Katie Cline, Editor-in-Chief
With Valentine’s Day right around the corner, boxes of chocolate and giant teddy bears are sure to be some of the most popular gifts, but a few lucky lovers may end up with something extra special: an engagement ring.
Holiday proposals in general are popular. Between November and February, the time of year known as “engagement season,” there are several major holidays: Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Year’s Eve and Valentine’s Day.
JSU alumna Ashlee Jones has firsthand experience with the joys of engagement season. Her boyfriend, Jesse Hall, proposed on Christmas Day 2017 with a Russian doll-style proposal. He gave Jones a large box that held progressively smaller boxes.
“A ring box was at the bottom with my engagement ring inside, and he asked me to marry him, and I told him, ‘Well, duh!’” Jones said.
Jones and Hall met at JSU when they both had shifts at the radio station. This Valentine’s Day will mark their seventh anniversary together.
“I do think that holiday engagements are cheesy,” Jones admitted, “but I think it’s different if the holiday has a certain significance for your relationship. Technically, Valentine’s Day would have made more sense for us since it’s our anniversary, but Christmas is my next favorite holiday, and he knew that, and since my family was there with us, it made the proposal even better.”
When the couple gets married on October 13, it will have been a long time coming.
“I knew I was ready to get married because Jesse is my own personal cheerleader, and he always knows exactly what I need to cheer me up,” Jones said. “A lot of guys these days aren’t so quick to support their partners fully and honestly, but I’m truly blessed to have found a man that encourages me to pursue my goals and treats me as an equal, and I give him the exact same.”
Mariana Alvarez, a freshman biology major, got engaged to her high school sweetheart at the start of the new year. She and her fiancé, Andy Abercrombie, met at Southside High School in Southside, Ala. and have been dating for three years. Abercrombie proposed after a scavenger hunt around town.
“I did not see the proposal coming at all!” Alvarez said. “He said it was a surprise date, and I totally bought it.”
While some may worry that they are too young to get married, all Alvarez is worried about is forgetting to invite someone to the wedding.
“We have been through a lot of big changes together,” Alvarez said. “He graduated high school and went to college while I still had two years of high school left, and we made it work, and that’s something that I know I can count on him for. We’re going to make things work even when they aren’t easy or convenient, and that was a big part of knowing that we are ready.”
Alvarez and Abercrombie don’t plan to get married until after Alvarez graduates, but part of what she is looking forward to is having someone to grow with through all of life’s circumstances.
“Marriage is a huge commitment,” Alvarez said, “and I have someone who liked me when I was a weird sophomore in high school and loves the person that I am becoming, and while I’m unsure of so many things in my life, I’m 100 per cent sure about him.”
It really is the season of love, but before you run out and buy a ring for your significant other, Jones has a word of advice: communicate.
“If you can’t tell your partner everything and be able to discuss things you may have issues with and be able to compromise, you’re not ready for a mature relationship,” Jones said. “Your future spouse should be your best friend and never a source of stress and anxiety in your life, so make sure the person you marry has always got your back and relaxes you on the worst days and that you’re there for them just as much.”