Like a horde of twelve-year-olds waiting for the doors to open at a Justin Timberlake concert, details could not be held back any longer.
First, The Date. August 27th - 29th, which is noted on my calendar as "Not Labor Day Weekend." August 29th, when the ceremony will be held, is also L's birthday. So I luck out in that for the rest of my life I'll have one less important date to remember (although, as L reminded me, not one less present to buy).
One detail we had to take care of was the ring. The ring was a gift from my grandmother. My grandfather, whom I was fortunate to know until he died when I was a kid, presented it to my grandmother when he asked her to marry him 57 years ago. There was some debate among the family about the ring. Should it go to someone outside the bloodline? But the debate didn't last long. It's truly a testament to what a special person L is that all the women in my family - my sister, my mother and my grandmother - agreed that L was worthy of such a generous and sentimental gift. Asking L to marry me with a ring so steeped in family history made the moment that much more special. Plus it was free.
My grandmother had the ring made larger some years ago to accommodate the inevitable big-knuckle syndrome that goes hand-in-hand with aging. It didn't fit on L's slender finger and we had wrap scotch tape on the back to make it fit. This was not an appropriate solution for such a beautiful heirloom so yesterday we took it to a store in the Diamond District.
Anyone looking for a peaceful solution to the Israeli-Palestinian crisis need only spend some time on West 47th Street in New York. There, Orthodox Jews and Arab vendors offer a dizzying array of jewelry, all the while sharing store space. Despite the Fort Knox level of precious metals, there was nary a police officer in sight. Let's hope President Bush's "road map" to Mideast peace remembers that the F train stops at 47th Street.
The Diamond District also rivals Disneyland as the Happiest Place on Earth. From nervous men buying rings for their unsuspecting girlfriends to recently engaged couples picking out wedding bands, I can't imagine anyone going there angry (except for the occasional divorcée who comes in to hack up an engagement ring into earrings or a necklace). L joked about the the Angriest Place on Earth, the lost luggage office at an airport. Whereas we thanked the jewler for sizing the ring so quickly and beautifully, she couldn't imaging anyone just stopping by the lost luggage office just to thank them for delivering their bags: "No, really, thanks for getting my stuff off the plane. It was the first one on the carousel. Keep up the good work."
Now it's on to trips. Trips to Chicago, where her family lives, and Wisconsin, where the wedding will be held, for showers and days of picking out flowers, tasting food and listening to bands. Although the airline industry is suffering through a bad economy, I think our trips might keep Continental afloat at least for another year. My advice to men everywhere: marry a local girl.Posted by The Groom at September 4, 2003 06:36 PM