this year

I’m not usually into this whole new year thing.

I detest January and gyms and diets and even the night itself, which is almost always a letdown cloaked in a ridiculous cover charge.

But I spent this past leap into the new calendar on the 31st floor of a building in the financial district, drinking champagne from a plastic cup, taking in a lite-brite version of the city from the balcony, wearing something sparkly and sleeveless. And at midnight, I teared up a little bit.

It may have been all the bubbly, or the creepily high temperatures (yay global warming) or the fact that we were in the dead middle of a remarkable weekend, spent in every corner of the city living exactly the kind of life I want to have here.

But more likely, it’s because of 2012.

I know this sounds ridiculous, but I’ve been waiting for those four digits to line up for nearly a year and a half now, when you count it one way, and nearly my whole life, when you count another. A long engagement is wonderful in many ways, and it was, without a doubt, the right choice for us – for me, specifically, the type A planner who has unexpectedly had to work her way through some shit in the past year in order to be in the exact right spot to tie the knot.

But this extended limbo has been difficult. I hate the in-between obnoxiousness of the word ‘fiance,’ I hated layering another period of waiting over the countdown to Match that defined last year. I spent a lot of time feeling embarrassed about being a bride, feeling like the whole engagement thing was a sham because the date was so far off and I’m not changing my name and our relationship isn’t picture-perfect and smart non-sorority girls aren’t supposed to like wedding planning, duh.

Its had its exceedingly lovely moments, this time, but mostly, I’ve just felt a little awkward, a little in-between, and always like it would never, ever end.

Saturday night – with people screaming “happy New Year!” and 2-0-1-2 flashing on the screen and everyone kissing – made something change, shift, click. It felt so much more real, and the severity of what we’re about to do hit me in a way that it hasn’t since that hot August day in the district that Dave asked me to marry him.

In less than four months, I’ll make good on my Yes.

I hope that somehow this long engagement will prove to be totally worth it, that it will become clear that our wedding – and maybe even marriage – wouldn’t be the same if we hadn’t moved toward this day at this exact pace. But I know that even if that little moment of transcendence doesn’t happen, I’ll be just fine. It really won’t matter. Because in April, come hell or high water (even Hurricane Irene: The Sequel) I’ll be married.

April of this year.

Wow, that feels good to say.

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