Love & Dating

…and then she proposed…

I was watching TV, annoyed that I had to sit through commercials – because what is this, the 90s? – and a credit card commercial (I think) came on. A young black couple sat in a Chinese food restaurant. She looked nervous. He opened a fortune cookie. It was cute. She proposed. I was like, well that’s badass.

So back before we were ready, I had the idea. Aside from the fact that it would make me feel like a feminist badass, I also thought it would be really nice to take it off of Anthony’s shoulders. He stresses out A LOT about giving gifts every year for birthdays or Christmas – they have to be absolutely PERFECT. I knew that this would be so much pressure on him – so why not take it on myself?

Then one day, we talked about having kids. Usually these conversations go a little like this:

Him: Do you want kids?

Me: UGH. NO. I mean, probably. But in like, 10 – no, 20 – years maybe?

Him: Ugh I know right? We’ll probably have them, but I can’t imagine having them…

Me: Let’s stop talking about this.

Him: K!

But this time, he was like “Ya, I want kids.” And I was like “Ya, me too.” Then I realized we needed to get the show on the road and told him I wanted to be married for a few years before it all goes down. And we had this moment, celebrating our 4 year anniversary in Pismo Beach, where we were like – “Holy shit. We’re gonna get engaged soon.”

This happened in March. We both thought, without telling each other, that it would probably be sometime this summer. During our conversation in Pismo I threw out the idea of me proposing to make sure he didn’t react in a random way – of course he just shrugged, and apparently told people it was a toss up over who would propose first.

Which, by the way, I just LOVE. So much more exciting, in my mind.

So a couple weeks later, I’m hanging out with my sister and some friends and talking about what I would want to do. When I thought of what Anthony would want, I immediately thought of his family. He would want them involved somehow. So I thought maybe I could have them come out and surprise him over the summer. Then I realized they were already coming out for a show of his in late April. My sister was like, “Just do it then.” I was like “Ummdkajfhweihgwirjglkwgjm;wldg huh?”

But that made the most sense. It was SO fast, but also – what are we waiting for? And I’m soooo glad I didn’t plan something farther out because it is SO hard to keep that shit a secret – I just wanted to get it over with!

So I made a plan – then called his mom, his dad and sister, and my mom. They were all thrilled and we made a plan for the parents to come to Santa Barbara the day after the show. It was a really emotional day, actually – talking to everyone about it and planning it and having it become real – no going back after that.

There were a lot of logistical issues, some I won’t bore you with, others I’ll mention because they might be helpful to someone who might be thinking of doing the same thing. But I have to say, with all of the complexities and planning and things that could of gone wrong (even though the proposal was so simple!) – I was SO damn lucky. Fate LOVED me the whole time.

So one issue was his ring. I wanted something shiny to hold up when I got down on one knee (I wanted to do the whole thang ya’ll). But I didn’t know his ring size, and I didn’t know what kind of ring he would like. I googled the first issue – and let me tell you, the internet doesn’t talk much about chicks proposing. Except this one study that said it’s a BAD IDEA AND DON’T DO IT. Anyways, people were like, “measure his finger while he’s sleeping!” or “go to a jeweler and joke around and have him try on some!” – those weren’t going to work without completely giving away the surprise.

So – I just made a call. I picked one that I thought would look beautiful on him, and picked the size of my friend’s husband’s ring. It was $20, so no big deal if it didn’t even fit on his finger.

Fast forward to the day of. I had been SO good you guys. Usually I tell people I meet in the bathroom line what’s going on in my personal life, but I had kept this a secret from all of our friends, save a couple of mine who live far away. YAY ME. I also wasn’t acting like a total crazy person, even though I was SO nervous the entire afternoon leading up to it.

I suggested that we head to the beach early to take some pictures and watch the sunset before meeting his parents for dinner. And my guy is so sweet. He was like, “Okay, I guess I’ll need to look nice then.” When I suggested that I drive instead of taking the usual Lyft (so I could make a detour to the proposal spot) he kept asking why, since parking at the restaurant/beach was so insane. I just said because, and he just let it go and let me do whatever I wanted. I love this man.

I realized we had to get gas and nervously texted my sister who was hiding at the proposal spot, camera ready. I felt like I could probably barf on my shoes. I’m getting nervous even thinking about it now! As we drove, he loudly rapped Kendrick Lamar lyrics and thought it was a great idea when I suggested (totally casually) that we stop by that lookout point he had taken me to years ago, above the beach on the cliff. Apparently that was not my smoothest moment and he started to think something was up. It didn’t help things when he asked me what we should listen to and I suggested our song. But I knew he would love that so it was worth it.

The sun was golden and perfect and Santa Barbara was looking its very best that evening. I pulled over at the lookout spot and nervously grabbed the ring out of my purse, putting it on my finger and hiding it from him as we walked to the cliff edge. I was totally shaking at this point, wanting so badly to just rip the band-aid off.

I (think I) told him that I was so glad he moved here and that we met in such a beautiful place, and that I was so happy and proud of the little life we made together. I (think I) told him that I usually get scared of big things like kids and marriage, but he makes it all seem doable, and better yet, fun. That I have a hard time trusting and being vulnerable but he makes it easy, and better yet, the most rewarding thing in the world. I wanted to spend the rest of my life having as much fun as I’ve had in the last four years. And then I knelt down and held up the ring, and said “Will you marry me?” (I think – I was so nervous I may have blacked out a little).

He was immediately on the ground with me, all reassurance and love and happiness. I was shaking and we stood up and I hugged him and just shook and sort of sobbed? But not really crying yet, just shaking and electricity and relief and vulnerability literally pulsing through me. I just held onto him and was so glad it was over.

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He said I was really cute and that this was perfect and then said “Are we the most subversive couple or WHAT?!” and we high-fived. Then I told him I didn’t even know what I just said because I was so nervous – and then proceeded to tell him everything I WANTED to say, but maybe forgot to say?
He said, “Ya, you already said that, baby.”

So yay me, I guess?

By the way, the ring fit, and he loved it.

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My sister came strolling up – “I just happened to be in the neighborhood!” – and gave him sour skittles. Then she took some pictures of us right after, and we all headed to dinner. We were early, because apparently proposing is so uncomfortable that I do it in lightning speed. And I could hardly talk to anyone for about 10 minutes as my body recovered from what apparently was quite the physical as well as emotional ordeal. Once I had champagne, and realized it was over and I could just relax, I came back to life.

My parents also came to dinner, and we had such a special night. My mom gave me her mother’s wedding band, which was so special for so many reasons – I might do a separate post explaining that – but we were all crying and the night was even more amazing than I could have imagined. Anthony’s sister FaceTimed with us and sent a gift ahead of time, and our parents bought dinner and champagne – it was the best time ever.

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We got home to our apartment and talked about the whole thing, staring at our rings. We texted friends. I said I was surprised he didn’t cry more when I proposed – I was expecting a lot more water works from him. Although, he did cry when I said I knew he would want his parents there to celebrate with us. And after a couple beers, and putting on the playlist we used to listen to when we were first dating, it happened – he started crying and it all hit him – and I was like YESSSS! I won’t be the only one with a crazy emotional roller coaster happening tonight!

It was truly the best night ever. I can’t believe how easy he makes things. How the hard things are rewarding with him. How everything seems to be exactly the way it should be – but even better. I get to be with my best friend, and laugh my ass off everyday that I’m with him. I couldn’t be luckier.

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Devil Side

 

I’m excited to share another post from my friend Angela, who shared this piece a while back about anxiety. I love when she shares with us because reading pieces and blog posts by women being vulnerable and telling you about the times that they felt confused and scared is a rare find in the blogging world, and I appreciate her courage.

I wrote this piece about a past relationship to learn a lesson, to remember just how deep I allowed myself to sink. I wanted to show myself that I was hiding in denial from something so grotesque, I am almost ashamed to share. But here it is, because I have learned that keeping my mouth shut about this is the only thing I feel ashamed of anymore.

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Run and hide, it’s gonna be bad tonight, ’cause here comes your devil side. It’s gonna ruin me. It’s almost like slow motion suicide watching your devil side get between you and me.

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The sound of the pool queue clattering to the floor silenced the bar. His anger erupted with screaming profanities and then he was running away, leaving the fallout from his outburst on me.

I felt the blood rushing beneath my skin and the eyes of everyone in the bar watching me with pity, or maybe disgust, as I scrambled to pick up his queue and follow him outside. I called his name, but he ignored me, disappearing into the night.

“Are you okay?” a friend of his asked, stopping me from following him.

“I’m fine.” It was a lie I was accustomed to telling. It was as easy to say as my own name.

“No you’re not,” he said.

I began to cry and pleaded for his friend to let me go so I could pick him up and bring him home. Excuses for his behavior bubbled out of my mouth. I had played this role so many times. I was an expert. But his friend knew better.

“You don’t have to feel this way,” he said.

“I know, I know, please let me go get him. I just want to bring him home,” I pleaded.

“He’s drunk,” the friend said. “Are you going to be safe?”

“Yeah, I know. I’m fine,” I insisted but I was thinking, Who cares about me?

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I found him a mile up the road and pulled over. He was fuming and shut off, a shell of the man I believed still existed. He pulled his queue from my car and threw it violently at a lamppost, shattering it. A man was watching cautiously from his yard, looking like he was contemplating calling the police. Cars passed slowly, drivers staring as if they were watching a film.

I begged him to get in the car and come home and just let it go. It was just one bad game. My words set him off and he screamed at me. He got big and scary and I thought he was going to hit me. He assured me that he would never hurt me, but I had watched him do plenty of things I didn’t think he was capable of doing.

Finally, he got in my car and I drove him home, crying the whole way. When I parked, he sat in the dirt and threatened to run away. He said he hated his life, he hated his job, he hated that I cared so much, and he hated himself. He didn’t say it, but I knew he hated me too.

For over two hours, he spat vitriolic words at me, acidic insults that cut me down to my greatest insecurities and I sat with him, trying to act impervious, trying to bring him back.

For neither the first time, nor the last time, I coaxed him down from his ledge and got him inside. He fell asleep quickly but I was awake all night wondering why the man I adored was so deeply troubled. How had one bad game of pool spiralled into this?

I pushed down the nagging feeling that I was in danger, that I was sacrificing my happiness for someone who felt more like an addiction than a partner. Somehow, believing that I loved him made his actions, his violence, his anger, and his cruelty irrelevant.

It felt so natural to put myself on hold to help him, but the longer this went on, the more I realized that I loved a footprint of a man long gone. He had dragged me down with him by asking for my love and then refusing to help himself. I suffered through the rest of the relationship, feeling trapped and insecure, until it came to a fiery end at his hand.

The man who told me he didn’t want to be with me anymore was not the same man I had met at the beginning of the year. The mask he had used to enchant me had fallen off. He had stopped trying to hide his tortured life from me. All that remained was an angry, dependent man who was determined to lose everything.

When we said goodbye, I cried. It felt like an arrow being pulled from my stomach: deafening pain followed by a rush of sweet relief as he walked away for the last time.

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Valentine’s Day Inspiration

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I’m going to admit this right now – I have never been a huge Valentine’s Day person. It seems a little forced to me, I guess? Like, can we all acknowledge that every day is basically a day when the world is obsessed with love and relationships?

Myself included.

Anyway, Anthony and I usually celebrate our birthdays and anniversaries, and save our money the rest of the holidays. But, I have been super into seeing a bunch of pink and cute things on other people’s blogs and I thought – I would love to contribute to someone else’s Valentine’s Day fun. So I have some stuff that I think you’ll like.

unsplash_5244808e6b835_1 Here are my favorite love songs right now, to get you in the romantic mood:

I want to love you – Lenachka – I am super into this song right now and would play it on repeat if I wasn’t too cheap to buy the premium version of Spotify. So romantic and sweet.

Say you love me – Jessie Ware – This has been one of my faves for over a year now probably – Ed Sheeran wrote it I think. It’s bomb.

Comrade – Volcano Choir – Honestly, I have no idea what these lyrics are about or what he’s saying half the time – but the song is beautiful and dreamy so I decided it falls in the love song category.

Love myself – Hailee Steinfeld – For when you’re like, “You know who my favorite person is? ME!” (P.S. I am aware of what the song is actually about, but it also works for an innocent “go me” song…)

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I ran across some adorable ideas from Advice from a 20something for what to do with your honey this vday – it includes making a fort, which is just awesome.

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Are you like awesomely single and dating up a storm? Thinking about online dating? Check out my post on my OkCupid experience (don’t forget parts 2 and 3!).

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Thinking about wedding bells and expensive dresses? I still love my best friend’s wedding photos – they planned it all themselves, so there’s a lot of inspiration in there if you are close to tying the knot (or just expanding that wedding board on Pinterest for when the day comes).

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I also listened to this awesome podcast about rethinking single life the other day and loved it.

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Anthony and I actually do have plans – we are going to go to an event on campus which is like a grown up prom, and all inclusive – very queer friendly with the idea of dressing and doing what you wish you could have done when you went to your high school prom. Cute, huh? I’m pretty excited to dress up and dance to live music with friends!

 

What are your plans for this Valentine’s Day?

 

 

Mélange à trois: Should we move in together?

IMG_7076 Welcome to the new series, Mélange à trois, where we will discuss life’s burning questions about life, love, and style. Have a question you just can’t find the answer to? Email me at missmelangeblog@gmail.com and we’ll talk about it!

 

 

My boyfriend and I have been together for about four months. His lease ended unexpectedly, so he moved in to my huge room in my house with other roommates. It wasn’t a huge deal since he was looking to buy a house soon and would probably only be there for a couple of weeks. Then a new roommate moved in to my house, and things got weird – they were constantly bringing over strangers and partying, doing coke in the house, and just making me feel really uncomfortable. Another one of our roommates is now leaving, and I am having less say in who we choose for the room. Then my boyfriend found a house, and we found ourselves asking: why don’t I just get out of here and move in with him? He was going to get a roommate anyway to help with the mortgage, and I couldn’t stay in this house anymore. It’s so early in our relationship, but the idea doesn’t scare me – we’re really serious, said I love you, and just know each other is the one. It’s really just the idea of what other people will think… Are we crazy?

 

No, you’re not crazy. I wouldn’t want to be in that house any more either, and if you are serious with your boyfriend, I don’t see why you wouldn’t want to move in if it makes perfect practical sense. It sounds like the only thing keeping you from doing it would be what other people would think – which in my opinion, is never a good thing to base any decision off of.

But let’s talk it out –

Scenario 1: You don’t move in with him. In this case, you will feel a little creeped out at your own place all the time, and probably look for somewhere new to live – then you’ll have to deal with finding the money for a new deposit, hoping you’ll find a place that fits all your needs, etc…. And even if you do find another place, how long do you think you would actually live there before you would want to move in with your boyfriend anyway? Maybe 6 months, because being together for a year, then moving in, is more socially acceptable? Doesn’t sound that worth it to me. Moving is a pain in the ass – I try to avoid it as much as possible.

Scenario 2: You do move in with him, and it’s wonderful and yay and so easy and best landlord ever and they lived happily ever after.

Scenario 3: You move in and things go badly. You’ve only known him for a few months and you realize you didn’t know all these awful things about him and you fight and break up. Sounds awful to add living with someone on top of all the break up drama.

However – this could happen after a year, or two years, or ten years of living together. Sure, maybe you won’t get as many “I told you so”s from lame people who might judge you, but other than that – it will always suck.

I say, ask yourself what you would do in a vacuum – if you didn’t have to worry what other people thought. It sounds like in that case you would move in with him – so do it! If that’s the only thing that’s really in the “con” column, it doesn’t seem worth it to me to go against your gut.

 

What do you all think? Let us know in the comments below – especially if you disagree!

 

 

 

Have a question? Email missmelangeblog@gmail.com

 

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