Sunday, November 20, 2011

A New Way To Travel

It's been so long since I blogged, that I didn't remember at first how to get to this screen where I am now recording my thoughts. But now I'm here. I guess blogging is kinda like riding a bike: you never forget, you're butt starts to hurt if you do it too long, and it's kinda embarrassing if you're old.

One of the bigger reasons I haven't done this in a while is I've been a little busier getting some arrangements made for a hitchin' ceremony. That's right, Miss Brown and I are getting married. Forever, better or worse, all that stuff. The long-time bachelor finally found someone who made him want to give it all up. All of it. All the weeks of unwashed clothes, all the piles of dirty dishes, all the inches of beard, all meals alone. All for a lifetime of companionship with a beautiful, funny, intelligent lady. OK, maybe I'm getting the better deal here. (Except for the awesomely long beard part.)

Kelsey flew out to visit in August after her summer term. I had waiting for her a one-way plane ticket to San Francisco, the location of our first date two years earlier. Of course, I didn't tell her it was only one-way since the trip back was a surprise. She flew into LAX Friday night, and we hopped on a plane early the next morning bound for SF. Friday we spent doing our normal eating, walking, arguing (hey, it's what we do, don't judge), and enjoying a beautiful day in the city.

When I told Kelsey Saturday night that we shouldn't stay out too late since we had to be up earlier the next morning, I think she had about had enough of me. Probably even more so the next morning, when I hailed us a cab for a sketchy part of Oakland...

But that's where the trains leave from, so there we went. We had talked before about liking the idea of a train trip, so I thought that would be a special way to propose. Plus the fact that the train ran from our oft-visited adopted city of San Francisco down to Los Angeles. And it ran through many of the sites of other dates of ours: the Central Valley and hills of San Luis Obispo (our road to Big Sur), Santa Barabara (New Year's Eve and hiking / Zac Brown Band).

It was hard keeping it a secret the first five or six hours of the train ride. I had the ring stashed in my bag, but didn't want to leave it when we went to the dining cars for our meals. So I had to slyly send Kelsey ahead and move it to a pocket after she left our sleeper car. After the wine tasting event about halfway through the trip, I figured was a perfect time. So while Kelsey freshened up when we got back to our sleeper, I grabbed the ring and a letter I had written her and stashed them in the car.

Unfortunately, the train schedule that day had the attendants coming around getting dinner reservations directly after that as dinner was being served very early. Since I didn't want to be interrupted in the middle, I had to wait for the attendant to come around. We declined the early dinner which gave me my chance. Wittily, I steered the conversation towards my proposal plans. I presented Kelsey the letter I had written, which was an answer to a letter she had mailed me many months prior. When she was done reading the letter, I got down on a knee and asked for hand in marriage, ring in hand. I'm not sure it's clear in either of our minds whether she actually said yes or not. She seemed to be a bit overwhelmed with the moment. But, we've been operating under the assumption that she did answer in the affirmative thereafter, so I think it's safe to say we reached an agreement. And I, for one, am very glad we did.

The date is set for March 11 of next year, and it's probably safe to say I don't deserve her. But then, none of us really deserves each other ever. Relationships are very little about what each one deserves, and much more about what each is willing to give, deserved or not. Really, if one were to look at the definitions of give and deserve closely, it might be concluded that those two words rarely are both applicable to any one situation. To give is to offer freely, without any sense of obligation. I know I will surely fail at times for my part, but I think the difference in those two words is what makes marriage unique among all other contracts. Contracts are generally supplying what is deserved from criteria that were met. Marriage, and love in general, is about giving what can not be (or before it is) deserved.

train time

breakfast time

club car time

fiance time

All the pics.


  1. That is a post worth waiting for :) Your last paragraph was great, btw. Love you and see you in a couple of days!

  2. A lifetime with a Purdue fan... Gross! Other than that, I'm sincerely honored to take you on as my partner. I wouldn't trade ya for all the clean clothes and neatly put-away dishes in the world! Here's to many meals in each other's company, and many more arguments about the length of your beard!