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Enrico Colantoni (Kinda) Helped Me Propose

  On Friday, April 24th, I proposed to my longtime ladyfriend Ashlie, web mistress of Twentyfour Pages per Second, seller of Etsy stuff, and all around swell person. It’s been many, many years in the making, for you see much like evil surgery, everything had to be just so.

Video provided without context.

Partly so I don’t have to go through this story with everyone I meet (I’ll be printing up cards with the URL so actual human contact is kept to a minimum), I’ll be walking you through my journey to get the best proposal for us specifically, so keep your critiques to your damn self™.

  It all started with Veronica Mars. Well, not really. It all started with dating Ashlie and realizing that marrying her would be pretty awesome. However, if we flash forward a bit to the halcyon days of 2013, when we survived a presidential election and I was busy complaining about the use of the word “pussy” as a pejorative.

  Hi. If you’re new here, I kind of just write what comes to mind.

  Anyway, the creator of one of Ashlie’s (and after actually seeing it, my) favorite shows Veronica Mars, Rob Thomas (no, not that Rob Thomas), pitched the idea that the fans could show some love via Kickstarter, they could get a movie continuing the adventures of our favorite lady P.I. (no, not that favorite lady P.I.). Naturally, Ashlie and I contributed. But I did so in a slightly different way.

  You see, one of the options was to have one of the actors record a personalized video greeting. And it just so happened that I could choose to have Enrico Colantoni say words that I wrote for him. And it was then I was struck with an idea:

  Hey! He could advertise for me!

  It was then that I had a subsequent idea: That’s probably against the rules, idiot.

  I then had an infinitely better idea: You could have television’s best dad talk you up!

  A bit of background on this: I love Keith Mars—the character and Colantoni’s portrayal of a father figure is wonderfully endearing. Although the television landscape is rife with “good” father figures (you will notice the sarcasti-quotes around the word “good”), the only one who ever really comes close is Rupert Giles from Buffy the Vampire Slayer. And even he has some pretty doofy moments that more-than-sorta disqualify him. Ashlie and I have spent considerable time discussing just how awesome of a dad Keith is to Veronica.

  It is because of this that I thought having a kickass father figure be all “This guy’s alright” would be pretty awesome. So, I spent some money, wrote up a script for Mr. Colantoni, and waited for sweet, sweet validation.

I've got Keith Mars on my side. What do you have? NOTHING. THE ANSWER IS NOTHING.

  Now, I’m sure someone or several ones are going to accuse me of being a bad feminist because I shouldn’t have to get permission from anyone other than Ashlie to marry her. And you’re right—if that’s what the video was about, it'd be terrible. But it was really about getting Ashlie to geek out over one of her favorite people talking to her. This was especially critical for the next step of my plan.

  You see, Ashlie wanted a ring, and I knew exactly which ring to get. There was a very nice selection of rings over at the local antique store, and they had a very pretty one for a very reasonable price. Once I procured the video and said ring, why, everything would turn up roses!

  Ha, ha, no. You see, fate hates me because it apparently thinks that I ran over its dog or something.

  At some point, the actual owner of the engagement ring selection had absconded with their stash and vanished, wraithlike, into the night, taking every other inexpensive ring in the city with them. I imagine it had to be wraithlike. It’s the only way I can come to grips with the fact that I could not, for the life of me, find a non-tacky engagement ring in my price range. But I was still waiting for the video, so I could at least somewhat afford to not worry too much about it. Right?

  See above, re: fate.

  When Mr. Colantoni’s video arrived in my email (well, it was stored on another site, but the notification came in my email), I was now running into another problem—it looked like my class for Fall 2014 was not going to reach enrollment, which translates to a significant loss of income. With basic necessities like food and rent being priorities, a ring was pushed back. I still looked, you see, but nothing really appeared to be right. And if it did appear right, it was way, way too expensive.

  However, as the spring semester grew closer and it appeared as though I may actually be able to teach again, there was a glimmer of hope. On top of that, there was a little news item that seemed, if you’re a big fan of a non-chaotic universe that occasionally conspires to throw you a bone rather than drown you in existential horror, to be a bit on the sign-ish side.

  If you are a bookish type (and if you aren’t, what the hell are you doing here?), you may have seen this wonderful little item pop up somewhere. And while way-too self-serious buzzkills will wring their hands over how this cheapens the institution of marriage or whatever, a ring based upon Harry Potter seems precision engineered for people like Ashlie and me.

Ravenclaw all the way, by the way.

  Allow me to explain (like you have a choice).

  When I first met Ashlie, I knew at least two things about her: she liked Twilight and Harry Potter. While I would to go on to (kind of) defend Twilight, it was something that I knew I would have much more fun ripping apart to its component atoms and examining it for its reactionary gender politics than anything else. Harry Potter, however, was something that was significantly more appealing.

  While I did have friends that aligned themselves with Gryffindor the moment Rowling’s work was published in the U.S., I refrained. Not keen on fantasy to begin with, I was less than willing to dedicate my time reading a series that was ongoing and popular enough to drive people to wait in line for a midnight release. Even when it was completed, it was still in the “to be read” pile thanks to years of slacking on the whole literary front.

  Wanting at least some cultural commonality with Ashlie, I started reading Harry Potter. And you know what? It was easily one of the best, warmest, and most human stories I had been privy to in years. Ashlie and I spent a lot of time discussing the ins and outs of the series, our favorite characters and events, the biggest heartbreaks, and how Neville and Luna should get their own spinoff series.

  So you can totally see how the ring is good for us, right?

  The stage was set when the ring arrived. After I told my family my plot to propose, I set to work. I put the video on her computer, set it to full screen, put the ring in my pocket, and waited until she came home from work. She has a very set pattern if we have no plans to go out and about—she comes in, changes, checks her computer, then settles in to watch television. That third part is kind of integral to my darker purpose.

  That Friday, however, she flopped immediately on the couch to skip the whole computer thing. After watching an episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, she had decided to make dinner and set about preparing that.

  You know what remained untouched? The computer. I mean, probably for the best, because by that point she probably had raw chicken juice all over her hands. But whatever.

  Anyway, when dinner was in the process of baking, she finally walked by the computer and moved the mouse to wake it from sleep. When, instead of the background, she saw Enrico Colantoni’s face, she turned to me and asked “What’s this?”

  “Watch it,” I said, coming close and kneeling by her side as she sat in her chair.

  She started giggling semi-maniacally at the mention of her name. That’s something I’m particularly proud of.

  When she turned around to look at me, I had the ring out. I would like to say that I wowed her with something super smooth, but that would be a lie. Instead, I kind of choked and asked, “Want to put money on that whole ‘love me forever’ thing we keep saying?”

  I can’t stress enough that I’m normally much more gooder at this whole wordsing thing.

  She asked if that was a proposal (really, everyone: I choked so badly).

  I said, “Yes,” to which she responded by sliding the ring on her finger.

  I asked if that was a ‘yes’, which was then audibly confirmed as such. So, in a way, we both choked.

  I’ve been assured that’s adorable.

Purchase Project Northwoods at Amazon.com.   Purchase Washed Hands at Amazon.com   Purchase Improbables at Amazon.com.


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