be grateful for boring / shaking from a lock down / Thanksgiving 2015

This Thanksgiving, I am thankful for boring.
~ Katherine Bacher

Dear Precious Readers,

Some of you are parents/guardians to children. I am not a parent, nor a guardian to a child. However as of last week, I’m gainfully employed at a school. I’m not a teacher, but I am part of staff that interacts with students frequently throughout the day. Being a staff member, I’m now a part of a team whose responsibility is empowered to protect each person on campus daily. We’ll call this location “Work Base.”

They may have been short weeks, but they were more eventful than most staff members who have been there over 10 years have experienced in their entire careers.

Last week was a 4-day week due to several power outages as a result of major rain and wind storms in the Washington State area. This week was short due to the Thanksgiving holiday.

Week 1

Mid-week, Washington State underwent a rain and wind storm so severe, some areas were reporting 119 MPH winds.

I’ll give you a moment to absorb that statement.

We’re not talking just some heavy rain and minor flooding. A girl friend of mine, we’ll call her *Adora, just bought a house with her guy a few months ago. A day after the storms finally cleared, it now featured a 3-foot lake in her basement.

Many areas were without power for several days, some for a full week. This included inability to use landlines, water, etc. If you’re a long time reader of this blog, you’ll know that I have a slightly higher than average level of paranoia, leading me to be a mild Prepper. Believe me, if I had just bought a home like Adora, I’d begin filling every nook and cranny with years’ worth of emergency supplies. I may even create an emergency bunker under my home, financials permitting. With a home, I’d grow from “mild” Prepper to Extreme Prepper.

Yes, I’m that paranoid over emergency planning. I have been First Aid/CPR certified since I was 15 years old (many, many, many years ago), and have worked hard to keep myself ready for any type of emergency without actually being a trained medical or tactical provider.

Work Base was closed for one day. The next day was up and running, although the power did go off temporarily for 10 minutes. Friday, there was a planned evacuation drill. It was then I realized my Staff Emergency Binder was out of date. After the drill was over, I turned in my binder for updating and was assured I’d have it returned on Monday.

The week finished out normally, all was well.

Week 1 concluded.

Week 2

This week was an interesting one. Scheduled for full days Monday and Tuesday, with today being an early release day for the students. In a matter of a few days, students would be released to their homes to celebrate one of Americas finest (and most notorious) holidays of gathering for food witnessing fall. (Or, as Week 1 indicated: FULL WINTER.)

Fresh Monday morning, I went about my business. Life as a newbie employee tends to be riddled with system access issues, phone setup, computer adjustments, meeting your co-workers, learning which coworkers to avoid, menial task-work since you have no understanding of policy and procedure of your position, and training. Lots, and lots of training.

In between trainings, I was handling a quiet task when a signal came over the PA system. The worst possible moment anyone could imagine came through loud and clear.

“May I have your attention please.
Teachers and Staff:
We are in full lock down.
This is not a drill.
We are in full lock down.
This is not a drill.
Please lock and secure all doors, cover windows…”

People flew out of their seats and offices as we instantly began emergency procedures. Blinds were shut. Lights were extinguished. Doors were secured. Any exposure for visibility from our area was covered with black paper and taped tight.

My coworkers and I moved those in our area to secure locations. Not a single word was spoken. The oddest part? The silence. The silence of the common areas. No students talking, no cell phones chiming, no sounds of a backpack shuffling as someone walks by, no sounds of people moving around coming through the ceiling from the floor above our heads, no sounds of movement outside.

We were silent.
The hallway and rooms were silent.
Our world was silent.

The following cycled over and over in my mind:

  • Be silent. Stay calm. Stay alert. Be ready to evacuate.
  • Protect the children.
  • Running through my mental checklist of First Aid/CPR and school policies of handling injuries during an emergency situation.
  • This is actually happening! Dammit! Of all days to not have my emergency binder! [Insert string of expletives of your choice here.]
  • I need to call Pilot when it’s safe.
  • Oh, God! Oh, God! I have to think about “When it’s safe!” When is that going to be?! Please don’t let this be the way I go! Please don’t let this be the way any of us go!
  • Tamping down the panic. Be silent. Stay calm. Stay alert. Be ready to evacuate.
  • Praying for everyone involved.


My cycle of thought was forced to continue in this manner for nearly four hours.

Again, I’ll give you a moment to absorb that statement.

Throughout that time, we heard heavy boot falls throughout the halls as police, K9 bomb sniffing dogs, and other task force swept the campus for further unusual activity and further potential dangers. Several times throughout this nearly four-hour period, police would check the doors and shake them. The sharp, sudden attempts easily took 10 years off of the lives of everyone in our space.

After what seemed like an eternity, the lock down was lifted and we resumed our “normal” schedule. A full remainder of 45 minutes of the school day. All faculty, staff, and students were accounted for and safe, able to return home.

There have been an exponentially high increase in school shootings. Pilot stopped working at Marysville the year before the Marysville-Pilchuck shooting. He has experienced lock downs in his career as well.

How do I feel about the experience (and Pilot’s past experiences)?

I am thankful for every boring day that passes in my life. People don’t always understand why I don’t have more adventures, preferring to stay home and read/watch TV/write/play video games. I am grateful for the uneventful. I am grateful that no matter our emotional state, Pilot and I always tell each other that we love each other, even in the middle of fights. Even the big fights. We acknowledge that we love the other person, even though we’re upset with them in that moment. It’s days like Week 2: Monday, that I’m thankful Pilot and I remember we love each other even during anger.

Monday was the second scariest day of my life. My takeaway from the experience is as follows:

  • Acknowledge Love. It’s OK to go to bed angry. Pilot and I do this all of the time. Sometimes a good night’s sleep and a clear head in the morning are easier to utilize and quickly resolve an issue. I say: Never go to bed without internally and verbally acknowledging to that person that you love them. Every day.
  • Be realistic. Know what your skills and limitations are. Your life, or someone else’s may depend your ability to be truthful about yourself.
  • Trust your team. If you can’t trust your team, you need a new team. I am fortunate to have a highly skilled, compassionate and reliable team, both at Home Base and Work Base. If you don’t feel this way, you need to reevaluate your teams.
  • There is no finish line for Preparation. A good plan for as many types of emergency situations that you can think of, including 2 additional back up plans, is key during an emergency. Also, think about your steps and movements post-emergency. Think about what type of long-term physical, environmental, and mental care you might need, and be ready to take those steps after the emergency is over. You can never prepare enough.
  • Be flexible. Be prepared to throw away your plan. You need to be able to adapt. Preparedness is about being ready in any situation, including coming up with a new plan. Emergencies don’t always follow A + B = C. Emergencies do what they like. You need to be able to have the right set of tools and skill sets in case the emergency doesn’t “fall within your plan.”
  • Everybody love everybody. The more we care for our fellow man, the better our world can be. I try to live by these rules (besides God’s law): Do something today your future self will thank you for, and do your best to leave your world better than you found it. This includes people, not just places.

In short? This Thanksgiving:

I am grateful for boring days.
Be grateful for the boring days.

Peace and love to you all.


*Name has been changed for privacy.

oh brother (and sister), where art thou?

We are family! I got all my sisters (and brothers) with me!

Hidy-Ho Precious Readers!  It’s been waaay too long since my last post. Please consider this my offering of the most humble of apologies!

<removes feathered hat with a flourish and leans into a deep bow of regret and sorrow.>

Well, I’ll tell you one thing. Nothing quite prepares you for a family get-together, no matter how many years you’ve been a part of that family.  I observed quite an abundance of eye-opening behavior by way of some of my in-laws.

Allow me to introduce you to my brother- and sister-in-law:

And if either of them are reading this, I’m going in age-order. They’re super-competitive with each other and it’s the only way I could think of as a fair way to semi-introduce you to the world. Sorry. <shrugs.>

*Names have been changed for privacy

Brother In Law: Joker*

Joker is the oldest of the “Bacher Bunch.” 12 years older than Pilot, he is the self-proclaimed (and proud) black sheep of the family.

Although I have reason to believe he might be more like his parents than they care to admit, I’m keeping that comment to myself.

Party Animal: Joker lives up to his identifier by being a prankster and teases people relentlessly.

Even when we’ve asked him to stop.


In a voice often (wrongly) misconstrued by observers as “shouting.”

Charming: This is a term I hold especially for people who were super-popular, a jock and had arm candy for most of his/her high school career.

Basically the epitome of the type of person I strongly avoided during my high school career, due to my annoyance with them.

Don’t get me wrong, Joker and I get along fairly well.  Mostly due to the fact that both of us have been way past our high school days for several years (way more for him) and we’re both in adulthood.

Our détente may also have to do with the fact I can hold my own when it comes to teasing and I don’t really take any crap from anyone.  Oddly enough, now that I’m thinking about it, I think Joker respects me on some level.

That’s a creepy thought. I wonder if I should be worried about that…

It’s interesting to watch his and Pilot’s relationship change over the years.  One thing to recognize is: by the time Pilot was of an age to retain firm memories, Joker was pretty much out of the house. I think Pilot was still Joker’s little buddy and they always “had each other’s back” through brotherly love, but I just don’t think there was that much of a real connection between the two until more recent years.  Pilot was a band geek – the polar opposite of the Popularity Spectrum.

It bears repeating that Pilot is a drummer, which I feel gives him way more street cred than your standard French horn player or whatever.

Now that they’re both in adulthood, they have more common ground as husbands, men, and daily life struggles.

Lots of energy: Lots and lots of energy.

That’s the nice way of putting it. ADHD anyone?

Married: Cheery*.  A gal in his corner, but in no way overshadowed by Joker, Cheery definitely can stand on her own two feet. I basically look at Cheery as being the mother of four boys. Good luck with that!  For crying out loud, she’s the only woman I’ve ever met who can make Joker actually stop talking for a minute!

Granted it’s usually due to her palm becoming quickly plastered to Joker’s mouth. But hey, silence is silence, right?

Sister In Law: Hoops*

Now, Hoops is an interesting gal.  She is 10 years older than Pilot, and has a more motherly relationship towards him.

Which, as you can imagine for having the honor of being Pilot’s first girlfriend, added to the general stress that goes along with meeting Pilot’s parents for the first time – I also had to impress his sister.

In full disclosure, I think she actually hated me when we first met.  Nothing personal, I think she would’ve felt that way towards anyone who was deemed Pilot’s “First Girlfriend.”  Or any girlfriend for that matter.  Looking back, I’m really glad he has a close relationship with her, and I know that he will always have someone to talk to.

A very familiar tendril of jealousy over my lack of siblings is starting to form in my brain.

Super-sweet: Very naïve – much to the rest of the family’s delight and source of humor, and sometimes to my detriment.  For example, a recent conversation from earlier this year:

Hoops: Where are you from again?

Me: <murmurs reply, naming a suburb north of Seattle.>

Hoops: No, I mean where were you adopted from?

Me: South Korea.

Hoops: Oh.  <pauses.>  So are you a Communist?

<Pilot and I stop dead in our tracks, and goggle at Hoops for 2 seconds.>

Me: <deadpanned.> What?!

Pilot: <closes eyes.> Oh geez.

Me: <draws out words.> Um… No…

Hoops: But, it’s Korea. So, that makes you a Communist, right?

Me: First of all, I’m not a Communist.  I was adopted when I was six months old and raised here, so I’m no more of a Communist than you are.  Plus, Communism is part of North Korea. So if I had been born there? Trust me. I wouldn’t be here now.

Hoops: <shrugs.> Oh, okay.

Pilot: <facepalm.>

Super-smart: This woman has three master’s degrees.  Seriously.

It truly is a tribute to a woman who can get married, have a mortgage, raise three kids, still be a teacher and find the time to complete three master’s degrees.  I have yet to obtain one.

This factoid often highlights the dichotomy between her book smarts and Hoops’ naivety. Again, much to the family’s delight and source of humor.  (See above conversation above my non-Communism.)

Super-sporty: Went to college on a basketball and academic scholarship.

Sensing where the nickname came from?  Hmm?

Married: Mr. Hoops*.  Mr. Hoops is just that, he’s a computer teacher and a basketball coach. How did they meet?  Why, playing for their respective gender’s college basketball teams, of course!

Now Joker and Hoops each have 3 children with their respective spouses.  Ironically, though they’re competitive and have difficulty sharing with each other, they managed to take turns having their children.

In very rapid succession, typically within a year of the other’s relationship producing a child.

Born First   –   Joker’s Child #1: All Star*

This kid will run, cycle, wrestle, tackle, etc. laps around you. He is Joker’s “Mini Me” in looks, athletic ability and energy, but is much more reserved with what he says.

As Joker’s Mini-Me, trust me, no one will dispute this paternity, EVER.

Born Second (and the only girl)   –   Hoops’ Child #1: Red*

A sweetheart girl-next-door whose helpful and caring nature manifested itself into a pint-sized animal whisperer.

I swear, if this kid decides to be a veterinarian, the world is a better place because of it.

Born Third   –   Joker’s Child #2: Butters*

Now, this term of endearment is really strictly held between Pilot and myself. (And now you.) We call this guy Butters because he not only looks like Butters from South Park, he’s also sweet and innocent like Butters from South Park, often talked into or randomly becomes a part of the schemes his dad Joker or his brothers come up with.

Oh, and he wore a Spiderman outfit everyday for about a year.

Born Fourth & Fifth – identical twin boys:

Hoops’ Child #2: Chatty* (Twin 1)

Chatty is a talker. He loves to know about anything and everything, and enjoys sharing anything and everything.  With everyone.

Luckily for him, his Auntie Katie loves to talk too. He definitely has met his match with me.

Hoops’ Child #3: Dreamer* (Twin 2)

Dreamer is more aloof.  While equally as much of a sweetie as his twin, Dreamer tends to be more of a boy of actions rather than words.

He gives some of the biggest hugs out of all of them.  Aww…

Born Sixth   –   Joker’s Child #3: Dancing Fool

The reason we call him Dancing Fool? Not only is Cheery a dancing queen, Dancing Fool has inherited this gene.  He dances no matter if people are watching.

Actually, he dances especially if people are watching.  He stole the show at our wedding at a not-so-tender age of 2, running to the dance floor and busting a move better than Usher or Justin Timberlake.

Now, Dancing Fool is a funny story. Joker and Cheery were actually done with having children.  Joker had a vasectomy after Butters, but never went to his follow-up appointment.  As you can imagine, Cheery was very surprised to find out she was pregnant for a third time.

Which bears the Bacher Bunch: Family Motto and crest:

ALWAYS, ALWAYS, ALWAYS go to your follow-up appointment!

The reason for this family tree-in-law update?  I want it to be very clear who these offspring are, and where (and who) they come from.  Despite being raised by parents who represent personalities opposing as strongly as the mismatch of:

Oil and Water
Spots and Stripes
Sandpaper and Bare Ass

-we’re lucky all six kids get along swimmingly.  Despite their differences, Joker and Hoops’ children have a mutual foundation of faith, “family comes first” mentalities, sports…

and one last thing…

Picture it in your mind:

Thanksgiving 2012

Post-meal discussions and board games galore.  The family is really settling in for the night.  The adults are talking (or rather, listening to Joker’s inebriated voice talk about something or other).

Suddenly, a tornado of six little fresh-faced children explode into the room, swirling in a mix of smiles, giggles and hugs, desperate to share their merrymaking with the adults.

Are you ready for this?

All six of these adorable, innocent little munchkins grab Joker’s phone.

A familiar, catchy techno beat begins to play.

Singing and dancing in their own field of euphoric energy, they pause long enough to strike a pose while belting out the infamous lyric:

I’m Sexy and I Know It!

Complete with their own varied, personalized motions during the reciting of:

Wiggle, Wiggle, Wiggle, Wiggle, Wiggle, Yeah!

Yup.  You guessed it.

The silly, singing spawn are united by the Party Rock patrons of LMFAO.

My poor, poor mother in law.

I don’t think I’ve ever seen her that shocked in all 10 years, as I did in that moment.

The only reason my mother-in-law, Honey* is even familiar with that song is because of me.  Earlier in the year, I sent her the music video for I’m Sexy and I Know It as a joke via Facebook.  Her response when I asked her if she had watched it?

Honey: Yes. I watched the: Whole. Thrusting. Video.

Man, I love that woman!  She cracks me up!  <smirks.>

So what’s the lesson here?  I suppose it’s a few things, really.

1. Children are more observant that you give them credit for.  None of us had any idea the kids had heard of this song, let alone have it committed to memory verbatim.

2. Music brings the world together. Even if it’s a song about men providing public hip thrusts.

And finally?

Life is too short to lack a sense of humor.

I don’t think I’ve ever laughed so hard in my life until the moment those kids started singing.

Oh wait…

I’m remembering Honey’s expression now.

<wiggle wiggle.>

The day I whispered “Really?”

Nothing in life can prepare you for a giant, purple Teletubby.

So ‘tis the Turkey Season and guess what?  Thanksgiving is almost here!  In a mere few hours, I will be the proud owner of a turkey-stuffed belly while listening to some of my nieces and nephews probably screaming their little faces off while they play hockey with Uncle Pilot.

I know the last few posts have been a bit doom and gloom.  But hey, it’s stormy, pitch black and rainy outside, ‘natch as the Seattle November is, and it was doomy-gloomy-mood-inducing weather.

But not today, Precious Readers!  Today is upbeat, happy and exciting!

Picture it: A November 2009 Friday evening.  Pilot and I are at home in discussion to figure out how to spend our weekend.

Channeling my inner Sophia Petrillo… Golden Girls?  Anyone…?  Anyone…?

Me: Grocery shopping?

Pilot: Did it earlier in the week.

Me: Friends?

Pilot: [So-and-So] are busy, [What’s His/Her Face] are out of town, and so on.

Me: Hmm…  How about we go out of town?

Pilot: <perks up.> What did you have in mind?

Me: Want to go visit some old haunts?

Pilot: Sounds interesting

Me: Why not go over to Ellensburg? Visit the ol’ alma mater

Pilot: Let’s do this!

We agree to spend the day in Ellensburg, WA visiting Central Washington University. We’ll visit old hangouts and eat at some of our favorite places from our college days.

Did you know: the nice thing about Eastern Washington is, once you’re over Snoqualmie Pass, you’re really in more of a desert climate. The air is dry with 360 days of sunshine a year.

Don’t get me wrong, it can get freeze-your-ass-off cold there, but it’s always clear skies and sunny.

The next day, we hop into Grease Lightning (my white Jeep), we drive over to the other side of the state to reminisce about our past.  We arrive and grab some D&M Coffee.  Precious Readers, when-

I’m not accepting any “if’s” here.  I’m expecting you to go someday.  There is no chance for defense here.  I am instructing you to go.  (Just beware the rodeo and around CWU graduation-it’s a zoo during those times!)  As I was saying…

-when you go to Ellensburg, be sure to grab some D&M Coffee.  It is, by far, the best coffee I’ve ever had in my entire life.  And that’s a die-hard Seattleite talking to you.  Pilot recommends the Snickers Latte, while I tend to prefer the Milky Way Latte.

Pilot made the perfect suggestion of walking around the downtown portion.  Hand in hand, we wandered up and down the various blocks of privately owned retail space.  Excited for the new stores that popped up since I had graduated high school seven years prior, happy at the places that still existed which held special memories for us, and saddened by the businesses that closed down.

It’s amazing how many memories come flooding back from small instances, like a tree root that grew through the sidewalk that you trip over each time you walk on a certain block.  The house that’s covered in bike reflectors in a decorative way.

You should check it out; they have a “postcard” machine that allows you to take an image of the home with you.  It’s like a kid’s candy dispenser.  It’s awe-inspiring and hilarious at the same time.

We got back in the car and decided to drive to one of our most prized places of the city: the water tower.

The water tower stands tall, crowning the top of an enormous hill/cliff that overlooks everything in the city.  From the west you can see downtown Ellensburg, due north is CWU, east is residential area and directly at the base of the hill/cliff is the Ellensburg Rodeo arena.

Ellensburg basically lives in the base of a mountainous bowl.  No matter which direction you face, the mountains are in the distance, perfectly encasing the countryside in a circle.  We spent many an evening enjoying events at the rodeo for free from that spot, usually with a car-picnic of KFC.

Pilot and I parked on the hill/cliff and wandered to the edge of the hill, overlooking the city where we first met.  As we maneuver counter-clockwise around the top of the hill/cliff, Pilot stops to tie his sneakers.  I roll my eyes and sigh while moving on to look at the mountains in the distance.  Sneakers and Pilot are a longtime bane of my existence.

Precious Readers, to know me is to understand that I am a one of those Seattleites who wears flip-flops practically year-round.  My sandals are basically retired for 1.5 months, January through mid-February, only because those are the months they aren’t entirely functional.

Flip-flops rarely work on ice.

If it were up to me, our world would be covered in some kind of springy rubber or compact dirt and I would walk barefoot 24-hours a day.  I love being barefoot, especially on the (clean) beach.  The only time I wear close-toed shoes (and only if I’m in a meeting with external clients), is at work. Since I mostly handle data entry and internal-tools creation, I’m at my desk for most of the day, so I wear sandals to be comfortable.

I love working on the West Coast.

Pilot on the other hand, can’t stand feet in any way, shape, form or capacity.  I suspect Pilot inherited the gross-out reaction to feet from his father.  Actually, to this day, I don’t believe I have ever seen The Silver Fox (my father-in-law) without shoes or some other type of footwear.  And he always wears socks.

By the way, I didn’t even come up with that nickname on my own.  My father-in-law is called The Silver Fox at work.  No joke.

Anyway, Pilot has this habit of double-knotting his shoelaces, which repeatedly fail at keeping themselves knotted.

So needless to say, having Pilot take a few moments to tend to his shoes was a regular occurrence with us while we go through our typical song-and-dance:

Pilot: Go on ahead; I’ve got to tie my shoes.

Me: <rolls eyes.> Why not just get slip on shoes or loafers?

Pilot: Because those are better for short trips or driving, not for walking around.

Me: Why not get different shoelaces made of a better material that doesn’t come undone so often?

Pilot: <waves at me> Go on ahead. I’ll be right there.

Me: You could always wear flip flops like I do.

Pilot: <thins lips into a frown.> You know I think feet are gross.

Me: <puts hands on hips.> Then why did you marry someone who would rather live life barefoot?

Pilot: <points to my feet.> Because you have cute toes. Look at them! They’re purple, or often blue, or some other random color.  Doesn’t mean I like my own feet.  Or others.

Me: That doesn’t make sense. How can you think my toes are cute but hate feet?

Pilot: <smirks.> Don’t judge me.

Me: How can you hate feet?  That’s completely irrational.

Pilot: <waves at me again.> Go on ahead I’ll be right there.

Me: Whatever. <Continues on journey.>

Pilot: <bends to tend to his loosening sneakers.>

But back to our story…

Pilot and I are overlooking the city where we first met. Pilot stops to tie his sneakers.  I rolled my eyes and sighed while moving on to look at the mountains in the distance.

Pilot: Go on ahead; I’ve got to tie my shoes.

Me: <rolls eyes.> You could always wear flip flops like I do.

Pilot: <stoops to tie his sneaker.> Go on ahead. I’ll be right there.

Not wanting to go into bickering mode because I am way too fulfilled by nostalgia overload, I sigh, turning around to let him be, while I wander to the western side of the hill/cliff and look at Downtown Ellensburg.

Pilot: Katie…

I turn around and look a back at him.  Pilot is on the ground.  Does he see some kind of gardener snake or something?  Oh dear god, please don’t let him have found a snake.  Chances are it’ll be one of those rare occurrences we find an animal and it bites us.

I squint and realize he’s kneeling on the ground with a gray box in his hand.  His eyes wide and shiny as he gazes softly at me, looking slightly nervous as he opens the box.

I think to myself: He found a box?  Where the heck did that come fro-…?

<ding.> Lighbulb illuminates over my head.

My eyes nearly bug out of my head.

There’s a ring in that box.

Channeling Katie MacAlister’s novels, “I goggled at him.  There’s really no other way to put it.  I just goggled.”

Barely able to find my voice-

For those who have yet to figure out: It is damn-near impossible to render me completely and utterly speechless.

-I barely squeak out a small, hushed voice:

Me: …really?

Pilot: <gently nods.>

I run over and throw my arms around his neck and we kiss.

Pilot: <winks.>  Finally!  I was wondering when you would ever suggest a trip to Eburg.

Me: <pauses.>  What?

Pilot: You’re no fun to surprise. You always guess what’s going on.  I had to make it seem like your idea.

Me: <frowning.>  How long have you had that ring?

Pilot: A while.

Me: Explain ‘a while’.

Pilot: About a month. <pauses.>

Me: <narrows eyebrows.>

Pilot: What’s wrong?

Me: What would have happened if I hadn’t suggested this trip?

Pilot: I would have had to figure something else out.

Me: Let me get this straight. We could’ve been engaged for a month already?!

Pilot:  I love you.  <kisses my nose.>

Me: <scowling.> I hate you so much right now.

The world truly can stop.  It’s amazing.  There are moments in life when it can seem like its operating in slow motion.  A basketball hanging in the air before it swishes, the pause before someone kisses you, a moment of quiet during a life-changing moment.  Like this one.

After the world resumed its rotation on its axis and around the sun, I peer down at the ring in the box.  I can only stare at it and nothing else.

It is not an engagement ring.  It looks like a wedding band.

Confused, I ask Pilot what’s going on with the jewelry.

Pilot: It’s a “presentation ring.”

Me: What’s a presentation ring?

Pilot: It’s the ring you present that you’ll use during your wedding.

Me: I’ve never heard of such a thing.

Pilot: Oh, it’s a real thing.

Me: That doesn’t sound right.

Pilot: <stares at the ring for exactly 4 seconds.> Crap.

Me: What’s wrong?

Pilot: I knew that guy at the jewelry shop was full of it.

Me: <laughing.> It’s ok.  We’ll figure something out.

Pilot: When do you want to go exchange it?

Me: <look of contrition on face.> We don’t have to exchange it, it’s just… what would I wear then?

Pilot assures me it’s OK to go back and get an actual engagement ring.  We laugh recognizing we of like mind (as always), and are too excited to wait.  Since we had already toured the city for the most part, both us were determined to get the ring exchanged the same day.

Not moments after making this decision, we look to the east on the hill/cliff.  Something else has caught our eye.

There it stood.  A six foot four, life-size, purple Teletubby.

Now, if you’ve never heard of Teletubbies, they are lowest of the low of children’s entertainment.  I don’t understand any parent who subjects their kids to watch these inarticulate alien species hell bent on living under a baby sun god, who will likely grow up to be a serial killer as a result of his/her parents agreeing to let said baby work on the show.  That psychedelic acid trip of a children’s program hosts one of the strangest main characters I’ve ever seen.

And they frighten the shit out of me.

There was a small group of three college students.  Some guy wearing a purple Teletubby costume, complete with mascot-sized, purple Teletubby head, another guy holding some sort of fancy sound equipment and a third with a video camera.

I slowly look back at Pilot.

Me: Either they’re working on some sort of weird art project, or that guy lost a bet.

Thus ending the story of the day Pilot and I got engaged.

For those girls out there wondering what we picked, it’s a white gold, low-profile setting-

Do I really want the ring snagging all my clothes or taking out chunks of my hair? I don’t think so.

-with a band that looks like its split lengthwise.  Pilot and I were both born in September, so we have the same birthstone.  The gemstone is an oval, horizontally oriented, pale blue sapphire (almost looks light purple) and small diamonds on either side of the sapphire.

Looking at it, it kind of looks like a blue-eyed eyeball, (but in a really gorgeous, feminine and delicate manner).

It was unique, special.  The same as our engagement experience.

Pilot: <raises eyebrows.> We really can’t have anything be normal, can we?

Me: Apparently not.

Pilot: <closes eyes.> If anyone doubts that God has a sense of humor, wait’ll they hear this one.

Me: <kisses Pilot’s frown away.> Well, at least we’ll never forget it.

By the way, we both still think a ’presentation ring’ is bullshit.  Guys we’re talking to you.  Don’t get sold by a salesman. GET AN ENGAGEMENT RING.  Shiny, not shiny, bedecked with jewels, or simple tastes, new or antique-GET AN ENGAGEMENT RING.  You will avoid confusion with your partner.

In the end, Pilot really did pick the perfect ring.  It was perfect, I suspect (perhaps subconsciously?) Pilot knows I love to experience everything with him.  That I would want to share that moment of finding it.

We selected the soon-to-be-permanent-fixture-to-my-hand the same way we do everything else in our relationship.


So, Precious Readers, there you have it.  I hope you enjoyed the story of the day Pilot and I became engaged.  Nothing beats a story of a buddy-comedy/romance/road trip adventure/Freakishly huge, purple Teletubby.  Am I right?

If you visit (AND LIKE!) my Facebook Author Page, you can see a posted picture of it there.

What was a tender, milestone-life-moment of yours that was randomly interrupted by a moment of someone else’s insanity?  Or were you the unexpected surprise in someone’s “moment”?  Would love to hear from you!  Leave a comment or share a story!

Hope you have a Happy Thanksgiving!

<gobble, gobble.>