Previously I had thought I was super easy going and didn’t care about anything about you, know, winning the bet. *ahem* I mean marrying my darling fiancée, but it turns out I’m quite picky.
We’ve looked at a lot of wedding venues now. Whole weekends have been spent stomping around country homes, museums and even slightly rubbish castles while a salesperson talks to you about seat cover options or maximum capacity numbers. That bit isn’t fun, but it’s over now because we’ve got a venue booked in and a date.
Here is what I have learned
- It is expensive, I’ve had to force myself to not think of the wedding in terms of motorcycles we could have bought because it breaks my heart.
- Things I don’t want: A bland function room, feeling like I’m in someone else’s house, a tiny dance floor.
- Things TP doesn’t want: A tent, seat covers, me to dress as a spider.
- There is a fun bit later on where you have an evening of ‘testing food’ for the ceremony. I can’t wait for that.
- Putting a deposit down on a venue makes this feel even more real than buying a ring. It’s really happening.
- Some people book their weddings three years in advance. THREE YEARS! We could be ruled by robots by then.
- Or sharks.
- You can hire ice-cream bikes, jugglers and even choirs but even if you’re thinking of using a military museum for your wedding they won’t let you play on the tanks or hold a musket.
- Don’t even bother asking about having an axe fight on the day.
- It’s very hard to resist doing a stupid theme, not that stupid themes are out it’s just there about three dozen we want to try.
- Choosing who to invite is hard, especially with couples because that instantly doubles the number.
- Also while working on the list you get strange urges to invite people just because they gave you extra chips or let your cross at the traffic lights. At the current rate we are likely to have a table just of people who have served me nice coffee.
- Deciding that you’re not going to invite members of your extended family because they are awful is lovely. I can’t recommend it enough.
- All brides have spreadsheets of information on venues and they trade them.
- Apparently the system is you get a rough list together, then venue hunt and then choose a date. Then you do nothing for a while until it gets closer to the time.
- We’re sort of at that bit now.
So I’m engaged now. I went to Paris and I proposed the SHIT OUT OF The Theatre Producer.
Here is what happened.
We were staying in a ridiculous hotel in Paris. Think a stately home plonked in the middle of the 16th (The posh bit of Paris).
TP had booked the room so that in included a ‘free upgrade’ which resulted in us having a ‘junior suite’ that was larger than our flat. I’ve not stayed in that many rooms with conservatories before but I am now a fan.
We dropped off our bags and went on a walking tour of Paris. It was a beautiful day, really sunny and we set off along the streets doing a long lap of the sights. I was a little quiet during this period because I was thinking about stuff.
Not regrets or anything just considering the enormity of what I was about to do. This would be the point when what started as a silly bet crossed into being an incredibly serious thing with legal implications. It’s a lot to take in. I was glad I had time to process it a bit rather than being on the end of a question.
The set up
When we got back to the hotel room we were both really tired (we’d walked miles) BUT I had a plan. So I suggested we have a quick drink in the gardens before retiring for a nap. Well demanded it.
TP wasn’t exactly pro this idea, okay lets be honest, she thought I’d gone insane and demanded to know why I was being so cruel to her by forcing her to put on a nice dress and some lipstick.
We went down stairs to the garden (with a bit of grumbling from TP about how tired she was) and I asked TP to pick a nice spot for a photo.
She wanted to just sit down but I was insistent that we had a seat with ‘good framing’. Again she’d thought I’d gone mad which wasn’t helped by the fact I had my bag with me for no real reason (real reason: holding a ring).
Once we were sat down I went off to buy some wine. I ordered two glasses of champagne and explained in pigeon-French how I was about to propose and how I’d like the waiter to take lots of photos.
The teenage waiter was so surprised when I started mentioning le proposal pour la marriage that he made the champagne he was opening explode everywhere and had to clean it up.
While he was cleaning that up I had time to quickly phone TP’s dad to ask permission. I got through to him and was so excited by me calling that he just wanted to have a lovely chat about PPI and India. I had to fight to speak and get the request in. He approved and I dashed back to the bar to pick up the waiter.
We sat down and clinked our glasses for the camera but it didn’t work.
TP said ‘Oh never mind we can do it some other time, to which I replied, ’NO WE MUST HAVE PHOTOS’.
She thought I’d properly gone mad now. She fixed the camera and dutifully posed for the photos. The waiter carried on taking pictures and TP only got a little suspicious.
Then I started the talk. I had been toying with the idea of doing a silly proposal but a friend had said that was a bad idea. So I instead I said how happy TP makes me and how much I like her, stuff like that. She looked at me very strangely and thought I’d caught too much sun.
Then I popped on one knee and pulled out the ring. POW. Only then did she realise what was going on.
She said ‘yes, of course’ and did a little cry, sort of ignoring the ring I had held out until I prompted her to open the box.
Then we drank more champagne and she looked at the ring a lot. We also texted a picture to Biscuit of the ring and called him a loser.
She then said,’Well now we’ve got to plan a wedding’
And I said, ‘Oh blimes, I hadn’t thought of that’.
Proposal success rating 100%
Forethought of what this means (apart from a life together being happy): 0%.
There’s been a lot of big news coming from Toast recently and you’re possibly wondering what’s happening on this side of the wager.
Will Billy escape from the abandoned mineshaft?
Will Susan discover that Jake is her brother?
Will anyone work out what that smell coming from the patio is?
There have been on quite a number of adventures, mishaps and ensuing hilarity but that’s not what you want to know, is it? Well most of it has been pretty awesome (even though it revolves around a girl, who’d a thought, eh?) but some of it has been really hard to write about, which is why I was dodging it for so long.
When this baby hits 88 miles per hour, you’re gonna see some serious shit
Let me take you back in time 9 months…
<flashback>Toast and I were living together in the 4 Xbox household. For reasons that I won’t go into we were faced with a deadline of either moving out in 4 months or buying the house we were living in. With the opportunity to expand the technological empire further we decided to go for it. In retrospect I can see how limiting this would have been on our developing relationships, but when man is blinded by the idea of a robot man servant, or even a robot DINOSAUR servant, it’s easy to get carried away.
This is the first time I had tried to buy a house and it turns out that it’s quite expensive. We spent about 4 months weighing up the pros and cons of Ponzi schemes, life insurance scams and train robberies (although I’m not sure that 13 boxes of Doritos, enough chocolate and fizzy pop to bring on instant diabetes and a train conductor’s hat would have helped us buy a house). Then our deadline was pretty much up.
This is when things got tricky. Toast finally realised that this was out of his reach and decided to make the big move in with TP. This is a pretty pragmatic and sensible decision and is probably what we should have been discussing earlier, however it came totally of the blue and the following day I found myself the sole occupant of the house.
It was a bit of a shock. I was reeling and wasn’t really sure what my next steps were.
With the previous prospect of becoming an eligible home-owner, I had obviously spent time musing about when Jen and I might move in together. In my head, her and TP would eventually move in and sitcom style hilarity would ensue. No… I hadn’t really thought it through. We probably needed at least one ferret and a drag queen to make it sitcom material.
Jen and I hadn’t actually talked about living together at that point. She was living in a shared house with two friends and her contract wasn’t due up until October. I knew that I’d love to live with her properly and we both thought it would be great, although October was a long time to be in limbo before we could find our own place to rent. It was time for some a serious huddle to talk strategy. Jen’s housemates were very understanding and were happy to let me stay for a while to give me a chance to find my feet again.
After a bit of heart-to-heart Jen and I came up with our ultimate plan: WE would buy the house, like motherfucking GROWN UPS!
There are some exciting decisions in life where you get to make grand gestures, big announcements and celebrate decisions by denting the kitchen ceiling with a poorly extracted champagne cork. Unfortunately, when the decision is forced prematurely due to circumstance it kind of takes the shine off the glory.
This is something that we both wanted to do and agreed that we would have been considering moving in together around October anyway but we’d had no time to even get used to the idea before we needed to make a massive grown up decision. It was definitely a much better plan than Toast and I buying together but we would have much preferred to have some time to talk about it, get excited and make the decision ourselves. There wasn’t any time for celebration as we were instantly thrust into the stressful logistics and finances.</flashback>
This is a lot to fit in to one post so I’ve had to skim most of the detail but I don’t want you to get the wrong idea about this decision. It was big and scary but we both really wanted it and were really excited. Having a deadline isn’t necessarily a bad thing. The whole point of this wager was to make Toast and I get off our posteriors and get us some o’ them there WIVES! Without that to motivate me I wouldn’t have learned so much about myself over the last couple of years, had such memorable experiences or met Jen.
DECORATE ALL THE THINGS!!!!
We’ve now been ‘officially’ living together for 6 weeks and it’s amazing. It feels like it’s been months. We’ve got some formidable relationship tests ahead of us including IKEA (the bane of lesser couples) and some mega decorating. Seriously, EVERY wall, ceiling and floor needs to be decorated but I know that we’re gonna lay a tag-team SMACKDOWN on that motherfuckin’ woodchip wallpaper like the Partners in Crime that are!
All our monies are now being poured into this project, which means that grand expensive life events (like expensive jewellery or parties where you dress up in pretty dress and 3 piece suit and get all your relatives and friends together to get drunk and dance to the Grease Megamix) are now FIRMLY off the cards for the foreseeable future.
However, this is the WED or Dead wager, not the ENGAGED or Dead wager.
In an unrelated conversation a friend mentioned that they had heard that Vegas do weddings with pretty much no notice. There’s no reason I mention that, I’m just saying in case someone else might feel like a Star Wars themed wedding but couldn’t wait for a Death Star wedding cake commission to be ready.
That’s the only reason.
Right, next important issue: does anyone know how to remove horrendous ‘70s gas fireplaces without a canary and armed with only a hammer and a roll of gaffer tape??
This post, like all the ring related ones are made in real time and then posted much later to not spoil the surprise of the proposal.
Today I learned that I’d make an excellent spy. Now as we spies know talking about spy stuff is technically off limits but I think I’m allowed to share in this instance and they the ‘lay people’ or ‘civilians’ know what happened.
I want to get a motorbike, I had a vague plan to get one for the summer, but since we’ve not had a summer so it’s not been that urgent really. This is where the spying begins.
I told TP at the weekend I was going to look at motorcycles. It was a lie, well a bit of a lie. I did go and look at motorcycles briefly, but also I went to look at rings. She has no idea! I spent the whole time sending her texts about how I wanted all the bikes when really I was shivering outside a window full of precious rocks.
That’s some serious spying right there.
Also learned today: Rings are not as exciting as motorcycles and I still have no idea what makes a ‘good one’ only that they cost a lot and don’t seem to do much. Seriously though what is with that?
Double O Toast.
My old chum the art dealer is on Operation Lock That Shit Down (I still need a better name for it). She knows rings and stuff and has been a friend for years. Ideal for being an adviser. She was going to help with the picking and help me get ‘a deal’ but she’s off to Ireland for two months.
No help for me.
But she just happened to bump into a diamond dealer she knows in the street (yes that really happens). She mentioned my name and he’s going to do me a deal, apparently. He’s now in my phone as ‘dealer’ which may backfire as a plan (It does make me feel cool and edgy) but now I’ve got a contact.
We’ve just spoken. I’m going to go and see him on Monday and talk about rings. This does mean that I have to find out more about various types of cuts and what TP likes without arousing her suspicion.
He also said if I take a photo of her hand he can probably size it from that. GET IN.
Also now I’ve told a real person about the proposal, it feels a little bit more real. That’s quite scary. Still no turning back, this is definitely the right thing to do.
These posts will be posted after the event but they will be composed in real time. Erm, look just read it will make sense.
The Theatre Producer and I have been going out for a year now, shockingly that makes her one of my longest relationships. We are very happy, properly ’oh my god they are insufferable’ happy.
However this blog isn’t about happiness. It’s about winning and for that reason (And not because I think she’d make me happy for the rest of my life*) it’s time to lock that shit down and propose. Yeah baby, marriage percentages just got real.
There are three stages to any good proposal. Fathers, Rings and Locking That Shit Down.
Talking to Daddy
This is the permission asking bit. I can’t see it will be a huge problem but it does have some issues I need to overcome.
- I don’t have TP’s dad’s phone number, I’m not sure how I can ask for it. Maybe I can feign an interest in a sport or something.
- He might not be very discrete, so I’m going to have to ask him at the last possible moment. So just as things are getting romantic I need to dash off and make a call. She’s going to love that.
- He might say no. A minor point. I’m not sure what the rules on this are, do I have to defeat him in a duel or just give him three pig and a wagon of turnips?
- Trick her into poking a hole in something with her ring finger. Something like cheese or an avocado. Freeze said item and then take that to the jewellers.
- While she is sleeping make a cast of her hand with Plaster of Paris. Make a fake rubber hand from the cast and take that for sizing. If the fake hand is also robotic, award self extra points.
- Find a female friend with hands like hers, take them to jewellers. Spend a lot of time explaining that the friend is just a stand-in.
- While holding hands wrap my hand around her ring finger to get the size of it. Then run off to jewellers without moving hand in the slightest. Like you do when you’re trying to work out if shelves will fit in a room and you don’t have a measuring tape.
Locking that shit down
*Joke, please don’t stab/break-up with/divorce me (delete as appropriate)
Holidays with a girl eh? Surely that can’t work? Especially a holiday focused around doing almost nothing for a week. That’s just asking for trouble right?
Not really. The sad an unexciting truth of the matter is that I went on a week long holiday with The Theatre Producer and it was lovely. We swam, I ran, we both ate a lot of seafood and developed an impressive Sangria habit.
The Sangria made total sense, it was just over a euro a bottle and tasted like fruit juice. I miss it terribly. We need it in England.
Here are the facts from the holiday
- We were staying a resort near a golf course, so the rest of the guests were very old, I’d say somewhere between two and three times our age. I have never felt more studly and youthful.
- The other guests spent all their time lying by the pool working on their tans. Their tans were great, they were like leather walruses. Ones with northern accents. Because of their busy tanning schedule we had the pool to ourselves.
- We spent a lot of time messing around on boats, lots of boats. Some of them looked like pirate ships and they gave us rum based drinks. They were my best boats.
- The lifestyle of wake up, have a run, relaxed breakfast, swim, food, swim, afternoon nap, walk, supper, booze, sleep is very nice. I need to find a way to fund that lifestyle.
- The flight over was pretty bad. It was about 1/3 toddlers. They screamed and made horrible smells for four hours. Luckily they weren’t staying at our resort.
- We didn’t even have anything close to an argument or an disagreement about anything the whole time we were there.
It was excellent, and since we got on so well we’re going to move in together. So that’s some pretty big news right?
Marriage percentage: 80% - Also in real terms moving in together is a HUGE step, so I’ve basically won.
Previously the Theatre Producer and I went on holiday to Serbia for a wedding.
This time it’s a proper ‘do nothing’ holiday somewhere hot. We’re going away for an entire week with no plans apart from sleeping a lot and reading books, by a pool. I can’t wait.
Although I’m not sure that the Theatre Producer is prepared for what will happen.
I get restless if I don’t have something to do, I can do a lazy weekend, just, but after that I get a bit, bouncy. Colouring in books will only keep me amused for so long. I have a lot of energy, I was a bit of a naughty child and I think by about day three I’ll be running laps of the villa making dinosaur noises, at 3am.
I almost feel sorry for her, or at least I would if velociraptors knew what pity was. Roar!
I don’t go on holiday with girls. I’ve tried it a few times and it’s never gone well.
Ladies, for all their lovely properties have a very different view on holiday time, also the ones I know seem to turn into despots once they pass through customs.
Here are some previous examples of holiday disasters
Between the tickets being booked and me going, the girl and I split up (it was more of a fling than a relationship). She begged me to go anyway. I arrived at the airport with no-idea of where I was staying and no way of contacting her.
I managed to get hold of someone else in the group and told her I had arrived. They picked me up, not her, two complete strangers. She didn’t bother going in the car so I had a weird, very long trip to the house with two people I’d never met before.
The car ride was weird but nothing compared to spending time in a remote villa with her sisters and all her friends. I was the odd one out while they were off their tits on drugs. I was only there for a few days but it felt like months, long awkward months of watch my ex-not-quite-girlfriend flirt with a someone else in the pool.
There was a sauna though, which was nice.
I was invited by a flatmate. 10 of us went to a remote farm house in the middle of no-where. (I’m sensing a theme) There was one car, the girl was the only driver registered on it. She spent the whole holiday being either 1) too tired to drive 2) drunk.
Nine People went a bit mad from being stranded until we managed to rent a car from a man in a farm house and we had one lovely day of exploring and doing touristy stuff before we left. When we got back it was my fault that people get pestering her to drive.
It was a trip my a girlfriend of the time. It was fine at first and then I wanted to read a book for an hour on the Sunday, I know the heartless bastard. This caused a furious rage that lasted the rest of the evening, and the journey home all the way to Euston.
She stormed off into the underground, I got involved in a fight (well trying to break one up) but she didn’t notice because she was so angry. I didn’t get home until midnight, because of all the police stuff and she was still angry with me for the next week. The book turned out to be rubbish too.
The reason I mention this is that the Theatre Producer invited me on holiday with her, a mini-break really, to go to the wedding of her friend in Serbia.
I have to say I’m a bit nervous, I hope I don’t get in a fight again.
Today was a big day in relationship terms. I gave the Theatre Producer a drawer, well the use of a drawer in my room.
She now has her own storage device in my home. This is a big step for me, letting a girl (who are rubbish as we all know*) have her own storage place in my room (which is excellent).
The drawer was empty at first, she was slightly taken aback with the offering. Then it had some make-up in it. Now it is filled with strange lady things like moisturiser, well it was last time I saw into it**.
Now I am afeared to look inside. It is a place of womanly things and not for me.
Where will this end? I do not know, maybe if she is really good I’ll let use my bestest crayons to draw pictures of dragons.
*All girls are rubbish, this isn’t a slight on the Theatre Producer it’s just that all ladies smell weird and they don’t like robots enough.
**She opened it when I was in the room. There might have been some frilly things in it.