North Carolina Business Trip: Epilogue

Flying on 9/11 may not be the smartest thing I have ever done (then again neither was this. Or this. Or this), but, as the rabid Carolina Hurricanes fan sitting next to me on the plane said yesterday “If we do not fly on 9/11 then the fucking terrorists win.” Preach on, guy who loves Rod Brind’Amour, preach on (note to Perez: ‘Canes fan was a former Philadelphia Flyers fan which almost made me stop talking to him until I asked him why he stopped rooting for the Flyers. His response, “Because my wife and I have been living in Raleigh for the past seven years and, well, fuck the Flyers“). Sitting in the CLT, here are some highlights from my recent business trip to North Carolina:

  • North Carolina is green and lush. I mean really green and lush. I guess I am too used to the yellow-brown hue Colorado is covered in year-round. There are a plethora of pine tress in the greater Raleigh-Durham area, too. I was not aware the Carolinas were so friendly to the coniferous tree family.
  • Various topics discussed with our client that was not related to his website: Carolina Panthers football, the point spread on the UNC-Rutgers game, Indian hotel investors, hairy pussy, bald pussy, Viagra and wine.
  • Various topics discussed with our client related to his website that had nothing to do with design or development: their T1 connection.
  • Various topics discussed with our client related to his website that had to do with design or development: none.
  • I enjoyed a ridiculous meal at a five-star resort called Herons. I gorged myself on a tremendous meal of sea bass, hush puppies, numerous expensive glasses of wine and sweet potato pie.
  • How many times our client’s partner urged me to “beat my children with a strap” upon telling him that my wife was pregnant: 3.
  • How many times our client’s partner passed on the restaurant valet service even though it was free: 2.
  • The next time I will be to invited fly to Raleigh and “talk about the website”: 6 months.
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Operation Engagement Hammer

I took a brief hiatus from the MB to travel to Glenwood Springs and get engaged. I apologize that the site has been as barren as an old Hebrew woman’s womb and I was unable to satisfy your lust for links about high school girls fighting and Whitney Houston entering rehab for the second time. On with the magical engagement story.

The now future wife was under the impression we would be enjoying a relaxing three-day holiday in Glenwood Springs, Colorado. She was unaware that I had been plotting for months to drop the engagement hammer on her during the trip. Thanks to my ninja-like discipline, I managed to keep the entire engagement process a secret and accomplished the following tasks without her knowledge:

  • Shopping, purchasing and hiding the ring.
  • Asking her parents for their blessing.
  • Keeping the many individuals involved in Operation Engagement Hammer quiet and maintaining radio silence.

Operation Engagement Hammer began on March 23 as we set out for Glenwood early in the morning. Being as I was a nervous wreck and only had gotten a total of two hours sleep the night before I had to stop for a large colon-destroying latte to keep me going.

We made it to Glenwood in two and half hours and arrived at the historic Hotel Colorado, a place that has hosted the likes of Teddy Roosevelt, William Howard Taft, Al Capone and Patrick Swayze. Our check in time was at four o’clock, so we decided to hit the head and then hit one of the many snowshoe trails surrounding Sunlight Mountain (11 miles outside of Glenwood proper).

The weather was miserable; it was spitting rain, snow and hail and the sky was overcast. By the time we hit the trail head, I was a nervous wreck and the weather was set to ruin a component of Operation Engagement Hammer. I checked my pocket where the ring was for the umpteenth time and then I started freaking myself out. Did I remember to put the ring in the box before we left the house? Did I ever take the ring out of the box? Did I put on deodorant this morning?

Operation Engagement Hammer had to succeed. I have never been this happy with anyone. I knew from the beginning that my now future wife was the one. She understands that I am a perverted, beer-swilling bastard that enjoys pornography, hockey, books about war and depressing, soul-crushing documentaries on HBO about crack addicts in love (thanks for the referral on that one, Gary) and she is alright with it. In fact, in spite of all that, she still makes me muffins and is sweet to me.

The trail grew strenuous and the ring began weakening me like Frodo Baggins in Modor. After awhile, the clouds broke and the sun came out. I started looking for a good spot to implement the final phase of Operation Engagement Hammer. A voice that sounded like R. Lee Ermey started screaming in my head: “Quit playing grab-ass and do it now, soldier.”

As I started questioning my sanity (my inner-monologue was shouting at me like an angry drill sergeant and I felt that was reason enough to evaluate things) the now future wife found the spot for me. “Look Matty! Look how beautiful the view is!” I look out to the where she was pointing and she was right. The view was amazing.

The sun was now unobstructed by clouds and the wind had stopped blowing. The moment of truth had arrived. I dropped to my knee, fumbled in my pocket and said, “Will you marry me?” The now future wife stood there, dumbstruck. She did not see it coming. Operation Engagement Hammer had achieved total surprise. It took her a few minutes of convincing that I was serious. “You can say yes anytime, honey,” I said. The realization of the moment finally hit her and she started jumping around. “Yes, Matty! Yes!”

I do not remember much from the rest of the hike except for a wonderful feeling of euphoria. I know that she is the one I will be spending the rest of my life with and the fact this does not scare me nor keep me awake at nights is the reason why it is right. By the time we made it back to the car, the now future wife was more excited than a kid off of her Ritalin on Christmas morning. We spent the rest of our week in Glenwood relaxing in the hot springs, getting massages, visiting Doc Holliday‘s grave, walking hand-in-hand and generally being all stupid in love.

On our last night in Glenwood, I had a wonderful dream of her and I, many years from now, our eyesight failing, wearing adult diapers and bragging to each other about our new plastic hips and bowel movements but still very much in love.

During the two and half hour car ride home, I grinned ear-to-ear as she planned most of our wedding. Goddman, I love that girl.

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