Dressing as Ivan might have been difficult, because 90% of the time, he’s wearing a black T-shirt and blue jeans. But the night we met, he was wearing a leather vest (similar to one I have), an orange leather coat (like Kelly’s), red suede shoes (I have a pair almost identical) and a pair of red faux-leather pants*. I came up with the idea of dressing as Ivan for CDB about 9 weeks ago, so I had two missions: 1) refrain from getting a haircut so I’d have enough hair to pull into a ponytail 2) steal Ivan’s red faux-leather pants from his closet when he wasn’t looking. The mission was made easier when he went out of town the day before and didn’t balk when I asked for his apartment keys. So even though I’d stolen his pants on Friday, I went back on Sunday to borrow a tiger print scarf (Ivan’s car is painted like a tiger, so I thought it would be a good visual cue for the costume).
So, with hair slicked back and ponytailed, I arrived at bowling dressed as Ivan, in a simulation of the outfit he was wearing the night we really met. Since he was coming from out of town, he had said he might not come to bowling, or would be late if he came at all. When he showed up, he was wearing his Brides of March wedding dress, his hair in ponytails, and this ghastly clown-smile lipstick. I figured this was his utilitarian drag outfit, since he’d not really had time or inclination to thrift something new specifically for the occasion. He was amused and disturbed by my costume; amused that I’d done it, and disturbed when people started saying to me “Ivan! Your turn to bowl!” But for the most part, it went over well, and most of our friends “got it”.
Now, something I didn’t fess up to in my brief post: the proposal was not entirely a surprise. Only the timing was.
About 2 weeks ago, we’d had a talk about cohabiting, the future, marriage, joint-checking, etc. Later that weekend, while discussing the odd coincidence that both our mothers would be in Seattle the week before the Fremont Fair/ArtCar Blowout, Ivan said,
“You know what would be fun? To get married in the middle of the Fremont Solstice Parade while riding with the bodypainted naked bicyclists**”.
I looked at him and said I wasn’t sure if he was serious or not, but it was just the kind of thing I’d imagine him doing. And I said “I’d be up for it”. To which he said “A woman who is not only not mortified by that idea, but also would be willing to do it, but also thinks it’d be fun, is the woman I should marry”.
So we talked it over and seriously (in as much as one can be serious with such a silly idea) considered doing it this year. It would have happened 8 weeks from that day. The ever reasonable shoutingboy counseled caution; if no one’s pregnant or getting deported, why not just get ENGAGED at the Fremont fair and then have the wedding the next year? No sense in rushing into things, and hadn’t I just had enough life change recently what with buying the house? Gosh darn it, he was making a lot of sense, even for a Bay-Area Republican.***
So we cooled down, and I thought I’d be getting engaged in June. Ivan, wanting to surprise me and supply a public spectacle our friends would also enjoy, announced the week before X-dress Bowling (at the trophy-making party that I did not attend because I was in Las Vegas) that he planned to propose to me during the trophy awards. He appropriated a trophy decorated with wedding stuff that would hold my big honkin’ “diamond”.
Note that Kelly, and Jim, and holyoutlaw, and Indigo, and who knows who else that was at the trophy making party WERE ALL IN ON IT! And managed to keep it quiet. Kelly also knew I was planning to surprise Ivan by dressing as him and kept that one secret as well. I had no idea anything was up until after we’d bowled and it was time for the costume awards, this year held in the karaoke lounge at the bowling alley.
So at the awards ceremony, he sings “Strangers in the Night” to me. I thought –something- was up when Jim and holyoutlaw summoned me to the stage to stand next to him while he sang. When they presented the “Least likely to go home alone” trophy to me, I knew. The knee and ring part came as I was handed the trophy, and then all of a sudden, I had me a fiancee and the biggest, fakest ring a gal could want.
holyoutlaw took some pics of the whole sappy affair, which are here:
(pics 18-21 are the ones in question).
It was a pretty breathtaking evening. Never has anyone done anything for me that was THAT romantic and THAT silly concurrently. Despite not having any fermented beverages that night, I felt drunk for the next day and a half. In a good way, I mean.
Then two days later I moved, and Ivan spent most of his spring break from school helping me pack, move, and unpack. I’m pretty happy right now even though I haven’t officially closed on the house yet (Real Soon Now), have no net access from home (the pain!) and still haven’t unpacked my shoes, leaving me with the dreaded “converse low-tops and skirt” look at work.
Even the $151 ticket I got yesterday for speeding in a school zone (that I didn’t notice) isn't pissing me off. Much.
*not even close to the fashion sin of black real-leather pants with a turtleneck, a story which lemur68 would no doubt remember.
**Ivan’s ridden with them twice before. I’d already agreed about a month ago to do it this year.
***They do exist. Shocking, but true.