So after my friend was agreeable to a proposal last weekend I figured I would go ahead and ask the same question to The Girlfriend© and see what happened. As it turned out, she quite liked the idea as well, so on September 12th, twenty-one months to the day since we got together, she has now been fully upgraded to The Fiancée©.
I wanted to add a little fun into the proposal, so I wrote twelve (not too difficult) treasure hunt style rhyming clues that led all around the house and eventuallly back to me, where I was waiting for her so that I could pop the question. You know, the usual hiding places – in a book, zipped inside a sofa cushion, tucked inside a bag of frozen peas…
I can’t recall what I said twenty minutes later once all twelve clues had been deciphered, but after a speech which I decided not to write down beforehand for fear it would sound rehearsed, she gave me an answer to the only part of the moment that I can actually remember.
We have spoken quite openly in the last couple of months about getting engaged, and with our holiday to Croatia next weekend almost upon us I know she was convinced it was going to be happening on a sandy beach on the Dalmatian coast. However, I decided I had heard about that happening far too often and I didn’t want to be someone else who did it that way.
So now we can both relax in the Croatian sunshine, and enjoy the first steps of this new chapter together.
Things have changed a little these days, but I am old enough to have grown up in a time when having female friends at school meant you had to be gay, although I’m not and I did. Still do. In fact, I don’t have any male friends left from my days in the classroom, just a few girls that I still count amongst those close to my heart.
Over the weekend one of those girls got engaged, and I could not be happier for her and her husband-to-be. I have known her for the best part of three decades and I have not seen her smile more than I have these last few years. She has found someone special, and we should all be so lucky as to find the same.
True friendships are rare – certainly much less common than movies and television woud have you believe. I’m not talking about the rejects you hung about with as a teenager, or the kids you played hide and seek with before that. I mean your adult friendships. These are not the people who like your selfies on Facebook or Instagram, or the ones you share a cigarette or coffee with at work: they are not your friends.
A friend is there for you when you need someone to listen, or when you need a shoulder to cry on. A friend will have your back when others will not. A friend has money for you if you find yourself without. A friend will have the guts to tell you you’re being an idiot, when you are. And a friend will stand by your side when nobody else will, through the sadness as well as the laughter.
And you will be that person for them should the need arise.
All that being said, you likely have fewer friends in your world than you think you do. But if the people in your life tick most of those boxes, you’re on to a winner, and I’ve been fortunate enough to have a few.
And this is one of them.
No names required: she knows who she is.