Four Proposals and Two rings….

I don’t know if any of you remember a blog post I wrote about a year and a half ago: https://samanthagray9.wordpress.com/2012/08/09/two-hearts-two-rings/. It is about my mate’s engagement and how she didn’t like the ring etc….. take a look.

I wouldn’t have thought that a year and a half later, I’d be sitting here writing the story of my own engagement! 🙂 Yay! Yes, in the new year I got engaged…. to my boyfriend just to be clear! Just over 2 weeks since he has proposed, and it is now 4 times in total! And there has been 2 rings…….. let me tell……

We went to London just after New Year. We had already planned to go to Harry Potter world and stay a couple of nights down in London – instead of birthday and Xmas presents to each other. What I didn’t know, was that Kenny had also booked the theatre and dinner in a nice restaurant for the following evening. He had originally booked tickets to the Apollo theater, but it was shut because of the ceiling collapsing! The seats would have been exactly where that happened too, so it’s a good job we didn’t go to London a couple of weeks earlier like we had suggested 😉 A whole of other meaning to being blown away by a great show!

Anyway, I wasn’t very well over New Year and I didn’t start to feel better until our second evening in London – the theatre and dinner one! Kenny told me later that he was wondering whether to propose still or not. I joked, ‘You didn’t want me if I was snotty?!’ He said he hadn’t wanted to if I was feeling ill. As I say, luckily I felt better. Kenny also told me later that he had the ring on him all night. But – obviously the theatre wasn’t the best time (best leave the show to the professionals!)  – and at dinner, we had seats at the chef counter. It was busy, lively and fascinating sitting inches from the chefs cooking our meal. But not a great time to propose. Fortunately, Kenny had decided this too because the ring had to stay in his jacket throughout the meal! We handed them into the cloak room and he said he couldn’t have got it out as I would have seen it/or asked him what he wanted out of his jacket! And knowing me – I would have!

So, that left the hotel room when we returned. And I’m glad that was how it happened. Just us two. I was really tired when we got back and proceeded to take my make-up off and get ready for bed – all the tubes and trains to get back to our hotel outside of the centre had exhausted me! Kenny got us a glass of prosecco each and sat next to me, as I scrubbed mascara of my eyes. Wonder if he had second thoughts?! Ha! He then took out various receipts and tickets from his pockets and gave them to me. He knows I like to save them for photo album scrap books. He then said, ‘There’s something else in here for you too…’ And he presented me with a huge, black box. Seriously, it was twice the size to how I ever would imagine a ring box. I figured it must be a necklace…

Hours went by… or so it felt. In reality,  just a few seconds.

He opened the box to reveal a sparkly, ring.

I didn’t want to assume it was that kind of ring!

This was typical of Kenny… no immediate words. He was making me work it out!

So I said, ‘er what is that?’ In a curious, gentle kind of way may I add! Not a ‘What the hell?!’ kind of way!

He then said….’Will you marry me!’

I think I said yes, but I was a little in shock. We’ve been together 9 years, so of course I’ve thought about it. But I certainly wasn’t expecting it at that moment! I then, suddenly realised: he hadn’t got down on one knee! I asked him to do it again! I was milking this proposal situation for all I could 😉 He did, bless him!

Then half an hour later, I asked him to say it again. It was still a novelty and I wanted to hear the words again! I then replied no! 😉 We both laughed – I’d just wanted to try out the negative response to make sure of how I felt about it 😉 (That idea was from Time Traveller’s Wife haha).

You’ll be wondering about the 4th proposal and the 2nd ring? Well, I loved the ring. I still do – that isn’t meant to be past tense for that reason. But the ring was too big. We went straight to the jeweller’s when we got back. We found my correct size (The typical, modern, size-obsessed woman in me was dead chuffed to have fingers 2 sizes smaller!) The ring had been discontinued. But there was one in the country. In Portsmouth. I just had to wait a week for it to be posted.

So, on the Saturday – which was the week later – I went to collect my ring. It hadn’t arrived with the courier. The manager was phoning me and checking it all morning, whilst I met a mate for a cuppa; had a manicure; did some shopping (tiring life for the engaged!) but it still didn’t come 😦 The shop couldn’t have done more though so I didn’t mind. It just meant, for our engagement party, I had to wear a jokey, chunky pink butterfly ring  – as I was fed-up of people grabbing my hand and there not being anything on it! Haha. (I lost that ring down the toilet – but that’s a whole other ring story……… 😉 )

Anyway, on the Monday, the manager of the shop personally brought the ring to me. He came into the house from the wind and rain. Stepped into our living room, opened the ring box. And it fell out. Into our shoe box and into one of the shoes! I thought, ‘I’m really not meant to have this ring!’ But then it got to where it belong s- and I’m proud to say it is still there (and hasn’t gone down the toilet!)

That’s where the 4th proposal came in – that evening, after dinner.

I said that an engagement’s ring’s purpose in life is to be proposed with and this was a different ring!

So he asked me again with the perfect fitting ring: and I said yes!

XSXS

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Matrimony Matters

This weekend, I went to a close friend’s wedding. It was lovely and the celebrations stretched out before and after the actual wedding day. It  was amazing and I loved it how they combined traditions from an English wedding and a Polish wedding (the groom is Polish) but they also did a lot of things their way too making it intimate and personal. That is what marriage should be in my opinion – personal and intimate. It is about two people and every couple is different, so the wedding and marriage should reflect this.

I wrote a poem for the event and it became part of the best man’s speech. One friend made the bunting and individual name places for the dinner table. One friend created the invitations. One friend sang the song for the first dance. And I’m sure there are many more personal involvements.  To me, a wedding is about the joining of two families as well as the joining of two people romantically and legally, It is also about having everyone you love and care about under one roof, which is why this wedding was just wonderful. Friends and family all joining together to help, support and celebrate!  Here, take a look at my personal contribution:

Married Life

By Sam Gray

To be together you have promised,

 Forever and beyond,

 To gaze into each other’s eyes

 Nothing will break that bond.

Lou does her silly dances,

 Pav says ‘Louisa you’re crazy!’

 She laughs and keeps on prancing,

 Saying “one day I’ll have your baby”!

Pav loves to go camping,

 And Lou enjoys it too,

 Whether in Poland or in England,

 It’s their perfect thing to do.

But, Pav’s not much of a drinker,

 Just one beer and he’s done,

 Soaked up by McDonald’s fries,

 a big mac burger and bun!

Louise is the total opposite

 And loves her New Zealand wine,

 It reminds her of her gap year abroad-

 That she goes on about all the time!

 But they’ve always got their date nights,

 Many Slices of India to consume,

 Pav gets his chops around the lamb,

 Then home for a DVD – we assume!

We know they go together well,

 Like the ring now on her finger,

 Though Pav can’t have much spice in life……

 ….he loves a bit of ginger!

Naturally, the poem means more to you if you know the couple. But that’s the whole point and how all these little touches helped to make the day so personal and individual for them.  As I said above, they combined some Polish traditions with the English. One of my favourites was where the bride and groom were given a shot as they entered the wedding breakfast. One was vodka; one water. They didn’t know who had which one, until they drank it – and the one who has the vodka shot will become the leader of the household. It was the groom on this occasion 😉

There was some Polish language during the speeches too and on each table there was Polish and English sweets as favours. There was also photographs and information about their English and Polish holidays on each table   – each table named after an English or Polish city in fact (we were Wroclaw). So it was the combining of her English family and his Polish family in many subtle, special ways.

I did a bit of research into our English wedding traditions and what they mean. Some were quite interesting!

  • Bridesmaids and groomsmen have always worn matching outfits to each other in order to trick evil spirits! Evil spirits wouldn’t be able to tell who was who if the wedding party were dressed similarly so would leave the happy couple alone 😉 (bit crazy that one!)
  • Throwing the garter (we had the groom do this at the recent wedding). This apparently originates from when guests would accompany the bride and groom to the bed chamber. Some would get too rowdy and too eager and attempt to take the couple’s clothes off (and they say we are too sexual these days!) so the garter would get thrown into the crowd in order to distract them!
  • Brides have traditionally worn a veil for centuries and in many cultures. In ancient Rome, the bride wore a veil to protect the bride from jealous rivals who may try and get her for themselves! In ancient Egypt, India and China, the veil was worn because it was bad luck for the groom to see the bride before they were married – which ties in with how we still use it today.
  • Crossing the threshold has been a tradition for years and still exists today. This used to happen to avoid evil spirits on the floor. Another reason was that it was bad luck for the bride to fall as she walked through the door, so she was lifted instead (not sure how that works if she was dropped though!) and another reason was so keep the bride’s maidenly modesty and so she didn’t look to eager to get to the marital bed!

Wedding traditions from other countries and cultures are just as whacky:

  • The term ‘tying the knot’ comes from a Celtic tradition where the bride and groom’s hands were tied together.
  • In Latvia, the engaged couple choose a married couple, usually friends, to plan their wedding for them (I feel a reality TV show coming on!)
  • In Austria, the shirt the groom wears is given to him by the bride. He then saves it for the rest of his life and is buried it when he dies (what happens if he is married more than once?!)
  • In Mexico, it is traditional for the couple to be given 13 gold coins as a symbol of trust and devotion. (not like our ‘unlucky’ 13 then!?)
  • An African-American tradition, is for the bride and groom to jump over a broom to brush away malevolent spirits.
  • Switzerland folk set fire to the bride’s bouquet to symbolise the end of her maidenhood!

So there you go – many traditions; personal touches; ideas – you can do them, steal from other countries or even make your own! At the end of the day thought, marriage is the same everywhere and to everyone: the joining of two people in love who vow to be together forever 🙂

Congratulations to my two friends and whoever else has celebrated their big day this summer!

XSXS

To see other related posts: https://samanthagray9.wordpress.com/2012/08/09/two-hearts-two-rings/

                                                 https://samanthagray9.wordpress.com/2013/05/28/cardiff-clucking-great/

A Hole lot of Digging!

Afternoon folks, To link to my post from last Saturday, Adding Fuel to the Feminist Fire…which seems to have provoked quite a debate so check it out… I have been doing what some would call ‘manly’ chores/jobs/roles or whatever you want to call it. If you see the comments on that previous post, I think the conclusion seemed to be that there are no rules for what jobs people do in a household… but it comes down to the individual and what their skills are. Well I am not brilliantly able at gardening, physical lifting or anything manual to be honest but I had a go! Today, I was sawing branches off trees (I got a bit saw happy actually!), digging roots up and lifting huge slabs and any other junk that seem to be left by the previous owners…

I turned into a teenage boy for an hour actually… No my voice didn’t get hoarse and deep and I didn’t suddenly develop certain male parts or the urge to look at women in bikinis (I could have just put Club land on if that was the case!)… I just quite enjoyed digging holes! I told myself I needed to get the roots up from the plant we have taken up and that I needed the turn the earth over and also check what was under there (still no dead bodies!) BUT really I was just enjoying seeing how far I could dig down. The memories of making mud pies as a small child returned to me. I have never understood why I ever chose to make mud pies. In most ways I am such an indoor girl and always have been. I loved Barbies, reading, dressing-up and all of that but it seems there is this grubby, outdoorsy type in me that resurfaces every so often!

I think, today, I was also influenced by my current read. Remember how I said on Wednesday (in my post That Stinging Feeling) that everyday things can remind of us of  literature?  Well, currently I am reading Holes by Louis Sachar. The pupils in year 8 at school study it and I haven’t read it yet so thought I would over summer. Yes, I’m lucky that as a teaching assistant that is as far as my summer work and preparation goes really! In the book, which I am very much enjoying, a group of teenage boys are at a juvenile detention camp and have to dig holes everyday, five foot deep and five foot wide. So I am not sure if me digging today was influenced by me reading the book or by doing that it made me think of the book! Such a circle of life and literature isn’t it??

The kids in the book have to get up at 4.30 am everyday and once they start digging their hole, they don’t stop – only for a quick lunch break and for drinks – it is in a desert setting and the sooner they finish their hole, the sooner they can get out of the blazing orange rays.  The book has a lot more to it than that with themes of teenage rebellion, families, racism, religion so do take a look! I haven’t finished it yet… I was hoping to today but the garden has made a bigger hole in my day than planned 😉

Anyway, as I was doing the garden, I pictured these fictional teenage boys and how they had to keep going in sandy, dry, boiling, strict and thirst desperation conditions and it helped me to keep going! My small garden of a semi-detached property had no comparison to the setting of the book but still… I thought if they can manage that for a full day everyday then I can clear this corner of the garden! And I did it! Yay! It’s looking more like an actual garden each day!

Digging ‘holes’ also got me thinking about when we say it to people or we say it ourselves. The metaphor we use for basically saying things we shouldn’t!! Haha. We end up digging further than planned or we have to talk the talk and butter people up by digging ourselves out of the hole! I had to do that last night. I told you, I went to see the friend who got engaged. She loved my post about it (Two hearts, Two rings) but we were afraid that her fiancé wouldn’t approve of me writing about it. Last night, I decided to apologise to him for the post and explain. Turns out he didn’t know about it anyway.. as my friend so subtlety told me as I started talking…. TOO late. I was in a hole. I then had to explain about my blog and the fact I had written the post. Then I said how I agreed with her choice on it – then I thought; ‘Dammit, he will think I was insulting him if I was on her side!’ So I ended up digging a little further!  To dig myself  out of that one. I had to say that I also used lots of examples and I looked at the male opinion and everything. Argh. To climb out of the hole completely… I even offered to delete the post… and stop writing my blog and keep my pen and typing fingers prisoner forever more (Ok that last bit was an exaggeration!) he said he was  fine about it.. But I don’t think he has read it yet! Eek… and now I’ve told you all this, I may have more holes to dig out of tomorrow haha!

So people, be careful what you say and if you need to take out your frustration… then dig a real hole (it also comes in handy for hiding in!)

If I have offended anyone then please comment at the end and I’ll happily ‘dig’ myself out of it!

See you tomorrow (I hope!)

P.S – you’ll be glad to know that I have stood up to the cats. I have taking back my butt (of the water kind 😉 ) and I scared away the horrible hisser cat.. with some of the advice from yesterday, so thank you!

XSXS

Two hearts, two rings..

Afternoon guys,

Remember I told you about my friend who got engaged? Well, tomorrow I am going to see her… her fiance, new house and new kitten (their new neighbours gave them one apparently! I know! All I got from my new neighbours was a telling off for parking in front of their house!). So I am quite excited to celebrate with her and another great friend too. I have just finished a little surprise for the engaged couple actually… which I hope to share with you in some way over the weekend. 😉 I now envisage my friend getting super dooper excited and ultra hyper about the looming surprise… yes I know you so well my friend 😉

She phoned me earlier to arrange tomorrow and told me that she had bought another engagement ring because she didn’t like the original one that he proposed with. This got me thinking… is this wrong? Or is it important to be honest and not get stuck with something that you don’t find beautiful for the rest of your life? (Those women married to ugly blokes have to though don’t they?? Haha). I immediately said to her on the phone, ‘Oooh very Sex and the City because there is a storyline where Aidan proposes to Carrie. He buys a ring beforehand and she secretly finds it, unknown to him. She then complains to her girlfriends… as they often do in that programme… that she hates the ring and her friend, Samantha, then takes him shopping to replace it so he could propose with her ‘dream’ ring. Now in the real world we don’t all have personal shoppers or friends that will butt in… or indeed actually go searching for the rings in the first place! So what would you do if you were presented with a ring and you thought ‘ergh’?

After our phone call, I realised there is another great example of this in the programme Cold Feet … remember that? A British comedy/drama set in northern England from the nineties? I love it and have all the boxset dvds… anyway, Adam proposes to Rachel with a huge, jewel clustered ring that was hugely expensive and she hated it and at first she pretended to like it. She decided that Adam obviously chose not to spend much because it looked so ‘cheap’ but then it started to snag all her clothes (imagine if it did on your wedding dress?!) and she came clean and admitted she wanted to change it. All turned out well there too (even though I forgot to mention in the Sex and the City example they didn’t actually make it to the altar and the ring got returned…) but these poor men! They buy expensive rings and women think they are cheap, they buy gold and women want white gold or silver, they get big diamonds and the woman wants small… should they let the woman choose herself or does that take the romance away?

Back to my mate….she too, like Rachel, pretended to love the ring at first. In fact she sent me a picture whilst I was sunbathing the other week.. you know when I posted about Sun V Housework? But clearly, unlike her and her fiance, the love did not blossom with the ring. Turns out, he bought it in Poland (he is Polish, he didn’t just go for a very long, faraway shopping trip!) a while ago and no longer had the receipt and even if he did, it’s a bit of a way to make a return or exchange! But still, my friend knows what she wants, is always true to herself and asked her fiance if they could split the cost of a new one. He agreed and they lived happily ever after in ring bliss.

So what do you all think about the women’s choice? Should she like it or lump it when proposed to with a ring? I’m asking you because I’m not really sure myself. I think, I would be happy with whatever was chosen… as long as it was white gold, not too big a diamond and not too expensive… haha maybe that answers it and we all have ideals of what an engagement should be. Should the man at least have a go at choosing one though? Or would it just cause arguments if he didn’t know her well enough to know what was perfect? To return to Sex and the City, Carrie thought that Aidan wasn’t the right guy because he couldn’t choose the right ring! A bit extreme and friend, I am not trying to make you think that! 😉 I think maybe it depends on the individual, some women will want to choose, some will happily accept whatever and be grateful that he has finally proposed, some will put up with a hideous band of gold for a quiet life and some will be honest and ask for an exchange… or in my mate’s case a second ring! I teased her and said ‘typical Lou, has to have two rings!’ We joke about her being a princess you see (no she isn’t actually royalty!). She isn’t actually spoilt either and actually a very generous and giving person (she had a huge part in me getting my job but that’s another story), she just, over certain things, likes to be ‘me, me, me!’ And I know she won’t mind be saying this because I think she plays up to it a lot really and takes it all in good humour… either that or she’ll get a new friend instead of me like she did with a ring 😉

So blokes, if you are thinking of buying an engagement ring, why not ask her mates or Mum what kind of ring she would like? She will have said at some point! And ladies, don’t be afraid to speak up if your ring isn’t your one true love! Going back to Poland may be pushing it though 😉

I’m sure my friend will love this post being dedicated and dominated by her…. I’ll take this opportunity to say ‘Congratulations’ to them both! (And the two rings!)

See you tomorrow… and I’ll tell you all about these two rings, maybe I’ll even get pictures for you!

XSXS