That’s What She Said… (Part 3)Posted: September 4, 2008
We woke up Monday morning a little later than normal. It was much warranted after 2 long days of travel and exhausting fun. Caroline and I woke up in New York, both dizzied from the pace of the weekend. It was a funny mix of joy from the last 2 nights of celebrations and today’s inevitable heart-breaking separation. She was to go her way back to the Midwest and I was supposed to head back to Boston. But what she didn’t know was that there was a slight amendment to the agenda.I wasn’t quite ready to let go of the weekend. I had other plans.
When she thought we were going to grab lunch with her family and then drop her off at the airport to bitterly wave goodbye to each other for another several months, in actuality, I had penned a different ending to the story. I misguided (i.e. outright lied) to her by saying I was going to catch the Bolt Bus back to Boston for a mere $15 (which is a steal, by the way), but in reality I had already booked a flight back to Chicago leaving from LaGuardia only 40 minutes after her. Ingenious, I know.
The lunch went as planned and she said her goodbyes to her parents and her brother drove the both of us to LaGuardia. Pulling up to the terminal, I put on my best sad face and pretended to dread our last goodbye. Gave her a hug and told her to call when she landed and we went our separate ways. I immediately got back in the car and Andy (her brother) and I did a lap around the airport before he dropped me off at the same spot we’d been only 5 minutes earlier! Doing my best to duck and cover from being noticed, I managed to slip into the nearest Au Bon Pain to wait out the time it would take her to check-in. Unable to wait too long, for fear that I wasn’t going to be able to check-in on time myself, I quickly made my way through security and toward the gates. But I didn’t quite make it to my gate, perse. See, I was supposed to be waiting in Gate D8, but Caroline was in Gate D7, which were gates that faced one another. I wouldn’t let this whole surprise fail with that sort of knuckle headed move. So I stopped short of my gate and slipped in to sit and wait at Gate D2. I was 5 gates away from this whole thing becoming unraveled. After I saw her plane detach from the skyway, I quickly hurried to my own gate, because it was in the midst of boarding.
I made it! I was on board and she still didn’t know. How do I know she had no clue? Well, after I landed in Chicago, I got a voicemail saying she landed safely and that she was with her friends and would call me later. Perfect! Everything was going according to plan. She was supposed to go out with her friends to celebrate and I was “supposed” to be in Boston, sulking her absence. I got scooped up from the airport by Dan-I and before we rendezvoused with our friends at the designated surprise location, we managed to slip a quick bite to eat at my favorite Chicago hot dog establishment – Maxwells. One Polish, extra mustard, please.
From months ago, Jean and Jenie had helped me in planning this Chicago leg of the weekend. We had it all perfectly orchestrated from the meeting place to the timed unveil. So with everyone in position, Caroline and her friends came down Michigan Avenue toward the lounge we were going to host the party at. And to her surprise, there was a crowd of 13 people there waiting for her. Ok, so at this point she’s thinking, “I guess it’s not just a dinner with my roommates, but a dinner with all my close friends! Yay!”
“But wait…who’s that strutting toward me…with yellow flowers?” Surprise! Out from the haze of the afternoon sun, I walked toward her and fulfilled the final installment of a weekend full of surprises! From Boston to Chicago in 0.2 seconds. Watch the video.
Yes, she tried to kick me. Yes, she hit me multiple times. But in all, it was a great night of celebrating a very special weekend with our even more special friends. It was an epic night: cheeseburger cupcakes topped with haribo gummy bears doing unmentionable things, sparkling grape juice in self-assembled plastic champagne glasses, and dizzy bowling with your best friends. All told, it was 3 days in 3 cities. Everyday was filled with a different adventure. Each story was intricately woven in order to form what was the perfect weekend.
Now I write this as an engaged man. What’s different? Nothing, really. But I’ll tell you what will remain the same. I commit myself, as I did from day one, to love her as Christ loved the Church. We haven’t said our vows yet, but the attitude starts now. Please pray for the both of us that our relationship would be another great picture of the Good News of Jesus Christ: a God who loved His rebellious people so much that He was willing to give and sacrifice His only Son, so that those He loved could come into a more intimate relationship with Him forever. Pray that our relationship would picture a Gospel of Love, Forgiveness, and Service. Just as God Loved, Christ Forgave, and the Holy Spirit continues to Serve.
A gigantic shout out to our family and friends for making everything possible. We love you all and are overwhelmed by the thought of God’s grace shown to us through you.
To Caroline, let’s give our all until there’s nothing left. And when it’s all said and done we seek only the approval of One as He says, “Well done, good and faithful servant!”