My Story: Part Three - The Aftermath

 Oh, hey, look... it's us a couple days after we got engaged.

Oh, hey, look... it's us a couple days after we got engaged.

On September 25, 2017 I asked my girlfriend the craziest question one person can ask another person. Her answer was “Yes!” This is the story of our engagement and subsequent wedding planning, in (mostly) real time, as told by me.

Part Three - The Aftermath

After I got down on one knee in Paris, my life changed forever. But, the funny -- and mostly expected -- thing was: it didn’t feel like it changed all that much. And I think that’s a good thing.

Engagements are a wonderful and weird thing, and I can’t tell you how excited I am to “upgrade” Mary from “girlfriend” to “fiancé” when I bring her up in conversation. But other than the moniker, not much in our relationship has changed. That, I think, above all, reminds me that I’m totally making the right choice.

We are constantly pounded with notions of what romance, relationships, and marriage should be. From Hollywood-produced movies where an out-of-breath engagement in an airport security line fixes all the issues (however complicated) the couple had to current pop music that highlights the extreme emotional range of romantic infatuation while simultaneously romanticizing a young, single life, hopping from one relationship to the next. Now, this is not me trying to be a “get off my lawn” grump, but I take issue with how love and marriage is made into a caricature on the screen or through a speaker.

No, I take that back. I take issue with how people assume that caricature is a realistic representation of what love is supposed to be. In my estimation, a movie is supposed to make you feel something, not act as a guidepost for your relationship.

This brings me back to Mary. We’ve watched plenty of movies (most of which she’s fallen asleep to) and we’ve felt plenty of things while the movie is on. But it’s not our life on the screen. It’s not even an adaptation. It’s purely entertainment. And there is no lusting from us for our life to mirror that.

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After I asked Mary to marry me, we enjoyed the moment, took some photos, cheersed some champagne, and reveled in the fact that we were now engaged. But, candidly, that high did not last very long and what we were left with was real life. And real life with her is pretty dope. Real life was pretty dope with her pre-engagement, and I’m 100 percent sure it’ll be dope with her after we’re married. That’s the love they don’t show you on the screen.

Sure, relationships are sometimes hard and we don’t see eye-to-eye all the time. That’s real life. But it all boils down to a choice, not a need.

I was having a conversation with a friend while camping awhile back. He was asking how I knew Mary was the one I wanted to marry. I think my answer threw him off. To paraphrase, I told him that my love for Mary isn’t essential like breathing or eating. It’s not something I need or I’ll die. But, I want that love. I want to work to cultivate that love. I want to be the best partner for her. I want.

Love can take your breath away, sure… but you still have to breathe at some point. You don’t have to always want to try. Which one makes for a better foundation?

My engagement to Mary, I think, is simply another part of the foundation to the life we’re building. It’s not the foundation, and it’s surely not just for entertainment.

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I’m sure a handful of you reading this have been, or currently are, engaged, so maybe you can relate. Sorry for jumping on a soapbox, but I thought about it a lot post-engagement, so I figured I’d write about it. The next post will be about us planning a wedding.

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Hey y’all, I’m Lee. I’ve been writing blogs for Nice Entertainment for a few years now. I love Hans and crew -- you should totally check them out if you’re planning a wedding -- and asked if it’d be cool to do a first-person series on the trials of planning a wedding. They love a good story, so, once a month, I’ll drop a new chapter. Hopefully it’ll be fun and insightful. If you have any questions about the experience, feel free to email to me. If we get enough, we’ll put together a Q&A at the end of the series.

Email: galen.l.johnson@gmail.com