This month is the 25th anniversary of when I first met my husband and it’s 23 years since our first date. We don’t celebrate it as such, but we always remember and laugh about the very olden days. I was 18 when we eventually got together, a few months later we went to university at opposite ends of the country. Long story short, he quit his uni course and moved in with me and now 23 years later we are married with a family and a whole life together.
We got engaged on my 21st birthday. We’d talked about it and he’d nervously asked my Dad for permission and all that stuff. We went to a local botanical gardens and he got down on one knee and popped the question. The answer was of course yes, but we didn’t start planning the wedding because we had uni courses to finish.
I remember going shopping with him, the done thing has always been spending a months salary on the engagement ring. But we were students with no savings and no thoughts of getting a loan for such things. We window shopped at jewellery shops and he knew the kind of style I wanted and he did well. For a little over £100 (in 1997) he got me a nice blue topaz ring with little diamond chips. It was simple and perfect.
Going shopping for engagement rings was so much fun; looking at all the beautiful rings our paltry student budgets couldn’t afford. I sometimes wonder what kind of engagement ring we would choose together now 21 years later. I suspect we’d probably still choose the same ring or something very similar.
Until I became a mum I wore my engagement ring every day, but it stopped being practical. We had it valued a few years ago and my fairly cheap ring wasn’t worth millions, but it was worth about double what he paid for it. To me my engagement ring was never about how much it cost, or how much it was worth; it’s what it means to me. A promise of a life, a promise to be loved forever; a commitment.
We got married three years after we got engaged. This year we celebrate 18 years of marriage and we crossed the threshold of knowing him longer than I’ve not known him a long time ago. 25 years as friends, partners and parents. That’s a milestone worth celebrating!