Despite the forks in the road, and the otherwise bumpy paths that collided and are now the relationship Mr. Prince Charming and I are treading, neither of us flinched when asked about marriage, even in the beginning.
Sure, months into the relationship the last thing we were thinking about was molding our two lives into one. We were dating! It was fun! When it was the two of us, we were able to ignore the glaring bits of life that we managed outside of our relationship. I imagine it’s similar for many people when they begin a significant relationship – being in the presence of that person is the bright spot in your days.
Maybe it’s because we’re older. Maybe it’s because we fell into a very comfortable stride early in our relationship. Maybe it’s because we adore each other. Whatever it is, the people around us noticed. Even those who didn’t truly know us, knew well enough that we’d found a really happy situation. The questions about our future plans popped up early and often. We didn’t necessarily brush them off, but we both knew the answer – we’d get there. We’d get married..on our terms, in our time.
On July 12, 2015, at first wake, Mr. Prince Charming groggily said, “I know we can’t afford it, but what if I got you a less expensive ring right now so that the world knows you’re mine?” I’m laughing even still as I write this months later – Mr. PC is not a morning person. Coherent thoughts evade this man until much later in the morning when he’s had a chance to face the day, so I was not only caught off guard, but entertained that this was his first thought of the day.
On that day, we were facing a new challenge – he was to be gone from home for an entire week with very limited access to technology. He would only be a few miles from where we live, but for that week we would have limited conversations. That week was significant to Mr. PC. It was the first time he would be forced to be away from me because of a force in his life (we’d spent time apart before, but because of my work and family). I ascertain that his outpouring of feelings that day had a lot to do with the fact that this was the first time he was pulled from me because of decisions he made – and those emotions were a lot for him to face.
One facet of Mr. PC’s personality that I’ve always adored is the way he makes decisions. He doesn’t always agree with me, and being that I’m a decision maker and problem solver by trade, I tend to decide at rapid speed. I can discern pro’s and con’s quite quickly. He’s not always ready to move at my pace. Because of that, when he does make decisions, I make sure to note them and appreciate his input. So, when he woke up that morning and immediately started talking about the tangible assets of our engagement, I remember thinking, “Oh, he’s decided it’s time. So, it’s time.”
We talked about a “stand-in” ring for a lot of the day. Weighing the merits of spending money on a ring that would ultimately not be worn all the time. Because our financial situation at the time was precarious, I told him my initial thought was to put off a formal engagement until we could afford the ring I would wear indefinitely. He reluctantly agreed with the logic.
That evening we had to run some errands to finish preparing him for the upcoming week. Our shopping list included things like a lantern and a tarp – he would be camping for the week with a group of kids.
At this point we’d never gone ring shopping, and hardly discussed what exactly we had in mind for the ring I would wear that would symbolize our commitment. So, while we were out, we browsed. As we looked at the rings, I noticed that we were drawn to similar rings. I think this is a testament to Mr. PC’s awareness – he could care less about jewelry. But he’d paid enough attention to me and picked up on my preferences over time that he knew which pieces would get my attention.
While we browsed, we saw a ring that we loved. You see where I’m headed with this?
It was a ring we agreed we could afford that day, so Mr. PC bought it.