Boy + Girl + Army + e-Harmony = Captain and Mrs. Butters! This is what we're up to. Observations, opinions, events, images, and more.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

What it feels like.

I'd say that a majority of little girls...and teenagers...and women (the ones I'm acquainted with, anyway) dream about several romance-oriented events. In my opinion, here's the short list:
  • The first date
  • The first kiss
  • The proposal
  • The wedding
I know I certainly spent a good number of hours daydreaming about each of these moments as I grew up. I wondered when they'd happen, where they'd happen, with whom they'd happen, and how I'd feel during each of them. As I grew, so did my level of anticipation--and the scenery in my mental pictures changed quite a bit, too. (Thank goodness my tastes matured! There was, for example, a time in my life when I was convinced the only acceptable proposal would take place on a foggy castle parapet somewhere in England, and that my wedding would be medievally-themed.)

I did have longer than most girls to dream; I got a relatively late start in the dating game. I went on one bona fide dinner date my freshman year of college (to Olive Garden, specifically), and also watched a couple of movies in said guy's dorm room, just the two of us (oh, the scandal). Nothing came of it, though, and I forged through the next 3 1/2 years in a committed relationship with only my books.

I didn't embark on my first real (human) relationship until I was 22, which also led to my first-ever kiss on a living room couch. As far as that long-anticipated moment was concerned, I remember my thoughts running along these lines: "Wow! This is really happening! I didn't see this coming! What do I do? I think I'm bad at this. It's kind of slimy." Thankfully, kissing as a pastime has improved in my estimation since then, and I no longer mind that my first kiss didn't exactly live up to the soft, tender, warm-glow, Disney prince scenario I had long cherished.

In the intervening almost-three years, I've experienced a broken heart once, and fallen in "like" a few more times. Actually, this quote pretty much sums it up:

"Before I met my husband, I'd never fallen in love.
I'd stepped in it a few times."
-Rita Rudner

In terms of love and like, my experiences with others compared to my experience with Spike is kind of like thinking that out-of-the-box mac n' cheese is delicious, then eating homemade five-cheese macaroni with butter, cream, and pancetta baked in. No comparison.

I'm happy to say that my "firsts" with Spike were wonderful. Our first date was a drive up to snowy Blowing Rock, NC. It included (but was not limited to) a lot of giddy hand-holding (begun under the guise of helping each other over icy spots), a coffee pit stop, and nonstop conversation (a big deal for two "quiet" people). Our first kiss happened that same night when Spike took me home. We were standing under the stars, oblivious of the fact that it was literally freezing, and completely lost track of time.

And now, I've had my third dreamed-about romantic experience: The Proposal. I told the proposal story in pictures in my last post, but while things are fresh in my mind, mostly for myself, I want to try to capture my feelings as well.

I won't lie; I knew that a proposal was in the works, and I even knew more or less what my ring would look like. For awhile now, Spike and I have talked fairly openly about our future together. When he PCS-s to Fort Riley, Kansas at the beginning of November, we want it to be an "us" move--a move we make together as a married couple. (No, I don't know at this point how soon or where the wedding will take place. I just know it will.) Spike and I had also discussed my jewelry preferences, and he'd asked outright how I felt about solitaires.

Yeah, I pretty much knew that Proposal Weekend was coming up--Spike's responses to my questions confirmed that. (I will hasten to add, though, that I did not badger him in a crazed gold-digger/future Bridezilla/MRS-seeking way.) The Captain still surprised me, despite my questions. I had expected "It" to happen on Saturday, and I had no idea where or how he'd do it. In the interest of full disclosure, though, I did begin to suspect what was in the works when Spike made sure his mom had her camera and suggested we go to Mount Scott. Call it feminine intuition if you want, or the ability to read Spike's little cues.

I've heard some women say that they felt a top-of-the-roller coaster adrenaline surge when their boyfriends proposed. Others, I know, are overcome with emotion and cry. Some people jump up and down and scream (or squeal). Personally, I grinned like an idiot, said "yes" several times, and literally launched myself into Spike's arms.

When I heard "I have a question to ask you..." as I looked out over the Oklahoma landscape, I felt a couple little butterflies, but not many. I felt happy, but not ecstatic (that came later). Essentially, I felt good. Right. Natural. I know, those are fairly simple adjectives, but I think they're appropriate in this instance. I knew that something wonderful was progressing in the way it was meant to. Something that needed to happen was happening.

Spike's proposal wasn't big, theatrical, or long. However, it did take place in a gorgeous setting, it was memorable, and it was heartfelt. It consisted of, "Will you make me the happiest man in the world?" For me, it was ideal. You see, I don't like productions, and I don't like being the center of attention. I'm certain that a jumbo-tron or an elaborately-planned scheme or a long speech would have made me squirmy. Funny--once again, my grandiose girlhood daydreams turned out not to be prophetic...but this time, in a good way. I'm glad that my real-life proposal turned out to be a joyful moment in time between me and my love--but I'm especially glad that it didn't overshadow how good our relationship is every day. It simply reflected that precious fact, which, I realize now, is just how I've really always wanted it to be.


  1. Woo Hoo!
    I always wondered if missed out on things like prom, the big wedding or big proposal. But everyday spent with John is special, so those things while important are only a small part of your life together. I think the love that you and spike have will last a lifetime. Enjoy everyday

  2. Congratulations!!!! Your proposal sounds so romantic! If you still want a medieval-themed wedding, I can scope out some castles in! I wish you guys a lifetime of happiness!

  3. Thank you, Elisa! I agree. The "milestones" are important, but they're not what define your happiness.

    Hmmm...I might take you up on that offer, Jessica! You never know...might get crazy with a vow renewal down the road--haha! Thanks for your good wishes. I have to tell you--I really enjoy peering in at your life through your blog. Who'd have thought we'd end up where we have, back at old FTF?