Saturday, August 18, 2012

Carter and Whitney: An Engagement Story

In case I forgot to mention it, Carter and I were engaged. It preceded us getting married if you are confused about the timeline of my blog. I am fundamentally against time-constraints on the basis that we are eternal beings. Time is totally irrelevant. I mean, who will ever care in the future eternities that I'm late to church every Sunday? Who?


Man, I love that nail polish.
Carter's family vacationed in Canada in August 2012 and I joined them for the weekend. After six weeks apart we were more than happy to see each other. They stayed in a house on the inlet of the pacific ocean so Carter suggested we take the rowboat out and attempt to spot some of the sea seals he had been seeing earlier in the week. Carter rowed us around a bit but it ended up being too dark to see anything. I remember wondering why we didn't just row back and try again tomorrow. By the time Carter finally did row us back it was so dark we could only see by the light of the house shining off the shore, but I could see a point of light on the dock. I joked that there seemed to be people on the dock and that we shouldn't go over there or we might ruin their moment. I then joked that they might be robbers/murderers/bad people and that we should just land elsewhere, except I was only half joking and might have even begged Carter to stop until we could figure out what the unidentified object was. In any case, we did land on the dock and it turned out to be a lovely candle-lit dessert table that Carter had prearranged for us. Duh. This is an engagement story.

 I should interject here that I knew this was coming. We had gone ring shopping together the month before so when Carter suggested I come up for the weekend that was my first thought. Not to mention Carter started to breathe really heavily as we approached the dock. As I re-read that, that sounds borderline creepy but in reality it was pretty cute. Like, he was really nervous and unable to control his bodily functions. Cute, right? So it was all very romantic, except for me. I couldn't stop myself from ruining the moment...every moment. It was like an out-of-body experience where I could see from a vantage point that what I was doing was horribly wrong but mind and body weren't making any sort of connection. Carter went to tie up the boat and I kept insisting that I help even though he kept insisting that he only wanted to tie up one end ("Really, I can tie this. But really. I can"). He just dropped our life jackets on the dock and right before he got down on one knee I made us pick the life jackets back up and hang them on our chair. I don't know what can over me. All I can say in my defense is that I am really unromantic. They call me murderer of love.

Carter said some very nice things about me and then he got down on one knee and proposed. I said yes. He tried to put the ring on the wrong finger but we figured it out. It was a beautiful moment. Carter is easily my favorite person in the whole world. It is incredible how well made we are for one another.

In an alternate, yet perhaps more honest, ending to our proposal story, when I realized what was happening I almost asked Carter to stop. I almost made him get up from his knee and I almost asked him to propose on a different day because today, in that moment, I wasn't feeling it. I was scared and unsure because, after all people, this is marriage! MARRIAGE. As in an eternal covenant with God! So for an eternity - or half a second, I honestly wondered if 'yes' or 'no' was going to come out of my mouth. As it turns out, I said yes, because I loved him and I thought it might crush him if I said anything else. In a poetic way, I think that is a more fitting response to a marriage proposal but it wasn't exactly what I was expecting.

Even after I said yes, there were still lots of periods of indecision during our engagement. Lest anyone think I am confessing to marital unhappiness, I am head over heels for Carter and we are happier than we have ever been. Marrying Carter was the easily the best decision I've ever made in the most cliche way. I just wanted to relate a more truthful version of this story with the message that real-life true love is less about romance and more about sacrifice. And it's OK for times to be hard and decisions to be scary. It's life, after all.