Ring by Spring!

engaged

Not that I think there’s anything necessarily wrong with it, but I’ve always been wary of people who choose to get married young. It always seemed like something that was reserved for people who were fundamentally different than me—Jesus freaks, for starters, and following that, hopeless romantics and fools. I was mostly horrified when, at around 18, I did the mental math and figured out that my own father was only 23 or 24 when he proposed to my mom. That’s only 5 years older than me, I remember thinking. The 80s must have been fucking nuts. 

This was probably around the time that it somehow lodged in my brain that I was walking a radically different path. Absent sunny personality traits, basic people skills, or even a baseline amount of emotional stability within my day to day life, I figured I’d be alone forever. I’d probably get a dog at some point down the line, but anything approaching real human companionship would more likely start and end with a few very close friends. It’s generally hard for me to be around even those I love for more than a few hours without needing a long break, and I decided that I was OK with being the sort of person who just cherishes their alone time. It was kind of dark and mysterious to be that way, and a decent way to recast the anxiety that I’d very likely die alone into a conscious, liberating choice.

There was a long time when I would have told you that I loved living alone, that I preferred my hours spent in solitude. In a way, it was kind of true, but it was a notion fueled mainly by self-delusion. Truth be told, left up to my own devices, my behavior seems to toggle somewhere between dysfunctional and mildly self-destructive, but in the thick of things I couldn’t really see that. But then I met Max.

“Love at first sight” has always seemed, to me, like one of those stupid, sappy, mythical concepts that bad music and dumb movies have made us all believe in. And I won’t say that’s exactly what I experienced with Max—more like a creepy obsession, like discovering an incredible new band and being rendered useless to do anything but listen to their music and look at photos of their tour and dream hopelessly about a relationship with the frontman. I’d just seen the movie Fatal Attraction for the first time a few months before we met, and all of a sudden I had a glimpse of what might drive a person to boil a pet rabbit. It was both terrifying and exhilarating.

What I remember most about the early months of our relationship was the emotional chaos of feeling so much fear and insecurity and something not unlike bliss simultaneously. I had a difficult time imagining that my feelings could be reciprocated, and besides, I couldn’t fathom that they would last. I knew myself, and worried that the feelings would get stale, or I would get bored, or he would get bored, and the bottom would fall out. But then the early days gave way to weeks, which became months, and nothing really changed. And now we’re two and a half years out, and we’ve moved swiftly to create this whole life for ourselves that I can’t see ending. And I really don’t want to see it end.

Much to the disappointment of everybody close to me, there’s no great story about how we got engaged. There was no scene on a mountaintop, or a rooftop, or a beach, or a Jumbotron at a sports game. There wasn’t a moment when I turned to find him on one knee, the sound of a small box clicking open, or even any real impassioned rejoicing. As I’d been the first to use both the words “boyfriend” and “love” so many months before, at some point I’d made it impeccably clear that the proposal—if ever there was one—would not be my duty. I won’t say it was a fair deal, but it was one we both agreed to.

When you know you’re probably going to marry someone but nobody’s really ready to make the leap yet, you find all sorts of awkward ways to embrace the tension surrounding the issue. For my part, I fell into a horribly unbecoming habit of hinting at it all the time: “I don’t see no ring on this finger!” I’d yell after jokingly waxing poetic about one of the One Direction boys long enough for Max to get annoyed. It became a kind of perverse game: describe a future that didn’t include him for long enough and in enough detail for him to take the bait, at which point I’d pull something from the limited arsenal of familiar refrains. “You don’t own this!” I’d scream in mock-outrage. “Like Beyonce always says,” I’d remind him, “if you like it…”

And then, one cold night when we’d both had a little too much to drink, with friends in the next room probably mixing more cocktails, he just said “OK.”

“OK, what?”
“OK,” he said, “maybe we should do that then.”
“Do what?”
“You know—that. That thing, with the rings.”
“You’re drunk.”
“No I’m not.”
“No, you are. If you want to talk about this tomorrow when we’re both sober, we can do that, but we are not making this decision right now.”
“OK, but I’m going to keep asking.”
“You haven’t even said what you want me to do yet.”
“You know.”

I thought that would be the end of it, but it was the first topic of conversation when we woke up the next day, and I think by breakfast, we were engaged. Or something like that. It happened, in any case, and that’s all I really care about.

I sat on this news for a while, sharing it slowly, piecemeal, among various friends and family before it really became public information. It wasn’t any big secret, but in a way, I liked the privacy of it all, the feeling that I could think about it by myself before opening it up to the congratulations and excitement of others. When another student in my writing class this past semester noticed a ring on my finger, the whole class took part in a sort of collective ooo-ing and aww-ing and questioning that left me, frankly, a little queasy. Am I really that kid? That person who, in 2013, ended up with a ring by spring, who is thinking simultaneously about final exams and my wedding? It’s so far from the type of person I took myself for, so distant from wherever I expected my life to be at this point, that it’s all a little hard to wrap my mind around.

The next week, during a couple of hours before the class was set to meet again, I went to sit in the park and read. I’ve never worn any sort of jewelry, so for a while it was a shock to the system to feel the small weight of a band around my finger, like when I got braces and spent weeks running my tongue over the textured, metallic surface where my teeth should have been. A group of 8 or 9 homeless-looking alcoholics stood around some benches nearby, squabbling over the dregs of a vodka bottle and the last hits of a small joint. Evidently, one man had borrowed another’s sunglasses and hadn’t returned them. A woman had recently started smoking pot again, and her boyfriend (they broke up and got back together twice in the space of 30 minutes) slurred his disapproval. One man slept quietly on a bench in the middle of it all. Due to substance abuse, mental illness, or some combination of the two, each of them was, individually, a walking disaster, and the interactions between them moved so quickly between love and hate that it was impossible to keep track. Just as I was losing interest, among all of the yelling and the fighting and the making up again, I saw one man turn to another, put his hand on his shoulder, and say “I don’t have a life vest, but can I grab your arm, man? Because I know you’re going somewhere safe.”

In the moment, I didn’t know what to make of them, but out of context, the words took on a kind of weightiness. They’ve reverberated in my skull for the last few weeks, I think because they encapsulate so much of what I feel. I’m the type of person who has always spent more time worrying about things than enjoying them, more time feeling anxious about the future than looking forward to it. It’s a condition that makes it hard to just let go and be happy, to feel confident that I’m doing the right thing, to dispense with the lingering, crippling fear that I’m making terrible choices at every turn. But I’ve found a certain kind of foil in Max, who isn’t that way, and who accepts my certain brand of crazy but doesn’t allow it to define me. Max, who is patient with me, who is unreasonably kind, who has made me more happy than any other person ever has, who makes me happier than I can imagine anyone ever will. Who, when bobbing around in what often feels like choppy waters, makes me feel so safe.

Thank you for letting me grab your arm, Max.

 + + + + +

In case you’re wondering, our rings are actually inexpensive brass rings from here. I don’t know how other gay couples deal with this, but we both liked the idea of upgrading to gold bands at the wedding, because an engagement without some bling is just no fun (and gold is kind of spendy).

Life
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252 Comments

  1. Congratulations!

    • love stalking your blog. congrats on your engagement! looking forward to seeing your wedding plans unfold.

  2. congratulations! i really love your story so much more than a mountain top or jumbotron or anything like that. “you know.”

    so good. so much happiness for you.

  3. Oh my god, congratulations! The last few paragraphs put tears in my eyes. So happy for you!

  4. SQUEAL! Oh you guys, I am just so terribly happy for you both. Congratulations! I love how you’ve been brave enough to open up not your your apartment but your entire life wide open on the internet. I love that I’m one of the weird strangers enjoying your life along with you. Seriously, congrats.

    Mrs E.

  5. Terrific! Congratulations, Daniel! :)

    (What I wouldn’t do to get a peek at your registry wish-list! haha.)

  6. Congratulations! I’ve been a long-time reader but I think this is the first comment I’ve ever posted here. I love the blog, and literally squealed out loud when I saw this post. I got married at 23, and have no regrets. You’re never too young if you know in your heart that you’re making the right decision. Can’t wait to see what you guys do for your wedding!

  7. omg you guys! congratulations!!

  8. Best. Post. Ever. Many, many congratulations!

  9. Ah, Daniel that made me cry!

  10. Great story – Congratulations to you both!

  11. I am smiling so hard right now. Congratulations to both of you!

  12. Mazel Tov!

  13. Congratulations! And happy wedding planning (when you get around to it)!

  14. Congratulations to both of you! What amazing news. :)

  15. Congrats! Getting married young is kinda fantastic, if I do say so myself… ;)

  16. I like engagement stories like this best – where this step is both virtually inevitable and still breathlessly anticipated because whatifitdoesn’thappenzomg?? Congratulations to you both. Cannot WAIT to see what sort of amazingly personal, gorgeous choices you make for your wedding.

  17. “I don’t have a life vest, but can I grab your arm, man? Because I know you’re going somewhere safe.”

    That says it all!

    Congratulations.

  18. Wonderful news, and a wonderful story. So much better than some chintzy one-knee deal. You and Max have warmed my icy black single-lady heart and I wish you all the best.

  19. Just about the sweetest thing I have ever read. SO HAPPY for you two. Congratulations!

  20. Hooray! Congratulations! What a lovely post; I am totally tearing up at my desk.

  21. So, that just made me cry. Congrats. Bigtimelots.

  22. Congratulations!

  23. Congratulations! I’ve been following your blog for ages, but I’m terrible at commenting on anything.

    At 21 and recently engaged, and having dealt with thinking about finals, graduating and my wedding all at once I relate to this so much!

    Best Wishes and all.

  24. Daniel – hugest congratulations! I’m one of those blog readers that stumbled here a year ago or so and have done that rudest of rude things and haven’t commented. But’ I’ve loved your writing about design, life, and doggies. Your engagement post was so lovely and I’m thrilled for you both. Time for shameless plug now? Okay, fine – I started officiating weddings a few years ago because I just can’t get enough of working with happy couples to write really personal and unique wedding ceremonies. I’d love to chat if you’re looking for an officiant!

  25. that made me tear up. congratulations!

  26. I am grinning from ear to ear. So very happy for you both! That’s an awesome love story right there.

  27. Congratulations! I am not very sentimental but I was very touched by your post.I especially love how Max proposed, not the mandatory (almost fake) staged proposal but something that sounds very true and very you.

    All the best to both of you! I look forward to seeing your beautiful story unfold.

  28. Congratulations!!! I can’t wait for wedding planning posts. :) Yours will be the cutest.

  29. I originally came to read your blog through Anna’s Door Sixteen site, because of both your great looking places, but I have come to look forward to so much more. I smile every time I read a post, in recognition of fellow ‘absent sunny personality… anxiety that I’d very likely die alone’-dom traits. I LOVE the way you write. Despite said lack of sunny personality, I could not be more happy for you. I am always moved by the unexpected graces that unexpectedly land on people’s lives. No one deserves it more, Daniel. Thanks for sharing with us. Congratulations!

  30. Congratulations! This is a beautifully written post.

  31. Congratulations!!!

  32. Congrats :) So happy for you both! “and all of a sudden I had a glimpse of what might drive a person to boil a pet rabbit.” is one of the sweetest lines I’ve ever heard. Also my views of romance are somewhat twisted…

    ..”You know, that thing with the rings” is such a thing Max would say. <3

  33. My favorite posts are always the ones about your dogs and Max. And though I don’t often comment, I consistently read and love your blog. Much congratulations to you two!!

  34. I love you guys. x

  35. I’m so happy for you guys!! Wish you all the best :)
    And special thanks to you Daniel for telling your story in such honest way.I have tears in my eyes, so touched I am.

  36. First of all congrats! This is just so wonderful! Second, don’t sweat the “too soon/too young” fears. We waited over 10 years because “responsibility” and “being ready” and we both have a lot of regrets about not getting engaged/married sooner. I think no ones ever talks about the downside waiting, but it’s there just the same. When you know you know. All the best to you both!

    Also I sooo hope you plan on sharing some of your wedding details here!

  37. Congratulations and warmest wishes for a super happy life together! I got married at 22 and everyone thought we were too young when we made our announcement, but we’re going on 6 years of awesome with no end in sight. When you know, you know, and that’s all there is to it! I can’t wait to read your posts about wedding plans to see what you come up with!

  38. Sitting in a library in mid-town right now smiling like a fool. Congrats!

  39. I am so incandescently happy for the two of you! This news has made my day. I wish you a lifetime of happiness and look forward to watching (err…reading about) your relationship grow. xoxo

  40. crying on my lunch break now. congratulations to you and max! i wish you all the best :)

  41. YAAAAAAAAAY congrats! I know I don’t know you guys but I’m so terribly excited for you both. :)

  42. Congrats Daniel! Wishing you and Max many more years collecting vintage furniture.

  43. Congrats!
    I married my husband when I was 22 and he was 21. It was weird too, since We aren’t jesus freaks, hopeless romantics, or fools. We just really, really, really like each other.
    And that’s how it works.

    Wishing you a lifetime of fighting over throw pillows.

  44. Congratulations, Daniel and Max! What a beautiful entry. Thank you so much for sharing this with us.

  45. What a sweet post – and it IS a great story. Congrats, y’all.

  46. Aaaah! Congratulations!! That’s all I can think Of to say!! Congratulations!!

  47. such a great thing to read – congratulations to you both!

  48. mazel tov! love the low-key engagement – just the two of you, and a natural continuation of what you already have. any engagement that involves a Jumbotron is just so, so wrong…

  49. Wowsers! Congratulations to you both! And thank you for telling this story in such a relatable fabulous way.

  50. yay! congratulations to you both!

  51. Hooray for wonderful announcements! Congratulations to you both!

  52. Congratulations!

    My husband and I were ready to be married at 22 but waited until we were 25 because it seemed like a proper age and no one would give us grief for being “too young”.

    I wish you a lifetime of happiness!

  53. Mazel Tov! When’s the wedding? Can’t wait to read all about the planning.

  54. Congratulations!

  55. Congratulations! Fate loves to make us rethink who we are and what we plan,in this case it’s in the best possible way.

  56. Congratulations! I can relate to the pre-max daniel. Waiting for my max, vintage finds and great dogs ;)

  57. I definitely can relate with the whole planing on life alone and then being so young thing…glad you’ve seemed to figured things out. It still freaks me out.

    Love the upgrade to gold idea.

    Congratulations!

  58. Congratulations to both of you!

  59. Congratulations to you both! Just reading your post has made me smile. When you find the person that makes you feel calm and safe in choppy waters you are not too young. Take care of each other and much happiness.

  60. So cute. I recently discovered that D*S Max is YOUR max and have had a couple crush on you kids x2 ever since. Congratulations and may you always protect each others’ hearts.

  61. Congratulations to both of you! Great news.

  62. CONGRATS to you both! I have really enjoyed watching your love unfold, your family grow, and your home beautify. Only the best wishes to you guys!!!

    Also, I am recently engaged as well and although we have been planning the wedding for several months, I only just got my ring and it does feel so foreign yet beautifully official. I hope you let us in on some of the wedding details!

  63. daniel and max! congratulations! i adore you both so intensely and have loved watching you build a life together.

  64. i’ve been a loyal reader + follower for quite some time, and though i am but a stranger to you and max, i hope you will accept my deepest and most heartfelt congratulations on your engagement. i teared up at “…and who accepts my certain brand of crazy but doesn’t allow it to define me,” because if that isn’t love then i don’t know what is. i am 100% thrilled for you both, as well as for any other couple, gay, straight, or otherwise, who has found in someone what you have found in max. cheers to you both!

    love from atx,
    katherine

  65. Congrats, you two! I like sentimental Daniel. Love makes us do scary, wonderful things.

  66. Congratulations!

    This post makes me so happy that I’m sitting here with a dumb smile on my face unable to express anything more profound then, “I’m so happy for them!” But, that’s exactly what I am… so damn happy for both of you (and the pups!)

  67. You’re not alone in having always imagined yourself alone. Life has its way of throwing the wonderfully unexpected at us. It can be quite grand. I’m so happy for you both and am so glad you choose to share a little of your lives with us.

  68. Congratulations! I’m a long time reader, but I had to come out of the shadows to wish you both much happiness. :) ♥

  69. Really beautiful story :) congrats!

  70. Congratulations!!!

  71. What a beautiful story! And congratulations to you both, you make a lovely couple.

  72. Congratulations! that is great news.

  73. Congrats on your engagement!

  74. Forgive me this: AWWWWWWWWWWWWWW!!
    Congratulations and all the best. :)

  75. Congratulations!!!!!!

  76. Congratulations to you two!!

  77. Hooray! Congratulations! This is wonderful. I’m thrilled for both of you.

    And I’ll be smiling all day.

  78. Congratualtions!
    I’ve been reading your blog for a little over a year and you never fail to put a smile on my face, weather you write about your home, Mekko & Bruce or your wonderful Max. Thank you for all those smiles and I wish the both of you (and the pups!) every happiness.

  79. Daniel,

    As a fellow introvert (INFJ, actually – perhaps you are too?), I understand completely your feelings about relationships, and the fear of being close, then needing to be alone, and so on. It is very hard to ‘give up’ control, which is what you have to do in relationships.

    I laughed at your strategy to get Max on board with the ‘ring thing’ ! It worked – good job!

    I am really delighted for you, and that you have found someone who allows you to be yourself, is something that gives me hope for my own life.

    Congratulations to both you and Max. I wish you a long, happy and contented life together.

  80. YES!!! How wonderful:-) Congrats!!

  81. Ah this post made me so so happy in all the best ways. You guys are the best! Congratulations!

  82. Oh, congratulations! This post makes me so happy! Yay for love!

  83. Wonderful! Congratulations! It’s great that you’re young and know already–you have more time to share great things. My mother said love is reciprocal. My personal way to tell if it’s lasting is if you feel better every day when the other person comes in the door.

  84. Bravo! All the best to you both!

  85. Congratulations Dan and Max! It was a beautiful proposal story :-)

  86. Congratulation! I am very happy for you and wish you both happiness.

  87. YAY! So good! Congratulations x

  88. Oh congratulations! I am so happy for the both of you that you found each other.

  89. It occurs to me that you (charmingly) describe yourself as an incorrigible loner, yet see what you have done. You have made a beautiful, cosy home, with fiance, dogs and friends, a family. You have edified, amused and drawn close untold numbers of readers. Face it kid, you have a talent for connection and “unbridled domesticity,” as they say in “Pirates of Penzance.”

  90. How lovely for you both!

  91. Wonderful news – congratulations!!!

  92. some of the best engagements happen in quiet conversations. lovely, honest, just for the two of you. i love it!

  93. How fantastic, congrats to you both – what wonderful news and what exciting times to come. I can’t wait to see what you guys do for your wedding!

  94. Awesome. Big smiles after reading this. Here’s to a life of successful navigation to you both…20 years later, I still feel like I hit, or possibly stole the jackpot with someone willing to love an introverted loner. All my best.

  95. How lovely! Congratulations to you both – wishing you every happiness in the years to come, along with patience and a sense of humour.

    with very best wishes from a long-time reader in the UK!

  96. Mazel tov and warmest congrats all around! You, Max, and the pooches together are hopelessly adorable and, simply, right. Your announcement brought some sunshine into a drippy, gray day.

  97. Congrats to the two of you! Much happiness for your future together.

  98. love love love love love!!!! CONGRATULATIONS!
    BEST.POST.EVER.

  99. Wonderful! Congratulations!

  100. 1. yay! being engaged is such a romantic time.
    2. as for engagement ring traditions. I knew a man from Brazil who was engaged and he actually wore his gold ring during his engagement….on his right hand. When he got married, he moved it over to the left per tradition. though that was a sweet mangagment ring approach.

  101. Just read this and it made me cry too. Today is my birthday and your engagement news somehow felt like a really special gift. So happy for you guys. Sending all the love and happiness your way!

  102. That was beautiful, thank you for sharing and congratulations!

  103. Smiling so hard it hurts. Congratulations!

  104. Ah crap, tearing up here my desk here at that last paragraph. I am that kind of person too, worrying about things rather than enjoying them, chock-full of anxiety at times and I too have somehow found someone who is OK with that, who I feel safe with. Congratulations to you both.

  105. YAY!!! So happy for you, both!

  106. Congrats guys, that is so awesome, I’m super happy for the both of you!! I have to say that being married young is pretty cool, you get to do all that fun adventure stuff together before you get old, you’re gonna love it!

  107. Congratulations! It’s so great you found that safe haven! Your post really touched me

  108. Oh sweet wonderful joyous news! hooray!!!

  109. congratulations!!!!! (i love the idea of upgrading brass to gold!)

  110. Congratulations guys! That’s awesome. Always look forward to your posts Daniel.
    I’m reminded of myself 20+ years ago, only you have better tools and 20 + years
    ago i was all about Art Deco.
    I didn’t marry him – we couldn’t then. But we’re still together and spending our
    vacation at home with the dog fixing up yet another place – finally a house
    because Buster needs a garden. And what Buster wants Buater gets!

  111. What a beautifully written post Daniel, made me cry…You have such an amazing ability to draw people in with your honesty and I wish you and Max the absolute best in this next chapter of your lives!! Congratulations!! :)

  112. Are we engaged to the same Max?? Our engagement story is full of parallels and before we were actually engaged we referred to it as “thing.” As in, “Maybe one day we will do a thing and we’ll be Thinged. That would be nice.”

  113. Congratulations! I am so happy for you guys, you are like my friends that I have never met in person but still care for you so much. Your wedding will be epic in good taste!

  114. your post made me tear up. Congratulations! All the best to your both!

  115. To all the gibberish agenda of gay bashing I always think of one answer- what if it were your son or daughter. Knowing you, if only through your writing, all I want to say is: if my little boy finds out he is gay, I want him to be like you: compassionate, intelligent, hard-working, well-mannered and with a taste to die for. All the best to the two of you! Congratulations!

  116. This is just so great! I know it’s weird to get so happy for people you really don’t know, but seriously, both of you guys seems like such fantastic people I just wish I lived closer so I could befriend you in real life and not just stalk you on-line. Anyway. Congratulations to both of you! The whole “grab your arm” story is so lovely and something I recognize in my own relationship. I don’t know what I would do without my A, he’s such a rock. But this silliness about getting married young: what the heck! That’s nothing to wait for if you know what’s right! If you wait too long it’s even weirder, don’t you think? This is coming from someone who’s in a 13 year long relationship and is still not married, btw… :)

  117. Congratulations you two! What a beautiful story. Thanks for sharing it so honestly and giving us other young introverts some hope!
    All the best
    xox

  118. Congrats to both of you! Love the bit about Max accepting your crazy without allowing it to define you… it’s one of the things I cherish most about my husband. You guys are about to start a crazy (and stressful) journey… just remember at the end of it all, its just about the two of you being together.

  119. Congratulations and all the best.

  120. But will there be scented candles at the ceremony?

    All the warmest wishes to you two–more love in the world is awesome, and it makes me happy to know you’re happy.

  121. Yay yay yay yay yay! This makes me so happy! It also makes me feel stalkery since I’m so happy for someone I’ve never met..

  122. Congratulations!!!

  123. BEST. I saw your rainbow cake on Instagram and have been eagerly awaiting this post. Love to you and Max. I hope someday I get a Max, too.

  124. this post just made my heart sing. i’m so happy for you and max. congratulations my friend.
    xo

  125. Congratulations to the two of you! You and your family (the boy + pups) are adorable and I hope life is always kind to you. xx

  126. So lovely! Mazel tov!

  127. What? No Jumbotron?
    (and what, precisely,IS a Jumbotron anyway?)

    Our life paths are strewn with so many potholes and tricky left turns, in addition to those magnificent vistas along the way. The best thing by far is to share the journey.
    How great that you, Daniel and Max, realize this at the start, rather than towards the end.
    Happy trails to you both.

  128. I loved this post! Of course I did, I love all of them. I am so happy for you both!
    (Also offered a great little moment of self-reflection for me. “I fell into a horribly unbecoming habit of hinting at it all the time”… Oh God. I do that far too much to want to count.)

  129. OMG CONGRATULATIONS!! I’m so very happy for you and Max!
    And I’m totally stealing your strategy, because we’re going on 7 years and there ain’t no ring on this finger….

  130. CONGRATULATIONS!
    I, like many others, am a stranger from afar that has never commented but follows your blog in a creepy stalkerish way! But I am compelled to comment today!

    I’m so pleased for you both, you are very lucky to have found each other and I wish you all the happiness in the world!

    all the best!!
    Emma
    Melbourne, Australia

  131. Dear Daniel, congratulations. And the way you wrote about it was beautiful as well.
    Years ago I had a colleague at my work (who is also a friend) who married his “boyfriend” (they are still married to this day) it was when marriage was just legalised for gay people over here. They went on their honeymoon to New York, staying at a friends house there. As a wedding-gift from work we organised for them to be picked up by a fancy car and to get a tour of some building together and then have lunch there (we worked at an architecture office). The man who was arranging the New York side of things was SO excited and happy about the whole thing. (I understand that he went all out for them even showing parts of the building that were off-limits.) but he told me he was gay himself and that he did not expect that he could be married any time soon. I am so happy to see that things have changed.
    I wish you and Max all the happiness in the world.
    Have a wonderful day; Simone

  132. Holy mother. CONGRATULATIONS, LOVEBIRDS! CHEERS! ELATION! ETC! xoxo

  133. Mazel tov! A life full of happiness, health, love & joy to you both.

  134. I was so happy to read this post. Warmest congratulations, and thanks for sharing your wonderful engagements story (which is made all the more wonderful by its quiet, yet exuberant sweetness).

  135. Happy Tears! Congratulations!! How perfect!

  136. so excited and happy for you two!!! congratulations!!!!!

  137. Such sweetness. Congratulations to you both.

  138. Parabéns pra vocês!!!! Muito lindos! Espero que tenham uma vida repleta de amor e alegria! SAUDE!!!!

  139. Oooooh, spiffing! Congratulations, congratulations :) :)

    Upgrading to gold seems like such a nifty idea.

    Don’t get stuck on precious metals of any sort though :) Aren’t you the black-and-white-is-everything fella?

    There are lots of interesting white metals these days (far beyond the time I listed the ones I could think of off the top of my head and the snooty jeweler said, “We don’t have…silver…here, miss”). I’m told the nice thing about a wedding band is it’s allowed to clash with whatever other colors you’re wearing, but white metal is still going to go better with a lot of things than yellow metal.

  140. Congratulations! And I must say, this was a much better/interesting read than the average announcement :)

  141. Mazel Tov! From a long time reader :)

  142. Congratulations!! You and Max seem very sweet together. Are we going to see some amazing wedding ideas on the blog?

  143. Best wishes! And not all engagements involve mountaintops or someone getting down on bended knee. My then-boyfriend/now-husband and I got “engaged” at our kitchen table, during dinner on a Monday night. And it was kind of along the lines of “So, now? Now seems good.” We had been together for four years, living together for two. We had talked about marriage (and kids) and that was the moment for both of us when it just clicked.

  144. Endless congratulations to you both! You’re a lovely couple. Blessings on your union.

  145. Congratulations! I always look forward to your posts and, well, this one just really takes the cake!

  146. Congratulations!
    I would like to send you all the best wishes for the two of you and one of my fave poems by bert brecht.

    Morgens und abends zu lesen
    Der, den ich liebe
    Hat mir gesagt
    Daß er mich braucht.

    Darum
    Gebe ich auf mich acht
    Sehe auf meinen Weg und
    Fürchte von jedem Regentropfen
    Daß er mich erschlagen könnte.

    To read in the morning and at night
    My love
    Has told me
    That he needs me.

    That’s why
    I take good care of myself
    Watch out where I’m going and
    Fear that any drop of rain
    Might kill me.

  147. Congratulations! That is lovely news. My husband and I got engaged very early – after 18 months, and I was only 19. Ridiculous. It also wasn’t a super huge romantic deal, but it just made sense to us. We’ve now been together for nearly 11 years, and it still just continues to make sense. That’s the only way I can describe it really. I self-analysed about it endlessly, I also am not the Jesus-freak romantic planning wedding type, and it was a bit incongruous. Still, I am really happy we did it. It’s a lovely feeling. Enjoy!!

  148. Congratuations! Mekko and Linus must be so excited. :)

  149. AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH! I’m so excited for you two!!! CONGRATULATIONS!!!!!!!!!!

    I was totally the same way. I never really thought I would get married, and certainly not when I’m young. I was very anti-relationship in high school. High school relationships are for suckers and they never last. Then I got sucked into a relationship the last semester of high school (we were best friends and couldn’t take it anymore), but we totally planned on breaking up when we went to college. Then in August we decided we didn’t want to do that. Second semester, he transferred from Missouri to Boston to be near me. We got engaged senior year of college, but still felt really weird about getting married so young. So we just lived together, got a pug, and finally got married 3.5 years later (I was 25, he was 24). And then got another pug.

    ALSO. You sound like an introvert. Me, too. I highly recommend reading The Introvert Advantage: How to Thrive in an Extrovert World, by Marti Olsen Laney. I’ve never felt more understood in my entire life. Max should probably read it, too. ;)

  150. Daniel, congratulations! Run headlong into life, I say. So glad you’ve found that safe arm!

    And it’s a sign of the times how your site went down yesterday–I’m thinking all the good wishes flooded it. Cool.

    karin

  151. Congrats! I am so happy for you both!

  152. Tears. Congratulations :)

  153. Congratulations to you both! Such a beautiful story and as always, so wonderfully well written! made me tear up :)

  154. Eeeeeeeeee! Congratulations!! So happy for you both. :)

  155. I am a 50 year old woman from Australia with next to nothing in common with you and yet I absolutely love to read your blog. So beautifully written. Many congratulations on your engagement. I wish you a life of happiness and contentment.

  156. congratulations!! that’s so sweet, and exciting too!

  157. C*O*N*G*R*A*T*U*L*A*T*I*O*N*S and all the best for the life together ahead of you.

    Thanks for sharing your personal story with us.

    And I REALLY hope my prayers are heard and I will one day step in a bookstore here in Zurich and see the book on special display with the name DANIEL KANTER on the cover or open a good newspaper or magazine with you being the chief columnist. Your writing is a gift to the world and brings meaning, food for thought and so much more to people; thus it should be read and heard by many others.

  158. really happy for you both. congratulations.
    jo

  159. This whole story made me cry and squeal and laugh and cry some more, and I’m just so happy for you two. As happy as a person can be who reads about your life and awesome apartment and follows your instagram but doesn’t actually know you.

    Sorry, that was creepy. But I think you get the point.

    I wish you two all the love and happiness in the world!

  160. Congratulations to you both – what exciting and happy news. Best wishes for a beautiful life <3

  161. Congrats! All the best to you both!

  162. Congratulations from a long time reader, first time commenter. A tear came to my eye as I read this. This is just lovely, lovely news. Best to you and Max. xx

  163. Mazel tov to you both! And, as always, you shared this with eloquence and heart.

  164. I’ve been following your blog for some time now, and reading this just made me so happy. Congratulations!

  165. So happy for you both! When my husband and I met, it was like my life just made more sense with him in it. We’ve been married for 5 years and it’s the best decision I’ve ever made, aside from when we decided to have a baby.

    A family friend gave me a news clipping at a post wedding party thrown for us and it’s always rang true for me. It said: “marriage is not for sissies. It’s a lot like life, only with more fun parts. Lots of people will tell you how to do it right, but you can’t listen to everything. The only secret is to show up every day with an open heart.”

    Wishing you a lifetime of love and happiness!

  166. What a joy to read and my god you erite so well. Many cobgratulations to the two of you for the wisdom ti trust the jump. Please dont put your dog children in little tuxes! I am thrilled and send happiness from Oregon.

  167. That’s great news! I can say my engagement was a lot like yours and I would not have it any other way. Jumbotrons make me nauseous (as do public proposala). Our rings are just plain silver bands lined in gold that we made and I like the simplicity of them more than I can say.

    Congrats and good luck and I’m very happy for you both.

  168. Long time lurker coming out of lurkdom to post my first comment:

    CONGRATULATIONS TO YOU BOTH!!!

    I couldn’t be happier for you and your fur-children. I’m sure you’ll be very, very happy together!

  169. Congratulations!

    But I agree with you on your concerns about getting married so young… and I advise – if you are in love, and want to be together forever, then what is the rush? Have a long engagement. Travel, buy a house, establish your career and then when you are 28 +, start thinking about it again.

    It sounds like you have definitely found the person you want to share you life with – so no need to rush into it. You will have 60+ years together, so take your time, enjoy this new stage and love each other.

    xx

  170. Much happiness and love! Happy to know you found someone to spend a whole life time with!Congratulations!!!

  171. Another post that had me in tears..
    Congratulations!
    Wishing your family all the best. xxoo

  172. “…all of a sudden I had a glimpse of what might drive a person to boil a pet rabbit.” This is the funniest description of falling in love that I’ve ever read (having never seen the movie). Congratulations! It’s a lovely thing to go through life with a partner.
    -a fellow introvert who married her foil.

  173. Congratulations! May your marriage be as fruitful as your courtship!

  174. So happy and excited for you both. xo

  175. I loved reading about things all led up to the popping (oozing?) of the question. Hearty congratulations to both of you. And yay for marriage equality. Such a great thing.

    jbhat

  176. Congratulations! You are so old-fashioned; I’ve never heard the phrase “ring by spring” before (probably because I’m of the Woodstock generation!) Nevertheless we did get married right after graduation. We chose plain gold wedding bands when gold was much cheaper. Nevertheless his was more expensive because his finger was bigger so we split the cost equally. Very romantic I know. Years later my ring had to be sawed off when my finger became swollen after I was stung by a swarm of bees. We never wore our rings after that but are still very much married.

  177. What a sweet post! I love the rings too – simple but beautiful. Plus, brass is so in :)

  178. Oh wow! How wonderful. Congratulations!

  179. I have been a reader for 18 months now, and love reading all about your home and dog and love life. I have never wanted to comment until now. Congratulations, and best wishes to you both. My only regret is that you will likely get married after my wedding date in September of this year, so I won’t get to copy/reuse/steal your great wedding decor/planning/style ideas that are doubtless the next step for Manhattan Nest… I can’t wait to read about all of it. :)

  180. Fuck yeah! Congratulations! Can’t wait for the wedding planning posts!!

  181. Congratulations, Daniel.

    Once again, you made me cry (almost). I want you to be a writer. Write a book or something, please. Thank you.

  182. PERFECT RINGS, CONGRATS!

  183. Congratulations. Your description of finding the right person who accepts the crazy but doesn’t allow it to define and who makes you feel safe is exactly what I’ve always imagined it would be like when I found my right person. Which I have yet to do, but still hope for. Best to you and Max both.

  184. Beautiful! Congrats!

  185. That guy was a poet.

    Congrats!!!

  186. Congratulations! You beautiful post made me want to sob a little, then run and be annoying affectionate with my husband.

  187. Excellent! Congratulations!

  188. Congrats! I love love! <3

  189. Congratulations!

  190. Congratulations, you guys!! So happy for you!

  191. WOW! I’m so happy for the both of you, this has always been a girls dream!! Congratulations and I look forward to your wedding! :)

  192. Congratulations! May you have a life full of laughter and love.

  193. Congrats, y’all!!!!!! Love the story and love how you handled the bling situation!!!!!!!

  194. Daniel, I haven’t been here for a couple weeks because sad things have been going on in my family. Nothing much to be done about it; I am of the generation where a late-night phone call means, “Come quickly, so you have a chance to say goodbye.” So my dad is now gone, but while I was saying goodbye to him in the hospital, my sister showed me a picture I had not seen for many years. My parents, looking so incredibly young and glowing with joy, outside of New York City Hall right after their civil ceremony. I wept when I saw it, but I also knew that picture was taken on the first official day of their many years together. Their 50th anniversary was last July. They had gotten engaged via trans-Atlantic phone call, which is how an American G.I. brought home the German girl he didn’t want to leave behind.

    I was feelng miserable this morning, thinking about my dad and others who are gone. Your post reminded me, very sweetly, that life continues, that love continues, and that there will always be joyful young couples standing hand-in-hand after promising to love and cherish one another.

    Thank you! Congratulations to both of you, and may you have many, many happy years together.

  195. Hi Daniel,

    You’re a beautiful writer and this post is just amazing. Congratulations to you and Max . . . I love your blog and (like many others!) haven’t commented yet, but felt compelled to do so today. Sending you sunshine and best wishes from Australia xx

  196. Congratulations!!!!! I am SO happy for you and Max, your story is lovely, and you know what? Some of us have to go through horrendous relationships to figure shit out, and some of us find someone who accepts us, and works on the issues in a relationship and makes us feel safe early on. You got lucky, and you’re right to embrace that.

    This is probably my first comment on your blog, even though I read everything you write voraciously. I can’t WAIT to read all about your wedding planning. Please DO become one of those bloggers who posts everything about their wedding planning, because I can only imagine it will be stylish and hilarious :) Congratulations again!!!

  197. CONGRATULATIONS! I am so happy for you both!

  198. yaaaaaaaaaay!!!! congratulations!

  199. Many, many blessing Daniel! I stumbled on your blog several months ago through Lisa Congdon – and love what I see! I am so happy for you and Max. I think your ring thoughts have nothing to do with being gay…upgrading to a nicer ring is a great idea, and this “ring story” will add richness to your “life story”. I personally believe it’s the experiences that create a life with, or without someone. Sounds like you have some wonderful experiences with Max so far, and many more to come…so happy for you! :)

  200. I just have to de-lurk to squeal and jump up and down and flap my hands like a god damn lady-cliché! Congratulations!

  201. Congratulations :)

  202. Congratulations. I always enjoy reading this blog, but this entry especially was enjoyable.

  203. Long-time read, de-lurked to comment on this – even though I don’t know you, I’m so happy to read your news! Mazel Tov on your engagement!
    I’d love to read posts about the wedding (preparations), if you feel like sharing – and actually, I found that story very romantic, way more so than a mountain top-proposal.

  204. Congratulations. I’ve been a lurker for a long time. Your story is beautiful. Exactly the kinds of emotions and feelings one should have when making such a commitment. God bless you both.

  205. CONGRATULATIONS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  206. Beautiful. I just love that you’ve found someone whose arm you can hold onto.

  207. Hooray! So pleased & delighted for you both. :)

  208. Oh, so much joy! Congratulations, both of you!

  209. Mazel tov to you both. As the Yiddish toast goes: may you go from strength to strength.

  210. Oh my goodness, SO many congratulations!

    P.S. You should have a hyrax be your ring bearer. ;)

  211. Congrats Daniel and Max!!!! Very happy for both of you and wishing you the best for the rest of your lives together.

  212. Beautiful post. Congratulations and best wishes for your life ahead!

  213. Congratulations Daniel! I have goosebumps – your text about your engagement is very touching and beautiful. <3

  214. Congratulations! Its awesome you have found your bouy!
    When we got engaged and had our civil wedding we choose the following rings for our engagement http://www.crazypigdesigns.com/en/store/c-5_22/heart-rings.php and swapped them out for bands once we had our civil partnership: http://www.crazypigdesigns.com/en/store/c-5_31/other-rings.php

  215. I found your blog a few months back and read forward from the beginning. Love your DIY capabilities and your witty posts. Today’s post drew me in and made me smile. I related to so much of what you wrote. I’m happy for you that love found you at so young an age. Now you have a long future together. Wishing you both much joy.

  216. Congratulations!

    And you totally made me hide my tears from the maintenance dude who is replacing my kitchen faucet while I read this.

    I’m so happy for you.

  217. what a lovely thing to read. Congratulations!

  218. So exciting! Congratulations, boys.

  219. Congratulations to the both of you. I remember when you introduced him to your readrrs. I can’t believe over two years has already gone by!

  220. I’m playing catch up on blogs and I come visit you and now I am all WAHOO! And I’m not the type of girl that gets all WAHOO about things. Except for dogs. I do get a little Wahoo over them.
    Congratultions! It sounds like Max really accepts the you that you are and you have a nice balance! And that is definitely worth a wahoo!

  221. congratulations!

    This is so touching. It touched my heart. Your sweet writing made my cry, too.
    I am so happy for you, I wish you have a very happy life together :)

  222. Congratulations. I was excited about the shell chair; I totally copied the woolly blanket headboard. I gasped with excitement when you first mentioned Max; then along came Mekko, and then Linus complete with his own before and after reveal. And now this! Yay for you both! Keep it coming

  223. you both have really really nice hands!

    and your writing-style is book worthy. seriously…write a book.

  224. So lovely. Love and happiness to you both.

  225. Congratulations to you both – you seem so happy, and that’s awesome :)

  226. This is so wonderful! And exciting! Wishing you both all the best.

  227. Congratulations! Beautiful story, beautifully told.
    Your beginnings remind me of my own. Euphoria with a huge side order of fear of loss. We are counting our 27th now so perhaps it is an appropriate way to start. I wish you joy and happiness.

  228. I love this, congratulations to you both.

  229. Oh my gosh, I’m so happy for you two. Seriously, you’re an adorable couple. Are you planning to blog all about planning your wedding?

    Congratulations!

  230. Wonderful news so beautifully shared. All the best to you both!

  231. Am so happy for you both! I’m getting married in August myself. Getting married is the BEST.
    I have read your blog for some time, and I have to say: if you’re ever in Oslo, Norway, give me a call. We should drink wine og be fabulous together.
    Wish you all the best.
    Love!

  232. Such great news. Congratulations!

  233. Congrats!!

  234. Congratulations!!!!

  235. OMG, congrats! So happy for you!

  236. Such Wonderful News! All things happen for a reason and this was really meant to happen.

    Congratulations to you both! x

  237. Oh my god, CONGRATS. I couldn’t be happier for you, even though I’m a complete stranger. Max is a lucky guy!!

  238. Congratulations!

    I can’t wait to see what kind of stylish, DIY celebration you throw :)

  239. I laughed, I cried, and i’m unreasonably happy for two people I don’t even know. You are a wonderful writer and I feel lucky to be given a glimpse of your journey. The interwebs need more like you. xo

  240. Like so many have already said, you write beautifully. But it’s more than that, you also write so earnestly, sharing your feelings and baring your thoughts very bravely. For someone who says he is scared of so much, you seem very courageous to me.

    I too have anxieties and fears to spare, always seeing where something could go wrong instead of where it could go right. Luckily I have also found someone whose arm I can grab. It was not love at first sight, by any means. But I soon realised that he was not only one of the kindest persons I’ve ever met, but one of the wisest too. When I was worrying over yet another thing that may never happen, he stayed calm, took me seriously, and said “We’ll cross that bridge when we come to it.” And I believed him. Twelve years on, I still do. In those years I have also realised that not only can I hold onto him, but he can also hold onto me.

    I wish you both the very best, and a long life filled with love.

  241. I haven’t read this post yet (I’ve only seen the photo), but I wanted to let you know that I just shouted “oh yay!” to my empty living room. Congrats and best of luck!

  242. Such lovely news! So happy for both of you! And it looks like you’ve already got most of your wedding speech right there :)

  243. It may not have been a big huge crazy proposal but its yours… Mine wasn’t either and niether was my wedding, even though one day I’d like to have a big wedding – my city hall elopement with just the two of us was perfect.

  244. Congratulations, congratulations, congratulations! I am so happy for you! (I know this is super late, but I never seem to comment on blog posts in a timely fashion) :) I’m also planning my wedding (well we’re getting married in two weeks, so we’re really in the wedding executing stage–but that sounds like we’re about to shoot our wedding in the head, lol–so let’s just stick to “wedding planning”) and, like you, had a not-really-a-proposal, not very romantic, proposal. Anyway,the point of this whole comment, and the reason I’m finally commenting on one of your posts after reading for the last couple years, is to let you know of a great etsy shop that I think you would like. It’s called AideMemoire (https://www.etsy.com/shop/AideMemoire?ref=l2-shopheader-name) and they sell beauiful gold rings (as well as other metals). I checked out the shop that you got your brass rings from and I saw that he doesn’t make gold rings, so I thought you might like a recommendation for someone who does (I know, I know, how presumptious of me, you didn’t ask for recommendations, but I just couldn’t resist). The woman who makes the rings is called Aran and she is great to work with. Not only are the rings beautiful, but she only uses eco-friendly recycled materials (no new metals or gems that cause horrible conditions for the miners) and she is a big supporter of mariage equality and donates part of her profits to LAMBDA Legal. I’m not a spammer, or sponsered by them, or anything like that, but I just recently bought my own wedding band from them and I love it. So feel free to completely ignore all of this, but check out her shop if you want, I think you’ll like it :)

  245. Dear Daniel,

    As a recent discoverer of your blog, I’m working my way through your posts and have just read through this one. Belated congratulations. I’m so happy for you, as one who never thought they’d end up married and very happy I concur it is a wonderful relief to put your trust in someone and give yourself the day off on worrying (needlessly) about things. They’ve got your back. You’ve got their arm. And hopefully sometime they’ll give you a foot massage…

    I heart your blog. Big style. You is one funny gent.

    Take care.
    Elizabeth from Sydney, Australia.

  246. Hey you! I am following your blog for a quite a long time now and finally had time again to catch up a bit. And suddenly: You are going to marry?!
    This is so awesome! My uncle and his boyfriend were in a relationship for now more than twenty years and last september they married. It wakes me happy to read, that you also found someone to lean on you really love!

    Kisses and Hugs from Germany :D
    Désirée

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