Ok, no more kidding around.
Let’s get serious. The ring! The wedding! The dress!
So I had never really wanted to get married, but then I had my vision after that weekend at the farm and suddenly, boom!!! It hit me. For the first time, I wanted to get married.
I don’t really know how it happens, this sort of thing. It’s a weird mix of wanting to be with someone forever, wanting to be a bit crazy, and wanting to really go for it, for good.
But I do know it definitely wasn’t wanting to be a princess, wanting to have one day that would be the high point of my whole life, or wanting a big diamond.
The princess stuff has never been my thing. I always preferred stories of adventurers (which means that as a child I unfortunately identified with boys more often than girls in children’s stories)(fortunately things are starting to change a little bit)(“Let It Gooooo…”)(anyway).
I have to warn you, even though I’ve been engaged for over a month, I still have absolutely no image in my head about what my dress might look like, simply because…I haven’t thought about it yet. I’ve thought about the party, yes, and kids, believe me, oh là là it’s going to be killer.
Just like the other things, wanting a diamond was never really part of my story.
First of all because, like I was telling you before, where I come from, it’s not really important. And even though I love beautiful stones, I’ve never really dreamed of having one.
And plus, here there is that crazy diamond competition.
Diamonds are very, very, very important here. It’s the country of Breakfast at Tiffany’s, after all. And Harry Winston. And Kim Kardashian and her enormous 15 carat diamond. Oh, wait, no, Beyoncé’s 18 carat one. Oh no wait, Mariah Carey beats them all with her 35 carat diamond!
The diamond is… depending on who you ask and which generation they’re from:
“What you get to keep if you guys get a divorce!!!”
“The diamond has to cost at least three months’ salary. It has to be expensive.”
“It’s a manifestation of how valuable you are in his eyes”
“It’s like marriage insurance, you know what I mean?”
Hmmm. Those conversations left me feeling a bit weighed down by all the conventions. I understood the idea. No, really! I could see what they meant.
But no matter which way I thought about it, it just didn’t speak to me.
One day I finally told myself it simply wasn’t my culture.
That’s one of the great things you learn when you move to another country. You can adapt, respect and understand, but you can also go on being yourself.
Plus I’d had a bit of a bad experience with a diamond and engagement situation and I hadn’t found that very fun at all, but rather very, very, very complicated. Anyway. Phew, come on, let’s talk about something else.
Come on, LET’S TALK ABOUT CHRIS.
Ok, I don’t know what happened in Chris’ head, but at one point in our relationship, he started sending me discreet little signals, which I pretended to ignore (well, yeah! I’m a pro when it comes to love games, what do you expect?) things like making really specific plans for the future, and sending me texts full of matrimonial hints that I avoided by pretending not to see them.
Except for the night when, totally drunk in the middle of a RAVE (yes, yes, they still exist, don’t ask how I, respectable priestess of a blog with a reputation to maintain, found myself at a rave in Brooklyn at 6am, but let me tell you it was amazing) I threw my arms around his neck and told him I’d marry him right then and there if he could find a can of Coke and put the tab around my finger (he didn’t find a can.)
Anyway, I’d figured it out: he kinda wanted to put a ring on it.
YES!!! I couldn’t believe it!!! But YES!!!
That’s when all the matrimonial scheming began (it’s all scheming when it comes to marriage. For example, right now my friends are organizing an engagement party for me and I’m not supposed to know about it, except that I gave them the addresses of all the friends I’d like to invite)(totally twisted, I love it).
Basically, the idea was to telepathically guide him toward a ring without him knowing I was guiding him while also making sure he knew I was guiding him. Scheming, I tell ya. And that was just the beginning!
Around that time, I met the jewelry maker Eva Fehren, who I fell in love with right away, and I spontaneously commissioned her to make me a ring. I love her work. It’s different, inspiring, beautiful. And plus, I don’t know, I just really loved her right from the start. I showed her something I liked, and that’s that and we didn’t discuss it any further.
Next, I informed my closest partners in crime, my friends that Chris knows so well he has their numbers in his phone, that Eva was the person to go to, and if one day Chris asked them anything, they shouldn’t say anything to me, but should just trust her.
I had told Eva: Eva, I want the simplest ring in the world. I don’t want a solitaire. I want a ring I can wear every day. Symbolic, but personal. A ring that’s just for the two of us.
Apparently when Chris went to see her, he was surprised.
Troubled, even, that I didn’t want anything more than that. Just a band with tiny diamonds? Are you sure? Can’t we add a little bling? I’m a classic kind of guy, I’m from the South, the diamond is important. No? Are you sure?
Oh, here. I asked Eva to tell me the story from her point of view:
“I am very pleased to say that the world of engagement rings is changing and constantly evolving. As a designer, it is much more important to me to reflect the personal style of the woman wearing the ring, rather than only considering “the rock,” and the formalities of clarity, cut, and color. Don’t get me wrong, I love a big diamond, but it didn’t feel right for Garance. When designing the ring, it was important to me that it reflected Garance’s style, and that it worked with her other jewelry. I love its simplicity and I wanted it to mirror the refined, minimal, and effortless elegance that Garance embodies.
Meeting Chris to talk about the ring was so much fun. When I met Garance, it was love at first sight. Garance and I just clicked, so my expectations for Chris were high — to say the least. Chris was bursting with energy when he walked into my studio. I asked him if he was nervous, and he said, “No, just so excited.” I appreciated the trust he gave me in making the ring. Initially, I do think he was worried that it wasn’t your “typical” engagement ring. But Garance isn’t your “typical” woman, and the ring felt right for her (she had dropped a few hints in the past).
When Chris picked up the ring, he was so excited he whipped out his trumpet and gave my team a private concert. It was definitely a moment I will never forget. I feel very lucky to be part of this beautiful couple’s love story.”
So there you go. Isn’t she adorable?
So one morning, on our first day of vacation in Mexico, the sun was pouring into our room in the middle of the jungle. I was just getting out of the shower and Chris was sitting on the bed. He had just come back from fishing and…Hmm. Wait a second…Chris never sits on the bed. I was drying my hair and singing and Chris was sitting like Rodin’s sculpture “The Thinker” and…Hmmm. Weird. Chris never sits like The Thinker. I went on drying my hair, then finally I couldn’t take it anymore:
“You’re being kind of weird, is everything ok, babe?”
“Yeah, yeah. I’m fine. Everything’s fine. All good.”
Two minutes later…
“No seriously, what’s going on?”
“No, nothing! Everything’s cool, I promise. Super! Great!”
Five minutes later (the most annoying girl in the world)…
“But I know you. Something’s up, what’s going on with you?”
And at that point I don’t think he could stand it anymore. In one single motion, he jumped over to his bag, took out a shiny black box, opened it, then whispered something, then got on his knee, then I took him in my arms, then I whispered something…
It was beautiful, touching, imperfect, and really really really moving. For hours and even days. Moving to the point that we had a hard time having a normal conversation after that. It unleashes so many profound emotions and stirs you all up inside. And you look at this man next to you and say he’s going to be your family. And you love him even more because he had the incredible courage to do that, to ask you to marry him. You know it won’t change anything and it will change everything at the same time. You hope you’re ready and up to the task.
I still have a hard time talking about it, I’m realizing. That’s a good thing. I thought I was the kind of person who could talk about everything, but there are some things that are beyond words.
I send you all kisses and a million thank yous for all of your congratulations. I wish you all pure happiness, and that you’ll let life surprise you.
Translated by Andrea Perdue