Did I ever tell you about the time I met my bride to be? It all started back when I was living at the apartment on Nelson Street in Chicago that I lived at with a revolving cast of four roommates for seven years. We were having a birthday gathering for a good friend and a good roommate, and I was telling the guests the story about the time some middle aged woman gave me her powder blue paisley jacket with shoulder pads. What happened was I was at a bachelor party and arrived back at the hotel before the rest of my friends and was waiting at the bar. I saw her goofy jacket slung over the chair and this happened:
Dr. Ken: That's a sharp jacket you got there.
Jacket Lady: Buy me a beer and it's all yours.
Dr. Ken: Sure. What'l it be?
Jacket Lady: MGD.
Dr. Ken: Bartender, one MGD please.
I didn't know it was a female jacket. I guess I didn't notice the shoulder pads at the time. I just slapped it on and texted my best man, Mr. HLP, "I am at the bar in a Mr. Furley jacket!
So here I am at the apartment telling this story when it dawns on me that I should put The Jacket on as a visual aid to give my listeners a better indication of just how awesome it is. You just have to see it to believe it. When we make it out to the bar, I'm in one of those moods where I just decide to go out in public donning The Jacket. So that's what I did.
|"No sticker for me?"|
We ended up at Four Treys, a wonderfully divey karaoke spot in the Roscoe Village neighborhood of Chicago. After singing a song or two, I'm feeling pretty tremendous when a gorgeous brunette saunters by, slaps a sticker on the shoulder of my jacket and says, "that's an awful jacket" and just walks by without stopping. I said to my friends that I had to go talk to this one because she gave me a sticker and she has good taste - the jacket is quite ugly.
She was standing over by the Galaga machine, so I thought it natural that I challenge her to a game. Galaga is a lot like Space Invaders, only the bad guys swoop down on you from all sorts of angles and you can rescue a second ship to get a double shot going. She said that she has never played but would accept my challenge. I figured knowing the whole double shooting trick would give me a clear advantage. Wrong. She destroyed me. Mrs. Noisewater was deftly firing buttons to blast ships and moving her plane around while furiously dodging the alien ships and their laser blasts in a way that was demoralizing to me but sexy nonetheless. I remember her starting to kick butt at the game and offering somewhat of an explanation for her expertise: "Careful. I'm Asian, you know." I tried to buy our historic Galaga machine years later for nostalgic reasons but alas, it was gone.
Beaten but not broken, I asked for her number and we met up the following Thursday. I remember picking her up with my car when she was stuck in Chicago's bitter cold and feeling like a hero. Then on the third date she caught me looking up at the Bulls versus Heat game a few too many times and still liked me!
We got nuts about each other pretty quickly, and then she got notices back from all of the graduate schools she applied to. Jaemi was looking for a career change into urban planning, which was something more challenging and exciting for her. She didn't think she would get accepted to any of the schools, but she got accepted to all three. What is crazy is that even though we hadn't been together that long, we were both ready to tackle a long distance relationship with no hesitation, and off she went to live in Santa Monica California, enrolled in UCLA's Masters in Urban Planning program.
The distance was difficult at times, but it also meant taking fun trips to meet up with one another. We met in spots in between Chicago and L.A. with trips to Austin, Texas and Denver, Colorado and spent one New Years together in Costa Rica. I never bought into the whole "absence makes the heart grow fonder" thing, but it was true in our case. We were so excited to see each other on my trips to California, or her trips to Chicago where we would sometimes Hotwire a "fancy" hotel. Also, it made us really appreciate when the two years would be over and we could be together for good. Forever. That's what we plan on doing, and that's what we would love you to help us celebrate on August the 1st in one of the cities we travelled to together and fell deeper in love, San Francisco. Thanks for reading.
Dr. Kenneth Noisewater