The Minks Get Engaged (and a Discussion About Age)

Age is always a hot topic on the Weddingbee Boards. A short time ago, I read a thread where members were discussing how age affects the speed at which you progress from dating to engaged. My relationship with Mr. Mink probably doesn’t fall in line with what most people were thinking.

Mr. Mink and I met when I was 28 and he was 34. Though he proposed twice in the first few months we were dating (including on our second date…do you want to hear that story?), I was in no hurry to get married. I was always a career-obsessed mink and did not envision myself settling anywhere for too, too long. By not letting my roots get too deep anywhere, I figured I’d be ready to accept the next great job opportunity when it came my way.

Within two years, I bought my home and was starting to think I was staying in Charlottesville long term. Of course, Mr. Mink had a lot to do with that.

When we started (seriously) talking about marriage, we were probably four years into our relationship. When Mr. Mink took me to his jeweler (he never imagined he’d have a jeweler), it was clear that he had already been there to look at rings. I picked out a setting I loved, the jeweler winked and made a note in her little book, and the waiting began. For the next month, I got more giddy as different occasions approached.

At Thanksgiving dinner, I looked down and saw something on Mr. Mink’s pant leg. My hand moved faster than my brain. It was as if my brain was in slow motion while my hand was in real time. As I was realizing that I was seeing the impression of a ring box in Mr. Mink’s pocket, I tapped it with my hand. I felt terrible as soon as I had done it. Mr. Mink almost choked on his food and turned beet red. I later found out that he had planned on proposing in front of his family, but a last-minute addition of someone we didn’t really know stopped him. I’m so thankful…I don’t think I could have handled an audience!

The next day, we went to the Outer Banks in North Carolina on an errand related to Mr. Mink’s job. (He works with craft breweries.) While he did business inside the brewery, I visited with their herd of goats. Having grown up in the New York City area, I thought it was pretty special to get this close to a farm animal.


A goat at Weeping Radish brewery / Photo by Miss Mink

Someone sent us to a restaurant on the water for lunch that afternoon. While we were eating, a huge pod of dolphins came by and stayed for a while. The restaurant had a huge koi pond in front of it and customers were allowed to feed the fish. As an animal lover, I was thinking this day was pretty spectacular. First goats, then dolphins, and now fish? How could this get any better?


Feeding koi / Photo by Miss Mink

Mr. Mink had the idea to get onto the beach so we could take pictures of Junior Mink for our Christmas card. It took us a while to find a spot since most (all) of the Outer Banks beaches are for residents or renters. There was no (legal) parking on the street where we were. We decided to chance it and pulled over on a small street. It was totally quiet except for a fisherman who looked asleep.


Junior Mink, five minutes before the proposal / Photo by Miss Mink

I’m a bit of a rule follower, so I was getting pretty nervous about the car after a little while. Now I realize why Mr. Mink kept trying to get me to go down to the sand. The bottom of the wood steps that went over the dunes was as far as he could get me. With my little dog by my side, Mr. Mink proposed. It was a perfect, quiet moment that I’ll cherish forever.

I’m curious: Do you prefer the grand, public proposal, or is an intimate one more your speed?

How do you think age affects the speed with which you move toward marriage?


Mrs. Mink

Charlottesville, Virginia
Wedding Date:
June 2012
CONFESSION: We Committed a Major Engagement-Party Faux Pas
Linens & Things
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  1. Member
    bRooklynRocks 4048 posts, Honey bee @ 1:59 pm

    I would have been mortified with someone a bit more public. I am very friendly but a situation such as this requires only a private audience. I met DH a little before my 28th birthday and by the time he proposed after years of dating, I think everyone was kind of expecting it but we are in NYC, no one marries before 35 :) I don’t think I dated any faster because I was getting older. Of course, if I did meet a guy at 35, I probably wouldn’t date 5 or 6 years before marriage though.

  2. Member
    bRooklynRocks 4048 posts, Honey bee @ 1:59 pm


  3. porcupine Member
    porcupine 633 posts, Busy bee @ 2:00 pm

    Your proposal sounds so sweet. I told Mr. P if he proposed in front of a lot of people I would kill him later. He was convinced if he did it with an audience around I would say no so he made sure to do it when we were alone (but w/the limo driver plainly able to listen-in lol).

  4. Member
    TinyTina 3312 posts, Sugar bee @ 2:10 pm

    Such a sweet proposal! I’m very happy my FI proposed when we were alone.

    Age was certainly a factor for us… We got engaged after 5.5 years, but I was only 19 when we met… I was just a baby and deff not ready for marriage anytime soon!

  5. mink Member
    mink 2178 posts, Buzzing bee @ 2:15 pm

    @bRooklyn: I think he must have seen merest up over public proposals on TV and thought I’d want one. Thank goodness we had that extra guest at Thansgiving!

    He’s also a little nervous in front of a crowd. While he had tons of listeners when he’s on the radio, he doesn’t see them. When he had to introduce Grace Potter at a concert once, he told me he was terrible nervous! The crowd was smaller than the one that listens to him!

  6. mink Member
    mink 2178 posts, Buzzing bee @ 2:17 pm

    @Miss Porcupine: Hee Hee! smart Mr. P!

    @TinyTina: I think that if I didn’t think success in my profession was dependent on moving around, I might have been ready sooner. I’m glad we waited, though!

  7. mink Member
    mink 2178 posts, Buzzing bee @ 2:18 pm

    Clearly, I shouldn’t be commenting from my iPad. Sorry for the spelling errors!

  8. Member
    StarryNight2011 3250 posts, Sugar bee @ 2:31 pm

    Oooohhhhh…..the Weeping Radish. My hubby would be jealous, he loves the beer there. :)

    Great engagement story!

  9. ostrich Member
    ostrich 2402 posts, Buzzing bee @ 3:17 pm

    i literally laughed out loud at the thought of you tapping the ring box and Mr. Mink almost chocking. Your engagement story is all sorts of dreamy, M!

  10. mink Member
    mink 2178 posts, Buzzing bee @ 3:19 pm

    @mousegirl: It’s a really cute place! They actually built the brewery around an old general store. The bar in the tasting room is on what was the front porch of the general store.

    It’s such a great, little gem.

  11. mink Member
    mink 2178 posts, Buzzing bee @ 3:21 pm

    @Mrs. Ostrich: Aw, thanks, Mrs. O! I can still remember thinking “what’s wrong with his…oh my gosh, that’s a ring.” D’oh!

  12. Member
    JuneBride2012 536 posts, Busy bee @ 4:11 pm

    I definitely wanted my proposal to be a private, intimate moment between my fiancé and me, and he made it happen that way! :-)

  13. teaspoon Member
    teaspoon 768 posts, Busy bee @ 4:16 pm

    Junior Mink is so freaking cute! Love Koi’s – so jealous of that pond!

  14. mink Member
    mink 2178 posts, Buzzing bee @ 4:24 pm

    @JuneBride2012: I’m with you!

    @Mrs. Teaspoon: Complimenting my dog is the sure way to get on my “favorite Bee” list. 😉

    The fish food was in a gumball machine. I think poor Mr. Mink spent five dollars making me happy at that pond.

  15. Member
    Future Army Wife 2213 posts, Buzzing bee @ 4:31 pm

    Sweet story. And I tend to park illegally when I’m in Wilmington, haha.

  16. mink Member
    mink 2178 posts, Buzzing bee @ 4:50 pm

    @Future Army Wife: I should have known it would be okay to park on a deserted street in OBX on Black Friday!

  17. Member
    StarryNight2011 3250 posts, Sugar bee @ 5:54 pm

    @Miss Mink: :) I’ve been to the weeping radish before. The Outer Banks and Manteo are beautiful!

  18. Member
    eeper 129 posts, Blushing bee @ 6:01 pm

    Private proposal for sure! On the beach with your adorable dog sounds perfect.

    I think age is a factor but not more important than the two people involved. We started dating when I was 25, and didn’t get engaged til I was 32 (he is 2 yrs older). According to some people, it was long overdue, and it’s true many friends started dating, got married, and had kids in that time frame. But we did what was right for us. However, we did have a much shorter engagement than anyone else!

  19. mink Member
    mink 2178 posts, Buzzing bee @ 6:14 pm

    @mousegirl: I should have known!

    @eeper: It’s nice to meet another Bee who waited a little bit. :)

  20. msfox Member
    msfox 1635 posts, Bumble bee @ 7:15 pm

    Foxy proposed on a random Sunday night, just the two of us – it was perfect and perfectly “us”.

  21. Member
    Elizward21 48 posts, Newbee @ 7:17 pm

    Ours was at a large event. Initially he tried to arrange to be on stage!! I got flustered enough with the crowd we drew so I a am glad it was a smaller gesture than he actually wanted.

  22. mink Member
    mink 2178 posts, Buzzing bee @ 7:44 pm

    @Miss Fox: Love it!

    @Elizward21: Eek! I can’t imagine it happening on a stage. Congrats, by the way! Welcome to the Bee!

  23. Member
    Tuna 31 posts, Newbee @ 7:47 pm

    My fiance’s first proposal idea was sabotaged by an extra person riding in our car! My now-husband planned for us to pull over and go exploring in a field of wildflowers on our way home from my best friend’s lakehouse.. but clueless me invited a friend to catch a ride with us. oops!

    so instead we had a very private proposal in our home with just the two of us cuddling in bed together. it was perfectly us and perfectly perfect! and i couldn’t have handled a public proposal! i cry too easily and get super bashful and blushy.

  24. Member
    Jadyn10150 23 posts, Newbee @ 8:05 pm

    I’m not engaged yet, but I hope it will be romantic, just between us! I also hope he asks my father first because even though I’m all grown up, I know my Dad would respect that!!

  25. mink Member
    mink 2178 posts, Buzzing bee @ 8:17 pm

    @Tuna: I’m the same way! I cry at the drop of a hat. You know that coffee commercial that comes on at this time of year? The one where the son comes home for the holidays as a surprise? I cry every time. Like a baby.

    @Jadyn10150: Ooh, that’s a good topic that I know has come up on the boards (asking for a father’s permission). I personally wasn’t for it, but I’m a little older than some. :)

  26. msdoe Member
    msdoe 639 posts, Busy bee @ 9:02 pm

    I love intimate proposals :) I would have been so embaressed in public haha. And by the way, what a good looking dog you have! So precious!

  27. hawk Member
    hawk 1117 posts, Bumble bee @ 7:10 am

    I also prefer quiet proposals. I think if Mr. Hawk had proposed in front of my family or large group of friends I would have been overwhelmed!

  28. mink Member
    mink 2178 posts, Buzzing bee @ 7:14 am

    @Miss Doe: I’m with you. No audience for me!

    Thanks for the sweet comment about my dog. I luff him so much! :)

    @Miss Hawk: I wonder why some people love them and some people hate them? I’m an extrovert, yet I hate the idea of being on display that way.

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