How I Conjured My Fiancé In 3 Months Flat
I don't want to call it magic or superstition or anything like that. I don't think I'm a witch. But the fact of the matter is that I may have conjured my fiancé.
Back in December I was very happily single. So happily single in fact I went out and bought an engagement ring…for myself. I wrote about it here and the story inspired an overwhelmingly positive response from women who told me they wanted to go out and buy themselves an engagement ring. The ring is very pretty and gold with a simple Tanzanite stone from Tanzania and it sits on the ring finger of my right hand. I bought it as a reminder to myself that I didn't have to settle for just any guy. I was going to be just fine single, attached, or married.
Then, a couple of weeks before January 1 and a few glasses of Vinho Verde into one evening, a friend of mine told me that she had made a list of all of the qualities she wanted in a future partner.
I cautioned against this. "Lists are silly," I said as I grabbed a bit of prosciutto and wrapped it around a very melty piece of burrata. "Lists are rigid and love is anything but." It's always been my theory that giving up the fantasy of finding the perfect mate, the one who checks off all the boxes, is a surefire way to finally find that person who checks off an adequate amount of the boxes.
"Lists give you guidance," she retorted.
"I don't need guidance. When it is the right time, the love of my life will find me wherever I am in the world." "But you're never in the same place."
She wasn't wrong. I'm a travel editor for Yahoo Travel and in 2014 alone I was on 67 different planes visiting 21 countries.
I shrugged. But after a couple more glasses of wine I relented and pulled out the envelope from an old cable bill that had found its way into my purse and began writing a list. This was harder than I thought. What did I actually care about in a long-term partner? What did I really want? The exercise was silly, but I'd committed to it and I was going to do it right.
Well, I wanted someone who was adventurous and well-traveled, someone who loved their life and was passionate about what they were doing, someone who was comfortable in their own skin, someone who made me laugh so hard I snorted, someone who would hold me when I cried, someone who wanted kids and wanted to get married and wanted to do both of those things with me, someone who thinks I am great (even when I am not that great). I knew I wanted someone who liked large dogs and challenged me to be a better me on a regular basis. I was hoping this person also liked cheese, but that wasn't a deal breaker. If he was tall and handsome to boot that would be a bonus, but not a requirement.
I threw the list in my purse and put my friend in a cab and that was the last I thought about it.
Until he showed up.
The only reason I was on a boat in the Galapagos Islands about a month later was because my co-worker's toddler daughter got sick and she couldn't take the trip at the last minute. I wasn't supposed to be there at all.
There was this guy on the boat. One time we went kayaking together and despite talking the entire time we still managed to be the fastest pair to paddle back to the boat. Every time we went snorkeling he would dive down 20 feet to the ocean floor and pick up something odd and inherently interesting. He taught the entire boat to play a ridiculously addictive card game and I know that he just invented some of the rules.
And even though I showed up on this eco-cruise with no makeup, no agenda, and not a single adorable outfit, he kissed me the last night we were at sea. It wasn't love at first sight, but it was definitelysomethingat first sight.
We went to the airport. He said he wanted to see me again. And so ten days later we went on the most ambitious second date of all time—camping in Joshua Tree. He was planning to come meet me in the parking lot of LAX, but I decided to surprise him at baggage claim, not sure how I was going to feel about seeing this near-stranger again, but when he turned around and smiled I was pretty sure I was a goner.
Over the next couple of days I learned about his adventures traveling the world. He showed me how passionate he was about the company he is building. He took being rained-out of our campsite in stride and made me snort with laughter when he prepared s'mores for us in our hotel fireplace. He asked me if I wanted kids. Did I mention that he also happened to be tall and handsome?
Is it possible that I am a witch after all?
I mentally cataloged all of the witchy things I have done in the past year.
While I was hiking in Kosovo I came across a small house that once belonged to the local matchmaker. Our guide told us that all of the village girls came here to flip the broken tiles on the roof. The superstition was that it would "flip" the luck of your love life. Everyone did it just for fun.
When I visited Disney World with my boss last summer we ran into a plump woman in a very sparkly blue dress who identified herself as Cinderella's Fairy Godmother. Paula, my boss, asked her when she would meet her special someone and then she asked when I would meet my special someone. The Fairy Godmother said it would happen for me when I least expected it, waved her magic wand, and pretended to blow fairy dust on me.
In Kenya, an African shaman covered me in Baobab oil and pronounced me fertile without my even asking for fertility. Yikes!
I also caught the bouquet at a wedding. Actually, the bouquet was pretty much handed to me as the last single guest standing. There was another single girl at the wedding but she was throwing up in the bathroom.
Maybe it was a combination of all of these things.
Our third date was in San Francisco, where he lives (I didn't tell the list anything about geographic proximity) and our fourth in New York, where I live. We went to Squaw Valley on our fifth date and France on our sixth and by then I knew without a doubt that this was the person I wanted to spend the rest of my life with.
Apparently he did too, because last month he asked me to marry him on top of a mountain overlooking the Pacific Ocean. It was the kind of proposal I had no idea that I wanted until it happened to me. Then it was perfect. I said yes.
Now I don't seriously think there is any black magic involved here. I do think there is something to telling the universe, very honestly, what you want.
About two months after I got back from the Galapagos I had breakfast with a good acquaintance to talk about an upcoming trip she was taking to Africa.
"You're traveling all the time," she said, referring to the pictures I often posted on my Instagram of food in strange places.
I shrugged. "I am. I'm traveling a little less for work now that I met someone. In fact, I'm in love with someone."
I gave her the basic dossier that you give a good acquaintance when talking about someone you've been on a handful of incredible dates with. He lived in San Francisco. He ran a website about the business side of sustainability. She clasped her hand to her mouth and yelled his name out loud.
"Oh my gosh. That's who you are in love with. That is the most perfect thing in the world." It turns out the two of them had worked in the same office almost a decade ago.
"You two are the right people for each other. The universe did a good job." She couldn't stop smiling.
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