Yes, they're getting married

By Olivia Provan and Reilly Pruitt

For some couples Valentine’s Day is a chance to throw some money at an expensive dinner and wait for those three magic words to be dropped along with that heart shaped box of chocolates. But for Danny Bowman and Christine Park there will be no expensive dinner and no waiting for the magic words because this couple has bigger fish to fry. Instead the money saved will go towards payments for the ring on her left finger. We sat down with this newly engaged duo to discuss wedding plans, cohabitation, and what it really means to be together forever.

MW: How did you two first meet?

CP: We met in class sophomore year after I transfered from Skidmore college in upstate New York.

DB: I started taking an Asian religions course – I almost didn’t take it. I had to rearrange my schedule and stuff. I guess it’s a good thing I did.

CP: We started dating in late October

When did you know that you wanted to get married?

CP: It was late summer/early fall of this year.

DB: It was kind of a process. You start in a close relationship, dating. There comes a point where you just know.

CP: We also lived together alone in Seattle this summer and that helped a lot.

DB: We figured if we could live together alone and it worked really well that it was probably a good thing.

What made you decide to take it to that level now?

CP: It was probably me.

DB: Christine came up with the idea first. I figure why would I want to wait if you feel the way we do, just to please other people? We’re kind of taking the middle road. Now that we’re engaged we’ll take our time doing whatever.

CP: Yeah, I guess we’ve heard both sides – why to wait and why to rush it and we’ve made the right decision for us.

How do you respond to criticisms that you’re getting married too young?

CP: I don’t think we’ve actually encountered that many people with criticisms. It’s mostly my siblings and my mom who are skeptical.

DB: My parents got married at 22 so it wasn’t a big issue in my family. Our friends have seen us together for two years.

CP: We are part of the statistic now: the Macalester stereotype.

Were your parents suprised when you told them?

CP: I think my parents were more suprised because they were married pretty late. They both immigrated from Korea and I’m the youngest of four. I have an older brother who’s just getting married and he’s 33. I guess he has the East Coast mentality of taking your time.

DB: My parents weren’t suprised. She has visited them about five times already and I think they expected it to happen.

What are your post-graduation plans?

CP: We have no idea. I just made the first round of the Fulbright scholorship to teach English in South Korea. I just found out last week. If I don’t get in we’ll probably just get jobs in the US, and he’ll go to grad school in a year or so.

DB: I’m planning on working for a year then going to grad school to study volcanos. The disadvantage of being engaged is that we have to decide all of these things together, but I think that our career choices are mutually compatible and we’re just going to have to make some compromises.

Do you know where you’d like to end up living?

CP: We’d like to end up on the West Coast. We like Seattle alot.

DB: That’s where all of the volcanos are.

Christine, do you like volcanos?

CP: I have no preference either way. I get sick of hearing about Geology, though.

DB: She’s a work in progress.

Are you currently living together?

CP: Yes we are.

Is it hard?

CP: No, it’s not hard, we live in a house with three other people.

DB: As far as learning how to live with someone that is hard. You need to figure it out and find your own space – we already figured it out.

So, do you guys have any Valentine’s Day plans?

DB: It’s funny you should mention that. Now that we’re engaged we feel less pressure about Valentine’s Day.

CP: We’re trying to save money with the engagement ring and stuff. We have reservations at Bella Note, but we may not go.

DB: We’re trying to keep up the tradition of doing things together as a couple on Valentine’s Day because we’re young and we are going to be together forever.

What do you think will be the hardest part about being married?

DB: We’re very different people – it’s going to be a negotiation for the rest of our lives

CP: Yeah, we’re very different people.

DB: I dress better now because of her and I will drag her to the end of the earth for volcanos. It’s pretty amazing to have someone there for you at all times – there’s a real power in our relationship.

What do you think will be the most fun part about being married?

CP: That we are so different.

DB: Just the fact that we know we’ll be together 20 years from now, that’s the best part.

CP:That’s cute, Dan.

Have you made any solid wedding plans?

CP: We don’t know just because of the money issues – we’ve talked about St. Paul or Santa Fe.

DB: Yeah, it depends on our money situation. It changes by the week. I think we’ll start planning it soon, but first we have to think about graduation.

CP: We’re not going to worry about deciding where the wedding will be because we don’t know where we ourselves will be next year.

You two seem to agree on a lot of things.

CP: We spend a lot of time with each other.

DB: In all honesty it was one of the most important things about making this commitment. We’ve been through our differences and are stronger than ever.

CP: Yeah. In my perspective we’re best friends, too, which makes it a lot easier.

Do you have any advice for other Macalester couples who are considering marriage?

CP: Live together before you decide.

DB: Yeah, definitley live together. To put it bluntly-it makes you realize if it’s for real.

CP: You’re very serious today, sweetie.

Would you ever consider eloping in Las Vegas?

CP: I’ve always said I’ve wanted to elope or have a big wedding, but nothing in between.

DB: We sit around and think about having a big wedding how expensive it will be and then we just want to elope.

Do you have a lot of money concerns?

CP: Yeah.

DB: We want different things. Money has probably been our biggest source of conflict. Or how we spend it.

CP: I enjoy the shopping.

DB: And I enjoy the traveling – both are expensive.

CP: We both have loans to pay off and the engagement ring was expensive.

There’s been a lot of talk about the ring. Did you ever consider using one out of a cracker jacks box?

CP: No. I was a bitch about it, I kept whining…

DB: She did whine about it, and it drove me up the wall. Now she has it and I just have to pay it off.

CP: It was my suggestion to go look at rings together in November. We always went in together, but I picked it out.

DB: She had final say because she has to wear it, and we have very different senses of style. But we both wanted the ring as a symbol of our love and commitment.

When did you start using “we” as opposed to “I”?

CP: Probably about a year ago. I don’t even notice that I say “we.” I don’t notice it at all, sorry.

DB: I use it all the time now because when I think of my future it’s with her.