I turn thirty, or (preferably) twenty-nine and four quarters, today, an event I’ve made no secret about dreading. It’s not really that I anticipated my teeth would all fall out when I rolled over into the next decade, or that I’d forever be bound to wear only ugly sensible shoes in colours like taupe, beige, and almond. The problem seems to be my deep-seated belief that thirty marks the end of my extended childhood. Some level of my psyche really believes I’ll actually have to grow up now, and it sucks. As much as I’m trying to keep a stiff upper lip about it, this milestone birthday bothers me on some levels.
I also pulled what I think may have been the little blond hair that could start my middle age goatee out of my chin last Thursday. Perhaps we should abandon this topic. It’s dismal to say the least.
To add more traffic to the crowded freeway of my thoughts, The Electrician announced this weekend that our relationship just isn’t working for him any more. After nearly two and a half years, he reached the decision that he didn’t want to date me any longer. I can’t say I didn’t expect the news, since men get all strange when this kind of thing is on their minds. All the signs were there, really. He wasn’t saying much over dinner on Saturday. I had trouble keeping up with him when we were walking together on Sunday. I wasn’t at all shocked on Sunday afternoon when (amid rather dramatic Hollywood-style drizzle) he told me he didn’t want to be my boyfriend any more.
He wants to be my husband.
He did not set me up with a break up speech. I just wanted to play with you a while.
Knowing I was feeling blue about turning thirty, my sweetie took me to Canmore this weekend on a romantic getaway. We try to escape to the Alberta Rockies a couple weekends a year, and The Electrician thought a little time away with the gorgeous scenery might take the edge of my birthday. We enjoyed Canmore and Banff on Saturday, despite the incessant rain, and stayed in a snug little cabin in the woods. On Sunday, we drove the fifty minutes to beautiful Lake Louise, where he convinced me it would be a good idea to go for a walk along the lake, even in the inclement weather.
I joked about leaving my umbrella at home because I thought it might curse us with bad weather if it were in the trunk. Ditto for my snazzy rain coat. There we were, walking along the edge of beautiful Lake Louise in hoodies and jeans in the mud and drizzle, me trying to keep up with The Electrician’s faster than normal strides, when he pulled me off the path, kissed me soundly, and asked me to marry him. I’m not revealing what he said, because some things are just too special to share with the internet. (No offense, internet.) He picked the spot he realized more than two years ago that I was the woman he wanted to marry, and he took me back to the same place on the edge of the lake to propose.
Jammed on his pinkie finger, where it wouldn’t even go past the first knuckle, was the vintage-style engagement ring he had custom-made just for me. The ring box wouldn’t fit in his pocket without giving it away, so he wedged his fingertip into the ring to avoid losing it in the mud and kept his hand awkwardly in his pocket. As soon as it was on my finger, the clouds really opened up and the turquoise surface of the lake was alive with rain drops. We were soaked and freezing by the time we got back to the car, but neither of us cared.
I like the symbolism of a steady rain on the day we got engaged. Rain brings renewal and a fresh start. Rain makes things grow and helps them thrive. My parents also got married during a crazy rainstorm–the audiotapes of their wedding ceremony are punctuated heavily with thunder to prove it–and they have been married nearly 35 years. It’s a good omen.
We drove back home the long way, through the Icefields Parkway to Jasper, where we made goo-goo eyes at each other over a lovely meal, before stopping off in Drayton Valley to tell my folks the news. It was the best Sunday I’ve ever had, even if the hem of my jeans took six hours to dry and will be caked with sand until I (reluctantly) wash them.
I’m thirty today, and things are certainly looking up. I’m going to celebrate by wearing a decidedly un-sensible pair of shoes and going for a lovely dinner with my delightful fiancé, where I will order the biggest, gooiest piece of chocolate cake available.
Yes, it’s going to be a good year, friends: a very good year.
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