The Proposal (Eric)

>> Monday, April 19, 2010


A lot of things had happened over the years before we moved in together at the cute blue house on Lexington St. I had a new stable job and Michelle was plugging along with the school year. I loved our house, and it had a nice garage that I would work on my Porsche over the winter. There was one thing I couldn’t over look--a landlord.

So Michelle and I had started talking about buying a house. I knew it was time finally purchase something and knew I couldn’t do it on my own. I just wasn’t sure if I was ready for the “big plunge”. I knew Michelle was getting frustrated with me and my drunken ramblings about marriage. 

Early in the new year, we took a class for first time home buyers and it was really informative! So our search began and it was a hell of a time. We spent all of our weekends looking at houses and meeting with our realtor in the evenings. Interesting side story, on one evening we went to go look at a dilapidated house in Falls Church. When we left our realtor noticed she didn’t have her keys. We searched and searched and it became an ordeal. About an hour or later I found them in the passenger seat of her own car. Realtors!--you get wait you pay for...

Michelle was very frustrated because she kept finding dream houses, and I kept holding out. Every place we looked was not quite right for us. Then on a Sunday afternoon we found our house on Carlin Springs Rd. It was just what we wanted (but we did have to compromise on a few things). It was something we can build onto if needed.

I knew that this was a big decision. I also knew that I was going to ask Michelle to marry me. I didn’t think it was wise to go into this with no real commitment to each other. I knew it was the right thing to do. What I didn’t know was how I was actually going to propose to her. So I asked my friends and co-workers a lot of general questions about what to do. I even one evening had a conversation Michelle about rings! I must have done a good acting job, but she let me know a few things she liked and I went from there.

I purchased the ring one evening when she was out of town and had it sent to my mother’s house. I decided I was going to propose when we got the house. So I had the ring on me for almost a few weeks. I have to say it was hard keeping the secret from Michelle.

So on the day we went to settle on the house, I let it slip to my realtor that I was going to propose to Michelle. She was hysterical and I thought she would blab--she was cool about it though. So we signed the paper work and got the keys! It was exciting! I encourage our realtor to go get us some champagne and meet us at the new house.

When we got there, Michelle said as a goof, for me to carry her over the threshold. I agreed. When I put her down told her I had a present. She told me she didn’t have one for me! Anyway, I didn’t really know what to say--and truthfully hoped she would just sort of put two and two together. Well, she said I had to say something. I did and we hugged and hugged. She was completely surprised and I have to say I was a bit in shock. I mean a new house and hew fiance in one day. Needless to say we drank that bottle of champagne to celebrate our new life together!

Read more...

The Proposal (Michelle)

>> Sunday, April 18, 2010


Okay. So, whenever Eric is a little ‘lubricated,’ he gets very lovey and sentimental. Often after an evening of drinking, he would go on and on about how much he loved me and how we should get married. He even asked me about rings I liked a couple of times. Of course, the next day, he would always deny everything!

It got to the point where it didn’t even faze me. I just told him that I’d believe it when I saw it.

So, when he actually proposed, it came as quite a huge shock to me! 

Let’s back up a bit....

We decided to start looking for a house to buy together in late December/early January 2009. We had been living together in a little house we rented since August 2007. We were both doing well in our jobs, and with both the declining housing market and the stimulus package’s tax incentive, we figured there wouldn’t be a better time.

We looked for a really long time and put in four different offers. But, finally, we got a contract on a house that was just perfect for us!

We set the closing date for the afternoon of Monday, May 18. That weekend before was a bit hectic for me, as I was trying to make sure we were 100% good to go with the mortgage company. 

All morning I was so excited! The walkthrough went well, though we noticed a few things we were able to put into escrow and get fixed.

After all the paperwork was signed and we got the keys, I couldn’t wait to get over to our new house! Our realtor was really excited for us, as well, and offered to pick up some champagne and meet us there to toast the day. I thought it was a great idea!

When we got to the house, I asked Eric to carry me over the thresh-hold, for the cuteness of it :-)

Inside, he set me down and we hugged in our new living room. Yay!

Then, Eric tells me that he got a present for me. I felt so bad! I didn’t even think of getting anything for him! 

“That’s okay,” he said, as he pulled a box from his bag.

Immediately, I recognized it as a box that could only contain one thing.

He stood there, just holding it, not saying anything.

“Oh,” I said, coyly, “what is this?”

“Well, I just really want to marry you. Do you want to marry me, too?” He asked, almost sheepishly.

“Yes, of course!” I could barely get the words out, as my heart had just galloped about five miles down the road! I must have been in shock for a full hour after he asked me to marry him!

The realtor showed up about 15 minutes later with champagne, glasses, and a camera so we could re-enact the scene for posterity! Little did I know, she had been in on the whole thing! Honestly, I can’t believe she was able to keep it a secret!

A new home and a fiance all in the same afternoon -- WOW!

Read more...

Growing Pains (Eric)

>> Saturday, April 17, 2010


The late summer came to a quick end. Michelle had since moved out of her previous situation and into an all girl house in Mclean, Va. It was nice by most group house standards. Everyone seemed nice and accommodating and the rent for her room was cheap. But later on as we found out it was not the best place for her, or me!

My summer work ended abruptly and I thought I could coast for a while on VA unemployment. Little did I know, in November it ended. So as a matter of necessity, I went to a place in which I knew I would get hired immediately, a grocery store. This wasn’t any grocery store, it was the illustrious and conscientious Whole Foods Market! The creme de la creme of grocery stores, but as I predicted got hired instantly.

So here I was fresh out of grad school, with a Masters of Science and couldn’t get a job, except for the grocery store. I hunkered down for the winter and hoped something good would come my way.

During that time Michelle was deeply involved with her studies and living off of her stipend, which was not very much. She had some extra money to live, but not much.  She went to school during the day, and my shift was primarily in the evening. She would come by and visit and give me much needed kisses (one of the reasons why I fell in love with Michelle). But the situation was soon to become less ideal and all together painful.

Ah our first Christmas! Now Michelle and I are atheists and don’t subscribe to Judeo-Christian beliefs about what Christmas really is, but we wanted to give each other a pat on the back for what the year had given us. Well, I had no money and neither did she. My dear Michelle decorated my basement apartment with a drawing of a fire place on my closet door and wanted to make it so nice for our first Christmas.

She drew me pictures of sports cars and motorcycles and told me that I would indeed have some in my garage one day. She bought me a few small gifts and I was so thankful to share it with her. I ended up taking some of her Christmas gifts from Whole Foods, because I couldn’t afford much for her. I didn’t tell her that until much later. I didn’t care if I got caught because I loved her so much and wanted to give her the best Christmas I could afford.

As the old year turned into the new one, much had remained the same except for one thing. My landlord who lived upstairs told me that Michelle was forbidden to come over and stay. I think it had to do with his religious beliefs. So when Michelle came over to stay, she had to park a mile away, and I had to shuttle her under the darkness of night to my place. 

We had shit coming at us from everywhere, and we were so poor. Some people have said, “You will look back on this and laugh!” My self esteem was so low, I drank every night and scraped what I could to survive. I was even lambasted by my manager there because I couldn’t decorate a cake properly! I had a Masters degree, but not one in culinary arts!

Oh, I have to mention the house. It was a nice place for a group home, but something was amiss. Michelle used to tell me she felt uncomfortable there and I said I felt something wasn’t quite right with the house. One night as we lay in bed, she had a dream where something was attacking her in the room! She woke up with a fright and went to go to the bathroom to clear her mind and head back to bed. Unknowing that she had gotten up dreamed, or rather experienced an evil entity come through her bedroom door and pace around her room. It started to walk to her side of the bed and I woke up screaming! It was then I knew she had to leave immediately!

She finished her graduate degree in May, and I had left Whole Foods. In fact I thought I was going to get another contract but it fell through. I ended up getting a temp job in a vet clinic. It didn’t pay very much, but I loved being with the animals. In fact I fell in love with a lonely greyhound, and thus my fondness for the breed was born. That fondness eventually turned out to be our lovely dog, Ramona, a retired racing greyhound!

I did get a consulting job with a top 5 consulting company and went to work developing knowledge management plans.

Read more...

Growing Pains (Michelle)

>> Friday, April 16, 2010


For the next year, or so, our relationship continued to grow, despite the rather poor circumstances of our lives. I was into my third month of graduate school, living on students loans and the money my dad would occasionally send me. Eric was still unemployed, with his benefits set to run out in a couple of short months.

Both of our living situations were less than ideal at the time, but for the price, we couldn’t ask for much more. Eric was living in a dank basement apartment with a landlord who farted so loudly you could hear it through the ceiling!

I was living with a couple that became upset that I spent more time upstairs studying for school than downstairs with them partying every night. They eventually asked me to move, which I ended up having to do on New Year’s day.... at 9am.

As our year of poverty came to a close, though, Eric landed a great job with a consulting firm and I finished school. I was also fortunate enough to get a wonderful job teaching in Arlington.

The future was looking better, already!

Read more...

Falling in Love (Eric)

>> Thursday, April 15, 2010


First, I would like to say that I have indeed used an oar once before in my life. In fact it was recently with my brother in St. Mary’s and everything seemed to go fine. I guess maybe I sat in front an rowed and never steered, but I digress. I yelled at Michelle so hard she cried. Now I still feel bad about that, as I guess my bark was worse than my bite, but it is true.

So early in that summer I got laid off from the place where we first met. It was probably for the best, but for the next year or so it was an absolute nightmare. Actually that is not true either, as I had Michelle right by my side. More on that in a moment.

So when the lay off happened I decided the best way to get back to the society that had done me wrong was to not cur my hair or shave, until I was going to get my next job. I made it clear to her that I had given up on the status quo and wanted make my own rules. She didn’t seem to car one bit! She was starting her graduate program in the fall and had one free summer, as did I.

I found some temporary work to pay the bills, but it was all about having fun! We went camping and hiking. At the time I was obsessed with Pt. Lookout, MD. For those of you who don’t know, it was a Civil War prison for confederate soldiers. It is rumored to be one of the most haunted placed in MD. I had been there the year before with my brother and some St. Mary’s College alums, and it was a wild time. My brother and I experieced some weird happenings. So of course I was planning a trip again to see what else I could stir up, and wanted Michelle to come.

She was eager, as always to go, and we headed down there in either July or August. We, other than the ghosts the place is also a swamp, and the heat and bugs were unbearable. At one point during the trip, we actually took a nap in the back hatch of my Mazda as it was cooler than the tent.

The night in particular she is mentioning happened after our crab feast. Point Lookout does have some crabbing allowed on this pier near where we camped. After the feast, of which it was Michelle’s first time picking a crab, we decided to go on a midnight walk to the pier to look at the stars and relax. I remember being out there with Charlie and Brian, the St. Mary’s alums, and just talking with Michelle.

Of course I had been drinking all day, and I was feeling emotional. This of course is something that never happens, being emotional when drinking I mean. The guys asked us if we needed an alone moment as I was trying to confess my love to Michelle, but it wasn’t quite happening. So we went back to the campsite.

Back at the site we went back towards our tent. I don’t remember if Michelle needed something or I did, but we were there. It was somewhat isolated, and that is when I told her, “I like you”, and she was coy. Then I said, “I mean I like you like you!” She was coy again, and then I said, “Well, I love you!” and I am not sure if she said it back to me, but I knew she did too!

Of course, I was a little lubricated, but it really was true. I guess I needed some help telling this beautiful person that I did indeed love her. She was so wonderful at that time in my life! I just had a huge crushing blow to my ego and self esteem, but there she was. She didn’t care what I did or what I looked like as long I was me. It had been a long time since I felt that from someone. I knew I was guarded, but had to tell her what I thought. 

That night, I think I continued to drink beers and fall asleep in our oven like tent. She did too. The next day we struggled to get up and go to a local swimming beach. Wow that was an adventure, but if anyone out there is reading this, send us a message or talk to us in person.

So as our trip came to an end, and we went back to NoVa we couldn’t have imagined how rough things would have gotten in the many months to come. But, I do have to say our love for each other made us through the ordeal!

Read more...

Falling in Love (Michelle)

>> Wednesday, April 14, 2010


After that pizza dinner, we started spending a lot more time together. Before, we had hung out once, sometimes twice, a week. Now, we were spending nearly every day with each other. Eric was unemployed at the time and I was in grad school for only a few hours each day, so we had a lot of time to spend together. 

I don’t know if it was boredom on Eric’s part or a desire to woo me, but he ended up taking me out for a number of fun activities. We hiked Great Falls, went swimming and camping, walked along the canal at Georgetown, visited the old shops at Occoquan, and hung out along the docks in Annapolis. I’ll never forget, though, the time he took me canoeing on the Potomac.

I had canoed a few times as a kid. It was never my favorite thing to do, but it always made for a fun afternoon. Eric, on the other hand, had never used an oar before in his life. That became rather evident as we circled the boat slowly through the river. Eric was clearly getting frustrated at our inability to move forward. He started getting upset and yelling a bit... which caused me to break down and cry in front of him for the first time in our short relationship! It was a rough afternoon. We still laugh about how we’ll probably never canoe again every time we cross the river (in our car, of course!).

In late July, it hit me one evening that I was falling in love with Eric. I remember calling my younger sister because I just had to tell her the news, right then. She was at a concert that evening, so I had to leave her a voicemail. I think it went something like, “Hey, so I was just sitting here, and I thought to myself, well, about Eric... I think I might be in lo-uhhhhh... I can’t say it! But, you know what I mean! Ok, bye!”

A week or so later, Eric and I went camping in southern Maryland with some of his friends. It was a hot, muggy August. The first night we were there, after much drinking, Eric and I walked to the dock with Brian and Charlie to look at the stars. Eric and I laid down on the dock while Brian and Charlie stood nearby.

“I like you,” said Eric.

“I like you, too.”

“No, I mean, I LIKE, like you,” he replied.

“Ha! I like, like you, too.”

“Uhh... should we leave for this conversation?” Brian laughed.

So, we all laughed, and eventually we headed back to the campsite. As Eric and I stood by the car getting ready to head over to Brian’s site for more beer, he hugs me.

“What I meant to say was that I more than like you. I love you,” he said.

“Really? I love you, too.”

Of course, the next day I wouldn’t dare say “I love you” first, because I wasn’t quite sure if that was him or the beer talking the night before.

Back out on the dock that evening, we saw that the wood was covered with bird pooh. We hadn’t even noticed we were lying in it the night before! Gross.

We sat down and he told me that he really meant what he had said the night before. Even sober. 

That made me smile.

Read more...

Sweet niece

>> Tuesday, April 13, 2010


Sometimes having Alivia here to visit makes me want to have you here sooner.

Read more...

The Start of Something Good (Eric)


During that time Michelle and I emailed each other quite often, especially when I had some downtime at work. We would often meet over at Dr. Dremo’s (R.I.P) for their happy hours, because I have a good friend that worked there.

She would come over and hang out for some drinks and conversation. I felt quite at ease with Michelle. I never felt like I had to hide anything, and often times our conversations would be about something personal I needed to get off my chest. She was a good listener and, at the time, I needed that.

But, I knew that I didn’t want to get involved with anyone just yet. So I remained friendly, never advancing on her. One time over drinks, she told me how she got accepted to Michigan for a grad program and was going to move away. She also said her other choice was GW in DC. I must admit I was a little upset when I heard the news. So, as I had a few more drinks, I began convince her more and more to stay. I think it was that night that we made out in a parking garage. 

As I juggled work and school, we still talked and saw each other off and on. Michelle went to Russia for a while, and I wrote papers. It turned out the girl I was interested in at school was a religious nut and had no interest in me.

On my 29th birthday, I didn’t have any real plans. I thought a nice evening out with Michelle could be fun and a chance to go to a nice restaurant. I had a friend that was working the bar at the Lebanese restaurant we were at. He said he would make Michelle a cocktail for the evening. A half hour later she could barely stand and we went home.

In the early part of the summer I left the company. Dejected that my first real job didn’t work out the way I planned—decided to be a bum. Well, not actually, but until I found my next opportunity, I wasn’t going to shave or cut my hair. I have to say it was liberating! Michelle didn’t have a problem with it.

Confused and hurt, I wasn’t sure what I wanted with Michelle. She never put any demands on me, but I knew she needed some answers to the state of our relationship. After all, I knew part of her decision to stick around was because of me, and so I needed to be honest. After much debating I knew that my desire for autonomy was not as great as the experiences I could have with her. On an evening out at a pizza parlor, I told her that I wanted to see her exclusively. Damn, that pizza was good.

Read more...

The Start of Something Good (Michelle)

>> Monday, April 12, 2010


Once I started working upstairs, Eric and I would spend most of our days emailing each other, instead of actually working. Probably not the best use of my time in a brand-new job, but I justify it because I was a temp!

We met up a couple of times for lunch and hung out at Dremo’s across the street after work a few times. Our first real date was at the Lebanese Taverna for his 29th birthday. That was a memorable evening!

A couple of weeks after starting this new job, I got a phone call from the George Washington University. I had applied for their M.Ed. program a few months before, and they wanted me to come in for an interview. I went ahead and set up the appointment, even though they only gave me a few days notice and I had to get the time off of work. The morning of the interview, I almost didn’t go. I had already accepted the offer at the University of Michigan a couple of months before, and I really didn’t feel like going into DC when I was supposed to be at work. But, I decided at the last minute to just check it out.

The day after my interview, the school called again and told me they were accepting me to the Education program. I was a nervous wreck. I had planned out my life already for the next two years! I was going to have fun with Eric for a few months and then go to Michigan and move on.

Eric met me out to talk about the offer. I was so scared that if I decided to stay, Eric and I would eventually break up anyway and I would have missed out on my chance at UM. I really liked what GWU was offering, but wanted to run to Michigan to avoid having my heart broken by staying.

I decided to stay, anyway.

Eric and I kept hanging out. I started my grad program at the beginning of June and soon left the job I was working to focus on school. I was starting to like Eric more and more, which worried me. Sometimes I would get mixed signals from him, and wasn’t sure if he was starting to have stronger feelings for me, or if I was just someone to hang out with on the weekends.

I called him “My Eric” when referring to him around my friends. He wasn’t my boyfriend, but we weren’t just friends... it was tricky in my mind! Sometimes I wanted to call him my boyfriend, but we hadn’t had that conversation, yet! Plus, I didn’t take that word too lightly.

Around the middle of July, Eric came and picked me up for dinner. He said he wanted to talk. I was afraid he was going to dump me -- he seemed so nervous.

While we waited for our food, he told me he’d been thinking a lot about us. He said that he couldn’t stand the thought of not being with me, and he wanted to move forward in our relationship, making it exclusive. At that moment, I couldn’t have agreed more.

Read more...

  © Blog Design by Simply Fabulous Blogger Templates

Back to TOP