"I changed my mind," I told Cayden on the phone one morning while I was getting ready for work. "I don't want to play down the JP wedding. I want it to be real."
There was a short pause, and I could visualize Cayden sitting there scratching his collarbone and staring up at an imaginary goblin in the right-hand corner of the ceiling the way he always did when he was thinking really hard about something.
"Are you sure?" he asked. "Because you said..."
"Forget what I said. I don't even know why I said it. I want to wear a white dress to the JP wedding. I want to get a honeymoon suite in a hotel room afterward. I want to tell people I get to marry the man of my dreams," I said. "And then if we really want to, we can have a wedding later. Or just a big party where we can bring your friends over from London and show them what Texas is all about."
"If that makes you happy, then that's what we'll do."
Being with Cayden is what made me happy. If being with him meant I had to eat a live centipede dipped in nail polish remover or do the Soulja Boy dance over a bed of burning hot coals, I'd do it in a heartbeat. So I don't know why I was complaining about a Justice of the Peace wedding. If I could go back in time and slap myself in the face, I would.
I don't know what it was that got me so bent out of shape about the fiance visa in the first place. As I've said before, I was never one of those girls who planned every detail of my wedding right down to what flowers I wanted and what shoes my bridesmaids would wear before I even graduated from high school. I'd never thought about what kind of ring I wanted, and to be honest, I still can't tell a princess cut from a cushion cut to save my life. I'd even blogged about how I thought women jumped into marriage for the wrong reasons (the ring, the dress, the spectacle). So I'm stumped as to why I was initially so distraught by the idea of a JP wedding to get him over here.
Maybe it's because through writing this blog I've met some amazing people with some incredible stories to tell, many of which are "how he proposed" stories. I have to admit, they're my weakness. I usually can't get through them without spilling tears all over my keyboard. I've watched one-minute YouTube videos of proposals that made me cry harder than the Titanic and Charlie St. Cloud put together. So, yes, from time to time my mind would wander to how Cayden would propose. Just the thought of seeing him down on one knee sent my pulse into overdrive, so I tried not to think about it too often. I was too young to be on blood pressure medication.
Out of all of my daydreams about how Cayden would propose one day, not one of them involved an email outlining worst-case scenarios and associated paperwork fees. Maybe it was the realization that I'd just been more or less proposed to via email that caused the tears and the initial anti-fiance visa attitude. I'm aware that the realization makes me sound like an ungrateful, selfish, asshole princess, but that's the best theory I can come up with right now.
My mindset has changed so much since that day, that now when I reread that email, it's like I'd never read it before. The email I once thought read, "So, we're shit out of luck unless we go through with this whole marriage thing. So... how 'bout it?" actually says, "Here's a list of everything I'll happily go through to be by your side. I'll jump through this hoop and that hoop and shell out thousands of dollars and then some if it means I have a chance at forever with you. I love you so much that I've spent the past year working out every possible scenario and I found a way to ensure your ultimate happiness and the beginning of our lives together. I'll make it all happen for you if you just say yes."
That email means more to me than any bent knee could ever mean.