All Photos © Jimena Roquero Photography
All Photos © Jimena Roquero Photography
Or, the day the internet at large gets to see my face.
Despite the fact that I’m pretty ridiculously easy to identify and track down IRL, I still have issues about The Grid, The Man, and The Government. Namely, that I would like them to not be all up in my shit. I know it’s like Mel-Gibson-in-Conspiracy-Theory paranoid, but I do have some unfortunate psychology tendencies in this area, that may or may not extend to being ethically against marriage as a civil contract.
But I digress.
I decided to introduce y’all to my less than super-adorable face today, before posting our engagement pics tomorrow, for a very good reason. Said pics are hands down the best photographs ever taken of myself (even counting the super-adorable phase I went through at age 3), and I think the before and after is wonderfully illustrative of what a shower, some make up, good lighting, and an even better photographer can do for one’s usual slumming around the house self.
I decided, in my typically procrastinative fashion, to pick out what I was going to wear for our engagement shoot at 11pm the night before. Mentally, I had gotten so far as to decide it would be a dress (80% of what I wear is dresses), and as it was forecasted to be about 50 degrees in mid-May, tights and some kind of sweater/jacket options were in order. And shoes that I could walk [a lot] in.
I worked backwards and settled on black mary janes for cuteness and comfort and paired with black footed tights (because as much as I wear footless tights all the time, I think they look slightly awkward). Next up was the dress:
Anna Sui for Target dress
…with my khaki trench…
H&M red dress
…with striped KnitWit hoodie.
(Not an hour after this pic was taken, this hoodie died (dyed?) in my hand wash basin, as I, diligently following the instructions on the hang tag, submerged it in warm water. Despite the fact that I’ve successfully hand washed 2 previous KnitWit hoodies, this one was not having it and is currently 3 shades of gray and still hidden in our hall closet drying rack. This was the point in the evening that crying occurred, and there was much consolation from #TBCB=Travel Brigade of Cyber Bridesmaids on Twitter. Lesson learned? Never leave laundry for midnite the night before, and always err on the side of Dryel.)
(Are we sensing a theme here?)
And the big winner. H&M and leopard.
Mostly because it spins well.
While I would wholeheartedly do not recommend going through your entire wardrobe at midnight the night before, it was actually kind of fun. Despite the late hour, and being several beers in (or because of it?), Scott was fairly helpful and much silliness ensued…
The three of us in my favorite family portrait.
Weddings are a crazy land of finality (I mean, you’re only *supposed* to do it once), and "suppose to’s" and "shoulds." To draw a parallel, while I was OK with "proposing" myself, I could not let go of feeling like I should be proposed to as well, because this is what I have been fed since childhood. I’m the kind of person that gets quite set on certain things being certain ways, and for me that was one of them, even though intellectually I wanted to be above it.
I think there’s a room for A LOT of those feelings in the whole world of weddings and it’s a tricky course to avoid them—it’s like an undertow. You can’t see or anticipate those things that will not you off course—but suddenly you’re crying over confetti (or something else).
For example, "THE Dress." Much like one’s fiance, one is conditioned to look for the ONE. (Or the TWO, in these days of excess that I may or may not participate in…)
Despite my usually unconventional tastes, I’d always dreamed of getting married in Oscar de la Renta (unconventional tastes yes, befitting of my budget no). Well, when it occurred to me that people just might sell off their OdlR dresses at well below the retail price on the interwebs, this childhood fantasy was suddenly close to reality.
Of course, the ones that have come up so far haven’t exactly been very "me", and that’s been a tough line to draw… what’s more important: Oscar? Or not getting married in a cupcake?
(And there’s another little number I’ve got my ebay-stalking eye on…)
can be PARALYZING.
pc: betsey johnson spring 2009 via popsugar
It’s no secret that I’ve been engaged for months (years?) now. And I dabbled from the beginning in wedding blogland, but it was hard to really get into wedding planning when I wasn’t sure if I was actually engaged.
And then after the "official" engagement the overwhelmed-ness kicked in. I joined and fled from the Kn*t. I secretly vowed to read every Wedding Bee’s entries. (And, uh, failed.) I looked at every one of Snippet & Ink’s Inspiration boards. I started a Tumblr to collect pretty pictures.
I thought my perfect wedding was out there, it was just a matter of looking for it in enough places. Like monkeys typing Shakespeare.
And so I didn’t really plan/decide/narrow down anything. Because there is just sosososososososososo much good stuff, I want it all! I want the destination wedding, the beach wedding, the barn wedding, the city loft wedding. I want the short dress, the tea length dress, the ballgown. I want to go to city hall and I want to elope to the English countryside.
I am not what you call a naturally decisive person.
And then I found A Practical Wedding. And yes, I did read every post from the beginning. But this time it was totally necessary. Because these posts restored my sanity, instead of deepening the planning paralysis.
And it was agonizing to narrow down the previously unlimited (ok, I’m not made of money, so somewhat limited) wedding possibilities, but we did it. Eventually.
Ok, so this is not really news, I’ve been engaged since December 2008 or September 2009 depending on what you’re counting from. But knowing I don’t want this to turn into yet another wedding blog, I’ve been avoiding mentioning it.
Well in the last month or so, I’ve knuckled down to planning, and it has quickly taken my to-do list hostage. It’s been growing increasingly difficult to write a blog about a lil bit of everything, and not include the one thing that’s taking up most of my time and mental capacities.
So let me do this properly and start at the beginning…
The boy and I fell in love during a holiday season, complete with tearful Christmas Eve separation. So it seemed fitting to get engaged then, and I just generally love Christmas. Oh crap, ok, back up further…
The boy has been proposing to me since about 3 weeks after we first starting hanging out. Since looong before we were in any kind of monogamous relationship. Oddly, my commitment-phobic self was not scared shitless by this, my reaction was closer to "how long can I delay the inevitable?" Not long, apparently.
At one point while talking about engagement and marriage and logistics, I pointed out that I had a perfectly good engagement ring sitting in a jewelry box from my grandparent’s 30th anniversary. I thought it was beautiful and meaningful and it was more than good enough for me. So, cash saved, no excuses from either of us, right?
So here comes the part were I decided one happy Christmas that the next year I was going to give him the ring to give to me. I’m a long-range planner, and I figured a year was plenty of time to chicken out if need be.
Well I didn’t need it, and the year was agonizing. I watched friends get engaged, get married, I secretly read weddingbee. I also hadn’t told anyone what I was planning. For me, who needs a survey of no less than 3 opinions to buy a pair of shoes, there was something oddly freeing about doing this on my own. Until the nerves kicked in about a week out.
It’s funny, I never got why proposing was considered a hard thing to do. I mean, you’re talking about the person you’re closer to than anyone else in the world. How hard can it be to say something to them, right? Wrong!
I swear to god, I was so nervous I went blind. I literally couldn’t see anything. And I had to open all these presents and pretend like I cared. It was excruciating.
I had every right to be nervous, because it didn’t exactly go to plan:
me: so he pulls out the little bag with note card and ring box out of his stocking
and he opens it and is like "are you serious?" all like stone cold serious
and then, "but all i got you was this book"
and im laughing maniacally because i think im dying…but trying to assure him im serious
me: so we’re laughing and kissy and he says he doesnt know what finger it goes on and now i think HE’S kidding. and im like, well it doesnt fit anyway
me: and then i think it was just sort of implied that he should ask me properly later…or maybe i actually said it?
it was all downhill
Not all engagements are easy…
So uh yea, way to backfire.
The next few months were peppered with awkward discussions and analyzing with friends via IM. It was almost like life pre-monogamy…
friend: hand, fair enough, but FINGER?
it’s called a ring finger for a reason
i feel like i’m in a CW show and should be like rolling my eyes and holding a cosmo and saying "men!"
this is my life
friend: i wonder if he’s just been secretively kicking himself like "i’m such an idiot! i should’ve done it then!" because seriously, HELLO! DUH!
me: oh totally…i would put money on that
friend: what most guys agonize over you put right in his lap, literally, wrapped up with a bow
me: all i want is for him to ask me (yet again) seriously, so i can respond seriously
friend: if i were you i probably would’ve started crying and been like forget this! the engagement is off you moron! and ran away
hahah well not really, but i would’ve felt like it
me: yea, i had that moment, but i know what it comes down to, is that i had a plan, didnt tell him the plan, and then expected him to know what to do. which is crap.
friend: well to be fair to you, you set it up pretty damn clearly. he was probably just taken aback and everything in his brain slowed down and he blew the moment without realizing he’d blown the moment until after the fact
me: exactly. so now, i basically have to forward him this IM and hope he acts accordingly
my question is when he said he didn’t know what finger it went on… was he trying to propose then? or was he trying to put it on your finger to seal the deal?
me: probably…and i probably totally blew it, because i said it didnt fit
the only thing i cling to, is that the whole thing is so "us"
After several (months and months) missed opportunities (romantic Valentine’s Day dinner/long weekend!? I didn’t plan that shit because I’m sappy!), a little green box accompanied us on a long weekend to Mexico. I know this because I checked before we left, and quite frankly if it hadn’t moved from where it mocked me on the nightstand I would’ve packed it myself.
Funnily, after checking that he had brought it I managed to promptly forgot all about it for our entire trip. (Thank god, could you imagine if I’d spent the whole time looking out for romantic proposal moments?!) It wasn’t until suddenly someone was acting bizarrely (it doesn’t take that long to pick out a pair of socks) before our last nite’s dinner, that I remembered. And I was suddenly very glad that I had made him do this. Because watching him be nervous was so cute. And I felt wonderfully smug in enjoying his nervousness, having gone through it myself.
That is, until he told me he was nervous to fly the next day. And I fell for it hook, line and sinker. And nothing happened, and I was grumpy, and yet somehow managed to forget all about it again as we got up for sunrise on the beach (something I’d been too lazy for every other day). So yea, totally shocked when he busted it out then. Which was miraculous. And fitting. And oddly perfect.
And now what.
In the time it took for us to get ourselves engaged, I’ve literally watched as entire engagements and weddings took place. I’ve fought against feeling like a turtle in a race of hares. Because I know it’s not a race. Or a contest. That would be a ridiculous.
I’m starting to see the engagement debacle as a sneak preview for the circular reasoning and indecisiveness I should know by now will characterize any large-scale planning process with myself involved…