Traditionally Nontraditional

A brief overview of a very messy year.

Traditionally Nontraditional

My life story is a wild ride and I'm sure I'll end up writing about more of it in the future, but right now, this is the story of me - circa 2017.

Let's start at the beginning, I met my current partner in 2013, on a popular dating site. We met for drinks at a karaoke night and I took him home, terrified that if I let him go, I'd never see him again. We talked all night and he left 2 days later. With me completely head-over-heels.

We dated, we split up, we got back together, he had a breakdown, I had a breakdown and we split again, then got back together only for him to dump me over the phone. Then I spent over a year with someone new, who couldn't be further away from my partner in terms of personality. I affectionately said that they were as dissimilar as Sherlock and Dirk Gently (both in their most recent TV endeavors). Then things fell apart with me and my new guy (Sherlock). He kicked me out in January '17 and there I was again, missing Dirk as if it'd been no time at all since we'd been together.

Only he still didn't want me.

I settled into a cycle of university, dating and watching terrible TV with my new housemate, all while talking daily to the man I have been in love with for nearly 5 years. After a few months of this newfound cycle, Dirk and I had settled into an unsteady friendship, we knew there was a lot of history between us and even more emotions that we didn't know how to deal with, so we just talked. We dated other people and it seemed that that was how life was to go on, until I went on a date. Nothing new about the date, nothing special, except that my phone died during the course of the evening, and I didn't charge it until the following afternoon. I'd had a lot of wine and not a lot of sleep (but that's a story for another day).

Upon turning on my phone, I had a LOT of messages, from him terrified as he'd not heard from me, and after an eight hour conversation on the phone that day. We both ended up coming to the same conclusion. It was always going to be us. Now Dirk and I have a colorful history, and there were many disapproving tones when I'd tell people that we'd gotten back together. But no one was surprised. We spent a month or two learning our place in the other's life again, but ultimately, everything fell into place like that one long piece we all crave whilst playing Tetris. So after 2 months, a lot of laughs and a lot of tears, we held hands under the stars and I asked him to marry me. Tradition be damned.

He said yes.

At time of writing, we are less than a year away from our wedding, I love him more than ever. He is the thing that keeps me alive on the dark days.

Our families have been supportive, in their own way. My mother keeps pushing traditions, his parents keep telling us to elope and my sisters are all kinds of angry that they're not going to be bridesmaids, but it doesn't matter. Sure, there have been moments where we've questioned why we're having a 'proper' wedding if our parents don't really want to attend, and even moreso with our severe lack of funds and imminent poverty. It's because for one day, it's about us. Allowing all of those people who love us to meet and be part of our love for each other.

It's no Cinderella wedding, there's no Fairy Godmother to pay for festivities, but we're getting things ticked off. I'm making my wedding dress, my housemate is going to play photographer, out flowers are from eBay and covered in spray paint but you know what? I'm excited for my DIY wedding to the man I love. We know we're not perfect, but who is?

Claire Rowlands
Claire Rowlands
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Claire Rowlands
See all posts by Claire Rowlands