Most people know each other pretty well when they get engaged. We had known each other two months, and had only been dating for half that time, so there were many moments over the course of the summer when we discovered things about each other--or about ourselves. Some of these moments also set things in motion for our future.
Career vs. family. Shortly after we got engaged, Peter flew to Providence to interview for a job producing publications for the American Mathematical Society. It would have been a huge career move, and at another time in his life he might have jumped at it. But he didn't want to complicate Abby's life, or our still-new relationship. I was grateful that he didn't ask me to leave my job, family, and friends behind. It worked out for the best for him, too. Within a year or two, he would establish his own business, working from home with a flexible schedule that has made possible our major projects including the carousel and Wild Rumpus Daycare for Grandkids.
What's in a name? I decided very quickly that I would keep my own last name. I'd already built a 20-year career with it, and besides, I had thought for a long time that it was cool to keep one's own name. Which brings me to....
Punchlines, part a. Sometimes in telling the story I'd go for a little shock value. Example: "Oh, I think I'm just getting married so I can keep my own name." Not true, but fun to say.
Punchlines, part b. "I met him, and two months later we were engaged....I've taken longer to pick out shoes!" This one was very true. In fact, it still is.I have very narrow, hard-to-fit feet, so I mostly buy from catalogs or online. I study styles and shapes and try to figure out what will work for me. Probably half the shoes I've ordered have gone back. In this case, my "impulse purchase" has turned out to be a wise and fabulous investment.