The Beginning – Thomas’ Side
The first time I encountered Angela was during bus duty at E.T. Booth Middle School. Encountered is a strong word, more like creepily gawked at her from a distance. My first thought was that the ethnic population at E.T. Booth had just increased by 1, a 100% increase. My second thought was, “Now, that is an attractive teenager!” (Note to reader: after I turned 21 this phrase was never uttered again). Unfortunately, I didn’t get to interact with her much while in middle school. This was mostly due to the fact that I received all of my education in a trailer, hoping to never experience a tornado while in class. It wasn’t until we shared a class at Etowah High School, some 3 years later, that I really got to know her. We sat next to each other in English class and spoke every day. It did NOT go well! But, we still managed to become friends.
We remained friends throughout the years despite having nothing in common. It wasn’t until the later part of my collegiate career that we became really close. I got to see her when I came home and she even visited me at Georgia Southern. During these visits, I started to realize that we were becoming more than just friends. Due to this realization, I knew what needed to be done… I needed to let her know that I’m not interested in dating. My master plan was to call her and explain that I can’t have a “girlfriend” my senior year of college. My academic success would be stifled if I had a girlfriend during this important and transitional time in my life. (Best. Idea. Ever.) While giving her the best letdown speech of my life, I noticed nothing but silence on the other end of the phone. Have I hurt her feelings? Did she hang-up? No! She simply took my best lines and sweetly replied, “You’re so f**king full of shit!” Wow, I thought. Not only was she unfazed by my “It’s not you, it’s me” speech, she made damn sure that I knew what a catastrophically poor attempt it was…. I kind of liked it! After that, I knew exactly what needed to happen… a ten year relationship and then marriage.
Those of you, who know me, know that I’m not the type of person to get nervous or become easily intimidated to speak my mind. It was this type of bravado that I planned to use when proposing to Angela. I pictured it playing out like a B-movie love story (most likely starring Bruce Campbell). The conversation would have gone like this; “The time has come and you have proven yourself worthy.” And she would reply, “Thank you so much for this honor! I will not let you down!” But the truth was far from the machismo laden idea I imagined. Instead, I decided to pop the question at Chateau Elon Resort and Winery, because nothing puts a woman in the mood quicker than a rural winery. When we arrived, we were pleasantly surprised at the beauty of the estate. At this moment, the gravity of what was about to happen started to sink in and I began to feel nauseous. I couldn’t show signs of my upset stomach because it would have put the entire surprise in jeopardy. So I pushed forward and checked into the hotel. Before I had a chance to put our bags away we were off to a couples massage. I have never had a massage and thought it would be very relaxing before I virtually ended my bachelorhood. Once we arrived at the spa I noticed that my stomach had kicked into a “second gear” of upset. This was not good. Since we were running late, we only had time to quickly change and meet in the couples massage room. The room was dimly lit and smelled of lavender. The smell of lavender was lovely but didn’t do any favors to the ball of gas that was my stomach. The masseuses walked into the room and explained to us the benefits of Swedish massages. Once they were done with the holistic speeches, they asked us to lay down on our stomachs…..shit! I complied with the “unreasonable” request. While lying there I thought to myself, “Pull it together! It’s just 45 minutes and you’re done. You can get through this.” My masseuse began with my upper back and it felt kind of nice. Right about the moment I thought, “This isn’t so bad”, she began to push from the top of my back down to the bottom of my back with the full force of her 125lb frame. It became clear to me that this was no masseuse, but a stubby she-devil trying to push a fart out of my body. The she-devil continued this move for 20min, only stopping every once in a while to say, “You feel so tense, relax!” I knew what the she-devil was doing and I wasn’t going to let it happen. So I spent the full 45min massage with all of my muscles clinched as tight as possible. At the end of what felt like 45 hours, I was completely exhausted. Even though I felt exhausted and abused, there was a sense of satisfaction in knowing I didn’t let that she-devil completely ruin the mood of the trip with the cruel and unusual punishment she called a Swedish massage. Now that the torture was out of the way, I was free to plan my attack.
The place was incredibly crowded and I wasn’t sure where I would be able to pop the question. It was time for dinner but there was no way I was going to be able to eat anything. While we were in the room changing for dinner I thought to myself, “Alright buddy, you have two options. Option A, get dressed, go to dinner and you run the risk of shitting your pants before the moment is right. Or option B, you ask her right now in the room, in a controlled environment, with a toilet nearby.” I chose option B. I grabbed the ring from my dap sack and proposed to her while in my underwear (attire wasn’t considered in option B). To say she didn’t expect it would be an understatement. She was completely overwhelmed and managed to say yes through the tears. MIKE DROP.