There is music coming from the house behind ours. I can't really hear it, but the thumping bass tells me that it is upbeat party music. Their backyard, the site of many Sunday afternoon croquet games and leaf-burning sessions, is decorated with white balloons. It's a wedding reception, a home affair with grilled burgers and hot dogs. We don't know these neighbors very well, but we were invited to the party, most likely to keep us from complaining about the noise. I can see people on the back porch, but the yard itself looks deserted.
It's raining. Someone told me that having rain on your wedding day was a good omen. That sounds like something an optimist would invent on the spot to cheer a stressed bride.
The groom is the neighbor's son, who is twenty years old. His dad told Josh that neither him nor the bride's family was particularly enthusiastic about the event. The couple have known each other for only a short while and will only be together for a short while after today before the groom is deployed again. I sympathize with him. I've been to weddings where a dull anxiety sat in my stomach, keeping me from really enjoying myself. How much worse to have to throw such a wedding. I want to tell him that I have known some such weddings to lead to long-lasting and happy marriages. And then of course there are some couples who marry after years of dating, only to have everything fall apart soon after it becomes official.
Our own news is finally out. There are a certain number of people you have to tell personally, and then everyone else hears about it from the grapevine. I told my family the next day, and spent a week or so sending excited text messages to a different friend every night. Josh waited a week to tell his brother, then another two weeks to tell his mother, then another week after that to let his father know. The news trickled out. Last night, at the bar where Josh was playing, friends greeted me with congratulations, hugs, and high fives.
Everyone has been really happy to find out, to the point of squealing for some (females only). One thing I didn't expect about getting engaged was how much joy it gave other people. If anyone has any doubts about it, I haven't been able to tell. We've been together so long that if anyone had misgivings, they probably would have mentioned it before now. In any case, I'm not worried about it. Though I have had several realizations in the last month about what tying your life to someone else means, none of these epiphanies have made me doubt the decision or the someone.