Category Archives: Proposal

The Full Picture

Recognize anything in that photo? Yep, it’s the feet from the HitchDied header image.  Those are the feet of one Hitch and Died, dancing about in the Pacific Ocean. Now you’ve seen the full picture.

The photo was taken last January, when we were visiting Collin’s older brother and sister-in-law in Long Beach with the rest of his family. We had, at this point, decided we were going to get married. Collin’s entire family knew that he was going to propose. They knew that I knew, too. But we didn’t really talk about it, as though it were still a surprise. This sometimes got awkward, like when Drarrie (Drunk Carrie) gave me a speech about how excited she is to have me become my sister-in-law, and how important sisters-in-law are to her because she only has biological brothers, eventually remembering to add, “I mean, IF you and Collin end up getting married.”

On the plane out to California, Collin apologized that he didn’t have a ring yet, because he knew it would be nice to become officially engaged when we were on vacation and with his family.  “I’m not just saying this to psych you out so you’ll be surprised when I pop out a ring. I really don’t have the ring yet.” (I’m glad he said that, because I thought that was what was happening.)  I asked him if he would be ok with us “announcing” the engagement to his family (even though they already knew) while we were in California, and he said he was. I had him draw a ring around my finger with a highlighter. At dinner that night Collin said something like, “Even though everyone at this table already knows about this, while we are all together I want to celebrate that Robin and I are going to get married.”

[Me and Carrie: “We’re gonna be sisters!!!!”]

The photo I used to make the HitchDied header was taken the next day, somewhere in Orange County where we met up with Collin’s cousin and his wife.  Viki told us to try to keep it from them or “EVERYONE will know” (Sorry, Steven and Anna!).  While Collin and I ran around in the ocean making kissy faces and otherwise being cute, Steven took pictures of it with my camera, and Anna said, “These look like engagement photos!”

And in my head, they kind of are. Even though we weren’t “really” engaged yet. Even though we had a proper engagement shoot later.  When I want to think about the giddy bliss of first being engaged (before all the stressful, complicated reality of wedding planning butted in on the fun) I look at these photos from California. Which is why I used one for the header of my blog.

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A Modest Proposal

[Preface: Anyone want to take a bet on how many wedding blog entries have that title? Mine is seventeen hundred.]

Collin now has an engagement ring.  I bought it for six bucks off a counter display at a store for teenagers at the mall.

I also bought three other potential rings, all with similar prices and lame origin stories.  The first ring I bought online, but the photo representing the ring was the biggest photographic misrepresentation of a product this side of OK Cupid.  I immediately rejected it and headed to the mall, where I purchased a second ring that had a nifty design lasered onto it but seemed like it would be uncomfortable to wear.  Then I found a completely plain ring at H&M for five dollars and decided to add that to the mix.  Finally, I had to get the ring Collin ultimately chose because it was my favorite I’d seen so far—a very thin wavy band in a dark goldish color.

I hedged by bets by presenting all four options.  I did this for a few reasons.  First, Collin is insanely picky.  His pickiness is also hard to predict.  Plus, he’s generally uncomfortable with being given gifts, and I think that tendency exacerbates his pickiness over gifted objects.  Additionally, the ring I liked the most had no information about its metal content other than “nickel-free,” but despite that assurance I worried it would cause irritation or turn his skin green or something and I wanted him to know off the bat he could swap it out for another option.

I proposed by putting all four of the rings on StuKitty’s collar.  The first thing Collin does when he gets home is feed and pet his kitties.  But he didn’t notice the rings immediately like I thought he would, so I lured StuKitty back over to Collin with a treat.  Collin still didn’t notice.  Finally, I ordered him to pick up the cat, and Collin caught on right away to the game I was playing.

He was very excited to pick a ring.   I think he mainly based his decision on fit, even though none of them were perfect. In fact we lost the ring for about five minutes after Collin shook his hand violently to test the fit and found it was loose enough to fly in those circumstances.  I told Collin that at six bucks a pop, we might just want to stock up on a year’s supply.

Anyway, here’s hoping the ring doesn’t fall off, provoke a skin reaction, or get too brutally mocked by Collin’s macho buddies for the next 53 weeks.  I really like both of us wearing rings.

As for the reject rings, If they don’t have to come off the bench, I will try working them into the metal boutonnieres I am planning on making for the dudes in the Bridal Hootenanny.

Muppets Take Marriage

I just read this post at A Los Angeles Love and realized I have some really important things I have to share about the Muppets.

First, a bit of vocabulary to help you get by here at HitchDied:  My dearest friends, the group of people who will form what is known in wedding blog parlance as my “bridal brigade,”1 call themselves The Muppets.  What kind of group of grownup-type people adopts their own nickname?  Isn’t that something only the popular girls in junior high do?  No.  We call ourselves The Muppets.  Deal with it.

True Story: Collin’s sister-in-law asked me who I plan to have walk me down the aisle (in Jewish weddings, the tradition is to have both members of the couple walked down the aisle by both of their parents.  My parents are unavailable for reasons of deadness, so I need to cook up an alternative).  I told her that while I wasn’t sure about the logistics, I’d really want “all my Muppets” to walk me down the aisle, because they’re the family I feel is “giving me away.”  She carried on this conversation very politely, offering suggestions for how to incorporate all the Muppets into the ceremony, all the while thinking I literally meant marionette puppets.  She was quite relieved when I finally explained the Muppets are people.

And speaking of the Muppets, but the real ones this time: I didn’t do a movie review this week, so to help make up for that I will post what is, as far as I know, the greatest on-screen wedding in cinematic history:

Some notes on that awesomeness:

  • I might actually rip off this song for my vows.  “He’ll make me happy each time I see him/He‘ll be the reason my heart can sing/He’ll stand beside me and I’ll have everything./She’ll make me happy each time I hold her/And I will follow where my heart may lead/And she’ll be all I ever need.” So simple, so honest, so sweet, and the man/woman (frog/pig) call and response is more or less egalitarian! (Kermit’s verse gives him a tad more agency, as a holder rather than a seer, and a follower of his leading heart instead of someone being stood beside, but it’s close enough for government feminism).
  • It would be in keeping with the quotation I selected to appear under my portrait in my high school yearbook, which is the next line of the song:  “Days go passing into years, years go passing day by day.”
  • For any lady out there who thinks she’s got everlasting feminist street cred for proposing to her dude (pardon my heteronormativity for a second), I’d like to point out that you probably didn’t ambush your spouse with an actual wedding during the final production number at the premiere of the Broadway show in which you and your dude are starring.  Compared to Miss Piggy’s trailblazing nuptial woman power, you might as well have been proposed to on Valentine’s Day with a Tiffany diamond solitaire at the bottom of a flute of complimentary champers at the second-nicest restaurant in town.
  • Why are the Sesame Street characters sitting so far in the back?  Are they the black sheep of the Muppet family?
  • Janice from The Electric Mayhem is wearing a tuxedo.  Janice is… (deep breath)… THE COOLEST!
  • I think that at the moment I get married, I’ll mostly be thrilled and excited and overwhelmed with love, but the tiniest part of me is going to be just the eensiest bit disappointed that the moon doesn’t swoop Collin and me up into the sky at the end of the ceremony.

1 I’ll probably also use the term “bridal hootenanny,” because it is like a bridal party only more unwieldy.  [We need the extra term because our siblings are going to make up our “bridal party.”]

Sometimes You Need a Story

Sometime after we decided to become engaged, I asked Collin to give me a proposal story worth telling.  Even though the engagement was pretty much a done deal, I hoped the presentation of the ring could nevertheless have some surprise and showmanship in it.  I wanted something interesting to tell people when they reflexively asked, “How did he propose?”

I specifically asked for something “more” than the story, “And then the FedEx guy came to the door, and he opened the package and put the ring on my finger and we got engaged!”

But ultimately, that’s pretty much exactly what happened.

But upon some reflection, that isn’t our proposal story. I’ve felt engaged for months now. If the proposal is “an offer of marriage,” and not just the presentation of an engagement ring, then this proposal has been in the making for maybe a year now.  It’s a montage, not one big production number.

As it turns out, that feels great.  I have many memories to cherish instead of only one big moment.  As a feminist, I feel a bit more comfortable becoming engaged over a series of conversations and mutual decisions, instead of becoming engaged by agreeing to accept a ring.

And if I’m really pressed to tell our proposal story as a charming anecdote, I can probably manage.  I was, after all, in the shower when the FedEx guy came to the door.