How We Started, Parte The Red Sea, I mean, The Seconde


When we last left our hapless hairy hero, (That’d be ME) he was very confused.  Then it got worse.  We were all set to move in November 1st.  So, Halloween(one of the most important days on my calendar) I get directions to go to this alleged Jewelry Factory.  So, the woman on the phone tells me to come up the turnpike, go here, go there, and then turn on the road, and I can’t miss it.

I spent three and a half hours on the road, The Best Of Sting And The Police in the CD player.  I never found it.  Now, I was PLANNING on proposing that night.  All kinds of stupid things are running through my head.  I go home after filling my ’82 Fifth Avenue with gas, walk in, Mom’s all excited and then visibly deflates when I tell her I can’t FIND the stupid place.  Now, the plan was, I give Stace the ring before we go trick or treating with her nephew.  (Dreaded that for reasons I’ll go into some OTHER time….)  Now, the plan was I’d call Stace when I got back.  Well, all three of us, me, Mom, Dad, we all decide to go look for the place.  Great.  We get in, we go, we turn on the stupid road, no sign of it.  We turn around on the road, get to the bottom where we turned initially, and over across the street is the stupid jewelry store.  They never TOLD me that once I turn on the road STOP BECAUSE WE’LL BE BEHIND YOU LIKE A ROMERO ZOMBIE COMING TO EAT YOUR BRAIN!! 

Brief interlude time.  We had a creek in the backyard.  The one year, after Halloween and Thanksgiving, Dad and I decided to get rid of the pumpkins Mom had on a moldering hay bale near our outside lamp post.  We picked up the two big ones and the two little ones to throw them into the woods across the creek.  The two little ones sailed like little orange baseballs.  I chuck my Great Pumpkin wannabe across, it splatters on the ground across the creek.  Dad throws his, which was smaller.  It splashes into the creek. 

“Mine was heavier.”  He shrugs, as though that explains it all.

“Heavier?” I say, the ubiquitous smirk raising my lip.

He nods.  “Heavier.” 

From then on, at random intervals, we’d look at each other, one would say, “Heavier.”  The response would be, of course, “Heavier.” 

So, we find the place, park, walk across the street.  I look heavenward, then shake my head.  Dad nods, saying “Heavier.”

“Heavier,” I respond on cue.  Not at ALL how I planned this stupid day. 

We find the right mount, we find the stone that’ll fit both it and my budget.  It makes the first one I bought look like the cheap piece of pressurized coal that it was.  The woman asks if I know the size, I give it to her supremely confident in my information.

Of course, by this point, I was so elated to actually be doing this that the whole “Turn on the street and you can’t miss it” thing.  In D&D terms, intelligence of 16, wisdom of 2.  See, I was supposed to call Stace right then.  I didn’t think it’d take THIS long.  This was ’99, cell phones still needed small tribes of pygmies underneath them to carry the battery and larger tribes to carry the bill.  So, I wait, finally, after about 45 years, er, minutes, I have the ring in a little Ziploc bag and a box to put it in.  My plan is to call Stace as soon as we got home.

The red light on the answering machine was blinking in Morse code–CALL YOUR FUTURE WIFE YOU STUPID JERK YOU’RE IN TROOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!

Really.  It did.  I counted the e’s.  So, I go upstairs, call her, she’s mad.  I tell her I had to get the ring before we moved in together and it was supposed to be a surprise even though she knew about it and this that and the other thing all while rewinding THE TAPE. 

See, even in my pre-CSB days, I was kind of video editing.  We were getting engaged.  ENGAGEd.  So, to pop the question in true me style, I put together a compliation video of Trek people saying “engage.”  Throw in a couple scenes from Braveheart, Highlander, and end it with the Proclaimers’ Don’t Turn Out Like Your Mother.  Romantic as hell. 

So, Stace is yelling at me, and I come up with the perfect plan.  I tell her there was a delay at the stupid friggin’ jewelry store and that we couldn’t get the ring until a week later.   While I was holding the ring.  “Yeah, this’ll be cool.”  Finally, I say, “All right, I’ll just come get you, we’ll talk about it then.”  I get off the phone, tell Mom and Dad what I’m gonna do, then go down with the ring in my pocket.  Get to her stepfather’s place, her mother opens the door, makes some annoying comment about me being in trouble.  Then I show her the ring an tell her the plan.  Stace gets back from taking the brat, I mean, her sister and her sister’s son trick or treating, we go back up to my parents’ place.  I promise to call next time, and so on, whatever.  So, we get to the house, I drag Stace up to my room, tell her “Well, even though I can’t get you the ring, I might as well show ya what I made.”  Put the tape on, she watches it, sighs, gets gushy, cracks up at the Proclaimers. 

“Whattaya think?” I ask, nonchalant.

“I liked it.  I liked it a lot.”  She leans back on the bed.  I pull the open ring box(minus the Ziploc bag) out.

“Then you’re gonna love this.”  Eyes get big, arms get thrown around my neck, breath gets cut off for fifteen, twenty minutes.  I remember seeing a tunnel…

I put the ring on her finger, ask the unavoidable and at this point unnecessary question, and—

The ring falls off.  It’s at LEAST a size too big.  At LEAST. 

“That wasn’t supposed to happen,” I said,picking it up.

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~ by Sean on September 23, 2008.

One Response to “How We Started, Parte The Red Sea, I mean, The Seconde”

  1. Wait… You didn’t finish the story? But… But… But… How are we to know whether or not you got the girl? Damn this suspense!!!

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