[She decided it was best taking a picture with me looking directly at the sun. Which is just insane, since I abhor the outside world.]
Guy Version of this post: She’s hot and young, I am neither.
Girl Version: After the jump.
It will always be astonishing to those who know me that I have a GF who loves me. I really am a pain in the ass at times, and curmudgeonly and a hermit to boot. It’s actually even more amazing that Caroline and I made it out of the first weekend.
So, a little background… Two years ago Caro left a comment at The Sniper on a post I authored. As usual, when someone comments, I followed her back to her home at the USO Girls blog and sent her a message. Typical guy, I was essentially hitting on her, and more remarkably, it worked. Pretty soon we were “internet engaged.”
Although I hate the phone, Caro and I started talking just about every day. Finally we got our opportunity to meet in real life, at the Milblog convention in Vegas. I knew I needed a wingman, so I recruited my buddy T2 who lives in Reno to fill that role. He’s happily married, so I knew he would keep me on the even keel. Caro’s and my first date(s) was/were a textbook example of what not to do.
For starters, she had agreed before hand that I would get a kiss. Awesome, right? So, we meet and I am TOTALLY into her, and the typical self-doubts start to intrude. So, when she left with Jaime to go get ready for the Milblog dinner, I sent her a text message: Am I still going to get that kiss?
Now, on the scale of sheer pathetic-ness (not really a word), I suppose this could have been worse. I could have slipped her a note to check yes or no, or skipped that entirely and just pulled her hair. Either way, I couldn’t work up the nerve to ask her in person, so a text seemed a good idea. Right up until she ignored me. (I would find out several months later that she in fact did reply with a yes, but she did it in an elevator, and it never sent.)
So anyway, an hour later she comes down, and I’m sitting there being the big baby I am with a pouting lower lip, and we start playing video poker. Now, Jaime doesn’t know how to play, and she did something that she shouldn’t have, like hit on 20 or something. So I call her a “big dummy.” This is another thing to be avoided assiduously. I doubt it is ever a good move. I then got berated for using my “mean East Coast words.”
As we went out to dinner, I proceeded repeatedly to violate rule #3 of dating: I used the wrong name for her the entire weekend. Women tend to be forgiving creatures. One exception I have found is using the wrong name. Calling her “Carolyn” repeatedly (to the extent that even T2 was calling me a dumbass and telling me to remain silent) was probably a bad call. I eventually resolved this by pausing before saying her name and singing Neil Diamond in my head. “So [bum bum bum, sweet] Caroline, we going out to dinner tonight?”
At some point during this reception thing, I started to feel sick. Like, real sick. I think I got food poisoning. So I was going to retreat to my room, but made plans to meet Caro later. And we did get to see each other later that night, only 3 hours later than we had planned. Seems she and Jaime and Lt Nixon went out to Hooters, and danced the night away. Not relevant either way, but at some point Jaime and Caro got separated, and each lost the other. So, around 11pm Caro shows up to see me, and she is sobbing because “Jaime and I broke up.” Now, you’ll remember that I wasn’t feeling well. And because Caro and Jaime are fighting, she felt this was a good time to jump up into my lap, presumably so I could make her feel better. Well, between the bony ass she has (she literally has butt bones that are like Ginsu’s, they can cut through my leg and then a tomato), and my stomach being very queezy, not only did I get a bruised leg out of this, but she set off another round of projectile vomiting.
Now, I bring all this ancient history up because I pretty much knew after that that that Caro and I would one day be married. If you can make it out of a weekend of disasters and still dig each other, you’re probably good to go. I just sort of knew. And despite all the teasing and such, I’ve never been reticent to tell her of my optimism regarding us either. I would have probably married her earlier, but at the time I was in a lot of transition, with my job, moving etc, and she deserves only the best in life. Now those issues have been resolved.
My favorite book of all time is Cyrano de Bergerac. And there is a passage in there that has always been in my opinion the greatest ever written:
And what is a kiss, when all is done?
A promise given under a seal — a vow
Taken before the shrine of memory
A signature acknowledged — a rosy dot
Over the i of Loving — a secret whispered
To listening lips apart — a moment made
Immortal, with a rush of wings unseen —
A sacrament of blossoms, a new song
Sung by two hearts to an old simple tune —
The ring of one horizon around two souls
Together, all alone!
When Caro and I finally kissed that night, I made that promise. I knew I wanted to be with her for the rest of my life. But, at some point it takes more of a promise than a mere kiss, and that time has come. So, this weekend I will be flying down to Dallas to ask her to marry me.
Actually, I already flew down. And as you are reading this, so is she, as she sits in the USO center with her friends and me standing awkwardly behind her. So, Caro, if you think you’d like to take this idiot guy who loves you with all his heart, now would be a good time to turn around and tell me so.