More than a formality, I made our domestic partnership a moment worth celebrating with a special proposal.
Will You Be My… Domestic Partner?
As a longtime freelancer, I’ve had to navigate the administrative pains and costs of health insurance on my own, so when my partner Dylan landed his hospital job and benefits package, my ears perked up. When I floated the idea of officially becoming domestic partners so I could be on his insurance, he somewhat jokingly said, “well, you better put a ring on it first.”
So, I did!
There had been a trail of big commitments already. We had already adopted two dogs, bought a house, and then rescued a cat together. Declaring “domestic partnership” was more of a formality, but I liked the idea of adding symbolism to the process. I am, after all, a constant sucker for romance and sentiment. If I was going to put a ring on it, I was going to put a ring on it in a special way.
I looped my proposal into our anniversary celebrations and told Dylan to dress up for a surprise dinner reservation. I just had to make one quick stop at my friend’s photo studio to pick up some lights from a previous shoot. At that point, he had his suspicions, but the full reveal was still a surprise nonetheless. (A very special thanks to my friend Jeff and his studio mates for letting me use the space.)
I styled a private table for two with the gorgeous industrial studio as the backdrop. Since the studio lacks a kitchen, we ordered takeout from Burgh’ers, which also, symbolically, was one of the first take-out dates we shared during our early pandemic dating days. Nothing says love in my book quite like a cheeseburger and rosemary fries!
And of course, there was a ring… sort of.
I didn’t want to ruin the surprise by asking Dylan for his ring size, nor did I want to invest in something that wouldn’t fit. I had the perfect solution. I proposed our domestic partnership with a ring sizer from Studebaker Metals, a local purveyor of jewelry and metalworks. I perched the ring sizer in a unique fox candleholder from The Farmer’s Daughter Flowers. That way, Dylan can select the ring of his choice in the correct size, and we support a local maker. Win-win-win!
A Toast to Us!
I brought a pre-batched cocktail, the same cocktail we shared when we first met (thanks to my friend Dana!). It’s a simple combination of falernum and whiskey, topped with ginger beer. This drink packs complex, spicy flavors without a lot of fanfare, so it’s easy to pack for romantic surprises.
In case you’re curious…
Maggie’s Farm Falernum Liqueur is their recreation of the classic mixer from Barbados. They combine ginger, fresh-grated lime zest, toasted whole cloves, and toasted allspice berries with their White Rum, and sweeten it with the same turbinado sugar they use for distilling. The end result is a 50-proof, shelf-stable liqueur that can be used as an excellent mixer for cocktails, a chilled digestif, or simply enjoyed mixed with tonic or soda.
Sweetening the Deal
To sweeten the proposal, I included a board with exquisite French delicacies from La Gourmandine, and to foster our connection for the evening, I brought a tarot deck and Vertellis conversation prompts. We pull these Vertellis cards often, and I highly recommend them or a similar deck for igniting deep and meaningful conversations.
Well, what did he say?
A Pennsyl-tuckey Mule (ie: a Falernum Cocktail)
- 1 part whiskey
- 1 part falernum (From Maggie's Farm Rum)
- ginger beer, to taste
- Mix one part whiskey, and one part falernum. Add ice, top with ginger beer, and enjoy!