Anticipation or Aprehension

Third Time Wife, Wedding Planning
A figure waiting on a bench, looking out to sea

image via stock.xchng | photo by coolza

The ring was ordered and I knew the official proposal would be coming whenever the ring was ready. We were told a couple of days but I figured on a week, just to keep myself from going absolutely stir-crazy.

I was excited for the most part, but as the week wore on there were seeds of dread that started to sprout.

I was excited and happy BUT also a little embarrassed to be–like I’m not allowed to feel this way. Like, been there, done that. The do-over is cool and all, but keep it low-key.

I might have also been a wee bit gun-shy; before I’d closed the door to marriage I’d been engaged a couple times without making it to the altar (apparently I inspire a forever feeling in some men, at least at first). I was afraid this over-cautious feeling would last through the whole process–2 years+!–and that I wouldn’t be able to enjoy it fully until it was done, and then it would be too late.

Lots of deep breaths, lots of reminders to live in the moment.

I think a lot of encore brides face this fear: we’re not young, fresh with stars in our eyes, etc. We’re more mature (supposedly), we know what can happen when a marriage goes wrong and are a little jaded about some of the happily-ever-after-isms out there.

Or, at least, that’s how we think other expect us to be. As much fun as I’d had reading wedding books and magazines, thinking up ways to make that day more us, and soaking up all the inspiration that was out there on the Internet, I was still feeling a little weird–not about the engagement becoming official so much as announcing it to our friends and family.

I started wondering if those family and friends would be as happy for us as I wanted them to be. Some would, I was sure, but what about those who just kinda took the information and had no reaction? Would that hurt? In my mind it already did. As much as I consider myself to be realistically optimistic, I’ve always lived by the “expect the worst, hope for the best” maxim. And I’ve got a doozy of an imagination for the worst case scenario.

The Wednesday before the engagement was the worst (almost-in-tears-at-my-desk-worst) over the imagined slights of those around us who took the news with ‘oh, okay, whatever.’ I was so glad when T didn’t come home with the ring that day and confessed my fears.

Getting it off my chest made a world of difference, though. By the next day I was back to looking forward to the upcoming reveal.

Did you ever worry about how other people
would react to news of your engagement?

Hills and Valleys

Third Time Wife, Wedding Planning

aka The Down Side to Being Prepared/Planning Ahead

Picture of 2 hills and the valley betweenIt doesn’t really matter what the situation is, at first your on an absolute high, on top of the mountain spinning like a deranged top, ideas flowing forth and just ready to burst.But you can’t spin forever.

At some point that initial high wears off and you slow down and you sit down and you wonder: now what?

Sometimes that low comes when you realize it’s time to buckle down and make those dreams happen, other times it’s frustration–like you’re waiting for Christmas to open the presents. You know it’s coming but it just won’t get here fast enough!

Todd and I had talked about it, we knew we were on the same page and he knew that I had a timeline in mind that was still quite a ways out, so no pressure to take that next step and officially become engaged. The only thing was I was on that mountain-top, spinning with ideas and plans and possibilities, but not able to shout and share the happiness.

Because we had agreed that we weren’t telling folks until we were officially engaged. And it was a good choice: it gave us time to get comfortable with the idea before going public. It made sense. But it also left me in limbo.

I find myself, often, somewhere between a methodical researcher/planner and a spontaneous decision-maker. Many times in my life it’s a now-or-never sort of thing (a haircut, a hair color, a shoe or dress buying impulse, registering yet another domain name) that finds me spending money at 2 a.m. and, generally, still liking it the next morning. But that’s when it’s just me.

When someone else is involved, I’m torn between pushing and asking and wanting until I get my way and being polite and non-threatening. The latter is how I really want to be–honest!–but the former is the impulse that I have to fight to be the better person.

So while I might pick up a copy of Brides magazine and tab pages for future reference or mention something I found that day as a fun project for the future nuptials, my fervor for planning had flagged.

And it was all about the what-ifs:

  • What if he’s not as into the idea as he originally thought he was?
  • What if he changes his mind?
  • What if he waits 6 months, 9 months or even–heaven forbid!–a year to pop the question?!

These were the thoughts swirling around my head right around summer. Yes, waiting was slow torture, like the aforementioned Christmas morning when you’re not allowed to go into the living room and open presents until the grown-ups get up, you have to content yourself with just your stocking goodies. And eventually I broached the subject with Todd and he assured me it was coming–by the end of the year, but I probably wouldn’t have to wait until Christmas.

Turns out, I didn’t have to wait even that long.

Pretty Book and Flower Icon

Did you know the proposal was coming?
Did it drive you crazy with anticipation or was it just me?