That Time We Got Engaged (pt. 1)

12 December 2013

There's no reason I'm posting this now other than that it's the holidays and I'm sentimental. If you haven't read our love story you can read part one here and part two here.

If you're hankering for a honey rush you can score some of ours in the giveaway that ends tonight.


Our engagement story of course begins long before the day we got engaged. So this whole installment has ended up as one big prologue. Apologies.

Jacob and I spent the year after college long distance. I headed off to sew my semi-wild oats abroad, and he to make a way for himself stateside.

My year in Italy was half-amazing, half-horrible.

I was training to run the Rome marathon, a race that my dear friend, two brothers, and dad were all running with me. I taught at an English language school in a job that still ranks as my favorite ever. I ate pizza every day for lunch and got paid every Friday with an envelope full of cash. I lived in a converted garden shed in a seaside town and rode a train every day along the Mediterranean.

And I missed Jacob.

All the time.

He, meanwhile, was in Portland at his mom’s house. He painted houses and interned at a local TV station. By March he landed a six-week gig that took him to Hollywood. By the end of that gig he’d scored a full time job and looked to be staying in sunny Southern California.

By April, we were at a crossroads. I was about to move back to the US for a summer job in Princeton, and after that I didn't know where I was going. But I knew one thing: I couldn't handle long distance dating anymore. We needed to live closer together or break up. So we talked about it long and hard and decided that I should move to LA. He’d landed there at least for a while, and even though I’d never even been to California and I didn’t have a job or a place to live, I was planning on packing up all my belongings and heading West in August as soon as my summer job in New Jersey wrapped up.

In Princeton that summer, I worked for a seminar program and basically spent the whole summer drinking Sam Adams and white wine out of plastic cups while solving the world’s problems with this (courageous) lady and another of my good friends from college. 

One morning the three of us were on campus, and I don’t remember who brought the magazine or what it was or any of it except that we all ended up taking a “What Type of Engagement Ring Are You?” Quiz – I’m fuzzy on the details honestly, but that doesn’t usually stop storytellers, so I won’t let it stop me.

Taking such a quiz was tempting fate, and I certainly wasn’t inclined to do so. My friends prodded me about how close Jacob and I were to getting engaged, and I back-pedaled big time. I was moving to Los Angeles IN ORDER to see if MAYBE PERHAPS we were supposed to POTENTIALLY get engaged. Jacob and I didn’t talk about marriage. I mean, we’d tease each other about it mercilessly. We both were very clear about each other’s habits that would have to go if/when we tied the knot and we'd started naming our future children, but we never talked about it FOR REAL.

Of course, we were in a relationship and were “serious” or whatever, but Jacob had never brought up a marriage or engagement timeline, and so I never did either.

Anyway, I took the stupid quiz, and I was like 100% an heirloom ring.

This was no surprise. No surprise at all. I’m a tightwad who reuses the mesh bags her garlic comes in, so you can imagine how much my stomach lurched at the idea of someone spending actual $$$$ on a diamond. And heirloom rings are vintage and full of sentimental value and all those wonderful things…

But what if Jacob didn’t have an heirloom ring? And he almost certainly didn't. My life would of course be ruined without a true heirloom ring. After all, the magazine had merely confirmed the murky things that were already written on my schoolgirlish heart and poor Jacob couldn’t do a thing about it.

He also was just starting a new job and was paying off loans and certainly had no money for a ring, so NO and NO we wouldn't be getting engaged anytime soon, and did I mention he NEVER breathed a hint of a word about it? So after the stupid quiz I stopped thinking about it. I was moving to LA and that was big enough for now.

I continued my job in Princeton with my buddies; Jacob and I had our weekly phone and beer dates with occasional stolen conversations and texts on the off days; and the summer ended. 

That's where I'm leaving you with this installment, but I will say that the heirloom ring detail - I know this from all the screenwriting talk I’ve been subjected to over the years - is what you call a set-up.


  1. I sure hope you're writing the next (and final) installment as I write this comment. These cliffhangers are no good.

  2. I love these stories!! Don't delay...... :)

  3. And I just went and re-read the love story parts, because they were so awesome the first time!

  4. We also never spoke of engagement or marriage timeline.. He picked the ring himself and totally surprised me. I think certain personalities would hate that but I kind of like the mystery. I know people who've already booked the reception venue and they still aren't engaged...

  5. YES!!! So happy you are writing this! CANNOT WAIT TIL THE NEXT INSTALLMENT!

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  7. Not fair. Finish the story!!

    I know how you feel about your time in Rome! That's how I felt about France when I studied abroad ...loved it/couldn't stand it because I was SO Chris-sick.

  8. Ah, good memories of that summer!

  9. Oh my goodness, I am so happy I saved these to read now. I am going to intentionally read reeeeeeeeeally slowly to make it last. So good!!


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