She said yes! I popped the question after dinner at a gorgeous little taverna in Santorini – and she said yes! I never dreamed I’d be uttering these two little words but I’m engaged!
To my regular readers, sorry for not updating the blog for so long. I’ve been meaning to write this post for weeks and weeks, but hey, I can be a right lazy shit!
Anyway, the good news is that I’m actually engaged. I still can’t believe it and I still need to pinch myelf when I think about it – getting engaged is something that other people do. Normally people in their 20s – not an old git like me!
Those who read the last post about buying the engagement ring will know that I planned to pop the question while on holiday in Santorini. And that’s exactly what happened. Here’s how…
So this holiday was pretty imporant as holidays go. Not only was it our first holiday of any sort, it was the one on which Annie and I would become engaged, it was the one in which I lived 24-7 en femme and it was also the one in which I “came out” to everyone on Facebook.
More about all that later. You wanna know about the engagement, right? First of all, the ring. Obviously, I didn’t want Annie to see it until the time was right, so it spent a few days in my hand luggage, its wooden box wrapped in a plastic carrier bag.
I had planned to keep it with me and just wait until the right moment arrived, and then produce it from my handbag and pop the question. It didn’t quite work out like that, though, as the box is pretty big and my handbag is pretty small.
So I bided my time. We arrived in Santorini on the Wednesday and I kept the ring hidden away on top of our room’s wardrobe. On one day – maybe the Thursday or Friday – Annie told me (again!) how much she wanted to get married. So I was pretty confident of a “yes” when the time came.
We ate out every night at some amazing tavernas in our resort, Akrotiri. We had one or two issues with transphobic waiters at a couple of places – I shall name and shame in another post. But most of the restaurant and bar staff were lovely, and totally trans-friendly.
It got to the Sunday night and I was ready to pop the question. I placed the ring, in its box, into my handbag, and added a little extra padding to the side of it, so that it wasn’t obvious what was in there to Annie’s eyes.
We’d eaten at a lovely little taverna called Portobello before. It’s a typical Greek taverna, with white chairs and tartan tablecloths. The food’s simple but gorgeous, and it’s run by a really sweet couple in their 50s, who’d been really welcoming on our previous visit.
Naturally, I wanted the proposal to be beautiful, so I didn’t want to propose anywhere where the staff were less than welcome to trans people. I knew we’d be welcome here, and that we’d both be relaxed and happy. Kinda important for a proposal, no?
We looked great that night. I wore a little black lacey top that I’d bought in Manchester the night before we flew to Santorini. I had a flowy white skirt, also from the sales at the Trafford Centre. Annie was wearing a simple LBD and looked stunning.
And so out we headed into the night. There was one bright “star” shining in the sky. So bright that it had to be a planet. Out came my stargazing app and, sure enough, it was Jupiter – named after the Roman god of thunder and lightning. I guess Venus (Roman godess of love) would have been more fitting, but you can’t have it all.
We walked into the centre of Akrotiri, and were welcomed back to the restaurant by the couple who run it. We ate well, polishing off a platter of deep-fried delicacies, followed by sea bream for me and kleftiko for Annie.
The white wine was flowing, too, and we were having a great time, chattering away as we always do. Annie and I are never stuck for conversation and, on the rare occasions when there is silence, it’s never awkward.
We ordered liqueur coffees and, by this point, I was getting a bit nervous. I’ve never proposed to anyone before and it’s kind of a big deal. What if she said no? I know we’d spoken about getting married many times, but what if she decided it was too soon to get engaged – maybe she’d prefer to leave it a year or two?
She could sense there was something amiss, but just thought it was me being daft, which is pretty standard anyway. Then it was time to ask the question. Annie nipped to the little girls’ room, allowing me the opportunity to get the boxed ring from my bag. I placed it in my lap.
Annie returned. All the other diners had left by this point. There was just the owner, sitting on another table in one corner, doing some paperwork. It was pretty late – maybe 11pm or so.
I’d not planned any speech. I just winged it. So I started by asking her what she liked about me. And she told me several things she liked, all of which were really sweet. I wish I could remember what the hell they were, but I’d knocked back a fair old bit of Dutch courage by this point.
And then it was my turn to tell Annie what I liked about her. Things like her maturity, her confidence, her zest for life, her sense of humour, her courage, and the fact that, in spite of everything I’ve got going on in my life and all the changes that will take place over the next few months and years, she loves me unconditionally. She’s pretty awesome.
And then it was time. After finishing telling her why she ticks all my boxes, I uttered these six words:
“… and with all that in mind…”
The plan was to open the box under the table, and bring it to the top of table, revealing the shiny ring inside and, well, propose.
But I couldn’t open the bloody box! The lid has a little hinge, which means it only opens one way – and won’t open three ways. You get the idea.
So instead of opening the box and presenting the ring, I just sort of fumbled about under the table, while Annie sat there wondering what the hell I was doing and saying, “Yeeeeeeees? With all that in mind, what?!”
My little box had turned into a Rubik’s Cube, and I couldn’t solve the puzzle for love nor money. So I said more nice things about Annie, and then the box finally opened.
I’m pretty sure I repeated my “… and with all that in mind…” line again – and then I revealed the ring and said: “Will you marry me?”
And she said yes! I took the ring from its box and placed it on her ring finger (natch). And it felt fucking amazing! I am crying as I write this because it’s bringing back all those emotions from a few weeks ago.
She had such a look of pure love on her face, I will never forget it. I took a few photos, which I’ll treasure always, but she’d rather I didn’t put facial pics of her on this blog, so you’ll just have to take my word for it.
After that, it was like we were in a dream. Neither of us could stop smiling. I kept looking from the ring to her face and then back to the ring again. As I say, other people get engaged – not me. But here I was, a loved-up, seriously happy fiancée.
We headed back to our apartment and celebrated with more vino, falling asleep at about 3am under the stars, on our balcony sun loungers. We awoke at about 6am, just before sunrise, and there was Venus shining bright for us – the only heavenly body in the sky.
It felt like our engagement had been given a blessing from the goddess of love herself – and Annie was quick to point out Venus’s links to women and femininity, saying: “Men are from Mars, women are from Venus. She’s shining just for us.”
Crying again now!