It’s 3:25 in the morning, and approximately 3 hours have passed since my boyfriend proposed to me on my front porch. I’m writing at this hour because I want to remember all of today’s feelings. I don’t want to go to sleep without writing these all down first!
Another milestone unlocked. How can I not write about getting engaged? Before anything else, I know I rarely post personal stories here now. However, it’s during these moments that I realize what compelled me to start blogging in the first place. I’m one big irony – How am I a blogger by profession, when I’m such a private person in real life? The easiest route for fashion bloggers nowadays is to just follow what everyone else is doing (a proven formula for success?) – take good OOTDs, flaunt your eyebrow game, follow the latest trends, use the same desaturated filter for everything, curate your social media feed to fit your brand, and hope sponsors will notice you. God forbid you post about something that’s totally unrelated, or else be deemed as amateurish. The reason why I can say this is because I’ve been there. I’m guilty to the bone.
And so there came a point where I’d deliberately withhold certain details about my personal life (family and boyfriend-now-fiancé included). I was afraid to talk about real issues because, well, less talk, less mistake. Given my track record of extreme tactlessness and straightforwardness, I should know this perfectly well. I figured I’d have less trouble to deal with if I didn’t reveal certain aspects of my life. “They can criticize my blog and basic taste in style all they want, but they can never say anything about my personal life because they know nothing about it.”, I once thought. Social anxiety issues are a pain, I swear.
But of course, we all grow up and mature as human beings. Fast forward x number of years after my first blog, I’m really happy to be where I am now. I’ve gotten over of the common mistake of caring about what other people think about me. It’s because of RG (That’s his name. Short for Ron Gabriel.) that I’m a much better person now.
As cheesy as it may sound, he was the one responsible for bringing out the best in me. No to always expecting happiness from material things. Yes to unforgettable experiences as gifts. No to always being paranoid about what other people might think. Yes to minding my own business and fearlessly owning what I want to do. The best kinds of friends and partners are the ones that will always be by your side as your #1 supporter yet will never, ever tolerate any bad behavior. We call each other out when we need to, and never call it a night without resolving major issues. Bratty tendencies begone! Life is just generally clearer, kinder, and brighter with him around. Sometimes I joke about how I trust him more than I trust myself.
Anyhow, we celebrated our anniversary by having dinner at a restaurant that takes about 2+ hours to get to by car. Ever wondered why it’s so hard for me, who claims to be in love with traveling, to post about places that aren’t accessible by plane? The thing about us is that we don’t really get to go on road trips together because of my motion sickness. He loves the great outdoors (Biking for 4+ hours? A whole day at a farm? No sweat!), yet he is stuck with a fussy city girl who can’t stomach more than 2 hours on the road without the world spinning.
(The world spinning for hours after the proposal is a much-welcomed feeling though!)
By midnight, I was so ready to go home, remove my make-up (the best feeling!), and tuck myself into bed. Usually, RG sees me to the front porch, kisses me good night, and will beg for a few more minutes of bonding time together. Yup, 5 years of the same “I don’t want to go home yet. Let me see your face for a few more minutes.” stint. Writing about it is enough to make my heart skip a beat. This otome game realness.
This time, I figured there wouldn’t be any of that since the ride was exhausting, and he didn’t get to sleep in the car like I did. Just as I was about to open the door with my house keys, he pulled me close and told me, “Don’t go in yet. Let’s stay here for a while.” Same old, same old. I thought it was one of those nights again.
A common friend of ours popped out of nowhere and started documenting the whole thing. THIS IS IT. I like true crime documentaries and detective movies, so I feel like I’m extra alert than most people (I have a story about almost getting mugged in Germany – but I’ll save that for another post!). I caught on as soon as our friend popped out. No words had to be said. I knew a proposal was going to happen.
We actually talk about getting married all the time. We’re the type of people who like planning ahead so major life decisions won’t overlap in case they do. In fact, we just had a conversation about proposals over dinner. This morning, I re-watched the Arashi no Shiyagare episode with Kiko Mizuhara and that segment where the boys attempt to reenact her ideal proposal. A few days ago, RG started posting old photos of us on his Instagram. Today, a lot of people greeted us on our anniversary with engagement ring emojis.
Long ago, I told him how my dream was to get proposed to in Japan (like Nicole Warne and her cherry blossom proposal). We’re going in March, but he said not to expect anything since we don’t really have any existing memories there as a couple (yet). Fair enough.
These faint clues. I felt like I was Sherlock Holmes (Benedict Cumberbatch version, I have to say.) – years worth of memories rushing to my head in a matter of seconds. Lightbulb moments all over.
And there it was. Back in January 2011, when we officially became a couple, he kept telling me how he’d be so willing to marry me already if it were only possible. On the very porch where he proposed last night. True enough, we’ve probably spent more time on my front porch than anywhere else in the world.
He was supposed to have a whole proposal spiel ready, but he got so nervous that he had to come up with something on the spot. I’ve heard this guy speak in public a number of times, and he never sounded like this before. I could hear his voice shaking, and I held him and jokingly told him to relax in the middle of his stutter.
He dropped on one knee and asked me to marry him. I said “Of course!” with no hesitation. We talked for a few more minutes after he put the ring (I’ve always wanted a yellow gold engagement ring with a Tiffany setting – the one from our childhood books and illustrations!) on my finger, and he told me to just read the letter he gave me last night. Said it expressed his feelings better than his proposal. Typical RG. So awkward yet so endearing.
The night before, he gave me a card with “You’re my favourite!” on the cover. I won’t put all the contents here, but he ended it with “A lot of things may have changed, from your hair color to my weight, and our selves in general, but I take comfort in the fact that our love has remained constant. Here’s to more of these in the future. You are my favourite, and I will always love you.”
(Okay, let me cry a bit here. Like, my first real tears after getting proposed to.)
He is living proof that no grand gesture can top a simple, sincere, and personalized proposal if he really means it. I used to think I wanted an ambitious proposal that I can upload on the Internet in the hopes of becoming viral (lol, blogger goals), but this one was absolutely impeccable. We didn’t have to pretend to be anyone other than ourselves. Nothing about it was out of the ordinary. And this is exactly what makes it the ideal proposal. It is ideal because of the person who did it, not because of the elaborate preparations that came with it.
RG once asked me why I fell in love with him. We have a ton of differences, and he could care less about the fashion and beauty stuff that I’m into. By sheer association, he has turned into my “Instagram husband”, albeit unwillingly. He said he was the Hugh Grant to my Julia Roberts.
I love how we can be ourselves. We never have to compromise anything to please one another because of mutual respect. We’re perfectly aware that we’re two very different people, but also two very similar people. I say this in a sense that we’re both trying to make this relationship work despite having distinctive personalities, hobbies, goals, and interests. We can be ourselves together. Only a natural response for two people who choose to love one another, I believe.
Thank you to everyone who already sent their congratulatory messages before this official announcement! You guys are fast! Isn’t it kind of surreal that I started blogging just before going to college, and now, after 10+ years, I’m getting married? Now let the planning begin!