Getting married and meeting prince charming is the fairytale dream of so many young girls growing up.
Disney has a lot to answer for really as we all envisage the most beautiful and romantic settings, a wonderful meal, candles, music playing and dimmed lighting – after all isn’t that how it always is in the movies?
The setting is always perfect – recreating a first date, at the top of a mountain, having a waiter bring over champagne with a ring in it…..
BUT what ever actually goes to plan?
I always thought I would meet the man of my dreams, get engaged and married, have 2 children and live happily ever after.
That happened but did you know I was engaged previously before meeting Paul?
Our friends certainly do but I can’t remember if I’ve shared before. I was previously engaged to Paul’s best friend, we dated for around 4 years and it seemed the next logical step to get engaged. There was no romantic proposal, it was more a decision and a trip to Argos to buy a ring.
We had an engagement party, gained a bottom draw full of house gifts for when we got to that next step, lasted another year before splitting up.
Paul and I got together a week or so later, it wasn’t planned but it happened at a friends party, some friends weren’t too pleased but after seeing we were set to last they came around, accepted and one of those who disapproved even became our lodger for a while.
We were together from the age of 21. The longer we were together the more I began to become that little girl again – the one with fairytale dreams of a white wedding and my happy ever after.
Little signs started to give the game away after about 4 years together, friends would mention weddings and Paul wouldn’t recoil away from the idea, he allowed me to stop and look in the windows of bridal shops without pulling me away in a flash and perhaps the biggest ‘giveaway’ was when his ‘friend’ needed help picking out an engagement ring in the pub for his girlfriend. We had a friend who worked in Jewellers so would often bring items into the pub for us to look at, but sitting in a dive of a pub looking at platinum rings for a friend I hadn’t met was a tad strange considering Paul and I had been together for 4 years and I’d known him for 9 years.
I obviously knew he was up to something was up and he was plotting something. There was also the time he got himself a new ring and joked around that it would fit me so made me try it on all fingers, then there were the whispers to friends and the hushed voices.
My dream of a happy ever after and a romantic proposal looked to be coming true.
We had a night away booked in a very posh hotel, this was paid for by my old boss as a leaving present along with a 4 course meal and breakfast the following morning. We were both very excited and couldn’t wait.
The weekend before it was Paul’s works Christmas party, laid on by one of their clients, as always I went to pick him up and he had had quite a few. I took him home and stayed as I always did on the weekends, then he crawled drunk across his bedroom floor to his safe, took out a ring box and threw it at me saying “Marry me?”.
Of course I said yes and cried.
It turns out his Dad was with him the week before when he went to the bank to draw the money out, and asked what all that cash was for. Paul told him, but forgot that his Dad is the worst at keeping secrets. By the end of that day his Uncle, Dad and Brother knew and the man on the phone, a client and …… well who knows.
Paul’s carefully planned secret was almost out so he asked me early.
He had planned to ask me at the hotel after all so the thought was there. We’ve now been married for just under 10 years and together for 16 years. That’s my happy ever after.
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