When I headed off to St Andrews in 2008 ready to start university I had explicitly said to my friends back home that I didn't want a boyfriend for AT LEAST the first two years. This was about...September time I think. On a Tuesday at the end of October, I sat next to one of the guys from my new group of friends after a night out and he let me wear his scarf. He then walked me back to my room (30 seconds from where we were sat) and we kissed in the corridor. On Halloween we all went to the Bop - he was dressed as a rockstar and I was dressed as cat woman, and we spent a lot of the night doing that weird 'together' dancing that isn't quite slow dancing but is more just moving your feet around whilst standing as close together as possible. At about 3am on November 29th he asked me to be his girlfriend. I said yes and spent the next day agonising about whether it would be weird if I was the first one to put it on Facebook. Ah, teenage romances eh?
I remember vividly the first time we said 'I love you' to each other, because it's the funniest, most awkward story ever. We were sat in his room in halls and watching a film whilst eating a tub of Ben & Jerry's ice-cream. Here's how the conversation roughly went:
LAUREN: *eats a spoonful and sighs to herself a bit* 'I love ice-cream'
SEAN: *focussing on the movie, whips his head around* 'what did you say?!'
LAUREN: *slightly confused by this reaction* '....I love...icecream? Why, what did you think I said?'
SEAN: 'Oh, never mind'
LAUREN: '...OH! Did you think I said I love you?'
SEAN: '...maybe. I do though, I think - love you.'
LAUREN: '....aw! I love you too!'
Seven years, two years of on-off long distance, two rented flats and a move to a new city later - Sean proposed to me on the 18th December. It was about 9pm on the Friday night, we had just got back from my work Christmas party and we had plans to exchange presents before I went down South the next day. I came in and we turned on the Christmas fairy lights and some chilled out music and I sat down on the sofa, where I didn't even clock the new stocking hanging over the mantelpiece until Sean pointed it out to me. It hadn't been there that morning and I'm always the last to leave for work, so I have no idea how I didn't notice this new addition to the living room!
I went over to the stocking and Sean hovered behind me, I guess looking a bit anxious looking back at it now, but I just figured he was excited to see me open my presents! The first present in the stocking was hard and rectangular, wrapped up in glittery paper. I opened it to find the vintage style tea caddy you can see in the photos. I'm the biggest tea fiend ever and Sean is always having to make me a cuppa so I thought this was such a sweet little stocking present...then I looked inside. Inside the tin (which I only opened because I couldn't smell tea and I wanted to check if there were actual tea bags in it!) was a ring box.
The next few minutes are a bit of a blur to be honest - I think I looked at Sean in a bit of shock as I opened the box and then at the same time as I saw the ring he went down on one knee (which he doesn't remember doing now). I vaguely head him ask me to marry him and say he loved me but to be quite honest with you by then I had burst into tears and was just sobbing away. Like, full on ugly crying. I did remember to say yes at one point though! He asked me if I liked the ring, which is a silly question to be honest because isn't it the most beautiful thing you've ever seen? It's a sapphire and diamond cluster ring from the 1950's and I adore it.
So now I have another sweet little story to add to our collection of memories. We had our first meetings and our being 'official' and our 'I love you' in the halls in St Andrews where we lived then...and now we have our engagement in Edinburgh, where we live now and for the foreseeable future. I can't wait to marry my best friend!