Well we’re off to Paris tomorrow. I still didn’t have a ring, but it felt like a waste of a trip to a stupidly nice hotel in Paris (accommodation upgraded by an unexpected tax rebate) to not propose then.
So I contacted the art dealer for other suggestions and we concocted the plan of a ‘place holder ring’.
This is a ring that you buy so there is something to put on the finger when the question is popped and then you can have the ‘delight’ of picking the actual engagement ring together.
This has pros and cons
- Since it’s only a stand-in ring you don’t have to fret about it as much.
- It doesn’t have to be stupidly expensive (in theory)
- It means I can ask the question this weekend
- I’m not buying one ring, I’m buying two now. Diamonds are not cheap.
- It means during the proposal I have to explain what this ring is about ‘It’s a stand-in’ isn’t very romantic. I need to come up with a better name.
So with this in mind I tramped across town (again) to near the diamond district to look at rings. This time with someone else who the art dealer said would be more in the price range of people who don’t own countries or haven’t invented Facebook.
The invitation only studio was super cool. It had a swing in it (yeah an actual swing) and leather backed chairs and cool art. I would have liked to have hung around for a bit longer but I was a man with a mission. Actually would have liked to live there.
Hot ring chat
I sat down and talked about the pre-ring ring to the lady. She completely understood it and apparently it’s actually quite common these days. It’s nice to know there are other chaps out there fretting over if they have the right sort of gem/setting/metal.
We looked at the sort of rings my chum recommended and there was one that I could just about afford (Who needs food really) so I got that.
It’s very pretty in silver with a small diamond in it. Not too shabby really. It came with a pouch but luckily the sales lady had one of those black boxes that rings go in (just a slightly over large one) so now I’m set. You can’t propose from a pouch, you’ve got to have a box. Everyone knows that.
We get the train to Paris super early in the morning tomorrow. I’ve got the ring. I’m set.
I just need to work out what I’m going to say.
Marriage percentage: 100%
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.
This post was written as it happened but not posted until after the event.
I’m terrible at haggling. Actually terrible doesn’t quite cover it. I’m the sort of person that can enter into a negotiation, maybe start a bit strong. Great eh?
But then I’ll be so racked with guilt that I pay more than the buying price and offer use of my house as a weekend away break for the person I’m buying off.
This is an issue with ring buying. Apparently if you visit ‘the workshops’ you get a much better price but it will also involve the dreaded haggling.
If I get ripped off that blasted ring would haunt me for the rest of my life. No longer a symbol of love and affection but a reminder that when it comes to business, I’m better at drawing pictures of horses and skipping through fields.
Get in help
I’m going to see if I can get a friend to act as a haggling consultant. Obviously this will have to be a friend who is discrete AND has good taste, as well as being a super-star haggler.
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)
On Friday it was an old friend’s birthday. I’ve known her for years now, we almost kissed once but since then we’ve settled into an easy, honest friendship.
She is a Dominatrix.
Not the sort that just dresses up in leather and is a bit shouty, she is a serious Dominatrix.
I once asked her what she was doing in the evening and she said she was driving to Birmingham to sew up a man’s arsehole.
The mind boggles.
She is lovely though and working on her PhD so an pleasingly complex character, albeit a self confessed sadist.
Her birthday was in a club in East London and the dress code was 1940s. We arrived a bit late so the party was in full swing. Everyone had made a huge effort so the place looked amazing.
All the girls had Betty Page style fringes and feirce red lipstick. The men were mostly in suits some of them were even wearing gloves. My Dom chum had two slaves with her that night one who was her butler/driver and another who was sort of handmaid who would show his underpants on command. I was terribly impressed.
I chatted away to a few Doms about fetishes and the route of kinky stuff. One of them (who often works with my friend) as a real thing for copper. Yes the metal. I asked if brass would do, or perhaps bronze but no, it has to be copper. It made me a bit sad that I never carry any loose change.
We drank cocktails and talked nonsense with more people at the party. Biscuit made balloon moustaches for the ladies and a selection of rude hats for the men. There was a lot of drinking going on.
Biscuit pointed out that there was a person there who was exactly my type. Tall, leggy, strong features, good hair dark hair, clearly very clever and wearing a smashing frock. The only problem was it was a man.
Some time much later someone proposed to someone else with a Haribo ring. They accepted and paraded around the bar showing it off. This new couple then insisted that I propose to the girl I’d been chatting too. She was tall with thick black hair with a red bow in it and was wearing a wiggle dress.
The newly engaged couple were really quite insistent and so I was cajoled into proposing, with a Haribo ring. I can’t believe my first ever proposal was to a Dominatrix who I didn’t really know with fruit flavoured ring.
She accepted, on the condition of a very long engagement and then offered a ring to me. She didn’t use her hand, no she put it in her mouth and well, the exchange involved a bit more tongues that I expected.
It made Biscuit say ‘BLIMES’.
There was more drinking and talking but my fiancée and I parted ways because she was going off to a foot-fetish club and I wasn’t really in the mood to worship someone else’s feet. She was still wearing the ring as she got into the cab to leave.
I wish her well, but I think this is going to be an engagement I’ll have to back out of. I don’t even know her real name.
It had been a very strange evening.
One of the things that enjoyed most about living with Dragonforce was going to gigs and festivals and being able to get drunk, bounce around being punched by sweaty strangers and have an awesome time without the need to babysit anyone or feel bad for having fun. I’ve been to gigs with girlfriends before and it’s sapped my enjoyment if I can’t be where I want to be or feel guilty for being where I want to be and having to keep running back to check they’re ok.
When I last saw Jen we spent a lot of time swapping music recommendations and I invited her to join me at a filthy electro rock gig I had the following week. This was real make or break stuff. Seriously, had potential to be a bit moshy so it really could have been ‘break’!
Having spent the week with an ambivalent mix of excitement and trepidation she arrived at mine looking suitably attired for a gig: leather jacket, flats and some rather slinky jeans. Also her accidental Princess Diana haircut had now grown out to a fiery, slightly shaggy, rock chick cut. I was so proud that I wanted to take a photo to start an instructional “Dummies Guide to Gig Going” manual.
Because I had insisted on buying the tickets, she insisted on buying the booze. After the support band we settled into a comfortable spot in the crowd (after I’d finished mincing around, fretting that we’d not get where I wanted to).
When going to gigs with Dragonforce we used to use fluro wristbads to find eachother in a crowd. Her being about 5′ 10″ helped too. Despite being at a tiny venue with Jen, there was a not unreasonable chance of losing her as she is 5′ 3″.
As it turned out, she was brilliant. After the initial surge when the crowd sorted itself into ‘dancy’ and ‘non-dancy’ people, I slotted her into a space in front of me where she had a good view. We bounced around threw embarrassing spazzy shapes with abandon. She was gleefully absorbed in dancing whilst I would bound off for the odd song for tussle , then come back dripping with sweat to see her grinning at me. or whilst I fought off the bodies that would ricochet too near to us and I was worried about her getting hurt (I needn’t have been, she can look after herself)
She was even highly amused when, after kissing me, I unconsciously wiped my hand across my mouth because of sticky lipstick (hers, not mine… Wow, I’m really building myself up as a hot date)
I don’t think the night could have gone better. The more I date her, the more I feel like I’ve discovered a partner in crime. This is five dates now. FIVE! Look at me being a grown up and taking it slowly!
Marriage percentage: 57%
I would ordinarily add WAY more for that kind of excellent gig performance but she is already very high as it is. Is that a fair approach? If I had put on the 15% (at LEAST) that would otherwise be worth then we’ll be almost over the 70% and that leaves little headroom before we hit 100% and I have to propose.
I at least need to ask her more about her cat first.
Since we are in the Land of Opportunity (or of churros and ENORMOUS pancakes) I should sieze this chance to find my ideal woman.
Unfortunately,I’ve not really been sure what this was and it’s taken a lot dating to try and figure it out. Thankfully I have discovered that someone has been browsing the ‘Dream girl catalogue’ and has recreated ‘Biscuit’s super deluxe dream girl’ on the big screen.
I watched ‘Scott Pilgrim Vs The World’ with my mouth open in astonishment whilst Toast occasionally grinned at me with a knowing look.
In a complete realistic venture, which is not in any way doomed to failure, I am now looking for a real life equivalent of Ramona Flowers.
Seemingly, the following combination of characteristics render me utterly helpless:
- bright pink/blue/green hair
- quirkily pretty
- achingly cool
- sultry American accent
- dry, almost arid sense of humour
- wryly mysterious
- alternative/hipster stylings
- seemingly distant until you break through the shell, then affectionate and warm
- slightly troubled but fixable
- rollerskates that melt snow
- mean ninja fighting moves with a giant mallet
I’m not saying that a future spouse has to possess all or any of these qualities, just that they made me go all weak kneed and made me need a glass of cold water and a little sit down.
Unfortunately the only person I know even slightly like this lives even further away than New York and was born over a decade too late to be a possibility.
As I’ve only got a week, if any American readers can point me in the direction of real-world Ramona then I’ll put you on a great table at the wedding, one where you can see Toast singing. and give you an honarary mention in the speech.
Marriage percentage of real-world Ramona: 100%
I suppose I had better be extra nice all year if I’m going to try and swing this one with Father Christmas in December. Hell, we’re in New York for a week, I imagine I’ll probably bump into her on the street, right?