Words by Kate
We met at a bar. I was out with my roommate at the time. I noticed her from across the bar.. looking a bit…well, pissed off. I mean actually, like folded arms, probably a furrowed brow, staring at two televisions. Nonetheless, painstakingly beautiful. Definitely not looking like she wanted some random to go and talk to her.
My roommate had noticed a girl that walked in, we were at a Lesbian Night at a local bar, both single, and we committed ourselves.
I’ll go say hi to the blonde, and she would go and say hi to the girl she saw.
I made my way over and asked this completely unapproachable human what she was watching on one of the two TVs. She averted her eyes towards me and said, “Nothing I was thinking” completely deadpanned and yes, annoyed. To which I responded by telling her, “okay, cool. I guess I’ll go fuck myself.”
Shockingly enough, she laughed, I caught a glimpse of the dimples, of which I’ve become the official fan club leader, and I’ve been interrupting her thinking time ever since.
This year, we planned to travel to Ireland for a wedding and San Diego for the Taylor Swift concert this summer when COVID happened. We realized that our summer vacation plans probably would not be happening anymore. We were going about our new normal, feeling grateful at the timing of our meeting a year before. We had each other to embrace and hold onto during these uncharted, scary circumstances that often left us, and our loved ones feeling debilitated. But, we felt lucky, and took care of ourselves and each other and those we loved.
We live in Colorado and hike often. I am usually the hike planner with the included responsibilities of packing snacks (mostly for Lauren) sunscreen. One day, during the lockdown, Lauren suggested we go for a hike, since that’s all the extracurricular activity we could do at this point and plan where and when. She had mentioned planning one before, so it wasn’t weird to me, so much so that I never asked another question about it (not kidding).
On the day of the hike, I woke up to Lauren already in the kitchen, which was unusual, with a bag already packed for our hike sitting at our dining table.
“A backpack?! Do you know what to pack for a hike?” – Me
*death stare* – Lauren
“I wore my Taylor Swift Shirt because we aren’t going to her concert and this is our first “outing,” and it’s a salute to her” – Me
“That seems very appropriate, she would love it” – Lauren
We head out, and I notice how unbeaaaaaarably nervous my girl is, so I took a video. I ask her why the day is so important and why it’s such a big deal she’s planning a hike, while reassuring her that it’ll be great and that she should not be nervous about whatever she had planned. And yes, I am completely freaking clueless to seriously think someone could be this worried about impressing me with a hike.
We’re hiking, we see a snake, not kidding, to which Lauren catapulted herself into my arms because she ACTUALLY has a legit phobia of snakes. I tell her we are going home and it’s okay, we will get Chinese food instead? To which she adamantly responded, nope, we are doing this hike because I planned it. I’d love to tell you I picked up on anything here, but nope. Still clueless.
We’re hiking, again. She tells me how she wants to get to this spot she saw on Instagram and that it is this way (off the trail and through some brush). I quickly, completely jokingly state, “So, what, so you can propose??”. No, of course not.
We found a trail through, she ended up calling me Magellan because I was taking my sweet time noticing the baby cacti everywhere. She offered me water, I drank it, gave it back, looked away, turned back towards her, and my dream girl, the girl I met in a bar, not watching tv, but thinking, whose existence consume every waking minute, was on one knee and had the most perfect blue diamond ring in the most fitting blue box and once again, was flashing me those dimples.
During our friendship, turned relationship we’ve become each others confidants, ride or dies, sleepy morning and night kisses, co-dog-mommies, dance in the kitchen partners, compasses guiding each other through the light and the dark, the question and answer keepers, best friends, and lovers. Lauren and our love have always been simultaneously, not enough, and too much of what I thought love with another person could be. It’s also the safest place I never thought I deserved to be. Lauren was, is, and will be the entity I will forever be at a loss of words for. So yeah, I said ‘WHAT?!’ and then, ‘yes.’
Lauren later told me she planned on proposing to me during one of our previously planned trips to see T-Swift or while in Ireland. She told me during the immense loss, and world turn upside down that has happened during COVID, proposing in a pandemic seemed like the best time to do it – because why not now, if she’s always known.
I like shiny things, but would have married her with paper rings. Yes, I did just quote a Taylor Swift Song, because I got engaged in a Taylor Swift T-shirt y’all.
Photography Kate Ivy Photography