I’m Engaged! How Did That Happen?


The Dude on the Right

I must say that at 42 years old, after not having a serious girlfriend in just about forever, and even having some cousins thinking I was gay, it is both exciting and scary as hell to tell people I am engaged, as a new chapter in the book of my life started last Sunday when I asked my BFF to marry me. The thing is, at the time I asked, as much as I was 99.9% sure of her answer, that 0.1% is the reason for being scared to death she just might say no, or request conditions for our getting married, or say she wasn’t ready, or say anything but a simple “Yes,” thus leaving the experience, in my eyes, as a total failure. Happily she said “Yes,” she cried, I got weepy, and we went to go see “Star Trek.” My God that woman loves me, and no, she didn’t dress like Uhura, and I didn’t dress like Spock.

Looking back, though, over the past year, or I suppose I should say past 20+ years, it still amazes me how this is all coming together. Why? Because so many things had to happen for us to re-find each other. You see, I met my BFF back in high school. I was a senior and she came in as a new junior, transferred from this mystical city of Chicago because her dad ended up relocating to the Cleveland area for work. Somehow she was interested in drama, I was a member of the drama club, and we both took a school trip to New York City where a simple song played during the trip would always remind me of her. Over that year in high school I would say we became friendly, but not friends, as I ended up being focused on going off to college, in all places, Chicago, and besides, she was a junior and I was a mighty senior. As time went on I would remember her for one reason or another, and even one year, one of those high school alumni directories came out and I noticed she was living in Chicago at the time, but never really thought to reach out to her (hell, how creepy would that phone call be: "Umm, hello? I don’t know if you remember me, but I noticed you in the newly published high school alumni directory and just wondered how you were."), and the years went by.

Me, I went from this job to that job, totally putting my Aerospace Engineering degree to no use whatsoever, living in the Chicago area, finally finding myself in a western suburb, and she, well, she became a world traveler, working in various countries, but then finding herself back in Chicago.

Then, one night, a little over a year ago, I heard a song, the same song that always reminded me of her, and I entered Google stalker mode. Low and behold there she was, and I did what may well be one of the smartest decisions I have ever made: I sent her an e-mail. The strangest part – She e-mailed me back! An e-mail here, an e-mail there, we decided to meet, and then, wouldn’t you know it, 20+ years after we met in high school we fell in love, I found my best friend, and I also found the only person that has ever made me not care about all of my stuff. Sure, I’m leaving out a few details of our past year together, of our 20+ years apart, but hey, if Oprah wants to know I suppose we’d be happy to be guests on her show. Even some things, for me, I like to leave private, and I’m guessing she wants to, too.

And so I must now just focus on being happy because if I think about even some of the things that needed to happen for us to be together, it would be mind-boggling. I mean, if her dad never ended up in Cleveland for work; if I didn’t come to Chicago for college, if I actually used my engineering degree I probably wouldn’t be living here; if she didn’t find a place in Chicago; if I had called her years ago and she thought I was creepy; if I hated dogs; if one of us didn’t take that trip to New York City in high school; if I had won the Mega-Millions; if I weren’t a Google stalker, and for that matter, if the dudes at Google never made Google, well, I would still be loving all of my stuff instead of being in love with my BFF, being engaged, and looking forward to merging the individual books of our lives into a new volume devoted to us.

I guess such is life. Happily, such is love.

That’s it for this one! 
I’m The Dude on the Right!!   L8R!!!