5th May 1995.
The date my Other Half proposed.
And as most of you know already, I’ve never made it up the aisle so it has been a bloody long engagement!
We were young (or in my Other Half’s case – younger) and very much in love. We first met on a blind date of sorts less than seven months earlier. The ring cost fifty pounds and I put more than half towards it. It seems such a cliché to be young and poor and very much in love but we were just that! And when we became engaged, we had every intention of marrying. It was never about the gesture, or the label of being engaged and certainly not the ring! We wanted to be together forever. We wanted to be married and tell the world that we wanted to be together forever.
But time passed by, life got in the way and we never got around to making those wedding plans. At the time, I wanted the big white wedding that I had been dreaming of since I was a little girl and of course, there was no way that we could afford that. And back then I wouldn’t entertain the thought of a little registry office wedding. It just didn’t feel special enough. But in hindsight, I actually had it all wrong. I was wrong in thinking that we needed the dress, the flowers, the cars and all the rest of it. We didn’t. We just needed us.
Over the years, careers, houses and babies got in the way of us getting married. But I can’t help thinking that it can’t have been that important to us or else we would have found a way in all of those years. But that said, I have never felt the need for us to be married as such. We were completely committed to each other without that piece of paper telling us so or indeed the party of the century to tell the world. It just didn’t seem that important. We weren’t quite as young, but we were even more in love than ever.
But now, after being engaged for sixteen years I do regret that we didn’t get married right at the start, I really do. But now, after all of these years I am faced with the quandry of should we or shouldn’t we? I would definitely like to be married and I know (or at least hope!) that my Other Half would be too. But having a big white wedding after being together for so many years and four children later, would just feel kind of silly I guess. But on the other hand, just nipping off to the registry office one Thursday afternoon wouldn’t be big enough either.
In all honesty, I would love for just us – me, my Other Half and my four children – to go away, get married on the quiet and come back and say SURPRISE! But I just can’t do it. My head tells me that our wedding should just be about us. Our little (well actually, not so little!) family but my heart says that I just couldn’t do that to my family, to my parents. But then a small wedding just wouldn’t be possible with our extended families. We would have to invite Great Aunt Wots-her-face that I haven’t seen since I was six and it would just end up being about everyone else. Not us. And that’s not what I want. But I don’t know if I could do the running away thing either!
So where does that leave me?
Right where we’ve always been.
With the longest engagement ever 😉