Thursday, January 19, 2012

“…and his heart was going like mad and yes I said yes I will Yes.” ~ Molly Bloom's Soliloquy, James Joyce

         So, although one of my resolutions for 2012 is to blog more often, I have been slightly MIA. This is perhaps because creativity doesn’t flourish in times of happiness. What does one have to say if one is not incensed about something or in a general state of thoughtful melancholy? In fact, I am often quite prolific in January because of the end of the holidays and the bleak New England winter ahead of me. This year is different and if you don’t know why, well then you probably haven’t been on Facebook or talked to my mother recently.

         On the day after Christmas, Brendan mentioned that I should pack a bag for the Cape for that coming Friday, December 30th. It was after dinner that night when he wordlessly turned on his right blinker and brought me to the top of Fort Hill in Eastham and overlooking the marsh and under the stars, he asked me to marry him. I said yes of course. I wasn’t that surprised— we don’t usually take off for the Cape in the middle of winter the night before we have people over for New Years’. But completely and utterly delighted? Yes. It was a day in August when he had first surprised me and said: “I want to show you this place,” and the image of the clouds casting fast moving shadows over Fort Hill has burned itself into our shared memory and we talk about it often. That he chose this place to ask me that question— well, it was great.[i]

          Also great, was calling friends and family that evening to share the news. My parents, amusingly, didn’t answer their phones for two hours, even though they had been made aware of the plan, because they were out seeing the new Mission Impossible movie... They obviously weren’t worried about what my answer would be. That’s when I heard the backstory about how Brendan’s mother and my mother met for lunch in Sturbridge Village to pass off the family diamond. They also apparently each came bearing a tray of Christmas cookies.

          When I called one of my best friends that night, she said: “Oh my God, your wedding is going to be so amazing… Oh my God, your mother is going to drive you so crazy planning it.”

          And my mother already had big plans for the weekend of the proposal. At their annual New Years’ Day “Open House” party, I was forced to hide my ring for two hours so they could announce the engagement. My 103 year old great aunt and family matriarch’s reaction to the news was pretty memorable. “He was supposed to ask me first,” she said. Her daughter told me that in actuality Aunt Mac had “been praying for it” for months. Her comedic timing has stayed well intact over the years.

          Hopefully, my sense of humor will stay intact in the coming months of wedding planning. I must remind myself that my mother’s sometimes zealous opinions not only emerge out of her years of experience in the wedding business, but also out of how excited she is to welcome Brendan to the family. I myself think that I have made a most excellent decision in saying yes. With my head in the clouds, I haven’t been writing much and I may not have responded to each of you for your well wishes. If you sent them, I want you to know that we appreciate every one. We are very much looking forward to our future together. And I’m sure I’ll have sufficient material for blogging for a good while now.
[i] As I said to Brendan while composing this: "Oh God, this is so cheesy— now that I'm done talking about the story itself, can I go back to writing jokes about my mother?"