I am working as a lowly Bus Boy in an outdoor food court at the much ballyhooed Ameriflop ( better known as Ameriflora). One of the food stands was managed by an Asian Beauty and she was waaaaaay out of my league.
One evening after the park closed, I heard someone singing with the radio and knew I had to meet her. So the very next day I approached the Asian Beauty (AB) and came up with what has to be the worlds’ worst intro (by rights, I should still be single to this day):
Me: You know, every time I see you, you’re doing paperwork.
AB: --actually she said nothing but her expression was yelling ‘No, Shit!’
After that auspicious beginning, I had my opening. Within a few weeks I was reading papers she saved for me and because she was busy (and I was dirt poor) I was enjoying free lunches, her treat. Yep, things were moving right along. I just had to get her past that little mental block called ‘Current Boyfriend’.
By the end of June we had our first date! I decided about then that she was THE ONE! Of course I had the problem of trying to convince AB that almost two months into our ‘relationship’ it was time to tie the knot. But there was still time, after all Ameriflora was a summer festival.
By the time summer was ending, AB was packing to go overseas, to the Netherlands. Thus endeth our relationship (or so I thought). After all, how many couples last with long distance relationships? Dating was difficult enough when we lived in the same city. There had to be an answer. And there was. It was time to propose, before she left Europe and went back home to the Philippines. So I picked up the phone:
Me: …blah blah blah…Hey, if I were to propose do you think you’d say yes?
AB: …Oh sure!!…
OH YES! I am engaged (insert white boy happy dance)! All I need to do now is get the ring, send it to her and plan the wedding!! Oh, and find the time to let AB know we were going to start a family together!
Folks if you thought I was skating by on a wing and a prayer up until now…
After purchasing a ring, I had to find a relatively safe manner in which to have it delivered. I considered several options and settled on the USPS. Yep, the Postal Service was to take my heart and soul overseas and deliver it to AB.
Of course I could not just package the ring in a standard jewelry box. That would be too obvious (although I did list it on the insurance section of the overseas voucher—just in case). So, seeing as how I was one of those individuals that put the red into Redneck thus knowing that duct tape is a handyman’s secret weapon, I wrapped the ring in cardboard and secured it with duct tape and then wrapped the entire mess with an old, ragged T-shirt. To make certain that if I failed to flush the engagement before it happened, I also sent a 15 page missive dealing with the every day mundane, including waiting to mention the ring with a brief sentence somewhere on page 12.
AB upon receipt did the following:
a- ignored the insurance claimer on a ring (Surprise still intact!)
b- pulled the letter out of the envelope and started to read
c- tossed the duct taped cardboard into the nearest trash bin
d- vaguely wondered why I sent a ragged T-Shirt and had it wrapped around a bunch of cardboard.
After picking up the letter, AB left to catch a bus and as she neared the bus stop read something like ‘So what did you think of the ring?’. A brief frantic search found no ring. AB had to ask, ‘Did it fall out of the envelope? ‘What was it in?’ ‘No! He didn’t—He wouldn’t? He put it in the cardboard?’
I have to believe most sane people would have left and said, ‘SEE YOU LATER, FOOL!’ But AB went back and retrieved the ring! Of course she had to dig it out of the communal trash bin (mostly paper)!
Any who, 12 years and two kids later our marriage is still going strong and is just as full of laughs now as (ahem) 'we' had then!
Saturday, August 19, 2006