So just a few days ago, I got officially engaged. I know. Finally. I don’t have a romantic story to tell, but I promise it’s a pretty good one anyway. Don’t worry guys, I’m not pregnant.
This news is probably surprising to most of our friends and family, because we’ve maintained a firm and continuous symphony of “no, no, no, no, and no” to every question about whether we’d be getting married soon. Furthermore, I’m not the most romantic person and I wear practicality-tinted glasses, so I’ve been a bit ‘whatever’ about getting married. I’ve always expressed strong views about marriage being just a formality to legally bind two people together and have always felt it was more of a cultural construct than it is about love and all that jazz.
Why are we suddenly getting engaged?
We have reached that stage where we share embarrassing moments and laugh at each other
The F Man and I have been dating for almost seven years. We are like THAT one almost-married old couple that refuses to get married. During this time, we’ve morphed from hot french fries (Stop rolling your eyes. We’d like to think we were once some form of “hot”.) into slouchy couch baked potatoes complete with a large dollop of fattening sour cream and too much bacon bits. The comfort level we are at is insane; I can grunt at him and he’ll get what I’m saying and I can predict when he’s gonna want to make an online McDelivery order. In short, we are in that “it’s about time” zone for the past few years.
Perhaps, awhile back, there was some fun in our friends placing secret bets on when we’d get hitched and join the “At-least-25 years-in-debt Club”, but as time passed I’m sure our friends and parents included accepted that we were just gonna sit on it until an inevitable kick in the ass sent us throttling into the direction of the registry of marriages. Let’s just say that violent kick in the ass happened (and it’s not a pregnancy, I’m serious). It was more for extremely practical and logical reason like getting our house.
The Engagement Ring
When we discussed about engagement rings, I was adamant that my engagement ring not have naturally mined diamonds out of principle. I’m not a fan of the concept of diamonds being more expensive “beautiful rocks” than other precious and semi-precious stones just because of a clever marketing campaign. With the kind of money that goes into some diamond engagement rings, I’d might as well buy a couple of 999 pure gold bars.
I also shared with the F Man that I would like an emerald engagement ring because I loved the deep lush shade and it happened to be my birthstone, making it somewhat meaningful to me. The F Man had no qualms about getting me one, but we weren’t able to find one I liked in jewellery stores here and the F Man wasn’t feeling my suggestion of purchasing one off Etsy (like this or this). It was also unlikely that we could afford a Colombian emerald. So we dropped the idea.
While doing all that research on engagement rings, I came across ORRO and their lab-grown diamonds. Prices of the 18k rose gold rings with their diamond simulants were reasonable, especially for the simpler designs that I preferred. We decided to visit their showroom at Capitol Piazza sometime after Christmas to see the rings in real life to determine if they were really as beautiful as they were photographed.
Let’s just say the lab-grown hand-cut, hand-polished diamonds were so shiny, I was blinded in the store and photos honestly do these man-made beauties no justice. So many friends had no idea my ring was from ORRO or that they were not “real diamonds” and were impressed by how dazzling it was, so I’d say it was an excellent buy. (If it looks like a duck, swims like a duck and quacks like a duck…)
I had my heart set on a pear cut stone, and this tear-drop shaped design with a half-paved ring band was what caught my eye. I wasn’t expecting to like the paved band because I thought I’d want something less dramatic, but it just looked right. I was in and out of the showroom in 30 minutes. We were told the engagement ring would be ready in a month.
I was pretty pleased that I saved us quite a bit of money on my engagement ring ($1,250 as compared to several thousands) and our plain 22k yellow gold wedding bands (which came up to about $700). Score!
The Unconventional “Proposal”
I arrived home later than expected one evening after work. It was already half past eight. I was starving and looking forward to dinner with the F Man since there was food at home.
Kicking off my heels I rushed to put down my bags at the living room where I noticed the F Man working on his work laptop. He turned around and grinned at me, “I bought nuggets for you.”
My first reaction was, “You must have wanted to eat McDonalds, right? Don’t bluff that you bought for me! You want me to eat with you, right?”
“No lah, I bought it for you!”
“An excellent source of happiness” – you don’t say!
I walked over to the dining table and spotted the six piece Chicken McNuggets. I was definitely getting a bit too excited about the prospect of sinking my teeth into at least three of that six pieces of McNuggets.
I grabbed the box and opened it.
Oh wait, is that… the ring?!
It was a box in a box and I knew that box. It was the damn ORRO box. I opened the ORRO box and stared blankly at the ring.
“Oh… it’s the ring,” I muttered.
And all I could think about at this point was, okay, there’s the ring, it’s beautiful, but where the heck are the bloody nuggets?! Please tell me there are nuggets. #Priorities
The F Man later told me that I looked completely emotionless and it was not the reaction he expected. I’m surprised my perplexed state was not betrayed by my stone-cold bitchy resting face.
I rushed to locate the nuggets and found, to my relief, a second box hiding under the food cover. I swear I heard the F Man groan when he realised what my priorities are. We then bantered a little about my priorities, which looked very much like nuggets > other inedible items.
To be fair though, I’m known to get hangry and it was way past dinner time. Plus, nuggets are like my favourite food. I’ve actually gobbled down a box of 20 piece nuggets on my own (this is why I’m fat). Like for real, man. They’re the best gift McDonalds has provided to mankind.
Happy knowing that there was really nuggets for dinner and with crisis averted, I slipped on the ring and admired how shiny it was while stuffing my face with McNuggets in curry sauce. Yeeeeaaaahhh. The end.
Yep. That’s it.
There was no “Will you marry me?” or down on a bent knee. No flowers and wine. No fancy restaurant or staycations. Nothing of that sort. Like I said, this is not a romantic kind of proposal story.
What’s unspoken between us and understood is far more powerful. The fact that he remembered how much I loved nuggets and to have caught me off guard with the ring box in a nugget box (which by the way was absolute creative genius) on a damn random work day when I was looking like absolute shit showed how much he knew me. Clearly he also recognised that the most fail-proof way to get my buy in was with nuggets. I mean, who says no to nuggets man!? Also, I hate being embarrassed in public, so boo to big public proposals even if “public” means just in attendance by my close friends. I really appreciated the mundane setting and how the proposal was so representative of our daily life and the way we interact with each other.
I didn’t say yes either, but it was understood that I was down for our wedding. By saying #YAAAASSS to the nuggets, I had already acknowledged and accepted the proposal. The engagement ring and “proposal”, is exactly like the whole grand marriage shebang, a bit of a song and dance to make an otherwise practical affair, a little more special and memorable.
Okay, looks like wedding hashtag time. How about the apt (and rather factual) #CareFreeinDebt?