Monday, June 28, 2010

50. Third of July

I pulled into Panara and squeezed my car into the only spot left in the lot, holding my breath and praying I didn't tap the Lexus on my right or the BMW on my left. Whoever owned those cars clearly understood the concept of luxury, but obviously missed the boat on the purpose of the white lines in the parking lot.

I peeled myself out of my car, sucking in as much as possible to keep my door from denting the one next to me as I slid out. Once outside, I wanted to crawl back into my air-conditioned car. It was almost 100 degrees and my hair managed to go flat and frizzy at the same time.

Shanna was waiting for me by the front door, looking perfect as usual. She used to come over after a dance class and say, "Sorry, I look awful! I've been sweating like crazy for the past two hours." But of course, she looked beautiful, as if she'd already showered and perfected her hair into a professional messy bun. Jealous.

"Whitney!" She said as he enveloped me in a hug. I bent down to accommodate her 5'4" frame. She was petite and curvy, tan and gorgeous, athletic and feminine—all the things every girl wishes they could be. But just as beautiful as her half-hispanic skin tone was the dazzling diamond ring situated perfectly on the ring finger of her freshly manicured left hand.

"I can't wait to hear about this," I said as I held up the ring and watched the sunlight bounce off of the corners, twinkling rainbow colors against my shirt.

"Food first," she said as she pulled me inside.

We sat down with our salad-sandwich combos and dug in.

"I have to hear about London!" she said between bites.

"You first," I said, my mouth full of turkey and Asiago cheese bread and everything good.

"Well, he took me to a wine tasting and when we sat down, our waitress placed three separate flower arrangements on our table. It was the three types of flowers I always said I wanted in my wedding."

"No way, so did you know it was coming?"

"Well, his upper lip was sweating, and he was all nervous. I knew something was up."

"So then what? What did he say?"

"Well, it was a little awkward because I guess the waitress was supposed to record the whole thing, and he didn't notice she had set the camera down on the table, so he was just kind of rambling. Then he finally said, 'So, these are the flowers you want in our wedding right?' And I said, 'Yes...' and then he just kind of said it!"

"Said what!? I need details here!"

"He just said, 'Will you marry me.' No long speech or anything, just kind of out with it. Of course I said yes, and then the rest of the time he kept shaking his head and saying, 'Wow, that could have gone so much smoother.'"

"Poor guy! He was probably scared out of his mind!'

The "he" she was referring to was a good-hearted, 27-year-old, all-around good guy named Ronnie. The story of how they met if much more exciting than how he proposed.

The summer between my freshman and sophomore years of high school, back when I was a mere 15, I went on vacation with my two best friends Val and Mel to Siesta Key, Florida. We spent our days in the sun, soaking up the rays and patrolling the city for the world's best key lime pie, and we spent our nights walking along the water, keeping our eyes out for the world's best (or the city's best) three hot guys. As luck would have it, we did meet a group of three guys (it's probably safe to call them "boys" at this point), somewhat lacking in the hot factor, but fun enough. Through them, we met a guy named Johnny, who had a gregarious personality, deep, dark eyes, and a rock solid body. Oh, and he was definitely hot. He was adorable and friendly. And he was hooked on Mel.

Through Johnny we met Ronnie. The minute we saw Ronnie we all fell in high-school love. He had long, wavy, light brown hair, a perfect tan, and bright white teeth.

We ooooed and aahhhed.

We had a video camera with us, and the only clip we got of him was him pulling up his shirt, pointing to his chest and saying, "This is Ronnie's nipple." We rewound it and watched it over and over because he had a perfectly sculpted 8-pack, if that's even possible. (Or it could be my high-school mind exaggerating).

Over the years we kept in touch. I'd go to Florida every year with a new group of girls and we'd meet up with Johnny and Ronnie (how cute is that?). Then the boys started coming to Texas, then to Oklahoma to visit me in college. I hooked up with their friends, they hooked up with my friends. And by "hooked up" I'm not talking about sex here, people. Ronnie moved to Texas for an internship.

Shanna and I became best friends my last two years of high school, but she never made it down to Florida with me. Four years ago, the boys were in town, so I got my girls together and we met to watch the fireworks.

It was July 3rd. That's the day Shanna met Ronnie. And they lived happily ever after.

Three July 3rds later, I met my Prince Charming.


  1. Wow, I came across your blog tonight July 3rd! What are the odds? Really neat perspective for a blog. I am hooked.

  2. That's crazy! July 3rd is a good day. A freakin' good day.