Our Engagement Story, Part I of II

ow that I have amassed a legion of over 10,000* daily readers here at All Things ‘Zilla, I figured it was high time I regaled you all with the story of our engagement. So gather ’round, young men and women of the Internet, find a comfortable chair, grab a beverage of your choosing, and set your moods to “engrossed.”

*Actual daily readership unverified as of yet.

They're WRAPPED IN BACON. Hello delicious!

On Super Bowl Sunday of this year, Jessica and I spent most of the day up at my good friend John’s house up in the Berkeley Hills. John has a basement that he converted in a cinema room, with a huge homemade screen (9 feet!) and an HD projector, a leather couch, and an unending supply of ice-cold Diet Pepsis, affectionately called DiPes by him and his loyal patrons. As he did the year before, John decided to throw a Superbowl party, an orgy of football and beer and food; he made his now-legendary baked bacon-wrapped jalapeno poppers, while his wife Lupe taught Jessica her recipes for salsa (both pico de gallo and chipotle), guacamole, and taquitos. I made our friend Matt’s indescribably addictive double-triple-chocolate cookies, and a pan of cinnamon rolls. I ate more taquitos than I ever imagined could fit inside a human stomach, paid loose attention to the game, and generally had a great time.

When we got home, we were idling around the house, getting ready for bed, when talk turned to children. Jessica wants three, I’m more into two, which probably coincides with the amount of kids we each grew up with in our families. Curiously, though we both were pretty certain we’d found “The One,” we’d never directly spoken about marriage, even though we’d made numerous allusions to spending our lives together, in perfect harmony with nature. Minus the harmony of nature part.

After a long pause, Jessica said in her quietest voice: “Isn’t there… something we should do before we have kids?”

“Well sure, if you want to be all lame and old-fashioned about it,” I answered. No – scratch that. What I actually said was, after a bit of fumbling around for the words, “Like… get married?”

Red cheeks and awkward laughter ensued, while we tripped happily over this huge thing that we’d somehow managed to avoid talking about for two and a half years. It kind of went down like this the first time we exchanged I love you’s, too, which incidentally also happened the evening of a major sporting event* – that’s how we roll. We will probably decide to have our first child the night the A’s win the World Series in 2013, which is totally going to happen.

Me, post-game, contemplating how to talk about my feelings

*[It was the night my adult co-ed Berkeley League softball team, The Clutch, won our first and only league championship by destroying our opponent something like 17-3. I hit a home run in the game. We’d suffered through years of futility before finally putting together a team that made the other adult co-ed Berkeley League teams wobbly in the knees and chattery in the teeth. It will be talked about for seasons to come, I am sure.]

That was the first time we ever discussed, in earnest, getting married to each other, and it was as exciting as it was terrifying. Playing the role of “clueless dude,” I eventually asked her:

“So… does this mean we’re engaged?”

She laughed, patted my head semi-condescendingly, and said, “No, not yet! We should get engaged for real!” She hinted that I should take the time to find her an engagement ring, sans the diamond,  and we agreed upon finding a more suitable time and place to actually get engaged. It was then that we decided on a secret engagement, or as the Germans routinely call it, a geheime Verpflichtung.

Happily, it turned out that our spring breaks were going to be the same week, about a month and a half off, and we decided to spend a little time in Mendocino at the Headlands Inn (where we’d been to once before) and get engaged, but for reals. We booked a night at the Inn, breathed deeply, and set about living our lives while concealing our terrible, haunting secret.

Here’s a little preview of Part II:

Her name is Monique and yes, she's a donkey. Actually, she's what's known as a "miniature donkey." There's a minature donkey involved in our engagement story.

Tune in tomorrow or possibly a day or two later for the thrilling conclusion of “Our Engagement Story,” starring me, Jessica, two miniature donkeys named Heidi and Monique, a giant chess set, some rabbits, a clothes-optional hot tub, and three giants all named Boris.*

*One of these is a lie. Find out which by reading part II!


6 responses to “Our Engagement Story, Part I of II

  1. Mary C. Jorgensen

    I’ve just fallen in love with Bret and Jessica.

  2. Did you know that your blog entry is now the first result when you google “geheime Verpflichtung.”!!??!! Also, the first two German to English translation websites I checked returned “secret obligation” and “secret commitment.” Awesome.

  3. I know, it’s been such an obligation. Like, “jeez, I’m STILL engaged to be married? What an obligation! Not to mention a commitment.”

  4. its an awesome blog its your friend Seamus

  5. i love it its your friend Seamus

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