Monday, March 17, 2008

The Play by Play

It's long, but it has a good ending, I promise!!

Thursday was an insane day.

It started with me two whole hours. This left me with an hour and a half to shower, get dressed, pack up my stuff, and get to Tufts, a drive that took me two hours in the morning rush hour traffic last time I was dumb enough to drive there. I was panicked, but I had to look good that day because Jam and I were going out to dinner at Taranta for restaurant week. EEK!

By some miracle I got out of the house in about 20 minutes, leaving only one hour and ten minutes to get to class. I pulled into the Tufts garage at 9:06 and ran to class, only to find the professor profoundly disorganized trying to set up a movie and half the class milling about. Phew! The movie helped me stay awake through class, then a trip to Dunkin Donuts between BSC and Plant Phys perked me up (no pun intended). After Plant Phys it was time to find a place to settle down where I could do some work and take a conference call. I found the Tower Cafe and settled on a big comfy couch, all by myself (most of the students had already left for spring break), and worked until 2pm, then dialed in for the conference call. Things were going fairly normally, until I wiped my dripping nose. My hand came away covered with blood. There I am in the cafe, laptop on lap, bluetooth in ear, cellphone in one hand, holding nose with the other....insanity! Luckily the girl sitting across from me noticed and ran to get me some napkins, something for which I have a distinct appreciation because a lot of students would not have been that nice!! After the call I said "f*ck it" to doing more work and decided to get on over to Babson so I could iron my clothes in Jam's room and then beat it to Boston for happy hour.

Happy Hour my A$$. I made it problem-free to Rt 30 in Weston, then hit a wall of traffic, most of which was trying to get on 128-S, exactly where I needed to be. No problem! I thought, I have a GPS, I can NEVER get LOST again! I take the ramp to Rt 30 which is backed up but only because of a pesky and particularly long traffic light. I'm soon on my way with the GPS directing me...til I realize it's taking me in a giant circle, trying to get me to go onto 128! Argh! I enabled highway avoidance and was once again on my merry way, til I hit a wall of traffic in Newton. Once again, I used the GPS to navigate around it (the route included a dirt road too. Good Lord.) and made it to Wellesley Center, but once there I realized that I should buy some deodorant. I had run out that morning and the drive had made me a wee bit sweaty, plus I'd need it the next day. I also figured I could use a new pair of stockings too. And chocolate. GPS to the rescue again! What I did not realize was that rush hour in the middle of Wellesley is like a 3-ringed circus on speed without the large pachyderms. Holy hell, the drivers were fiendish, the pedestrians completely oblivious to the traffic, and Allison more stressed by the minute. When I finally got to Rite Aid, I bought four Cadbury Cream Eggs (2 for me definitely, 2 supposedly for Jam, though I secretly hoped he'd let me have them. He did. Tee hee.).

When I arrived at Babson I was weary, but really in a good mood. Jam can attest to my moods after challenges with traffic - I tend to be really bitchy. But I had made it in one piece and I was REALLY excited about the restaurant we were going to. Taranta is in the North End (Italian district) and had great reviews and a fantastic restaurant week menu. It even had reviews saying it was a romantic date spot. Score!!! Of course, when the door to the executive center opened and a black man stepped out, I eagerly rushed toward him, thinking how sexy Jam looked in a tie. Suddenly I caught an accented voice speaking in rapid Creole on the phone. Sh8t. Put on my glasses. Not Jamaal, but a man looking at me puzzled. I smiled and backed away. Real Jamaal came out, also looking sexy, laughed at my mistake, and led me to his room. As I put my stuff down (and of course peed, because that is the first thing I do!) he was busy in the bedroom. When I came out of the bathroom he had some red roses. "This is to make up for the Valentine's Day flower disaster" he said. Awwrrr. We all know I was slightly immature about that, so I did appreciate it very much, though I told him he had already compensated with those amazing Lush soaps. He said he knew but wanted to give me flowers nonetheless. I put them in a cup of water, then we both started to get ready for the night out!

We headed out at 5:45 for a 7:30 reservation, with hopes of hitting up happy hour at the Ruby Room, where Jam and Amy and my friends all took me for my 23rd birthday. Madame GPS said I would arrive in town at 6:05. Score! Plenty of time! ahahahahh yeah, plenty of time unless they're fixing potholes on Rt. 9. Bitches!! We sat in traffic for a while, despite some aggressive driving (Jam just kept patting my knee saying "calm down, dear") and by the time we made it to Boston, the driving was equally as ugly, especially since the GPS sent us Storrow Drive (eeecchhh) which meant I took Rt. 9 all the way to Storrow, hitting someone's tailgate with my mirror on the way in (if you're reading this, person I hit, I know your car wasn't damaged, and that's why I didn't stop. please don't sue me!!) Then once we finally made it into Hanover Street, there was no parking....and don't get me wrong, I did not expect to be able to park in the North End, I'm not that dense, but I didn't expect to be trapped going one way and not able to take a left onto the streets with the big garages. Finally I got so pissed I parked in the Government Center garage. There were supposed to be valets, but they had disappeared, so I was left to find a spot where I wouldn't be blocked in. There was much flipping out on my part. As usual, Jam was his calm self. When we couldn't get out using the elevator, I kind of FREAKED OUT and stomped out of the garage in my four inch heels and started making my way to the restaurant. Jam sort of followed in this "my girlfriend is crazy but there's not much I can do about it" way, and eventually I calmed down, linked my arm with his, and told him I'd be fine once I had a drink.

We found the restaurant right at 7:30. Perfect timing. The maitre'd was super nice and was like "oh your table is waiting" He asked if he could take our coats and I was sorta like "ummmmm" but Jam said "No, I'm good" so I decided to keep mine too, noticing that there was quite a draft from the door. We got seated at a cozy little table on the right wall of the restaurant, it was perfect. We ordered martinis (actually Jam ordered for me. I like it when I don't have to talk, hahaha) and relaxed (finally). I think we probably kind of nauseated the people next to us because Jam was like 'oh you look so pretty' and I said 'well you look so handsome' 'I love you' 'I love you!' Whatev, they got over it. We chatted throughout appetizers (mussels for my, a duck tamale for Jam) and dinner (salmon for Jam, pasta for me) and after we finished dinner Jam said "Close your eyes, I have a present for you." Hmm. Ok. Jam always makes me close my eyes for any gift, so I complied, though I was dying to peek! 'Maybe he got me an anniversary present!' I thought. When I was told to open my eyes Jam had a piece of paper in his hand. Hmm again. "I wrote you a poem" he said "describing our relationship" "Wow!" I said "Read it!" It was a wonderful poem, talking about the day we met, the evolution of our relationship, how we fell in love. Really lovely and heartfelt. Of course the waiter came in the middle, and Jam just leaned in and spoke louder. 'Wow' I thought 'he is intense about this poem!' The poem went on to talk about us in the present tense. Jamaal read "So could this be the moment," and whips his napkin off his lap.

In my head I went "whaaa????"

He gets down on one knee and says

"that I ask you to spend the rest of your life with me?"

And opens a box with THIS in it:
I said "OH MY GOD JAMAAL!!!"

He said "Will you marry me?"

I said "OF COURSE"

Then proceeded to weep. I think we kissed, but it's fuzzy, it was all such a shock!! I think I said "Oh my God" several times, you know starting the engagement off on the right foot by using the Lord's name in vain as much as possible, LOL. Wow. I was so surprised and happy and weepy. The waiter came over with dessert and was kinda like "what's up?" and Jam said "I just proposed to the lady and she said 'yes!'" The waiter was like "OH congratulations!!" and took our picture a couple times and had limoncello sent over. I just remember putting my head on the table and holding Jam's hand and basically repeating "Oh my God, Jamaal, I can't believe you!" hahahahahhahah so eloquent. Finally when I got my wits about me, I said "do my mom and dad know??!" He said "I spoke to your father in January, didn't you know that" I'm pretty dense I guess, cause I had no idea! I thought the weird moods they were both in that afternoon after I caught them having a man to man over beer in the basement were reflective of the NFL playoff games we were watching!!! Jeez!! We began making all the important phone calls, calling parents and people we weren't sure we'd be seeing soon in person, but mostly savored the moment. Of course we got a bottle of Prosecco to celebrate and killed that, and then lingered at the restaurant til I felt sufficiently sober to drive. While we were sitting and talking about lots and lots of stuff (the beautiful life we're going to have together, the tan babies, Jam moving, new jobs, finding a place to live, the wedding, etc) a waiter came over to see the ring. He said to Jam "Damn. You have good taste." ha ha of course, he picked me!!

Needless to say, we didn't really sleep that night, then spent Friday, Saturday, and Sunday traveling around visiting people to tell them the news. My grandparents were very happy when we stopped by Saturday night, and my friend Jenny and her family and my aunt, uncle and cousin were really excited when I broke the news (it was a secret!) Everyone thought the ring was fantastic, then wanted to know when we were going to get married, then asked where we were going to live. Funny.

We've still got a lot to do before anything gets off the ground. I have to graduate (eeehhh), Jam has to graduate (Sept 2009!), he has to move (bless his soul, he's coming here) and we have to basically get our lives together and budget etc. Besides that, we're still trying to bask in the glory of engagement! It's really fun. I want to do something dumb like send postcards to everyone being like 'WE GOT ENGAGED' but seriously, there' s not need to rub it in, LOL. Don't want to be a jerk about it. It's hard for me not to want to celebrate with everyone. For a year that start off a bit rough, this has been the true silver lining, and I just can't wait for the future and all it has in store for us - a life together! Hooray!!!!


Christine said...

OM F***ing God Al!!!!! I am so happy for you. I don't really know you but have tears in my eyes (why do we cry when we're happy????) you two seem like such an amazing couple, I feel honoured to have met you. What a fabulous man you have & yes, fabulous taste in rings (& women). How about Australia for your honeymoon??

Anonymous said...

hooray! hooray!! hooray!!!
I'm so happy for you! I've never met Jamaal but he seems like such an AWESOME guy!
I am also completely in love with your's funny, I was looking at rings online this weekend and I kept checking out ones that were so similar to that!
Your man has great taste!
Congratulations !

Al said...

Thank you so much Christine!!! You are so sweet (and I feel as if I know you and you know me!!) Trust me, I totally cried and I kept saying "it's because I'm happy!" Thank you for your compliments too, I am so flattered. Jamaal is a wonderful man and I'm so happy to have met my life partner (and yes, the ring! I practically swooned!!) Australia is actually one of the top two honeymoon destination picks!! It's between there and South Africa, but whichever one we don't get to for the honeymoon we want to try to visit before we have kids, because they top our "must go to" list. We'll meet in person one day!!

Al said...

Alex!! I am so excited! Yes, Jamaal is great and you MUST meet him. MUST. Regardless, you better be at the wedding (which will be in 2010, lol, far far away, but time flies). Thanks, I loooove the ring. I sent Jam a link to one on Tiffany's that I liked the idea of (but wanted to know that it didn't have to be THAT ring, cause I'm not like that, you know?) so he went with a friend who works for the Gemological Institute of America to have it designed there. I knew he had good taste but he really blew me away with this one. I like it cause it's different, like me. Well like us too, lol. So that was a long-winded comment, but thank you so much. Are you next in line???!?!!

coldploy said...

Congratulations, Al!!! My tears wouldn't stay in my eyes, I had to let it come out when i was reading your story.
Well, would you consider Thailand as your honeymoon destination? haha.

Al said...

Ploy!! I heard you were moving back. We will just have to visit you!