True Story

{March 8, 2010}   The Proposal

True Story:  I have been proposed to once. I said yes, I think.
I went to Maui for a writer’s conference about 6 years ago. Good Times! My mom flew out to meet me there. It’s a hell of a long way to fly from Hawaii to Alabama so we decided to stop over and visit my brother in San Fransisco for a couple of days to break up the trip.
Mom and I stayed in a hotel across the street from my brother’s loft. He lived in a great spot but very near the Tenderloin. (Shady district).
True Sidenote:  My dad is famously non-confrontational.  His ex-wife and I used to laugh and say if we were getting mauled or attacked that he would say, “Uh, excuse me, Mr. Murderer, just let me know when you’re done and I’ll take them to the hospital”.
Hence, we found it very funny when the three of us were walking from the parking garage to my brother’s place in SF one day and discovered we were trapped by some very scary looking crack heads. They were blocking our exit and we had nowhere to go.
Dad (shouting at the top of his lungs):  WATCH OUT! I’M COMING OUT MUTHAFUCKERS!
Me & Stepmom:  Hahahahahahahaa
Crack heads:  Nothing. Nada. Didn’t know we were there.
Back to the proposal.
True Story:  Hurricane Ivan made a direct hit on my little part of the world Sept 16, 2004. While I was in Hawaii/California, Pump was back at our little rental house, a block off the water packing and grabbing our important items. As Ivan was barreling down on the Alabama gulf coast Pump was still there packing when the cops came to the door and said he had 2 hours to get off the island or he had to stay and ride it out.
True Story:  I do not believe in riding out storms. Stupid!
Pump got out of there and headed to Birmingham.
While he was escaping death, my Mom, brother and I went to the wine country. There’s only one way to go about it. First thing in the morning you have to start with Champagne. So off to Korbel we were.  A little advise, don’t plan any major event the evening after travelling from winery to winery all day. You are just generally pissed off from catching a buzz then driving for a while only to catch a buzz again and be talked into spending lots of money on wine that you could buy at Wal-Mart for 300% less. And so we ended our day at In and Out Burger (Awesome). We looked like Paul Giamatti in Sideways drinking his prized bottle with a burger and fries.
The next morning around 8am I hang up the phone with Pump back in Alabama who is telling me about his packing and evacuation and I’m telling him to remember to get this, and that, and blah, blah, blah. I call my brother and tell him I’m walking over from our hotel and I want him to buzz me up so I can check my email.
I cross the street, am buzzed up and get in the elevator. When the elevator door opens, Pump is standing across the hallway up against the wall, in SAN FRANSISCO, HELLO???  I immediately start screaming, WHAT!?!? WHO DIED?!?!  WHAT?!? JUST TELL ME? WHO DIED? IS IT MY DAD? (I am pretty sure at this point that I left my mom alive back in our hotel room).
True Backstory:  My step-dad died suddenly of a heart attack on my 27th birthday, on a morning I was going to see him. He was no longer married to my mother, but was my step-dad for 18 years and is my sisters’ father. As Pump taught me on our 1st date, people died. Why else would he be there?
So I was a little confused to say the least, as to why he was here in California.
What made it worst was his response to my screaming.
Pump:  Speechless and shaking
He didn’t say 1 word. Nothing. Nada.
Advice to gentlemen:  Think about what you might say in this situation. Pump’s idea to just “wing it”, failed miserably when I started yelling who’s dead, and the emotion of the moment got the best of him.
He never said anything. But I started to figure things out as he shakily got down on one knee. When I saw what he was doing I slid my costume ring off my middle, left finger and into my pocket.
He placed a beautiful ring that he had designed on my finger. We hugged and kissed. If I recall correctly, he never “really” asked and I never “really” answered. 
Still though, we must have both assumed.
True Story:  About 10 minutes later, Pump was looking at me fondly, like a father figure proud of his girl. He rubbed my arm up and down very platonically.
Pump:  you’re getting married…
Translation:  Somebody finally decided to marry you. How cute…

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