The Non-Proposal

I have been looking forward to writing this post for over one year, but then when it came down to it this past week, I fell into a passive mood and I didn't want to put in the required effort to make this worthwhile.

I'm forcing it out of me. Please bear with this terribly indulgent post, that is entirely about me and my personal non-running life.  But it's high time I share it with you!

The short version:

I got married!  One year ago!  And didn't tell anyone...not family, not friends (until one of my best most intuitive friends guessed that we had!), not the internet. I think this is called eloping?

Well, I kind of told you...there were hints here and there.  I apparently referenced my "father-in-law" once on the blog which someone picked up on.  When we eloped, on our 4 year anniversary of dating last year, I alluded to the fact that we did something exciting that day.

And I'm sure many of you had no freaking clue that we weren't already married, since I call him "the Gentleman" instead of, say, "the boyfriend" or "the husband", etc.  But if you have been reading since the beginning, or know me in real life, you know that he was my live-in boyfriend when I started the blog.

The long version:

Begins in August, 2007....

I met the Gentleman on the very first day of law school.  It was his 29th birthday.  I was 23.  I was going to get dinner with my mom and grandpa that evening.  But instead I learned my grandfather had gone to sleep the night before and despite being in good health, never woke up.

It was a terrible first day of law school.  Meeting the Gentleman was the least memorable part about it.

But, I remember him perfectly.  He had some pieces of grey hair...I didn't have any friends with grey hair.  He had a green sweater on.  He had been a high school teacher for four years.  All of a sudden I was hot for teacher.

Over the course of a semester, we went to happy hours together with our Legal Writing and Research class, went to lunch with friends, went on a hike with a friend, and finally, in December, 2007, went on our first date alone.  Just the two of us.  Finals had just finished, and we realized that with classes out and flirty studying-emails no longer called for, we missed each other.

When classes started up again in January, we were all in.  Law school never really sucked again after that first semester.  He was the best study partner, the best classmate, and just.....the best.

First Valentine's day...
January 2008.  We look so little!

6 months

Getting juris-doctored

It sounds so ridiculous to say that when you know, you KNOW, but I knew.  After years of thinking that I just "loved being independent" and "loved being single," it turned out that actually I just had "only dated people who were not that great."  This was the first time that I didn't find myself making excuses or avoiding phone calls in order to escape a 2nd, 3rd, 4th date with some guy.

And so, within two months of dating, I remember that we both knew and both revealed that we would be together forrrevvverrrrr.  mwuuuuhahaha.

The point of all that is to explain why we were never engaged.  Why there was no proposal.  From the two month point, we had already reached that agreement.  I moved out of San Francisco and into his rockin Oakland pad before our second year of law school began, and then we let the months tick by, life getting better and better, occasionally discussing getting married, but, for two secular people who don't need a stamp from the government to feel committed, we didn't really care when or how it happened.

I should also mention that the notion of a proposal makes me feel sick.  This and this is probably some women's dream, but I'm not even kidding, that is my worst nightmare (although the second link is so, SO adorable).  I hate the spotlight (yeah yeah, I have a blog, I MUST LOVE IT), I hate the idea of walking down an aisle while people look at me, I hate the idea of asking people to travel for me, so I can act like a fairy tale princess (wedding dresses are SO FUNNY, right?  They are PRINCESS dresses, it is so funny).

But, ultimately, even though I escaped the proposal and for one single year escaped any attention on our marriage (which is really only ours, nor yours, not others), there will be something.  Some wedding.  Some time in 2013.

Wet hair, spontaneous drive to get our marriage certificate 12/21/11
We hate all of the pictures from the day we eloped.  Ugh!  We needed a witness, and after my co-worker bailed and we couldn't get a hold of two of our local friends with a last minute phone call, we asked the kid who worked at the cafe in the lobby to be our witness.  He also took pictures.

The first thing we said to the...officiant? whatever she was? was that we didn't want anything formal, we didn't want to have to say anything sappy, we didn't want to hold hands and kiss and all that.

And somehow that is exactly what she made us do! It was pretty dorky. Which you can probably sense from the photos.

And the decorations....oh my.  Oh my oh my.  Yeah, I hate these pictures.  But now they shall see the light of day.

Why is she making us do this...

Pretending to really be feeling the moment

We are not solemn here.  We are actually just confused. 

Yay, we can finally stop following weird instructions!

On our way out.  Success!

The reasons for why we woke up on our fourth anniversary and headed off to the Oakland Court Recorder's office to make it official are many, and simple.  All you need to know is that we just did it.  We talked about doing it for over a year, and one day we just did it.  We finally started saving $140/month because I jumped onto his work health insurance plan.

And then everything stayed the same.  Except we could occasionally call each other "wife" or "husband" and enjoy that it was just for us.

I keep hearing that everybody knows someone who has privately married this way, so surely it's not that crazy, but some people have definitely made us feel crazy.  It was a surprise to me to learn that people I thought I knew well suddenly craved tradition and lacked an understanding for why we purposely did NOT want to celebrate that day with other people.

We are now ready to celebrate, and so we have begun to share the news.  "Congratulations one year ago!!" is not the right reaction.  The celebration is NOW, not one year ago.  The announcement is now, not one year ago.  One year ago...not much really happened.   Except the state of California received notice that we are committed to each other.

So merry Christmas and no more secrets!