If you'd asked anyone 26 months ago where I would be today, Colombia it would not be. If you had asked me 2 years and 2 months ago where I would be today, Asia, would be the best guess. In October 2008, I would not be able to tell you much about where I was going to be, who I had become, what I was going to do next. But, I would be able to tell you to not be surprised, anything really could happen, right?
That is life...I would say. Just see where the road takes me...I would say. Who knows, anything can happen...I would say. Maybe I'll be engaged...I would not say. Despite a categorical denial of the later, it does fit within the lack of confines of the formers. Life takes to you amazing unknown places, roads travelled invite you into the lives of many, anything really can happen.
And so it is today, for those of you still watching, still reading, still listening, still following me down these unknown roads, we announce officially our engagement and invite you to continue the journey with us through whatever lies ahead.
Wait? What? Who? Followed by...Congratulations! In advance, thank you for those warm thoughts. For those out of the loop, the "who" is Andrea and Brendon. The "what" was just explained. And the "wait" well...its okay to be surprised. The next question is typically...How?
Its two parts actually...how did the engagement go down? Usually asked by girls. And, how did you meet? Usually asked by everyone. A few days ago while in New York our friend Mark asked if it was in a bar. Perhaps many of you assume the same. Andrea the other day told me if she had met me in a bar or a club, we would not be together today. I'll give her that, its quite doubtful for many reasons and oh, I agree.
So here goes, I'll try to tell the short version. Tom, a sort of friend from spanish school, was visiting us in Bogotá last year October. Sort of, because I threw him in front of a car once in Guatemala and for some reason he held that against me. But David never did that so he was visiting David and I was...there. After we worked out the insurance details, we went out on a Friday night to celebrate his arrival and celebrate we did. Before memories were lost, we took Tom to our favorite bar where everyone knew our name. Unsurprisingly, if you know Tom, he already knew a girl there. Coffee date was setup for tomorrow and we went on our merry merry way, meeting more and more girls throughout the night. Tom that is. He ended up with no less than 3 dates for the weekend.
Arriving home at 5am in the morning typically means once you wake up and the world stops moving, you order pizza delivery, drink a gallon of water, soda, anything except what you had the night before. You don't move, you don't go on dates, you watch television you Tivo-ed specifically for this hungover occasion. Not Tom. He comes over about 11 am to let you know you have been invited to join him on a double-half blind date. Noooooo is your first response. Come back in a few hours is your second. Once you realize who Tom is and that you know the girl a little and her friends too, you start to feel pre-sorry for her.
Why? Tom is a character, lets just leave it at that. He does also have character, but that's another story too. Begrudgingly I force myself into attendance for the sake of keeping up our reputation where everyone knows our names and we arrive a less-than-comfortable 45 minutes late. Andrea is beautiful, I look like shit. Somehow it all works out.
This is getting long but you can tough it out because I know you still want to know the last part of the story and answer for yourself whether Brendon is a romantic or not. To be decided...
Fontana di Trevi, Rome, Italy. I asked Andrea to repeat to me all the ways we've learned to how say I Love You over the past few months. Ich Liebe Dich in Germany, Ti Amo in Italian, I Love You in English, Te Amo in Espanish. After fumbling in my pocket for what seemed like forever while she repeats these, I finally have it in my hand. No knee, no need, I am sitting on the rocks, she is starring at the make your wish come true fountain. Poor practice planning or practically great memory, I next repeat the following line I'd Googled only a few hours earlier: "Vas a pasar todo el tiempo de tu vida conmigo?" Will you spend the rest of your life with me? as I open my hand for the ring and myself to breathe. "Whaaaaat?" are literally the first words out of her mouth so I assume my translation failed. "Will you marry me?" in recovery mode is followed by "Of cooooourse!" She was just surprised she says later in excuse for the what?! and that I did ask correctly.
Later we arrived at dinner with her family. Earlier we'd celebrated a nice vow renewal ceremony at a Catholic Church in Rome for her parents who were in Europe for their 25th wedding anniversary. After the kind and thankful words of her parents for the wonderful ceremony, travel arrangements, and etc., and a quick chug of the first glass of wine, I made my own little speech announcing the "big news". Mom cried of course, Dad and Brother were proud and congratulatory. We were...relieved.
So that's it. Yes there are always some details left out, but you get the gist. For the final question, the plan non-official until the spaces are reserved, is to wed in May 2012, Memorial Day Week/End, in Cartagena, Colombia. Stay in touch for all the fun, exciting details of what we have in store. It will be the biggest party I, err...I mean WE have ever planned!