Sunday, March 31, 2013

Love & marriage & kimchi

In my last blog post 2 weeks ago, I talked about the many changes going on in my life: the passing of my cats, the ending of my job, the moving from my home.  Little did I know I should have waited another few days to post that write up of big changes because another big change was about to happen.

Fabian liked it, so he put a ring on it!

Fabian proposed, and of course I said yes!  We had been talking about our future for quite some time and we've both thought from very early on in our relationship that we were the right ones for each other.  We have so much in common (from both hobbies and interests, to the important things like beliefs and values), but when we differ on things we are always able to respect each others differences and find a compromise where we can both be happy.  I knew that an engagement was coming at some point, but I really didn't know exactly when.  Not being one for surprises (I'm too much of a planner to enjoy uncertainty), the knowing it was coming, but not when was fine for me!   He did a good job too: a romantic trip to one of our favourite little inns in the area and just before going down to a very nice dinner, he asked me to be his wife.  I couldn't stop smiling the whole night.

And of course, the ring!  It's a vintage style, with an emerald as the center stone, surrounded by diamonds.  It's so elegant and delicate but unique at the same time.  I just love it!

I'm grateful to him for proposing before I left.  While it would have been very romantic to have done it while we were in Switzerland or touring Hagia Sofia, we're now able to celebrate this moment with all of our family and friends.  Celebrating a year later, while doable, would have kind of sucked all the newness and excitement out of it.  

One idea I had had about my upcoming time in Asia was to have a wedding dress made while I was over there.  I mean, the tailors in Hoi An alone are famous for their work.  But I also wanted to have the quintessential mother-daughter bonding moment of wedding dress shopping.  So, thanks to Fabian's proposal timing, I asked my mom, grandmother and great aunt to come to look at wedding dresses with me and just get an idea of what looks good on me (often what looks good in a picture or on a hanger looks very different when on a body).  After trying on a few different dresses, I tried on one that changed everything.  It was elegant and glamorous, with just the right amount of drama and sexy.  As my mom said "Andrea, it's just so you".  Even though it was nothing as I imagined it to be in my mind when I thought of my wedding dress, I knew it was the perfect dress for me.  My mom asked me how I would imagine Fabian reacting to seeing me in it, that's when I started to cry.  That's when I knew it was the right dress - I knew he would love it.  After we all cried a little (yes, that does happen in real life, and not just on "Say yes to the dress"), I made the very extremely impromptu decision to buy it.  I was in a state of shock for the rest of the afternoon.  Who plans to move to a foreign country in just a few weeks but buys a wedding dress as a last minute purchase?  Crazy ol' me, that's who!  Of course, since I know Fabian reads this blog, I can't post details about the dress, but I promise in due time to post proper pictures.

So I suppose you're wondering, how does this all change your plans for Korea, Andrea?  Well, to put it simply, it doesn't.  I am still going.  The proposal was not Fabian's desperate ploy to try to get me to stay.  It is a show of our commitment to each other and to making this work.  Now, whenever I am feeling sad and alone and am questioning the 10,000 km between us, I just need to look down at my hand to be reminded of  the wonderful man I have waiting for me, patiently, at home.  And when I go to leave and say goodbye to the (hopefully) many wonderful friends I make while in Korea, I will also look down at my hand to have those feelings of sad goodbyes replaced with the excitement of my reunion with him.

So while some of the wedding planning is underway (we have a general idea of where and when - details TBD), our engagement will be a bit prolonged because of my trip.  On the bright side: lots more time for planning! Coincidentally, one of my favourite hobbies!