Thirteen years ago today I proposed to my wife, the then-Kristine Blauser, in my newspaper column in the Fresno Bee. It was one day before the first anniversary of our first official date; we got married one day and two years after our first official date. If you add that up you’ll note that this means we have a three-day anniversary festival every year. This comes in handy; for example, this year, when Krissy and I are going out and about tonight to celebrate our life together. Go us.
I can’t remember the last time I posted the column in which I proposed to Krissy, so I’m posting it here behind the cut, so those of you who want to avoid the schmoopy-moopyness (or alternately, the terror that was me as a 24-year-old newspaper columnist) can do so. But personally, I still like the column, both for what it says, and for the fact that I got to propose to my wife in front of a couple hundred thousand people, which is a nice trick if you can get away with it.
Well, my girlfriend, Krissy, and I are celebrating an anniversary. One year ago tomorrow, she and I went on our first official date: June 16, 1993. Don’t congratulate me for remembering. The reason I remembered is because I got my credit card statement from our first date exactly one month later. This allowed me to say to Krissy that night, “Hey, we’ve been dating for a month. Let’s celebrate.” The idea went over well, so I’ve been keeping track of the date ever since.
Of course, our first date was not the first time we met. We met three weeks earlier, while I was doing a story about a local disc jockey named Julie Logan. In addition to her regular duties on the air, Julie also hosted a dance party at a bar, so I went and watched her do her thing.
At some point in the evening, I decided that my story would not possibly be complete unless I tested the mood on the dance floor. So, for purely work-related reasons, I got out there and presented a distinctive style of dance that a number of my so-called friends call the “spastic chicken.”
Unbeknownst to me, from across a crowded room, Krissy spied me and said to herself, “What an interesting and amusing dance style. We must dance sometime soon.” We did. As it turns out, she dances exactly the way I do. Imagine, if you will, two spastic chickens jerking around this club. If Frank Perdue were in the room, he’d have had a fit.
At the end of the night, I gave Krissy my business card and told her to give me a call sometime. For this I was mocked by my so-called friends, but it made sense to me. I mean, why would this girl give me her phone number? Just because someone dances the same way you dance doesn’t mean he’s not, in fact, a vicious ax murderer. I’m not (not that they can prove, anyway), but even so. Also, the number on the card was my business number, so if it turned out she was the psycho, she couldn’t track me to my home.
I didn’t hear from her again for nearly three weeks. This made me paranoid: Maybe I’d given her someone else’s card. It was possible; I keep other people’s business cards in my wallet with my own. My own theory about dates is that there are a finite number of them in the universe. If I gave her someone else’s card, someone else might be having the date that I was supposed to have. Now, I know this makes no sense. It’s just how I think. (Like you don’t have any weird theories.) As it turns out, Krissy finally got in touch with me and, one year ago, we had our first date.
I don’t know that I can fully explain how having Krissy in my life has changed the way I look at the world. Perhaps the best way would be to explain that, nowadays, my life is conveniently separable into two categories: Before Krissy and With Krissy.
The Before part is in the past tense, a 24-year development period in which I gained the skills (grasping utensils, managing speech, learning to dance like a spastic chicken) that would allow me to be presentable to Krissy when we met. As for everything With Krissy, well, that’s just starting.
I don’t know when Krissy and I started talking about getting married, but we did. Still, we’ve always hedged our bets. Every time we’ve talked about marriage, the future, kids and so on, I’ve always said, “Not that I’ve proposed.” To which she would say, “Not that I’ve said yes.”
Well, I’m proposing now.
Kristine Ann Blauser, will you marry me?
Yes, that’s right, readers, I’ve just proposed to my girlfriend. Really. I thought you’d like to be in on the moment.
Also, this makes it extremely difficult to back out. Not that I want to; I’ve bought a ring and everything. It’s very nice. You should see it.
But more importantly, I love Krissy so much that I want as many people as possible to know about it.
This year has been the best year of my life. I hope to have 50 or 60 more just like it.