|Prepare yourself, reader, for another pulse-pounding episode of...|
The Summer of 1997 was a special one for me. I saw the mindnumbingly bad Batman & Robin, I started work at the hodgepodge of 2x4's that became the Wild Wild Web offices, and I got my very own "cease and desist" letter from Spelling Entertainment. I also met the woman who is now my wife. (Hello, Judy!)
Judy and I immediately hit it off. Even though we met in Boston, we're New Yorkers by nature, and we share many interests and a warped sense of humor. Hey, I knew we were on the right track when, for our second date, she happily agreed to see the giant bug movie, Mimic. That's my kind of woman! When we walk into a video store and pass by the Action/Adventure films, she says, "This is my favorite section." She also likes Melrose Place and says she would have stopped watching had it not been for my goofy Recaps. That's in addition to her stunning good looks and charm. Ah, amoré!
On the flip side, I earned major points with my kindness, humor, compassion, intelligence, and -- above all -- my humility. She was also delighted whenever I sent her flowers. [Special note to the guys of this world: What is it with you nimrods? Doesn't anyone send flowers anymore? I'm always stunned when I hear women tell me they never get flowers from their respective boyfriends/husbands/goats. Get with the program and get romantic. Nuff said.] She even helped me research a humor piece I wrote on handbags for the Wild Wild Web site -- an enlightening experience!
Toward the end of February, I knew that Judy was the woman I wanted to marry. But how to pop The Question? I had to banish Melrosian images of "Daah, Alison Pahker, will ya marry me?" (Begone, Andrew Shue, begone!) "Ah ha," I thought. "I'll take her to the observation deck of Boston's John Hancock Tower and propose there!" I casually suggested that we take a walk through downtown Boston on Sunday, March 1, to celebrate our six-month anniversary. "Perhaps we could go up to the John Hancock Tower?" "Oh, I've never been there," she said. Excellent! The Master Plan was in effect!
Upon reaching the middle of Boston on that drab, cloudy March 1st, we saw that the top of the Hancock building was covered in fog! "Smeg!" I thought. "No observation deck today! I must switch to Plan B." Unfortunately, "Plan B" was something less than a plan. A vague notion, really. A passing fancy. A whim. All right, I admit it. I didn't know what the hell I was going to do. Propose to her that afternoon anyway? Wait for a sunny weekend? Shout my frustration to the gods over the foggy skies and get zapped by lightning? (From a cinematic standpoint, that would have been cool, but it would have put a damper on the rest of the day.)
We then went for a stroll through the mall at adjacent Copley Plaza. As we walked past the Tiffany's store, I said, "Hey, let's take a peek." I certainly wasn't thinking of buying an engagement ring there, so I don't know why I suggested that. Besides, if I did buy the ring from Tiffany's, Judy would have dumped me for being a financially dangerous madman. (Leave off the first part of that description, and you're set.) Anyhow, she spied a simple silver ring that caught her fancy, and she impulsively decided to buy it. She then put her new ring on the middle finger of her left hand. My mind raced in an irrational panic! "Uh, that's the finger next to the ring finger. Once I get the engagement ring, there'll be … a Ring Conflict!" Composing myself, we continued on to the adjoining mall at the Prudential Center, where I made my own impulse buy: a video of Pinky and the Brain cartoons.
Still unsure of what to do, I went back with Judy to her apartment, where we got dinner and watched some TV. [Later, Judy confessed that she found this strange, since I had earlier said I planned to do some work Sunday night.] We ate and I introduced her to the joys of Pinky and the Brain. ("Pinky, are you pondering what I'm pondering?" "Uh, I think so, Brain, but we'll never get a monkey to use dental floss.") The whole time, though, my thoughts continued to whirl and I began to sweat! I thought, "Do I pull the trigger or abort? Maybe I'll try again next week. No! I've made the emotional commitment today -- I'll go nuts if I have to wait a whole week! AARRRGHH!"
Taking a deep breath, I turned to her and said, "You know, if we had made it to the Hancock building, I was going to ask you a question." Her eyes, still focused ahead on the TV, suddenly widened in realization! I then slid off the couch, got down on one knee, took her hand, and did it. The response, I'm happy to say, was an immediate "Of course I'll marry you!"
And it was a busy year after that! We were married November 15, 1998 in New Jersey. The DJ at the reception wisely played The B-52's, Billy Idol, and Frank Sinatra. The dancing bears were also a success, despite the unfortunate mauling incident at the omelette station. Married life gets a thumbs-up!