So I left out a major moment from the week at the farm, and it was the most memorable one too. Monsieur J proposed! In all honesty, we've gone about this whole idea of marriage in a very roundabout way, especially from an American's standpoint. In the U.S. there are fairly standard rules: boy meets girl; boy and girl fall in love; boy speaks to girl's father; boy buys ring; boy proposes; and wedding planning ensues.
In France, the path to marriage isn't quite so linear. As a result, we ended up taking a twisty windy bi-cultural approach to the whole affair. First we talked about it for a while, then we started mentioning it to our friends and family. We didn't waste too much time before gathering all of the necessary paperwork [birth certificates, sworn affidavits from the consulate to prove that I am a. single and b. not a polygamist, multiple forms of photo ID, etc...]. Somtime in early December he wrote a letter to my dad. Just before Christmas we picked out an engagement ring that Monsieur J was nice enough to let me wear to show friends and family at home before I left to go back to France. In mid-January we handed in the marriage file at city hall and only THEN, 5 days later did he pop the question and manage to surprise me at that! How?
Suffice it to say that when you're covered in mud, pig slop, and who knows what else, you don't necessarily expect your chéri to ask for your hand in marriage. And at the same time, watching the sun set behind the Pyrénées without a soul in sight, I couldn't possibly think of anything I'd prefer. It was pure magic -the setting, the weekend, the promise.