By definition, I consider myself a romantic, but a very specific breed of such -- I am a cliche-hating romantic. I don't believe that there is one specific person out there for everyone, I don't believe in love at first sight, and I promise you that if my future boyfriend/fiancee/husband/whatever chooses to propose to me on Valentine's Day, I will punch him in the face and say no, try again in a week. That is a guarantee. Don't test me, because I will do it, I promise.
That being said, there is something about Christine and her boyfriend Rex that makes me wonder about my staunch stances on such things. Not the Valentine's Day proposal [nothing will ever change my mind about that], but about the concept of soul mates, people born to be together.
I can't quite put my finger on it. The way he treats her, the weird sense of humor that they share, their commonalities and their differences -- it all adds up into being a really beautiful picture of young love. They are real and they are not perfect, but they are better together and they find their strength in their bond. What's more, they have fun together... a lot of it. I've been there -- I've seen it. I don't always understand why the activity of choice is fun, per se [rat birthday party, anyone?], but Christine and Rex have a pretty contagious enthusiasm for life.
To be concise, they are the couple with whom nobody is the third wheel, and as the perennially single girl tagging along with coupled off friends, let me tell you: This. Is. A. Rarity.
Needless to say then, when Rex asked me to help him think of a plan to propose, I died a little bit from excitement. I mean, I've only been waiting for this moment, my entire life -- to be a small part of one of the most important, special moments in one of my best friends' lives??!??! I could probably bounce a couple ideas around, sure...
And so we talked and talked and planned and planned and made phone calls and visited locations and finally, the genius ideas were in place and all that was left to do was to keep it a surprise. This wasn't easy when Christine knew that I knew, and therefore pinned me down on the couch one day, demanding to know what was going on, but at that point I just laughed. I'm so sure. As if I would tell her anything about this.
See, here's the thing: Christine and I have known each other forever. Quite literally, we grew up together at Calvary, at Heritage, at KAMSC...birthday parties, field trips, school changes, lab practicals, graduation, college nightmares and triumphs, breakups, health scares, family issues -- we've been through a lot together. So you'd think that we might have photographic evidence of this...except we don't. Christine and I had one picture together since second grade, and it wasn't even cute. It was obnoxious.
See? Oh gross. I can't believe I'm putting this on here. We were sitting in my car in Christine's driveway. This was the day before I left for Brazil, and by the time that I got home, Christine was already going to be at State for school. Effectively, we wouldn't see each other again until Christmas...so we took this picture?? My 18-year-old mind baffles me. And I needed to cut my hair. Anyway. I digress.
Since neither of us particularly like this picture, we always talk about how we need to take pictures together...and then proceed not to. My 20-year-old mind baffles me too, sometimes.
Luckily for us, my Aunt Nan is an amateur photographer, and she's always willing to indulge her favorite niece's borderline narcissism. I told Christine that Aunt Nan wanted to work with more than one individual at a time in a more urban setting than my front yard, just to beef up her "portfolio" and expand her skill set. What Christine didn't know was that it was all part of the mastermind plan and that Aunt Nan was in on the whole thing. Oh no. Christine had no idea what was about to happen.
So we went downtown and took roughly 13 billion pictures. Needless to say, it was awesome and Christine and I got some vastly improved pictures together.
Thank you, Jesus and Aunt Nan, for making this possible.
After a while, at a seemingly random and yet perfectly orchestrated, predetermined time, the three of us headed back to Bronson Park. As we walked up the sidewalk towards the fountain, her family casually ambled out from behind it and sat down on a bench. Christine didn't see them though. She was distracted.
What Rex could possibly be doing in the middle of this beautiful park with a bouquet of flowers is beyond me. I mean, you'd think he was proposing or something!! But, no, Christine still didn't pick up on what was going on.
I think she's starting to catch on...
Halfway through Rex's romantic speech, Christine finally figured out what was happening.
And then this happened...
I'll give you one guess as to what her answer was.
To say "Mission Accomplished" might be a bit out of place here, considering I was only a small accomplice, and yet...that's all I can think of. One of my best friends is getting married, and I am thrilled that I got to be a part of her proposal story. Congratulations, Christine and Rex! I love you both and I am so excited for your future together. It's going to be beautiful, just like you.
Oh, and don't worry. I promise to be the best Maid of Honor in history.