At Burning Man, last September, on the first night, stepping out into the darkness, Doug and I went exploring a strange world of glowing el wire and flaming sights. We wandered into the structure beneath the Man, a maze of games and artworks, intricate mindmaps and galaxies of wonder.
In one room, there was a magic roundabout, a spinning surface driven by a bicycle
, with a camera on it, filming shots every few seconds. We joined the line, watched others fall off, flung off, collapse in heaps of giggles. Me in my purple mini-kilt and purple wings, he in a long cloak made by a friend. Our turn came, we got on, held each others hands and leaned back, laughing, loving the centrifugal force and playing mirror games: first his hand snaked out to one side and mine followed, then mine to the other... He started to get down on one knee... and suddenly, he was saying something. "Will you marry me?" It was so crazy, so sudden, even though he'd said it before "accidentally". I got down on the other knee and asked him too, and then we both said yes.
Someone asked if we were ready to slow down and we slowly stood, didn't overbalance, came to a standstill, stepped off exhilarated and then understood that the camera was connected to a printer and the printer produced a flipbook. We have a flipbook of our engagement. How cool is that?
So, why am I writing this now? Because it's finally all square with the family and everyone knows. Last night, Mum held an engagement party for 50 of the family to squawk and gawk at the poor boy. We didn't need one -- in many ways that was more for her than us -- but it was lovely and he impressed. Tons of food, no insanity, and I got to meet my new niece, Olivia, and see how my nephew Leo is growing. Mum spoke, Dad spoke, champagne was drunk, Doug and I responded. All the usual guff.
The "wedding", of course, will be a handfasting, more of which later.
We're off to the zoo now. After I help clean up, that is...