I am back and officially engaged. The ceremony was brief. The traditions kept to the minimal. The foods (banh beo, banh bot loc, banh cuon) were banging. Even the weather loved us. Many thanks go to both of our families for their love and support, friends and relatives for packing up her parents’ place, and those of you for emailed me the kind words. In my earlier post acknowledging Visualgui.com for hooking us up has sparked some curiosities: “Did you actually meet your lady from Visualgui.com?” Yes I did, and if you are interested, here is the real story.
In April 2006, I received an email from a reader asking for my recommendations on apartments close by Carmel, New York where she landed her job. Although Carmel is about forty minutes from Poughkeepsie, I had never been to the town. Still I offered to help but never did (shame on me). I even asked her for her digits so we could hang out, but didn’t have the gut to call.
Three months slipped away and somehow the feeling of “something might happen” and the thought of “I have nothing to lose” prompted me to pick up the phone. When I did call she had no clue what the heck I was talking about in the first five minutes of our conversation. She didn’t remember the guy from Visualgui.com who didn’t keep his promise. The more I explained the more awkward I sounded. Luckily she did remember and we have a very nice talk.
The next day I emailed her to ask if she would like to check out Upstate Films, my favorite independent theater in Rhinebeck. We were to meet up at Borders bookstore before going to see A Prairie Home Companion. I arrived at the bookstore ten minutes early. Forty minutes had passed and I saw no sight of a Vietnamese lady. I thought she stood me up for my empty promise three months earlier. Five more minutes she finally showed up and greeted me with an I-am-sorry-I-am-late smile and tried to explain that she couldn’t get out of work on time.
After the movie we were both hungry so I invited her to late dinner. She ordered shrimp pasta and I ordered chicken pasta. The plates were huge and she cleaned her all up while I was struggling to shove mine in and gave up after half of the portion. I was so impressed that for the first time a lady with half my size could eat twice as much as I could. Not only that but the next morning she emailed me and said she was hungry already. I couldn’t believe it. I couldn’t let this happen. I couldn’t let a girl beat me in eating; therefore, I invited her to dinner again to get my revenge. We ate more and talked more and found out we clicked much more. Sitting by the bench, breathing the fresh air from the Hudson River and feeling each other’s vibe, our conversations went from ten to two in the morning. One time we got into a heated debate on music and she used her hand gesture to illustrate her point. As her hand swung toward my direction, I grabbed it, and to my surprise, she didn’t pull away. I held her hand and didn’t go until we called it the night. And that was the beginning of our story.