How To Propose to A Writer

For the past five years, Halloween has carried extra meaning for me. Because on October 31, 2010, Mr. Aetherhouse (Austin) and I officially became what kids these days call “a thing.”

Last Saturday was our 5th anniversary. It’s hard to believe that I’ve been with Austin since I was 18 years old. That I’ve wanted to be with him since I was 16. Maybe even 13 if you count the fact that I thought he was cute when we first met. We’ve known each other a long time and it’s almost uncanny how well we still get along. He’s pretty much the only person I could ever live with, because I never get sick of him.

On Saturday morning, I was messing around upstairs while he made bacon and Millennium Falcon shaped biscuits for breakfast (you can find the mold here). I scribbled my long treatise on our relationship into my fancy handmade greeting card and grabbed the anniversary present I bought him – a BB-8 Alarm Clock. (He gave me an R2-D2 bathrobe earlier this month saying that it would be my present, so I reciprocated the droid theme.)

Only to find this waiting on my living room desk when I came downstairs. Way to be upstaged!


A Royal 5 Typewriter, over 100 years old, just like the one in my favorite game Heavy Rain. I’ve never owned a typewriter before, but this one is clearly in good shape. All the keys are there, all the etching is still readable.

Then I read the note, pretty aware of where this is going.


My response: “Of course.”

He later told me that he’d had lots of proposal ideas throughout the years, but most of them concerned things I liked rather than what I was. The fact that he acknowledged that I’m a writer, that he bought me a working typewriter instead of a ring, was pretty special to me. It’s a part of myself that I can’t deny, but I know it makes me a difficult person to be with. Most of my flaws can be tied to it – that I’m a flake, that I let the house fall apart around me because I prioritize fiction over almost anything. That I make him read my works in progress, that I’m constantly living with one foot in fantasy. That I plan excessively, that I’d rather stay inside, that I like my solitude. I need stupid amounts of space in order to be happy as a writer, but by giving me this typewriter, he can be with me while I write.

I will probably not be typing actual fiction on this thing, as I would hate to transcribe a 100k word story into a word processor after typing it! But I generally hand write notes, brainstorming, outlines, etc in physical spiral bound notebooks. I think the typewriter is a nice alternative to that, because I’ll easily be able to scan the pages and the clean typeset will make up for my atrocious handwriting. So this thing will definitely get some use. Once I fix the draw band and get a new ink spool on it, I’ll be ready to go. Hopefully that will be soon, because I’m really itching to use it.

And of course, the message inside – I’m excited about that too, but in a much more reserved way. I take marriage very seriously, and I’m content to let that desire grow more with time. If I’m going to marry anyone, it can only be Austin. And I’m happy that an engagement validates our relationship on a deeper level, particularly after 5 years of commitment. But I am the child of parents who are each twice divorced, and I know one must be careful when they make a lifelong commitment. Austin is worth marrying a hundred fold, but am I? I think I need some time to figure that out first. Hopefully the me I give into marriage is a lot closer to my Ideal Self.

Still, I’ve already got some Pinterest boards going, despite only wanting a cocktail reception and no actual ceremony, because I am a bit of a cliché. I’m torn between a Pacific Rim theme or a Lovecraft theme. Hmm….:)