell or who otherwise finds out, will have an opinion - and they will share it. People who are barely acquaintances of mine, regular customers at work - everyone says a big congratulations and then starts telling you all the 'super tacky' things people do at weddings, or that small weddings aren't fair, or that a wedding before Christmas is inconsiderate... honestly, I could go on and on. I think it's like, you know how when women are pregnant for some reason random strangers think it's OK to just touch their bump? Yeah, well I think this is the engagement version! 

What always amazes me is not that people have an opinion, of course everyone's entitled to them, but that people voice that strong opinion without knowing my plans first - one customer at work told me a tale of the ridiculous outdoor wedding she was invited to; I mean, it's just not for Scottish weddings, clearly not well thought out, outright inconsiderate for the guests - and what ideas do you have for your wedding?

An outdoor one. 

4. I feel really weird wearing an engagement ring

To be fair, I think I am the most inept engagement ring wearer of all time. I spent the first two weeks waking up in agony through the night as I found I had it pressed hard into my cheek/lips/eye. I was continuously startled when looking down and had a momentary panic upon seeing some strange foreign object on my finger each time, not to mention absolutely jumping out of my skin every time I bumped it off something (often) and it made a noise. 

5. I feel super naked without my engagement ring

Sadly I can’t wear my engagement ring to work (food handling), and I never really thought this would bother me, I am not a jewellery person and in fact for the longest time, said I'd never wear an engagement ring as it would just be too annoying (and being engaged is about the commitment, not the bling of course...), but, minor injuries aside, I really hate having to take it off! Sure, partly it's because I have the heart fluttering panics several times a shift wondering if I've lost it, but also, it just feels like leaving behind a little piece of me each morning. I am so proud and so happy to be Kenny's fiancĂ©e and I feel sad each day I head out, almost like I'm leaving that bit of me at home - silly I know, being engaged isn't about a piece of gold, but it sure does feel symbolic.

6. I do not suddenly, magically understand how to plan a wedding. Damn.

Fun fact: I have never been to a wedding Well, OK, that's a lie, I was a flower girl when I was two - but I'm a little fuzzy on what the centrepieces and seating arrangements were like. I kind of figured that when it came time to plan a wedding, I would just, I don't know, magically work it out! Alas (although not surprisingly), this is not the case. I'm still in the super early stages of planning - blue sky thinking, if you will - but already my mum keeps telling me about baffling things I never knew I needed to consider. Maybe there's a Wedding Planning for Dummies book out there....

7. I feel like such a grown up

First off, this partly stems from the fact that not one person has said; "oh you're getting married?! But you're so young!” Childhood dreams of being a young bride and wife cruelly wiped from my mind. (I also bought a cider the other day and wasn't ID'd.... *sob*)

But, I think that the other part of it comes from how Kenny's handling it - or, how we're handling things as a couple, ooh, grown up. We're now having all these discussions about loft insulation and engagement ring sizing and I don't know, I mean we're hamster-sitting for my sister, how did things get so adult?! When did we become responsible!? 

8. But then at the same time, I feel like an eight year old

People keep saying, "oh my gosh you're getting married!!"  And I know that's the case, I know I want that to be the case - but I still, every, single time mentally respond with "Who?!? Me??!" to that statement. I in no way feel like I am old enough to get married - I feel ready, whatever that means  - but seriously, I still can't get the childproof lids off the bleach bottle, I have no idea what APR is and I am playing Christmas music as I write this in September - am I a grown up? Is this what adulthood feels like?

I think as well, and don't tell Kenny about this part, that I've needed a little more time to adjust than he has. We waited four years to get engaged because he wasn't ready, and oh, how I teased, but, since becoming engaged Kenny seems to have snapped straight into dutiful life-partner mode whereas I have had a couple of thoughts about the terrifying reality that is committing to spend your life with someone. For the record, there is no doubt in my mind that I want to spend my life with Kenny, but the child inside me has wanted to run and hide under the duvet sometimes at the thought of the enormity of what we're taking on. I mean, have you seen the mess he makes in the shower - and we’re going to live with this FOREVER...

9. I have lost the inability to introduce Kenny to anyone

"And this is Kenny my boyfrie- no, sorry I should say my fianc- you know what that just sounds so weird, he's my partner, but we're getting married. We're engaged. Yeah..." 

I have not once being able to introduce or refer to Kenny without completely tripping over my words these past few weeks. Maybe I need to practice in front of the mirror or something.

10. People are incredibly kind 

Honestly, I've been overwhelmed with how kind people have been since we got engaged. So many card and texts - and gifts too that I would never have expected, but have been so kindly given. Even bumping into my childhood neighbours in the middle of Glasgow Central and having just been told the news by my mum, they each gave me a big hug!  It's amazing how much someone just saying 'congratulations' can totally make my day and have me unable to take the smile off my face.

So those are my thoughts on my experiences of being newly engaged - can anyone relate? Or, if you're never been engaged, does this sound like how you imagine it would be?

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