The good old-fashioned engagement ring…

7Engagement

And yet, it DOES make a difference. For years and years, I’d been preaching against marriage, and yesterday I got engaged – almost a bit like Cary Grant in “Arsenic and Old Lace”! What had turned me against marriage was – marriage; at 25, I’d had that fear of being left on the shelf, and I married a colleague from the cruise ship I was working on. I felt that urge to settle down and have a family.

And so I did. He took me to Greece and we got married a few months later; we didn’t even bother with an engagement, he wasn’t really the romantic type. And even less romantic was married life; sitting at home, cooking and serving him when he wasn’t working on the ship, listening to the gossip of his family and our neighbours. Then I became pregnant at last; I’d always wanted a baby. Nobody had told me, though, that from the moment you give birth, you turn into a slave for at least 18 years – well, in Greece anyway! I love my daughter dearly, she’s just finished high school and she’ll turn 18 in November – but I must confess I’m looking forward VERY much to that day when at least officially I won’t have all the responsibility for her anymore.

My marriage, though, had ended much earlier than that. After four years, I was so much fed up that I asked him for a divorce; fortunately, he agreed and we went through it without any problems. I was broke afterwards and on my own with my child, but I felt free again – and I intended to remain free! UNLESS maybe the right man would come along one day…

And he did… On the film site IMDb, I got to know an incredibly charming gentleman five years ago; from the movie chat we’d started out with, we soon began to talk about more private things and became key-pals. He was 65 then (perfect for me, since I’ve always liked mature men), and a lifelong bachelor. We exchanged photos – he was VERY handsome, besides being so charming and sophisticated and funny, and I soon developed a huge crush on him. For three years, we exchanged romantic emails – but at some point, I just felt I HAD to meet him. I took a plane to London…

And we just hit it off SO well in real life, too, from the very first moment!! We decided we belonged to each other; we just knew it, there was no need to make it official. Marriage is old-fashioned anyway, isn’t it? You don’t need a ring or a piece of paper to show to everybody and to ‘secure’ your love. And it can kill romance; I’d been through it before. We started visiting each other regularly, once in London, once in Piraeus; life just got better and better all the time.

 

 

So there was no NEED to get married; there isn’t now, either – but a few days ago, my darling suddenly popped the question! Mainly because of Brexit; from next March on, it’ll get more difficult for EU citizens to come to the UK and stay there. But it’s not only that… The moment was magical – all of a sudden I could see us entering the registry office together, and come out as a married couple!! Bits of song lyrics started flashing through my head, from “What could it be? It’s matrimony!” to “Obladi-oblada, life goes on” to “Do Wah Diddy”. Yes – yes, yes, YES!!! This time it IS the right man, and I know we’ll be JUST as happy as a married couple as we are now; when love is real, marriage can be heaven. And all those romantic things that are connected with it!

Yesterday, we went to the civic centre and asked about the papers we’ll need; and right afterwards, my sweetheart took me to a jewellery shop and bought me an engagement ring!! I cried for joy when he put it on my finger… I’d never known what it’s like to be engaged the old-fashioned way – and believe me, it’s a wonderful feeling!

In the evening, we went to celebrate, just the two of us, at our little pub around the corner. A great atmosphere as always, drinks, music from the jukebox, chats about the upcoming World Cup semi-final – and us sitting there on the sofa with our great little secret: we’re engaged. I felt like a 17-year old; it was the most beautiful evening of my life so far…

7EngagementParty (1)

 

And I know there is going to be more – more of the old-fashioned stuff; tell our friends and family, get the papers ready, give notice, and then, in October… the wedding! Again, it’ll be just the two of us plus the registrar and two witnesses; we think it’s more romantic like that. Back in Greece almost 20 years ago, I had a big wedding ceremony at the church, a dinner with the whole family and all that, and it still went wrong; but that wasn’t the fault of the ceremony, of course, but of a wrong choice…

All that matters is finding the right one – and if you have, just do it, say ‘yes’! Marriage is always in fashion, and it always will be; because it’s all about the most important thing in the world: LOVE.

Published by: Roberta Franklin

I’m an author of romantic fiction, born in Germany and living in Greece and London. I’ve worked as a journalist, as social hostess on a cruise ship, as an insurance agent, as a translator and teacher… I love books, movies, computer games, history – and I feel at home everywhere around the world!

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