The Millennium Falcon
I believe I’ve mentioned that I have this weddin’, over to Chicagoland, coming up. I’ve got the periwinkle A-line dress (‘m not entirely sure what that means, but in my mind, it puts me alongside Mr. T and the gang, all pretty-like). I’ve got the sliver shoes, I’ve got the Pillsbury Doughboy (for a play on the bride’s Mothers fear of Dough-y), and I’ve got the plane ticket (thank you Southwest Airlines for being cheaper than my dress).
Bride-to-be Karen and I are never lacking for humourous episodes, should they take place when we’re together or apart. Our lives are eerily parallel in terms of where we live, how we got there, families, careers choices, and meeting our respective Boys.
Disclaimer: Yes, I am going to relate the righteously twisted tales of these meetings. For those of you who don’t dig on the waxy romantic side of life, you’re in for a treat; these stories will be relayed in the Princess Bride Wesley way of, ‘As you whaaat?’
Karen is the type of person who may not always have the right answer or the right question, but she’s so darned cute everyone is willing to think twice before responding. Therefore, responses are usually to appease her because by the time you’ve had a moment to formulate an answer you are either in love with her or hoping to become her best friend. (Fortunately for me, I scored the best friend contract Freshman year of college.) Now that I’ve clued you in, let us all breath a regretful sigh that we didn’t manage to meet her first and propose. Expel, also, an enthusiastic gasp of gigglicious that she’s too adorable not to be snagged.
Our saga begins on the North side of Chicago, I’m guessing somewhere in or near Lincoln Park, and Karen (five foot two, straightened blond hair, most likely donning funky seventy-style attire, Bjork loving, chucky heel toting, the chick who always has the right lip gloss…) portrays a Skirt on a mission. Now, Dear Readers, take a javelin’s fling as to where chicks like Karen and I might not want to meet prospective dates. I’ll gift you a hint, it’s where half the population never seems to want to meet their prospective dates. Le Bar.
Karen (KP when I’m feeling constrained) joins some chums for some chummy drinks at some chummy joint. Booze is consumed and I’m sure some games involving sticks & balls are played. Since we’re in on the bar scene, Darling Readers, hazard a guess as to where you REALLY might not wanna meet a prospect date.
I’ll give you some time on this.
Righty-o, time’s up.
So, Karen’s in line for the washroom…and there’s this guy behind her. The Boy strikes up a conversation, but Karen, being of possible sound judgement, thinks to herself, ‘Do I really want to make a date with someone who’s in line for the bathroom?’ The answer, obviously, is ‘No’.
KP ends up back at her table of pals, being all chatty-chatterson when they take off for the washroom, and she is swiftly approached by what I can only imagine as a 1960s Greaser injected into the 2000s. Karen’s too kind to openly tell someone to buzz off and luckily for her she’s mastered the baby bird plea of ‘Help me, I’m too adorable to have to deal with this overtly-icky situation’. (We should all be five foot two and adorable.)
The ‘look’ is flung into the crowd and hooked by…enter our Hero…Washroom Boy. WC Boy notes KP’s desperation, ventures over to her table, takes a seat, puts his arm around her, and smoothly rolls out, ‘Hello there, I missed you. I’m sorry you had to wait so long for me.’
Stick a fork in ‘em, Ladies & Gentlemen, this couple’s done. Who wouldn’t be able to resist Prince Charming after a save like that?!
The first time I heard about WC Boy (who’s actual name I would tell you, but you might swoon a bit more…okay, his name’s Joaquin. I KNOW, right?!), I received an e-mail from Karen, around 2.30 am, reading only, ‘I LOVE JOAQUIN!’ Immediately, I took this to mean she had relinquished her crush on Girls Against Boy’s Scott McCloud and moved on to Joaquin Phoenix. I realize it’s a stretch, but so is…I got nothin’.
For five months I played the taggings of the phones with Karen, trying religiously to obtain any information I could about Joaquin…Phoenix or otherwise. Finally, I got my answers in a marathon phone call, during the middle of a Northern Michigan Winter, in which I smoked a pack of Winston Lights, in my apartment, and went through a sixer of Molson Canadian.
Joaquin was from New Mexico. Karen had already been there to see him and he to Chicago to see her. They were in love, twue love. He was moving to Chicago and then they wanted to move to New York City. Lastly, which I already sensed, they were getting married.
Girls like Karen don’t just ‘get married’, you gotta work for Girls like Karen. So, I knew this guy was pretty darned enter-dreamy-adjective-here and I knew I would adore him…the two years later when I finally met him.
Sure it seems like a whirlwind-romantic-type-affair-thing, absolutely. That’s Karen’s way and this Girl knows what she’s doing. I’ve almost always trusted her judgement and she’s forever had my back. When she told me this story, I was grateful that she had met Joaquin, who seemed truly and mystically genuine (as well as reserving one of the coolest names on the continent), and I even found myself a little envious. Here I was, kinda biding my time, no real happy prospects, and not believing I would really find any. Woe is I.
Ultimately, Karen’s story made me magnanimously happy for both her and Joaquin. Her novella read that there honestly were terrific stories like theirs, which are fantastically possible. I mean, it would never happen to me, but it sure was nice to know it happened at all.
And then I moved to Portland…
It was Karen who flushed me into the Wonderful World of Bjork. Encrypted on the album Post is my favourite song, “Hyper-ballad”, which has always belonged to Karen…and now shared with Joaquin: