Wednesday, February 20, 2008

1 part announcement, 1 part rant, shake well, serve over ice

First, the announcement: last night, on the seventh anniversary of our first date (I know, saccharine indeed), I proposed marriage to Courtney, and, perhaps not unexpectedly after seven years together, she accepted. I am, in spite of my typical phlegmatic and sardonic manner, quite pleased about this. To say the least.

She, on the other hand, is positively giddy. I am glad that such a small gesture (which will, I am fully aware, blossom into a monstrosity of spectacle and lack of privacy for me given what large and loving families we both have) could make her so happy! I will not say that it has been a long time coming, because that would be frankly untrue; there have been a great deal of times in our relationship, times of all sorts. Many of them were bad, or at least not very good. It has taken me this long to figure myself out, and similarly, she is just getting around to figuring herself out as well. We began dating when we were only nineteen, so this slow and measured approach has been invaluable in letting us get to know ourselves even more than each other. Waiting until now has allowed us to grow up and then take this step, rather than utilizing this step as a surrogate for actually maturing. I regret some elements, but not the greater picture.

All relationships have cycles. Sometimes they run hot, and sometimes cold; sometimes they are good, and sometimes very bad. I was not able to feel secure about making a relationship permanent until I had fully internalized this seemingly rather simple truth. Moreover, after some of the things we've gone through together, I was definitely not able to feel secure about a decision like this until I felt secure in myself, and in my convictions, hard-won indeed after being raised by parents who loved me but had very real relationship issues of their own, that it is possible and virtuous to make things work, that good relationships are a matter of putting forth the effort, not just of dumping one person after another until you stumble into perfection. This is an ethic that my grandparents had, but many in my parents' generation did not, and while I knew it at some level all along, it took a lot of effort to really feel okay about it - to feel that it was neither silly juvenile justification, nor drawn-out teenage rebellion.

Anyway, enough with the philosophizing: Courtney and I have always had a simple, happy compatibility that extended far beyond whatever temporal events were affecting us. We, as one friend noted way back when we had only been dating a short time, work. After seven years, that working is no longer a simple, natural near-fit, but a polished and lovingly crafted artifact, and one that I'm proud and happy to be making official.

4 comments:

clm said...

congratulations. it's nice to hear about nice people making nice things happen.

George said...

Awesome John. Well worded as well as triumphant. And I will happily join you in punching anyone in the face who says "It's about damn time."

sponge_boB said...

Hmmm. Well done, Grasshoppah! And congrats. Point taken about skipped generations. Perhaps we should talk about that some time.

sponge_boB

Erudite Aphrodite said...

::hugs:: I love you. You have no idea how many times I've read this and it keeps making me giddy every time.